Saturday 28 March 2020

Index to support mental, physical and emotional well being

Over recent weeks, as I've delivered "soft skills and mindsets for unprecedented times" sessions, I have been heard to say "I've written a blog on that" - with over 500 posts in this blog alone you'd like to hope so. 

Here's a list of just some of those very posts that I think would be helpful as we face what were unimaginable situations only a few short weeks ago.

Just pick one that resonates, read a few or read them all over the next few weeks.

What ever works for you.

  • Unprecedented times - a reminder that words have power and the words we choose to describe the current situation have the power to push us away or towards well-being. 
  • The difference that will make the difference - what will help each of us at the moment to find balance will be as unique as we each are and it's about finding the difference that will make the difference - here's another post in the same vein but using the local jet skiers as an example of what not to do!
  • Motivation is an inside job - a reminder to not give our power away to a virus or other people.
  • Absurdity - sometimes the only way to shift our thinking is to get silly with it all.  
  • Do need to take your rose coloured spectacles off - self awareness will help point you in the direction where change is needed in order to find that balance of well-being.
  • What role are you playing - perhaps worthy of an update very soon as the roles we play in a pandemic will certainly support or hinder our personal flourishing and will be very different to the roles we were playing only a few weeks ago!
  • Juggling balls or spinning plates - when in overwhelm it's easy to forget to put the balls down or stop spinning those plates.   
  • Being on the same page as others - with such unimaginable things happening it's easy to get out of sync with others and also the facts and data. Whilst not written with the pandemic in mind I wonder whether this more metaphorical exploration might help get us all on the same page, or at least feeling like there's less of a mismatch? 
  • My advent series of posts using unconventional tools to provide different perspectives to a situation might provide a few interesting ideas from which to view the current situation and more importantly find a more resourceful mindset to cope with it from.  
and just been reminded of a couple of short stories I've written that might help too
  • The wave - my favourite short story I've written about a wave - you need to read it to understand why I love it - mindfulness meets landscaping your life 
  • The stone - another short story about the impact of being off kilter!
An index of posts using metaphor to help find that place of calm and balance can be found over on my over Landscaping you life blog.

You may also like my keeping afloat vlogs too :-) or join us on the let's get zagging facebook page were I share regular posts to help keep afloat.

Do let me know if something I've written resonates - and do please also share this index with others who you think might benefit.

If you'd like to be kept up to date with what I'm up to you can sign up for my newsletter here.

Thursday 26 March 2020

I've just not got the bandwidth at the moment

"I've just not got the bandwidth at the moment" It's not just the wifi, zoom (bless them) and other technology that's creaking at the edges through over use. I think we all are - our brains anyway. Unconscious habits that we've honed over years have been thrown up in the air. Even how we live as a family, how we shop, how we exercise, interact with others, measure 2 meters, and even wash our hands have been pushed back into our conscious awareness. A conscious awareness that, just like our wifi, only has so much bandwidth. Previously we could multi task because our unconscious was taking care of the background noise, allowing our conscious mind to focus on the new and exciting stuff. The back ground noise is now jamming the signal. Added to which we've got lots of new things to learn - who knew there was so much to learn about Zoom etc. So cut yourself some slack, and keep things simpler for a while. And trust that over time some of these 'it feels weird' new behaviours will become unconscious habits you no longer need to think about and will be going on in the background releasing up some well needed bandwidth.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

The fuzzy line between entitlement and trust

I shed my first tears about the current situation today &, whilst I'm sure they wont be the last, it had me thinking about the fuzzy line between entitlement & trust.

The tears came as I read Sainsbury's Chief Executive Mike Coupe email as he told what they were doing to safeguard access to provisions for the vulnerable at this time - which includes my mother & her partner.

Are we entitled to this service, or should we trust them to do their best?

Social media this week has been full of anger & frustration aimed at the supermarkets from a position of entitlement.

An entitlement based on what ever it is someone wants, what ever the time of day, & what ever the circumstances they expect to have their immediate & stockpiling needs met.

And yet, at times like these, entitlement seems such a waste.

A waste of time in which we all could be doing something more constructive.

A waste of energy our body needs to boost the immune system.

A waste of precious mental resilience.

In unprecedented & constantly changing times we have to trust that everyone is doing their best, using what ever their expertise to the fullest for the good of everyone.

We all rely on others - others rely on us - it's not an entitlement.

Be someone others can rely on, and trust that others will do the same.


Tuesday 17 March 2020

Unprecedented times

I speak often about the power of words, and recently had this lovely list of words people used to describe me visually brought to life by Sara Hoyles.

I hope you’ll agree they’re a gorgeous list and one I’m very proud of.

Today I want to write about the power of the words we're using to positively or negatively impact our mindset and ultimately our immune system.

Unprecedented times or strange, interesting, challenging or difficult times?

Words have power, and now more than ever some words are going to impact our mind and emotions more than others.

It’s not about burying our heads in the sand and ignoring what’s going on - and yes I can do that!

