From the moment we meet someone, we are forming opinions on them based on our past and current experiences….even if we aren’t aware of it in the moment. This is because our nervous system is geared towards keeping us alive. If something is dangerous, we must be ready to fight or flight.
We are often quick to label others and put them into different categories i.e. what their clothes say about them, what kind of work they do, if they have kids or not, if they are friendly, safe, intelligent, etc.
Once we label someone, we tend to expect them to behave in a certain way and when they do, this further cements the label that you originally placed on them.
So, one way we can change someone’s behaviour is by changing the label that we have for them. Instead of labeling a child as being hyperactive, perhaps they are energetic. Instead of saying to someone that they are too sensitive, perhaps, they are empathic. If someone daydreams often, it can be said that they have great imagination.
By changing the way we see someone, it gives them the opportunity to also see themselves in a different light.
What labels do you hold on to that keep you down? Throw away those that no longer serve you and change the meaning of your labels to a positive way. Re-write the meaning of what it means to be skinny/fat, poor/rich, etc.
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Back in December of 2009, I attended a seminar put on by one of my mentors, Dr. Donald Epstein. Here are some questions he asked us to ponder. The answer we get will help shape the quality of our life. Tony Robbins says that the quality of your life will depend on the quality of the questions that you ask.
Below is a talk by Dr. Epstein about asking different questions.
We seek answers because we believe with an answer, we’ll feel or be better. In truth, every answer takes us further from joy.
Life isn’t defined by the answers, but the questions we ask.
Here are a series of questions. For 30 days, read the questions. Don’t answer them. Don’t listen to the answer you will get, for the one answering isn’t the one you want to answer. The universe will create circumstances to create the person who can answer. Don’t look to solve these questions, they’re meant to be lived, not solved.
What were your experiences from doing this exercise? Write them below.
Two days ago, I was cutting up cherries for my son’s snack. When I finished cutting the cherries, I gave him his bowl and went to put away the rest of the bag. When he saw I was putting away the bag, he started to point to the bag and cry. I then told him “focus on what you have in front of you”.....
Then I thought to myself, wow, that’s pretty good advice! My son was so focused on what he was losing, he couldn’t see that he had a bowl of cherries in front of him. He also can’t see that if he ate all the cherries he already had, he may not want more. Nor would he know that if he finished and wanted more, we could just cut more up.
How many times have we focused on what we don’t have instead of what we already do have? When we’re looking to buy a new car, house, etc. be sure to take a minute to say thanks for the house or car/bus/taxi, etc that you already do have.
This is not to say that we don’t strive to reach our goals or to strive for more. We want to be grateful for what we have at the same time as reaching for more.
Gratitude draws upon a certain energy frequency. If you’re not sure what that means. Imagine the last time you were angry at something. Feel your body and how it’s reacting. You may notice a charge or even a discomfort in some area of your body. Now, think of the last time you were grateful for something. You may notice that your body gets lighter, you feel ‘better’ or your energy moves upwards in your body. Play around with the different emotions and see how they affect you.
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Do you remember how exciting it was the first time you rode your bike or drove a car? How about your first kiss or your first day at school?
Now, compare that to your daily drive into work or your 1000th day at school. Why are you no longer excited? We are excited by things that are novel and new. When we’ve done something over and over again, we get bored and stop seeing it as a new experience.
This is also why we keep on seeking new things, we get a lot of energy from newness.
Seeking new adventures is great as it expands your horizons, calls you to grow outside of your comfort zone, etc. However, it is not realistic to seek newness all the time. For example, you can’t keep finding a new job every day or you might not want to find a new partner every day. So, what can you do?
You can find newness in the way you see your day to day. Here are some ways to see something as new again:
Make your experience new to get your excited once again. When you stop seeing the newness, you started seeing people as a concept. You must experienced an experience as novel to gain the energy from it. When everything becomes a procedure, a chore, a task, etc. there is no more novelty.
Want more excitement in your days? Find the novelty in them. Need help? 613-761-1600
When you feel an emotion, there is a gap between when you experience the emotion and when you respond to what you’ve experienced. For some, the gap is smaller than others and that’s where you could see how someone may be labelled ‘quick to anger’.
And how is our response determined? By our past experiences, especially if they were painful events. When an event happens, our reptilian brain labels it as safe/unsafe, good/bad, or pain/pleasure. Thi is to protect you. If another event happens that reminds your brain of a previous painful event, it will right away react in the same fashion as before...even if the circumstances are not the same!
This means that if for example, you had a negative association with a parent growing up, when you meet someone that reminds you of your parent, you will react with the same behaviours, feelings, etc as with your parent.
This is why first impressions are important, once you’ve put someone into a category, good/bad, is late/early, etc. you tend to leave them in that category, especially if you’ve known them for a while. Now, imagine that they’ve changed and are no longer that label...how do you change the way that you’ve labelled them?
The challenge is that your conclusions on an event or person are based on your tools that you used to interpret your situation.
The solution is to change the way that you see a past event. For example, if you had a tough childhood and had to overcome many obstacles, you may now view it is life preparing you to be the amazing person that you are. Life was just building your resilience skills as opposed to life trying to beat you down.
If you change your story about a situation or a person, you change the way you see them. Change the way you see someone and you change yourself and your past.
