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Letting go of toxic family members

  1. Say how you truly feel and let the chips fall where they may. Do not misrepresent the truth or facts to make anyone feel happy or comfortable. When you do so, you betray the self. When you betray the self you lose all authenticity. Truth does not have to hurt. Truth is quite simply, the truth. Is there something that you have been meaning to say to someone, perhaps something that is bothering you. Summon enough courage to tell them.
  2. Be confident about how you feel (No Self-doubt or second guessing yourself). Work from a place of identifying and protecting your own peace, not from someone else’s standpoint. What gives you peace? What do you want your life to look like? Write it down today as your mission statement and paste it in a place you will see daily and for the next couple of days, live your life from that perspective. That is your compass and north star!
  3. Set conditions and boundaries (“This” will make me happy). Let them know how far you will go and what you will not do. Hold them accountable to those conditions and boundaries when they cross them. Give ultimatums (If this does not happen, this will happen). See where you can compromise, if at all. Is there someone who has crossed the line in your life? What did they do or not do? What should they have done? How has their behavior made you feel? Call them and explain how you feel about what they have done or not done and what you have decided will happen henceforth.
  4. Let people Choose their own paths. You cannot fix people. You cannot think for people. There is a difference between helping people and controlling people. Let adults be adults and live the consequences of their actions. Have a plan in place for how you will deal with certain individuals based on their past track record. Saying no does not mean you have to fight people or break up with them. You can still say no politely and in the kindest way possible. Have you been wrapping your hands tightly around someone else’s neck? What were you hoping to accomplish by putting them on a leash? What are you most afraid of if they live life on their own terms? What do you stand to lose if you set them free? What else could happen if you let them go?
  5. Learn to love people where they are. It does not mean that you accept what they do. It simply means that you allow them to be who they want to be and or who they were meant to be. Understanding that we are all on different life paths and giving someone the mercy and grace to simply be themselves, may be just the medicine they need for their soul. It is also liberating to note that though you may share the same blood, you are not conjoined. Cut the umbilical cord! If both of you live, then good for you. If not, at least one of you lives. Our blood relatives may be our responsibility, but they are not extensions of ourselves. How have you been trying to make things work? What has been the result of that? What are some of the times you have seen them happy? What are some of the times you have been happy? How can you create more of these moments, where you can both be happy?
  6. Be mindful of when help and good intentions become a case of enabling bad behavior. Always take stock of how “helping someone” affects you, financially, mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. If you are bleeding, drained, depleted, exhausted or boarding on financial ruin it may be time to cut your losses. How long have you been trying to help someone? How do they respond to your help? Do they embrace it and use it or do they resist or run? How old is the person? Are they mentally or physically incapacitated? Are you capable of carrying them further? Outside of your help, what other options are there?
  7. Keep evidence, records, or a catalogue of all your efforts. This will remind you that you really have tried your best, next time the mind attempts to guilt trip you into signing up for never ending trauma. Sometimes enough really is enough. Learn to be done. Not mad, not angry, not bitter, just done. What have you done for this person? Do you have records of your efforts? Do you have a catalogue of your history? What do you think of the evidence? What does it suggest you do going forward? Does it appear like there is still more that can be done? How will this effort differ from the last? What outcome are you hoping for? What will you do if you don’t get the desired outcome?
  8. Rally friends and family members to buy into your vision and support your goals and strategies as far as setting boundaries with particular people is concerned. This will ensure you all move in the same direction and there is no contradictions. Who are the helpers? Who are the potential enablers?  When will you speak to them about your thoughts and concerns? How will you ensure they adhere to the plan?
  9. Be okay about standing in your own truth no matter what happens. Be comfortable with losing people who do not respect, value or reciprocate your efforts. Have a no regrets policy when doing what makes you happy. Remember people can only meet you at the level you have met yourself. In other words, how people treat us reflects on how we treat ourselves. Do not feel guilty for demanding that which you are giving. For example, do not feel guilty for expecting and demanding respect if you are being respectful, for expecting and demanding trust, if you are trustworthy. Are there any relationships you will have to cut off completely? Are there any relationships you will have to push to arm’s length? Are there any relationships you will have to rebuild? In the following few weeks, take time to declutter and re-arrange your approach to relationships.
  10. Act with great urgency if a life is under threat. This could be drugs or substance abuses, addictions, homicidal threats, suicidal behavior etc. Is the person suicidal? Are they abusing substances? Are you afraid they will hurt you, themselves or someone else? What institutions are available to help you?
  11. Let go of what you had in mind. Let go of the idea of a perfect family, perfect child, perfect siblings, perfect parents, perfect you or perfect anything. The idea of perfection can keep you stuck in fighting mode and cause you to hold on to things that no longer serve you. When you let go of the idea of perfection you are more likely to be accepting of reality, ready yourself to deal with whatever comes and move on accordingly. What were your dreams for this relationship? When did you notice that the train had left the rails? What does that mean for you as a person, in terms of how you view yourself? How will your reputation be impacted if at all? Are you being compassionate towards yourself or have you turned to self-flagellation out of shame or guilt?
  12. Build a new and revised relationship on your own terms, being as kind to yourself and them as possible, control how far you go with the relationship and have back up or exit plans where necessary. What parts of the relationship will have to change? What parts of yourself or your life will you be sharing with this person and why? What parts of yourself or your life will you be safeguarding from them and why? What parts of their life will you be backing off from and why? What other support systems or relationships do you have that will help cushion you from these changes?

