what do you want?

This article by my colleague Rhonda Victoor really made me think.

what do you want?

The question hung in the air. I struggled to answer my coach.

But that’s not new. Whether asked where I want to go for dinner, or what I want in BIG areas of life, the answer is often the same:

I don’t know.

My coach this time wasn’t a live person in front of me. It was an audio book of Albert Bernstein’s Emotional Vampires – dealing with people who drain you dry.

I had reached for it to further my research on emotional intelligence. But it gave me a tonne of insight into myself. And (spoiler alert) I think it might do the same for you.

Not to say that either of us is a full-blown emotional vampire. But whether you’re leading a team, connecting with dear friends, or parenting (psssst – our online Conscious Parenting course has launched!!):

Your unaddressed emotional baggage is leaking out onto them.
And who wants that!

After integrating the material, here’s what I’m taking away:

Stop saying I don’t know. STOP! You do know. You’re just avoiding seeing it (and saying it) because you’re afraid it’s out of reach, or you don’t want to say something that might make someone else uncomfortable.
Get a little uncomfortable. It’s how we grow. Be honest with yourself – is it safe now to do this? If so – do it!
Get really clear on your expectations of others. Then ask if those are fair. If so – say them. Today.
It’s not being bossy if you say please and thank you.
When you don’t verbalize what you want, it will leak out. And it will border on passive aggressive.
Do you think you’re the smartest person in the room? You might be. And thinking it will leak out. And it will border on perfectionism.
Big things happen when we have creative ideas PLUS a willingness to do boring things. Most of us lack the latter. Is it time to notice that your hurtle to success is the stubborn avoidance of important yet boring tasks?

Don’t be scared off by the labels. The author reminds us:

We all have a little of these shadow behaviors within us.
In many ways they keep us alive and thriving.

For instance, a little perfectionism means we do high-quality work. A little narcissism means we have healthy self-care. We all have a shadow self. That’s not the problem.

Unwillingness to see our shadow self is the problem. That’s when it can take over and evolve into vampire-ness. So see yours with empathy. And then choose otherwise. Choose to speak your mind, or listen to someone else or practice patience or do the boring thing that will lead to change.

As our planet reels with the blows of shadow-self chaos this week, I invite you to choose with consciousness. What do you really want? For you? Your community? The planet?

Breathe – NOTICE – Choose.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays of the year. I love Fall and I love thanking people and telling them how much I love them.

Today I want to say a special thank you to Nicole and her wonderful dad, Mel. They are celebrating every moment of Mel’s last days and are my inspiration this year for hosting my dad’s birthday party this weekend. We will have family visiting from three different provinces to tell my Dad what they love about him. Not only is it a birthday party, but those attending
are going to publicly tell my Dad what they love about him and then write their sentiments in a book for him to take home.

Why do we wait to stand at funerals to tell people how great our parents were? Why not tell them now?

So this Thanksgiving weekend, find ways to stand up and tell the people that you love why you love and appreciate them – or just say those three simple words that make a lasting difference, “I love you”. You will never regret that.