Need help changing the way you see something? 613-761-1600
In order to become great at something, you will experience failure...and it will happen often. Greatness doesn’t happen in one day, it happens over time. For example, to become a great pianist, it takes years and years of dedication to a craft.
There is no guarantee to greatness either. We’ve all heard of child prodigies in certain areas and they grow up not to be in the same areas later on in life.
You can’t win and become great by staying within your comfort zone either….if this were the case, you’d already be where you want to be. Calculated risks need to be acted upon at the right time.
You can’t be great without taking some sort of action. And once you are aware of the actions steps that take you towards your goal, you get to do them over and over and over again until you get there.
Mistakes are part of the process and can be seen as a stepping stone to your goals. Make the mistakes, fail often and correct along the way.
Being great sounds like a lot of hard work...and it is...so why would be want to do it? Because it allows you to reach your full potential. This makes you feel good, which makes it worth it.
Need help figuring out the best version of yourself? Give us a call 613-761-1600
Deep down, there are some truths that you know about yourself. Some people are able to accept their truth and then change their lives to live in alignment with their truth. Others either ignore it or run from it. This option can cause long term pain and suffering.
Why are so many people afraid to speak or act on their truth? Because acknowledging it, would mean that you would have to change your life in some way and change is hard.
Imagine when you were young, your doctor told you that you had a slow metabolism. If you gained too much weight, you would just say, it’s because of my metabolism. If you developed a health condition, everything could come back to what your doctor said. Now, what if you realized that your truth was that you could create the metabolism of your choice? What would be different then? Might you have to change your diet? Perhaps exercise? Accepting a truth would mean changing your life and that is hard.
Now what if your truth was wanting to know your purpose in life? What would you have to accept about yourself? Perhaps that you are more powerful than you thought? Perhaps that you are worthy or that you have certain gifts and talents?
Ask yourself, why don’t you want to know the answers to the questions that you are asking? Or even better, why do you only want to know the answers on your terms? What is the alternative you ask? Allowing the answers to flow into you and accept them for what they are.
Are your scared of what others might think of you if lived your truth? Your role in life is not to get others to understand you, it is to release the need to seek others approval.
Go out there and be brave and courageous. Seek your truth and align yourself with it. The world needs you, more than you know.
There is a cost to every choice that we make. This is because our time is a finite resource. We only get the next minute once and once that minute is gone, we never get the same minute back again.
This means that whatever you are choosing to do with your minute, is coming at the cost of the other choices you have at that exact moment.
What’s important to know is when you make a choice, what other opportunities are you giving up in that moment (minute, hour, month, year, etc)?
If I choose to watch tv instead of working on my business, then there is a cost to my choice. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t watch tv, only to say that there is a real time and investment cost to that choice.
Now, what if I got caught up on Facebook or watching cat videos on youtube for hours? What would my choices cost then?
Remember that everything is a choice. If I went to my favourite buffet place to eat (Mandarin or All You Can Eat Sushi), the cost of eating one item would be that I couldn't eat another item because there is a limited capacity in my stomach on what I can eat.
Bottom line is: be aware of what each choice is costing you at the moment and then you can decide where you want to invest your most valuable resource which is your time.
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If someone asked you, what’s one thing you could do that would improve your health? What would you answer? Perhaps you could eat better, exercise more, decrease your stress, etc. All these things you know already, but why aren’t you doing them?
There is a common misconception, that knowledge is power. However, knowledge is not power unless you take action on the knowledge. Even being aware of something is not power, it’s a starting point, but again, it does not help unless you plan to take action on the awareness.
For example, I am aware that Japan is a country. But just because I’m aware of it, it doesn’t mean I have plans to visit it anytime soon.
So, instead of asking yourself, what knowledge or awareness you are lacking, instead try, what action steps can I already take with what I know to become more congruent….and then go out there and take action!!!
Gaining knowledge, information or awareness is actually the easy part. The hard part is acting on what you know.
Do you want to live a live that others generally don’t? Do you want to achieve what few have? Then you need to take the action steps that few do.
What action steps can you take right now to bring your life more in line with what you know?
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Life often gives us the lessons that we most need to learn.
One of the most challenging things about having young children is a lack of sleep. For the first few months, infants are up every few hours to nurse/ feed. After that, some babies start to sleep longer and others do not.
Some figure it out after a few months and for others, it could takes years. Each child is unique, just like each adult. New parents are often asked, does your baby sleep through the night yet? If your child does not and you’re tired, overworked and grumpy, this is not a question you’d like to hear. You also don’t want to hear about children who have been sleeping through the night from the beginning….unicorn babies.
My child was not a good sleeper...from the beginning. I had ‘my way’ of wanting to do things and I was adamant about it….so much so that it was hard to admit that what I was doing was not working. I.e. I was not getting much sleep. My partner had a different way of wanting to do things and it was not until we were pregnant with our second child that I conceded and we tried his way.
I was stubborn and still am but in life, sometimes you have to pivot and do things the opposite of what you have been doing all along. There were tantrums from both myself and my child at the beginning but in a couple short weeks, our little guy had finally consistently slept through the night.
How often do we fight for the way we do things when what we actually need to do is pivot and explore other alternatives?
Give us a call if you are currently trying something that isn’t working and would like to pivot. 613-761-1600
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.