How to insulate yourself in a toxic workspace

What do you when there is a toxic person in the workplace? It could be your manager, team member or subordinate. You really need this job and cannot just walk away. You cannot change them either, perhaps you have tried repeatedly and failed dismally. How do you survive working with them daily?

Create a work alias or alter ego

It helps to separate your personal self from your work self. As soon as you step outside the door on your way to work, assume a new identity, a work identity, a professional identity. This will shield you from the emotional and mental blows of the workplace and the anxiety they bring. It will also inspire you to not take things personally, behave in a professional manner, as opposed to how you would react in social or family circles. Being a different person at work, will help take the pressure off you and assure performance and efficiency regardless of whatever you face.

We have seen many famous performers do this successfully, for example Beyonce Knowles being Sasha Fierce when on stage. The alter ego overrides any personal defects that may threaten performance like lack of confidence, when they became this alternative person, they become brave, and it also shields them from harsh criticism, knowing that the critics are attacking the performer and not necessarily their true self.

Master Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions. The ability to self-reflect, self-regulate and self soothe. As a by product of this, one is then able to see when they are projecting unto others or when they are being projected on. In simpler terms, it is the ability to differentiate between one’s issues and those of others. Emotional intelligence is a useful key to personal development and relationships. Here is how to master it:

1. Building connections with likeminded people. Choosing one’s tribe or a social circle they are comfortable in, whose values are similar. 

2. Being able to calmly confront people and call out bad behaviour in a gentle, professional and polite manner. Neutralize negativity and squash gossip at the source to prevent it from spreading.

3. Making use of organisational channels of reporting and procedures for grievances as opposed to tackling work problems as an individual.

4. Listening, observing, and assessing situations before acting. This offers up a window of opportunity to choose the best way to handle situations instead of always going by reactive impulses which are not always the best.

5. It also helps to reframe situations for example not viewing it as competitiveness but rather a quest for excellence or adopting those positive characteristics you see in people that really intimidate you, to empower yourself and learn a thing or two from them.

6.  Remove activities, things or people that make you unhappy. Anything that drains you or zaps the energy out of you, will only pull you back. Remove and replace that with things you are comfortable with. Let go of all the dead weight and obsolete things in your life. Identify what triggers the low self-esteem. These are things that cause you to immediately feel small or insecure.

Go Deep!

