Some very un-helpful sociable introvert solo travel strategies

At my young and tender age I am about to embark on my first ever solo (in that I am not going with anyone I know) travel adventure. As a sociable introvert this fills me with trepidation as I have calculated that I have 384 hours of possible communication time. I love interacting with people but my limit is about 5 hours with good friends and 2 hours with strangers and then my battery needs to be recharged.

So I pondered, and in today’s world of positive thinking I decided to think positively and embrace the words of Abraham Lincoln “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” So I looked for the roses and realised I could reduce the 384 hours:

I can watch movies on the plane and ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

I have a potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the beginning of the journey. Together with jet lag this will make talking to people very difficult (especially if I am vomiting).

I plan to do a plunge into guaranteed sub-freezing waters of -2.8 degrees Celsius. This may give me teeth chattering mild hypothermia which has the following symptoms:

  • Shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Faster breathing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Slight confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate

I am not sure how long the hypothermia will last (the vodka that will be administered to me will probably not help my communication skills either). Let’s assume 3 hours in total.

Excluding my sea sickness I will be sleeping for about 85 hours.

There will be presentations that may use up 10 to 20 talking hours.

I then have another potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the end of the trip.

I can watch the same movies on the plane back home and still ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

This leaves me with 170 hours to talk to fellow adventurers. That is a lot of hours and at this stage I lost sight of the roses and began to see the thorns.

So I asked my friends and family for advice – which was not at all useful:

  1. Put ear phones in your ears and pretend you are listening to music
  2. Pretend you can’t speak English
  3. Glare at anyone walking towards you
  4. Suck it up

As my last resort I then turned to good old google which was not helpful either. I was told not to drink coffee before a social event and rather drink chamomile tea – I really don’t like chamomile tea.

So – is there anyone out there who can help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Moral Bucket List

In the article The Moral Bucket List David Brooks writes about résumé virtues and eulogy virtues  “…….it occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character…..”

David came to the conclusion that wonderful people are made, not born — that the people he admired had achieved an unfakeable inner virtue, built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.

This is a long article – but well worth the read!

A Mind Shift to Transform your Self Care

Some of the questions that I explore with my clients who are on a path of greater self understanding are:

“If you were an animal which one do you think you would be?”
“Which one do you like and admire?”
“And why?”
This helps in the unpacking of values, strengths and qualities.

Recently, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this post on her Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt:

“Sometimes, when I catch myself feeling unloveable or self-abusing, I try to imagine that I am an animal, adopted from the humane society, who has been placed into my own care. Maybe an animal that some bad things have happened to. Maybe an animal that is anxious and confused. Maybe an animal that has been wounded. Maybe an animal that is lost.

What does that animal need and deserve? Healthy food, a warm place to sleep, a safe place of shelter, tender affections, plenty of walks in the sunshine. Kindness. Tenderness. Patience.

Simple care.

Can you try to see yourself as an animal in need of rescue? And can you offer yourself that rescue? Can you try to see that you, too, are a simple mammal, born innocent, deserving of tenderness, needful of love, fearful of pain? Can you reach out to yourself with gentleness — as if you were that cat or dog who had been caged for far too long?”

 

I think this is a wonderful way to think differently so that we can be gentle on ourselves and extend the self love that we all need.

 

How Trauma Changes The Brain – join me on my next 6 week TRE course

In the following article Michele Rosenthal writes about how trauma affects the brain and how activating the parasympathetic nervous system shifts the body into restorative mode.

The Science Behind PTSD Symptoms: How Trauma Changes The Brain

TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) is one of the most wonderful modalities I have come across and it enables the body to shift into a restorative mode. Please come and join me on my next 6 week course and learn how to use it by yourself at home.

6 WEEK TRE GROUP COURSE STARTING ON TUESDAY 19 JANUARY IN CLAREMONT

We are all affected by stress and trauma – it is part of life.

Designed by David Berceli, TRE is a simple technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or ongoing stressful situations, and traumatic life events. A set of simple exercises invokes a mild tremor which helps bring the nervous system back to a state of calm and balance. Once learned TRE is a gentle and effective self-healing tool.

Some of the reported benefits of TRE include:

  • Greater sense of calm and inner peace
  • Less anxiety and worry
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Increased emotional resilience
  • Healing of old injuries
  • Relief from chronic medical conditions
  • Release of muscular tension from exercise and sport
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Increased spiritual connection

Date:  19 Jan – 23 Feb (every Tuesday for 6 weeks)

Cost:  R95o (paid upfront)

Time:  6.30pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Claremont

 

Stop Setting Hard Deadlines and Enjoy Your Way To Your Goals

Happy New Year!