It is however about noticing the impact certain words are having on our mind and body.

Some words will increase our stress, the jitters, the floundering, panic and not knowing what to do - acting like a drain on our immune systems.

Other words will increase wellbeing, calm, confidence, and the inner knowing what to do - boosting our immune system.

What word triggers us will be unique as we are - some may find “challenging times” motivating and inspiring, and yet others may find them debilitating.

We can’t stop the media or others using these words but once we become aware of the words that trigger our negative thinking we can make a choice to choose more resourceful ones in our own thinking and speaking.

What words can you use less or more often to give your immune system some support?

Monday 16 March 2020

Drowning not waving

The life saving advert “he’s not waving he’s drowning” came to mind in this mornings personal training session in the sea.

I was reminded as I swam that our immune system can’t always tell the metaphorical difference between waving and drowning.

Which is why I believe our number one objective at this time is to support our immune systems and to not over load them with unnecessary and confusing signals.

We know what we need to stop or start doing to support mind, body, heart and soul. We’re just being invited to do it - now.

What will you today for mind, body, heart and soul? and when will you do it?

I'll only be sharing occasionally here. I'm posting on LinkedIn , Facebook and YouTube daily so pop over there to have a daily dose of insight to help keep you afloat. 


Saturday 14 March 2020

Keeping Afloat

I’m feeling a little jittery & off balance at the moment & in need of daily grounding to keep afloat.

I’m sure I’m not alone in finding Coronavirus a little daunting – working & living alone is certainly allowing that jitteryness to take hold even more.

I wondered therefore what I could do to add to the mix of support available & decided to share insights from a coaching tool I use in coaching and workshops.

It’s called the frameworks for change coaching process * & involves exploring the words on a series of cards to help us to tap into our inner wisdom.

An inner wisdom that is able to connect us to our inner calm.

I’ll be sharing a set of cards every day for at least the next couple of weeks.

Today’s insights to keep afloat are:
  • Insight: You successfully resisted the temptation to gossip.
  • Potential setback: Setback by comparison on the current situation.
  • Insight: I measure my success by how much I enjoy my work.
  • Mentor: Enthusiasm
Reflect on your own thoughts about these cards as these will always be more powerful for you than my own.

I have however shared my thoughts on a YouTube video (see below and also my YT channel here) & below.

Insight: You successfully resisted the temptation to gossip.

In this context gossip for me is about conversations where we’re telling a story and as we do so we add energy to the story. It’s as if we’re adding in more dark corners and angrier and bigger monsters with every telling. Which eventually has us afraid to go out and jumping at every loud noise. If we stop telling the story and stick to the facts, and focus on the actions we personally can take on a day to day basis, some of the jitteriness will dissipate.

Potential setback: Setback by comparison on the current situation. 

Do not look at others and see them as somehow being better off than you. We each have our own journey, and the media (social and otherwise) is always going to look as if most people are coping well. The chances are that a large majority of people are feeling like you are.  

Insight: I measure my success by how much I enjoy my work.

Some of the usual means of measuring success like hours at work, promotions, financial investments increasing, earnings, or even pats on the back may be a little light on the ground at the moment. What happens if we focus on the enjoyment we’re getting from what we’re doing, focusing more on what success today looks like rather than success next week, next month or next year.

Mentor: Enthusiasm

For me this links to the earlier cards – how can we tap into our enthusiasm today.

Find that one thing that when all around is fraught gives us joy. It might not be huge - it could be playing with your children/cat, or eating a favourite dessert or even watching your favourite film. Anything that will help shift from jangly and jittery to a more joyful mindset.

I'm posting on LinkedIn , Facebook and YouTube daily so pop over there to have a daily dose of insight to help keep you afloat. I'll pop back and share occasionally here.

* The process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks -

You can get a less businessy set of very similar cards online from Amazon or in person as Findhorn Phoenix shop - the cards are called Intuitive Solutions (Amazon UK, Amazon US).

Thursday 5 March 2020

Poor supplier performance

“What contributes to your own poor performance?” Was a question I asked delegates on a supplier management workshop this week. Interestingly ‘being lazy’, ‘incapable of doing it’, ‘not having the skills/expertise’ did not appear on the list. And yet .... They’re frequently the reasons we jump to when let down by others poor performance (including and especially our suppliers). During the discussion an appreciation of all the other reasons for poor performance of our suppliers put a hold on the blame and the judgement of them, and shifted the delegates thinking to what they could do to increase the likelihood of great performance from their suppliers. What do your suppliers need from you so they can deliver the expected performance?

Tuesday 3 March 2020

You don’t get married to improve the sex

“You don’t get married to improve the sex” Was a quote from last week’s supplier management workshop when discussing segmenting suppliers. In other words we only want to apply Supplier Relationship Management tools and techniques to the suppliers who have proved they can meet their contractual obligations and performance. Not rush head long into marriage to discover we’re incompatible, and they’re also unreliable and not to be trusted.