This means Do Not:

(D) Defend

(E) Explain

(E) Engage

(P) Personalize

Toxic people including narcissists need a constant supply for conflict and power plays. Starve their need for drama and attention so they have nothing to feed on. Do not take the bait. Do not accept their invitation to a fight. Stand your ground and do not allow them to break you, or take away your power, peace and joy. Stop loading a gun for them to shoot you with! Don’t give them power to determine how you will feel or react!

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and besides the pig likes it” -George Bernard Shaw

“Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference”-Mark Twain

Take care of Number 1. Understand that the person will never change. Recognize what you are working with. Do not try to control or convert them. Work only on your approach, expectations and protection. Stick to the facts only and avoid involving your feelings and opinions. Keep conversations short and relevant to work matters.

If all else fails, be a Gray Rock!

Just like a gray rock blend in, be colourless, flat faced and uninteresting. Being unappealing and forgettable will soon make the serial provoker lose interest and they will go off to find new prey! Become detached, indifferent, emotionally unavailable and emotionally unresponsive. Give no ego gratification, no emotional clues or reactions, do not ask them anything about their personal life and give no details about your personal life either. Most importantly be totally harmless, calm and serene otherwise you will push the toxic person to the deep end and they may retaliate, putting you in danger.

Prepare for retribution when they become aware that you are no longer feeding their need for chaos, but be patient, the initial period of agitation will soon pass. Please note that gray rocking is not being rude. It is a means of defence while not provoking or escalating a toxic situation.

Gray rock strategies:

  1. No emotional reaction “Oh ok, I see your point”.
  2. Agree with them, let them win “I hear you. I have noted this with thanks”.
  3. Discourage explosive confrontation “I need time to think about this, can I email a response later?”
  4. Change the subject “Interesting, isn’t the weather lovely today?”.
  5. Head nod and smile and politely excuse yourself “I am so sorry to cut you short, I need to rush off to a meeting, chat later”. And ensure later does not happen!
  6. Invite a witness to one on one meetings you cannot get out of “May I check with……to see if they can offer insight in this matter, will get back to you to schedule and we can continue this conversation in their presence?”

Workplace Wellness

Work is naturally a big part of a person’s life – what can one do to create a sense of purpose and feel good about one’s job rather than just going through the motions?

Because we spend a greater part of our days and lives at work, it’s important to be aware of how the work environment makes us feel. If we feel grumpy all the time, even if the job pays well, or we are able to support our families, very often that negativity seeps into other parts of our lives, like relationships and health etc. 

One way of feeling good is to utilize one’s strengths. To do things that are more aligned to one’s skills, personality, creativity and talents. Even if it means moving to a different department or looking at different ways of working. When one does what they find more natural, it feels more authentic and purposeful. 

Secondly, it also helps to open up to constant learning and development, if there are workshops or short courses that one can take in line with the work roles and responsibilities, this not only brings a fresh perspective to things but makes one feel equipped and confident about the job. Stagnancy and monotony are one of the most disempowering things in the workplace. 

What strategies can people use to navigate the social dynamics in the workplace, where there is often competitiveness and office politics?

It helps to unpack after a long day at work and spend time in self reflection, just to unwind and switch off from that office role and be truly authentic to who one is. Most often than not, the person we are at work is a result of the different roles and responsibilities we have to take on and might not necessarily be the person we are privately at home. For example a manager may have to be firmer and stricter at work but find that naturally they are relaxed and friendlier outside of the work environment. This is often termed emotional intelligence. The ability to know where certain emotions stem from and if some of the emotions are acquired through social interactions example anger about office gossip or are coming from the internal landscape, example feeling like a failure etc and just being able to manage that awareness to prevent making other peoples issues your problem or making one’s issues other people’s problem. 

Emotional intelligence gives one an awareness and empowers them to act in 4 ways:

1. Building connections with like minded people. Choosing one’s tribe or a social circle they are comfortable in, whose values are similar. 

