What happens when you do something wrong and someone confronts you about it? Do you apologize right away? Do you get angry and try to defend yourself and/or your actions? Do you shift the blame to someone else who’s around?
I will be the first to say that I am not always great with apologies. After a disagreement or discussion, I usually need to take my time to think about the situation before I can come back and give a heartfelt apology.
Since I was a child, I had a difficult time admitting that I was wrong. Part of it is due to the Asian culture that you need to always save face in front of others and another part is the perfectionist programming in me. I wrongly programmed into me the belief that if I made mistakes and others knew my flaws, I would not be good enough and that I would not be loved.
This erroneous programming has caused problems in relationships, connections with others and myself and had the opposite effect to feeling loved.
After the awareness of this belief, I have worked hard to be aware of this programming and am taking steps to improve upon it.
So, how do you react when you are wrong? If it’s blame, shame, avoidance or running away. This is a growing opportunity for you.
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Magic is always happening around us, all we have to do is notice it.
When we focus on the to do lists and tasks we have to do, it’s hard to see the magic. However, when we focus on looking for magic, it suddenly appears.
Who’s eyes are the best in seeing magic? Young children.
My toddler can look at a piece of grass for a long time, collect rocks at the park, stop and smell every flower on our walk, play with sand, laugh at everything and my hugs fix bo bo’s for him. What would our world be like if we saw the magic in every encounter?
I tried just this for 1 day. Here is what happened:
What 1 day, try asking yourself the questions, where is the magic in this encounter. Write your experiences below.
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Weight issues are deeply ingrained into our society. So much so that the weight loss industry is worth billions of dollars.
I was working with a patient last week who felt badly about her weight and I wanted to get to the bottom of when her programming started. When I got home, I realised that it starts from birth.
When babies are born, what is one of the first questions we ask? How much did they weigh? Depending on the answer, it’s common to hear: oh, that’s a big baby or wow, she’s so small. From the moment we arrive in this world, we are already hearing judgements about our weight.
As we go to baby wellness checks at the doctor’s office, what is measured? Weight. We are then compared to other babies on a growth chart to see how the weight is progressing. If it’s too high, we’re told to watch the weight and if it’s too low, healthcare providers are concerned.
When my kids were born, I was told that they had up to 2 weeks to get back to their birth weight. If not, my health practitioner would be worried. Babies often lose weight in the first few days after birth, because it takes a bit of time for the mother’s milk to come in. This in turn made me worried and focused on the weight of the baby.
From day 1, we are weighed and based on the number, there is judgement placed upon us. No wonder we all have stories in our nervous systems about weight.
What should we focus on instead? How healthy we are! Are you eating a healthy diet? Do you exercise? How do you feel emotionally and mentally? Are you in pain?
Track your health, not your weight.
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Sometimes we aren’t aware of our patterns until someone points them out to us. One way for me to find out my patterns at home was to invite guests over to stay for a few days….
When we had guests over, I was able to observe how they functioned with their routines and contrast them with mine. None of our patterns were right or wrong, I only found the information useful to examine myself closer.
For example, my friends were nighthawks and tended to stay up late, whereas I am a morning person and am up with my kids at 5am. This means that my kids have early bedtimes, routines and meals times. This was in contrast to my friends who went to bed later and then woke up and got to their day later.
I discovered that I had many rules or patterns that were on automatic and some of them I wanted to change. For instance, when I am cooking, I go into automatic mode and just make our meal. When my guests wanted to make a meal for us, they included my toddler in the cooking. They gave him tasks like breaking apart the bok choy into pieces and washing vegetables and my son loved to do this. It opened up my eyes to get him even more involved in the kitchen with me.
I was able to observe patterns around the house and how I felt when pots and pans got misplaced, what we allowed our children to do, etc. I wasn’t even aware that I had so many rules.
Take a look at your home and see what rules you have. This is a good way to ask yourself why you are the way you are.
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Is someone treating you in a way that you don’t like? Have you worked hard to change a behaviour about yourself only to have others still treat you like the person you were before?
How do you get someone to treat you differently? You need to teach them how to do it. This is because, we teach others how to treat us.
My baby girl is a perfect example. She has us well trained. We were very lucky that she took to nursing extremely well. However, when it was time for me to go back to work, she refused to drink from a bottle. We didn’t have a problem with bottling drinking from our first child, so this was new territory for us.
We tried everything we could think of. We used different bottles, different nipples types, different flows, changed the people that were feeding her, changed the places she was being fed but she still refused. Finally, we started feeding her with a spoon and although she wasn’t thrilled about it, she would at least drink enough milk to keep her full until I returned from work. She trained us how to feed her! Side note, she did finally figure out how to take a bottle after a couple months of trying.
So, if someone is consistently speaking to you in a certain tone or in a way that you don’t like....than
take a look at how they see you and how you taught them. Perhaps you let them get away with certain language the first time you met them and never told them that you didn’t like it. Maybe you let behaviours slide repeatedly so they know they could get away with more around you. Whatever the case, examine the role that you play to train others.