For those of you who missed my previous blog on pushing less and trusting more, here is a very similar article on reaching your goals. Enjoy the read and may 2016 treat you well.

Stop Setting Hard Deadlines and Enjoy Your Way To Your Goals  

Push Less and Trust More: The Stress-Free Path to Your Goals

As we wind down from 2015 and enter into 2016 we may be beginning to formulate our New Year’s resolutions and set our goals for the year ahead.

I believe that making resolutions and goal setting can sometimes be counterproductive as it asks us to hold ourselves accountable to forces outside our control. If we do not achieve our goals or keep to our resolutions we may consider ourselves a failure.

We cannot predict whether our actions towards a goal will produce a desired outcome – there can be ‘unintended consequences’. So sometimes we just need to take small exploratory steps that will produce a change of some sort – either towards our preferred future or not. We may find that something new, something unexpected and every now and then something fantastic may happen.

Unlike a goal, a small step is not something to achieve or fail to achieve – it is just something that one takes or not.

In the article below Ash Blankenship writes about letting go of our desires and changing our attitude to allow us to become more receptive to life’s greatness.

Push Less and Trust More: The Stress-Free Path to Your Goals

5 Things to Remember When You’re Stuck and Desperate for a Change

I am at a huge transition point in my life at the moment – it is scary but deep down inside I know I will be fine. Apart from trying to lose attachment to any form of outcome, what has helped me immensely is regular practise of TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises).  TRE has given me a greater sense of calm and inner peace, increased emotional resilience, less anxiety and worry, I feel more grounded and have a stronger spiritual connection.

For anyone who feels stuck and does not have a real sense of how to take the next step forward, Marc Chernoff gives some reminders to help you along on your journey of change – 5 Things to Remember When You’re Stuck and Desperate for a Change.

 

 

 

Be Gentle with Fear

BE GENTLE WITH FEAR
Be gentle with fear. It is a child of the unknown. It has travelled light years to find you.
Do not be afraid to feel it fully. It will not harm you. Let it come closer, let it penetrate you if it must.
Feel its aliveness, its pounding heart, its vibrations and tingles in the body. Until there is no division between ‘self’ and ‘fear’. Until you cannot call it ‘fear’ at all. Until there is only life, raw and immediate, and nameless, and benevolent.
Fear is a breaking open into the unknown, a shattering of certainties. It is the forging of a new path into the vastness of night. It is the thrill of being awake.
Fear reminds you that you live on the edge of mystery. That you drink from the fountain of possibility. That your being is vast. That only the false can die.
Do not push your fear away, or label it ‘negative’ or ‘unspiritual’. Do not pretend it is not there. Do not rush to delete it, or transform it, or even heal it. It is not an enemy, and not a mistake. It holds great intelligence and healing power. It is ancient and wise. Bow before it.
Let fear be fear, fully itself. But do not be afraid. Let the body shake, let the heart quake. And know that you are present. And opening, and opening.
Let fear, so misunderstood, come to rest in your vast heart. Let it walk with you. When it feels unwanted, hold it close.
Standing on the threshold, you take those first steps into the void.
You are shaking but you are so damn alive.

– Jeff Foster

Enneagram

I have just been on a 4 day training course on the Integrative Enneagram Questionnaire (IEQ).  The Enneagram is a sense making map that describes the nine fundamental personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. With the IEQ you are able to pinpoint your Enneagram type and this can be used in your development journey and pursuit of goals. The Enneagram leaves room for the uniqueness of every individual and helps you to evolve into the best version of yourself. The Enneagram shows you how small you have made your own box and how to get out of it.

Each personality type represents a worldview that resonates with the way in which people think, feel and act and how they stand in relation to the world, others and themselves. The Enneagram will help you understand what drives your own unconscious behaviour, and will give you greater awareness of your motivations for certain habitual responses. We have the qualities of all nine types in us but one of them affects us more than the others.

For more detailed information on the nine Enneagram personalities read this long but informative article by Shira Atkins.

Please contact me if you would like to book an Enneagram assessment and coaching session.

 

 

What it means to ‘Hold Space’

What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.

In her article, Heather Plett gives eight tips on how to ‘hold space’ well. Holding Space is something that all of us can do for each other – for our partners, parents, children, friends, neighbours and even strangers. All of us need to know that there are people in our life with whom we can be vulnerable and weak without fear of being judged.