2. Neutralizing negativity. Being able to squash gossip and negativity at the source and not help spread it around. Being able to confront people and call bad behaviour out but in a gentle and polite manner. 

3. Managing conflict in a calm and professional manner. Knowing who to approach if having grievances and what procedures are followed in the organization if one feels aggrieved. 

4. Listen and observe and assess situation before acting or reacting. This offers up a window of opportunity to choose the best way to handle situations instead of always going by impulses  

5. It also helps to reframe certain situations for example not viewing it as competitiveness but rather excellence. Adopting those positive. characteristics you see in people that really intimidate you to empower yourself. For example befriending that office employee who has confidence or good voice projection or who is very good at PowerPoint presentations, to learn a thing or two from them. 

What are the benefits of getting involved in company activities, such as CSI days and team-building events?

This helps one familiarize themselves with company culture and be up to date with where the company is at and what the organisation is doing. When one is familiar with and we’ll informed about their environment, they get a sense of belonging and confidence. 

Secondly it’s a great way of building relationships. People have a way of bonding and getting to know each other and it can also be a great way to knock down certain negative perceptions one might have had about others, when they actually spend time together up close and listen to their different background stories. 

Thirdly it’s a great way of showcasing ones strengths and talents that may otherwise be overlooked or downplayed in a formal office setting. 

What are some of the ways a naturally introverted person can create a workplace environment for themselves that is nurturing and fosters emotional wellbeing?

Introverts get their fuel from within. This is because people around them and the hustle bussle of activity may be draining for them. And since it’s not always possible to have that private corner office or to be isolated from work makes for long periods of time, however introverts can set aside time in the day to take a breather and be by themselves and fill up. This may include enjoying a cup of coffee alone or taking a walk outside the office block etc. 

It also helps to bring resources at work that one would otherwise enjoy alone at home to indulge at lunch time such as cds, books, music or other form of creative relaxation. This gives them a sense of control over what they consume while nourishing them. 

Thirdly, being honest to the people around you, from the onset regarding the things you can and cannot do like politely declining an offer to go hang out for drinks after work may come off a little snobbish but once you openly communicate what kind of a person you are, people know beforehand and adjust their expectations to your limits, boundaries and preferences.

If the employer provides opportunities for upskilling / studying further etc, some people may see it as the company expecting even more from them and outside of working hours. But how can taking advantage of these opportunities add value to a person’s life and experience of the workplace?

Any form of training however small, is always aimed at making someone better. Better at performance, better at interpersonal skills, better at their job etc. When one views this as something that has come to takeaway from them instead of give to them it makes it difficult to accept opportunities for upskilling. The world itself is constantly changing and the people that are evolving with it are those people who are always open to learning, Change and growth. 

It helps from the onset for one to have a vision of what they would want to do or where they would want to go career wise. So that when an opportunity for upskilling comes up, it becomes easier to take up the offer as it may accelerate them to the capability and capacity level that they have always wanted. It’s difficult to empower someone who has no elevation plans of their own, people comfortable with remaining in one place don’t take kindly to change. 

So many people who have shown a readiness to take up new challenges and prove themselves have had their efforts noticed and it pays off when new job opportunities arise within the Company and management puts their names up for promotion. 

With many offices not able to operate at full capacity at the moment and many workers having transitioned to working from home, what are some of the ways that people can make sure they still feel connected to their colleagues and visible to their managers?

1. Set routines and stick to them. It’s easy to be distracted at home. Create a comfortable work space at home away from distractions. Communicate to friends and family members when they can contact you outside of work hrs. 

2. Have regular status update meetings with your managers or workmates. These can be done virtually. Update them on your progress and find out how they are doing too. Aside from work related conversations it also helps to share the many coping mechanisms that work in similar situations. 

3. Every beginning of the week, note down the deliverables and expectations and seek to achieve these all by the end of the week. 