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Have you ever had the dream of wanting to be a rock star or wanting to be someone famous? While this is not a dream of mine, it was further cemented in an interaction with my son.
As soon as my son wakes up in the morning, the first thing I hear is the sounds of mama, mama, coming out of his room. He repeats his "song" over and over again until I arrive n his room. I love the sound of mama, however there are times where it can get tiring :)
There are times where I can’t go to the bathroom without seeing tiny fingers under the door asking for me or having little people barge into the bathroom. There have even been a couple times where I’ve had a little one on my lap while trying to go to the bathroom. It was one of those times where I had the thought that I don’t ever want to be a famous rock star.
How do famous people handle people following them everywhere? What if I had hundreds of thousands of people yelling Mama?
Nope. Not for me. Before you really want something in life, remember to make sure that it’s something you really want. Find out why you really want it.
Do you want to be married, have kids? Buy a new house or car? Go on vacation? Ask yourself why. is it because other people have these things and you want to be like everyone else? Are you unhappy and searching for happiness and you think having these things will get you there? Are you bored and just looking for a change?
Think about why you want what you want.
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There are so many skills to be learned in life. One skill (yes, it is a skill) that we don’t focus on enough is the skill of ‘figuring it out’.
Have you noticed some people seem to be able to figure out how to do things on their own. Some say it comes naturally, but in reality, they have just had practice with the skill.
The skill can be taught early on in life. Last week, my son was trying to figure out how to turn on the faucet. He was turning it from side to side and it wouldn’t work (you need to lift it). My partner was watching and was going to lift it for him when I said, no, let him figure it out. So, we watched and let him play with it, until he finally figured it out and then we cheered him on. He was so proud when he got it.
I’m not advocating for letting people fall off a cliff to learn something but they can fall on the grass.
How can you train this skill for yourself?
Have fun figuring things out and enjoy the feeling of a eureka moment!
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Last week I was watching my son play with his toy cars on a coffee table. He dropped one of his cars and it fell under the table and out of his reach. He tried to get it but his arms were not long enough and he started to cry. I then told him to “go around” and then you can get your car as the toy was easier to reach from the other side of the table.
I went back to cooking and looked up again when I heard more crying. He was crouched down in the same place he was before and still trying to reach his toy. I then said, I thought I told you to go around to get your toy...so he walks around the entire table right back to the exact same spot where he started! He had just gone around in a circle...poor kid.
I smiled and took his hand and we walked to the other side of the table and got his toy.
This was a reminder of how easy it is to be misunderstood.
We experience events in our lives from our point of view. Even if someone says the same thing to 2 people, they can take it to mean very different things. Before you get in an argument with someone over something that was said, remember to clarify what you meant.
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I’ve heard the saying often and even experienced it myself on several occasions: you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Because I know this to be true, I want to make sure that I’m enjoying life’s daily moments. Sometimes, when you find yourself in the middle of a project or a journey, it's hard to stop and appreciate where you are now when you feel you have so much more to go.
So, how do you make sure you are enjoying life’s moments?
For me, when I’m writing in my journal, I make sure to note 3 specials moments in my day. They could be moments about my family, friends, nature, work, someone I helped, etc. Anything that I take note of on a day.
For today, my focus was on my family. My special moment with my daughter was when she had her little fingers wrapped around one of my hands while I was nursing her. My son’s moment was when we were walking home from the park and he was holding hands with my husband and I. For my hubby, our special moment was meditating together.
We often live our life thinking that things will be better when….when the kids are older, when I’m married, when I retire, when I get a raise, when I have more money, when I have more time, etc etc. Appreciate life’s perfect moments in the day and you won’t be living for a future life.
Find out what’s important to you: your family, friends, making a difference, your purpose...and find ways to appreciate them before they are gone. One day, we will all be gone.
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When faced with doing something that scares you, whether that be public speaking, running a marathon, starting a new venture, etc, you need to summon courage.
One way to help motivate you, is to make a list of your “why” or your reason for doing what you want to do.
What is your why? Your “why” is/are the reasons that you get up each morning and live your life. They are your children, your partner, your goals, your hopes and your dreams. When there is something that you don’t want to do out of fear or procrastination, you can remember what is important for you in your life.
This week, there were some phone calls that I was putting off making. What helped me to make them was to remember my children. One of my whys is to be a role model for them. If I did not lead by example and make those calls, how could I ask them to do something they didn’t want to do.
After reading my why’s and comparing what I had to do, I was able to easily finish my work.
When creating your ‘why’, remember to dream big. Maybe you are trying to quit smoking. Your why could be to live long enough to see your kids graduate. If you need to make a presentation at work, remember that your work pays you which allows you to go on vacations. Know why you are doing what you are doing.
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Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.