Monday Mojo – Breathe and Flow

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching online recently, delivering three hour sessions on Understanding Mental Health. During that time, we bust some myths, explore the language and stigma around this topic, and take a step into exploring what helps (and what doesn’t) when someone is going through a difficult time. One of the things I offer is that sometimes we have to get comfortable with discomfort. Whether it’s our own or listening to others, sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is show up. It’s not easy but here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Breathe and Flow. Each of us, at times in our lives, has to navigate difficulty. Pretending we don’t feel anything doesn’t work (at least not long-term) and trying to avoid our feelings can create problems in itself.
They build up.
We blurt.
It rarely ends well.
It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes sitting with what’s difficult allows us to at least acknowledge that we’re feeling something. We don’t have to always do anything with it, sometimes we can just label it for what it is and breathe then “let it go”, even if that really means setting it aside for another day. (This article (via an external website) may also help).

Also be aware of your self talk when things are tricky, and that thoughts are just thoughts – they don’t mean that’s what you’re thinking. As Tara Brach explains in her video “Three Steps of Letting Go” – “A person of knowledge knows that the world will change the moment you stop speaking to yourself.”

Whether you love it or hate it, our recent bouts of warm weather also reminds us that everything is temporary. Storms blow over. The rain comes. The sun comes out again. It’s at times like this we can take each moment as it comes, and, even when it’s unpleasant, know that it will pass.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Listen. Understand. Connect.

What’s the difference between sympathy and empathy? As it turns out, quite a bit.

In my latest blog, I explore the difference, and ask the question “Is Empathy Being Lost?”.

I explain that social media has become a particularly scary place lately. Hate speech is on the rise and, certainly for women, it’s becoming a more and more troubling space to inhabit.

A lack of empathy doesn’t always show up as hate though. It can be in the subtle ways people – including friends and family – try to “help”, but potentially do more harm than good.  Bereavement is one example for this.

One of the things I talk about in Answers in the Dark, is when something bad has happened, it’s not long before we are told we should be “over it” (which, of course, is absolute rubbish). All grief is valid. Everyone is different. It takes as long as it takes.

And yet, the implication that we’re grieving wrong means our grief goes underground and we stop talking about it.  This is bound to steal our sparkle, and we may even lose empathy ourselves.

Here’s some thoughts. 

This week, maybe set the intention to listen, understand and connect. These are the tips that Jamil Zaki gives in his TED Talk. In the main, he encourages us to get curious about why (for example) we bristle when someone says something we don’t like. Instead of shutting them out, we could try leaning in and see if we can find some common ground.

It’s just as important though, to listen, understand and connect with ourselves. This might be through paying attention to the subtle cues of your body (like when you’re sleepy, hungry or thirsty) or when you’re worrying or beating yourself up. And if you start to notice your patience for others is wearing thin, step back, reset and recharge.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Dare to Lead

Have you ever thought of yourself as a “leader”? 

Many people conflate management with leadership; the way I describe it is like this: leaders care about people, managers care about process; a leader will buy you a coffee, a manager will ask for the receipt. People can be both – and very good at it – but not all are. If you’ve ever had a ‘manager’ who got the job done but just didn’t care if it broke you, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

It’s one reason why myself and others, promote mindful leadership; the main ingredient, alongside being present, is showing compassion – for ourself and others.

In his book, Compassionate Leadership, Michael A. West defines it like this:
1) Paying attention to the other, being present and noticing their suffering – attending
2) Listening to another person and what is causing the other’s distress – understanding
3) Relating to the other person’s distress without being overwhelmed by it – empathising
4) Taking intelligent action to alleviate that person’s suffering – helping
Note the use of the term “intelligent action” – this would include making sure that you don’t give so much of yourself that you burn out in your efforts to help others.

Here’s some food for thought:

This week, set the intention to Dare to Lead. Taken from the book of the same name by Brené Brown this concept provides an opportunity to show the world your caring leadership side – in any moment. This doesn’t have to be a work thing, it could be in any situation where the moment calls for courage and compassion.

If the idea of showing courage makes you stiffen a little, Brené Brown explains in the video below courage is a skill not a personality trait; it can be learned and it’s contagious. We can teach it and measure it BUT at the same time we have to create cultures where being “armoured up” (e.g. defensive) all the time is not rewarded.

Brené Brown explains vulnerability and courage in the context of leadership

Brown also makes the point that vulnerability is not about disclosure – we probably all know someone in a position of power who shares their story in a way that implies no one else could have had it so bad. But vulnerability is more about whether you can manage risk and stay in the hard conversations like being ready to give – and receive – feedback. Take it in, take it on.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Wave Your Flag

How are you at singing your own praises?

I’ll start. My new book, Answers in the Dark made it to #1 in the Hot New Releases, and it reached #3 as a Best Seller in one of its categories, on publication day (27/5/22). But, let me be clear, my confidence hasn’t always been that way.

I distinctly remember some time ago, for example, being asked what I do well (eg., at interview), and would play it down for fear of looking arrogant. Can you relate?

For many of us, it can feel “wrong” to point people towards what we are good at; to say “look at me” when we want to be recognised for our accomplishments.  It’s also fair to say we are probably so focused on making sure everyone else gets ahead, that the very idea of putting our hat in the ring feels alien to us.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Wave Your Flag. Ok, Jubilee Fever might be setting in a little this end (the bunting is already up), but stick with me. This concept is about not being afraid to claim your territory for what you do well. This article offers some tips including how to dress to express.

The next time you find yourself in a meeting, round the dinner table with friends, or networking in some way, where you have an opportunity to showcase your strengths, just take a deep breath and go for it; fake it until you make it. If it feels uncomfortable, that’s ok; stretching your comfort zone is going to make you feel a bit wibbly for a while. But as Pamela Druckerman once said “Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently”.

And if someone pays you a compliment and says “you look lovely in that top” instead of saying “oh this old thing?”, get used to saying “thank you, that’s kind of you to say”. Because you’re allowed to accept the nice things, and as often as you can.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Check Your Spoons

Have you heard of Spoon Theory?

It’s a concept originally discussed by Christine Miserandino in 2003, that helps us measure our energy levels. Christine used it as a way of describing to a friend how she navigates the condition Lupus, and used the spoons as props to demonstrate. She explained that we might start the day with ten spoons, but on difficult days just getting out of bed and taking a shower might use several. (You can read more about this here).

Feeling drained or lacking energy is just one of the signs that our Mojo is starting to dwindle, so knowing how to boost our energy levels can be a helpful way to refresh and recharge.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Check Your Spoons. You might start with a self-care check in each day, asking yourself questions like “Can I say no today, and can I do that kindly?”. Being irritable or edgy is another early warning sign we might notice when we’re lacking a bit of sparkle.

This article also suggests switching things up a bit. It’s natural when things aren’t going our way to retreat to the comfort of our own home, and sometimes this can be just what we need. However we know there are several benefits of spending time in nature; the Japanese tradition of Shinrin Yoku has been researched to prove that time with trees can have a profound impact.

It’s important also to honour our emotions; all feelings are valid. Whether you’re feeling sad or happy, giving space to how we feel is important – because whether we label them or not, those feelings are there anyway. Above all, give yourself permission to rest when you need, cry if it helps and talk with those you trust.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

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