4. Commit to deadlines and hand work in on time. 

How can managers help foster a sense of team spirit and inclusiveness while the team is working remotely? 

Again similar to the above, managers can make use of various online platforms such as Microsoft teams, Zoom, Google Meet and Skype in order to have weekly catch up meetings with staff members, communicate expectations, assign roles and responsibilities and deadlines. Catch up again to check on progress and share coping mechanism as well as ensuring staff members have the necessary resources to do their work effectively such as office equipment, Stationery, access to data and telephone allowance. Managing change also involves being honest and transparent with employees and timeously communicating any changes to the company structure whether adverse or positive. Being readily and easily available to occasionally check in on staff whether individually or as a group can help give employees a sense of confidence and security in these uncertain times. 

Self Love

What does Self Love mean

Self -love is an outgrowth of self-discovery, self-acceptance, self-development, and self-care. You must first know who you are, be accepting of that, constantly develop yourself and care for yourself. All these four elements are important because you cannot love something you do not know intimately, you cannot love something you do not accept, you cannot love something you do not nurture, and you cannot love something you do not care for. Self love therefore is constant work, not an automatic state of being.

What is the difference between self-love and self-care?
Self-love is a mentality or an emotional landscape. If I love myself, then caring for myself will come easy. Therefore, self-care is the physical manifestation of how I already feel about myself. Self-love is an internal state of being whereas self-care are things or activities, I do or do not do, to show what I am already thinking or feeling about myself.

How can we practice self- love?
We master self-love through self-discovery, self-acceptance, self-development and self-care.
a) Self-discovery then involves self-reflection and self-introspection. Who am I? What makes me happy? What makes me tick? What makes me unhappy? It is a self-loving thing to do things that feel authentic to who you are and are aligned to your goals. You could do this by journaling, remembering who you used to be growing up, doing activities, and taking part in hobbies that you like and making a list of your values.
b) Self-acceptance means making peace with what you find out and not judging yourself, ridiculing yourself, hiding or minimizing yourself just to fit in or for the comfort of others. Here it helps to positively affirm yourself, hang around with like-minded people, creating a tribe or community where you feel comfortable being the finest expression of yourself.
c) Self-development is the recognition that you need to grow, change, learn and heal as an individual in order to thrive in life. So it is constant self-work, which could be academic, that is furthering your education, or networking and attending workshops. It could also be learning emotional skills such as how to be confident, how to master emotional intelligence, how to forgive in relationships etc. It could even be physical, e.g. challenging yourself to complete a marathon race, get into shape etc. Here things like making vision boards come in handy, being organised, sticking to set routines and time plans, reading, listening or watching motivational or inspiring material, forming new habits, getting accountability partners and making commitment cards etc.
d) Self -Care would be anything you do for yourself to bring you joy, peace and general wellness. Giving yourself what you are already giving others. Putting yourself first. Giving from your excess. Taking responsibility for yourself. Asking for help. Telling the truth. Activities such as making gratitude lists, celebrating your achievements, rewarding yourself, having fun, scheduling me time, where you just unwind and be with yourself maybe over a beverage of choice etc.

Why must we practice self -love?
We practice self-love because that is how we get to be functional, effective and progressive individuals. When you love yourself you are confident, assertive, discerning, can have healthy relationships, can complement others, are self-respecting and can thrive career wise, because you have got your back, you want the best for yourself and you put in the work required to get there. People who love themselves, have a great relationship with themselves, and are generally optimistic people, who enjoy life.

How does self-love and self-care contribute to Self-confidence?
Self-love leads to self-confidence because you accept who you are and nurture yourself, regardless of what others may be saying or doing around you, you feel comfortable in your own skin, you affirm yourself and do not need external validation. People who lack confidence are not in touch with themselves, and therefore need outside approval or permission to exist. Their life experiences are limited.

The art of manifestation -How to get a yes from the Universe! (Q & A)

In simple terms, how would you define manifestation to someone who is unfamiliar with the concept?

Manifesting is visualizing and declaring what one wants and setting out to help the universe make it happen. 

How exactly does one manifest their desires (be it love, money or good health)? What are some of the steps that need to be taken?

First step is to visualize your idea, that means you have to have a picture of what you want in your mind, exactly how you’d like it. It is important for you to be specific e.g. if it’s a car, to picture the model and make of the car, the Colour, and number of seats etc.

Second step is to believe you will get it. You cannot manifest anything you do not believe is possible.

Third step is to ask for it, you could do so in prayer or by writing it in a journal, or by pasting pictures of your desires on the wall where you can see them daily or by talking about it with your friends and family members. You have to be vocal about your desires.

Fourth step is to be open to receiving whatever you asked for, be it working hard towards achieving it or removing elements in your life that may cause resistance to it.

Through manifestation, the act of asking from the universe takes place. What are some of the things which one can do to better understand how the universe works?

It is thought that the universe is always working to support us, it is for us and not against us. One must pay attention to the signs along the way through listening for example. Sit alone in solitary meditation and listen to the inner voice, that inner whisper within you, it has guidance that is specific to each individual.

Paying attention also means being aware of what is happening around you, patterns or occurrences that could mean something in your life. For example, if one is looking to own a specific car, and they keep seeing it everywhere they go, similar make and colours, it could mean that the universe agrees with you and heard your request. All you have to do is to keep seeking ways to own it, knowing the higher powers are working with you.

To better understand how the universe works, look again at people you’d consider to be role models, or successful people you admire, what character traits do they possess, in order to one day stand in their shoes, what needs to be done in your own life, perhaps its perseverance, maybe it’s hard work, maybe it’s honesty, or risk taking, maybe it’s not subscribing to what society says is right and daring to be no matter what. Study the people in whose paths you’d like to follow and start to emulate some of their strategies. If the universe rewarded them, it means they did the right thing.

When someone manifests something, is there a certain period of time within which they can expect a response from the universe?

No. There is no set time period for manifestation to occur. People are different. Their goals, dreams and desires are different too. The steps needed to get to what they want differ too. The lessons they need to take at each step differ too. One may manifest something within a week, others may take years. Life is not a one size fits all. Each of us must go through our own unique individual journeys. One way to make the process quicker and a little smoother is to show willingness and participation. If one is clear, open, ready, available and cooperative, things become much more easier. There’s a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. 

What are the top 3 myths or misconceptions about manifestation, and what is the truth behind them?

That manifestation is for certain people, or that one has to be of a certain religion or set of belief or that it’s for specific things only – The truth is, anyone, anytime and anywhere can manifest anything they want to, if they ask, believe and are are open to receiving it. It’s not only about money, material things or romantic partners, it is possible to manifest health, peace or joy. 

That the idea of manifestation is a wrong, bad or sinful thing. That people have to wait for life to happen- People anywhere can choose their life experiences and it is possible to influence the direction and trajectory of their lives through certain constructive actions and positive belief systems. 

That manifestation is hard or time consuming. There is no need to obsess over what you are trying to manifest. Once you visualize and declare your desires and open up channels in your life for the universe to work with and for you, you can go about your normal day to day life and the universe will surprise you when you least expect it!

Stretching yourself professionally (Q & A)

1. Is the idea of stretching ourselves an involuntary process that inevitably comes as we grow, or do we have to constantly seek out ways of stretching ourselves?

Life pushes and pulls us, because life itself is ever evolving, the world itself is ever changing. Therefore, we really do not have much of a choice but to constantly seek out ways to grow, change, evolve and learn something new. It is however a choice. There are people who resist the push and pull of life and choose to keep the same old beliefs and behavioural patterns. These people struggle through life, adopt a victim mentality and are always unhappy and unfulfilled. People who are open to evolution usually see a difference in who and what they are now as compared to 5yrs ago.

2. How can one tell the difference from when they are stretching or exerting themselves?

Stretching feels good, it is exciting. Stretching fills a curiosity or learning need in us. It makes us better people. Stretching yields tangible, visible fruits. Stretching makes one want to stretch some more and teach others how to stretch too. Exerting ourselves is strenuous, unpleasant, depleting, forced and draining. When one exerts themselves, they eventually burn out or give up without seeing much fruit, or they gain what they sought out to gain but lose something in another area of their life.

3. We know that expanding the boundaries of our comfort zones can be uncomfortable, but why is it important to push through that discomfort?

For the same reasons as laid out in question 1. If the world is ever changing, and you want to keep up with it, you have got to spin with it. Nothing good ever comes easy, one must work for it and sweat for it, in a good way. The harder one works, the more focused, committed and consistent one is, the better the results. The reason why expansion is uncomfortable is because we have never gone there before, it is unfamiliar and sometimes scary, but those who are constantly moving through life and expanding, will tell you it is well worth it. And besides, there are some things in life you cannot receive, until you have capacity for them. Sometimes the dream exists, but it has no room to manifest.

4. How would you advise someone to cope with the awareness that they’re at a point in life that requires that stretch, but also dealing with the frustration of living in a country with limited opportunities?

It is true that the environment we are in plays a major role in whether or not we will achieve what we set out to do. But there is always another way to do things. Perhaps you need help in doing things differently. There is always another thing to do. Perhaps what you are doing is not necessarily viable for this moment in time, as good as it looks on paper. There is always another time to do things. Perhaps next year, the circumstances will be more fertile for your idea. There is always another place to do things. Perhaps you need to move. It may not be what you initially had in mind, it may not look like exactly how you pictured it, but once a dream takes root in your heart and mind, there will always be a way. The first thing to ask yourself is am I doing enough? If the answer is yes, ask yourself, am I doing the right thing, (as in profitable or possible)? If the answer is yet, then it can only be where you are. Am I in the right place to get this done? It is important to identify what the limiting factor is in order for you to deal with it and resolve your dead ends.

5. Fear is a big factor in why people choose to never stretch themselves, but what other factors are at play when we are stuck? And should one wait until they feel safe enough to stretch themselves?

Socio -Economic factors affect the stretching abilities for example people born in underprivileged communities, burdened with poverty, debt, lack of  resources and black tax or even war and dictatorships, cannot go as far as those who are born in privilege, peace, abundance or equal opportunities. Not trusting oneself is another factor. People who need permission from others to do what they need to do, or people who listen to external voices from family or friends as opposed to doing what they feel is right for them. Limiting beliefs like having a pessimistic attitude can also play a role when stuck. Someone who thinks the glass is half empty expects things to get worse and is less likely to take risks like stretching themselves. There is never a safe time to stretch. There is always a problem or something missing, those who wait for the 11th hour never make it. The best time to stretch oneself is when the need arises, when opportunity arises or when the small inner voice nudges you forward.

6. As a life coach, how would you begin to assist someone who came to you because they felt stuck and unable to ascend in their professional and personal development?

I would first ascertain where they are, where they want to go and what they deem is their challenge. There is a lot you can tell from someones life story like the relationship they are having with themselves and others, their perception and view point in life. Where one wants to go is crucial in ascertaining the kind of coaching methologies and the kind of skills and tools they will need to equip them in their journey. We brainstorm, strategize, and set goals together and establish practical ways to keep you motivated, balanced, wholesome and effective.  Lastly we take a look at what you have achieved from the time we started, all the great things that you have implemented and all the wonderful things you have accomplished as a result and how you can maximize, maintain and thrive in it! We also look at how you can continue to grow into new frontiers. Overal, Coaching is meant to be an eye opener for you. It allows you to change your internal dialogue, empower and encourage yourself to follow your passions through exercises and soul stirring conversations. The best part is that the Coaching tools used will help you unearth the answers from within you!

7. And lastly, why is stretching ourselves so vital to our development?  

It is the natural order of life. There is no other way around it. That is why babies sit, crawl, stand, walk and eventually run. We need to stretch so we can:

1. Have new perspective on life

2. Adapt to life’s many changes 

3. Adopt new skills needed in our journey

4. Achieve your goals

5. Help others in similar situations

12 Laws of Karma

  1. The law of cause and effect -We reap what we sow
  2. The law of creation -We create our own experiences
  3. The law of humility -Own all your experiences, good or bad in order to forge new paths
  4. The law of growth -We can only change ourselves
  5. The law of responsibility -Take responsibility for the path you play in all situations
  6. The law of connection -We are all connected. Everything is connected
  7. The law of focus -When we focus on one thing at a time we can do so much
  8. The law of giving and hospitality -Practice what you preach and walk the talk
  9. The law of here and now -Be fully present in order to have a rewarding life
  10. The law of change -History repeats itself until we learn the lesson
  11. The law of patience and reward -To achieve greatness, one must be patient and persistent
  12. The law of significance and inspiration -Our gifts add value to the whole. We all matter

8 Ways to stop overthinking

  1. Plan your day, month or year. This will give you a sense of control.
  2. Make a list of your problems and research solutions for them. This will make you feel empowered.
  3. Make to do lists and commit to ticking off most if not all the things. This will keep you busy while making you feel good.
  4. Do the things you love to do and spend time with the people you love. This will distract you from overthinking.
  5. Let a Higher Power do all the heavy lifting through prayer. This will lighten your load while teaching you to let go and surrender.
  6. Let go of the need to be perfect. This will make you more accepting of life as it is.
  7. Focus on what is going right. This will teach you gratitude while living in the present.
  8. If all else fails, do something for someone else. It may not solve your problem but it will surely make you feel good!

10 life hacks for working parents

  1. Do not seek perfection or balance

Searching for it willonly make you feel guilty, frustrated, and inadequate. Instead, be mindful and flexible about both your career and family life.

  1. Share the load

Parenting is teamwork! One of the biggest sources of resentment is when one parent is excluded from household duties and the other is pulling the weight all on their own. There is no manual out there that divides duties neatly between spouses.

  1. Do not attempt to be a superhero, get help!

As much as we would like to take care of everything, the truth is, we cannot do it all by ourselves. When we overexert ourselves, we not only exhaust but demotivate ourselves in the process. Get help with housekeeping, laundry, babysitting, the kid’s homework or even meal preparation.

  1. Establish practical routines that suit your unique circumstances

Approach parenting, the same way you would approach a work strategy. Map out activities, goals and deliverables for the week and get everyone on board.

  1. Master your time management and multi skilling

Use your time wisely. Focus on your work and get as much done as possible, that way you do not have to carry work home. Get enough sleep and do not stay up too late at night.

  1. Cherish the moments with your family

Take a lot of photos, collect memories, laugh more, establish family traditions that encourage bonding and inclusion such as having dinners together, fun and games over the weekend or plan for your holidays. These will strengthen your bonds, teach your children family values, and create a sense of identity!

  1. Have me time

When you can, pamper yourself and spend time alone to recharge. Do things you like to do and have fun! It is not being selfish, it is self-care. You, much like everyone else needs to be shown appreciation.

  1. Set aside time for romance

It is important for couples to always find time for each other no matter how short-lived. Constantly communicate each other, a call or text during the day will keep you in each other’s thoughts. No matter how busy you can get, make time for each other.

  1. Have a regular status update meeting once a week

This is to manage assumptions and resolve the many issues that arise during the week, big or small in an interactive environment where everyone has a say and their opinion is valued and taken into consideration. Get comfortable talking to each other and take notes for future reference and for follow up.

  1. Reparent yourself through your own children

Give your children what you wished for as a child. That way you get to relive your childhood through them and correct the mistakes or injustices of the past.