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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch last Friday, the eyes of the world turned to the New Zealand’s leader. 

As I have admired Jacinda Ardern’s response and her heart-led presence with the families and broader Christchurch community,  I have also now reviewed my vision for this Women’s Network (Connecting the Dots) as well my ‘why’ (my purpose). 

I believe that modern leadership and the most influential global organisations need to invest now in developing skillsets, which are intrinsically feminine such as compassion, empathy, intuition and emotional intelligence. The right amount of both masculine and feminine power is now required for organisations and societies to thrive. 

So what can we, women do to empower ourselves? And to empower each other?

Whether it’s more respect or recognition you want, more autonomy, more security, stability or structure, it’s not just standing up to speak, its those other aspects too:  

  1. Intuition - trusting our better judgement. Making decisions and taking steps because they feel right, they sit well with us. Women are highly intuitive, but don’t trust it as often as they could. And again, science is catching on with the spirituality on that matter too (according to Mbraining we operate not with one, but three brain centres including that of our heart and gut). 

  2. Compassion - having the ability to connect at a deeper level with oneself and others and respond appropriately. This skill is so valuable in building relationships and communicating well with others. 

  3. Emotional Intelligence and that includes awareness of others (needs, emotions, communication styles, reactions) as well as relationship management skills. These would not be possible without very high self awareness and self- regulation. 

  4. Gentleness and Kindness - whilst the two attributes are not the same, they both encompass a non-aggressive and non-defensive behaviour and the attitude, which only comes with high levels of self-esteem. 

  5. Openness - which leads to curiosity, listening and prevention of judgement. Openness allows to truly connect and give others what they really need.

There are other, more masculine attributes such as confidence, ability to say ‘no’, decisiveness, responsiveness and delegation.  

The bottom line is balance.

Just like assertive men need high levels of emotional intelligence to connect, understand and acknowledge others; women who are gentle, compassionate and intuitive, will need assertiveness and ability to speak out when it is required.  

Only if and when the masculine and feminine are played out in balance, can we talk about the best outcomes for all.

How to develop that balance?  That’s a whole new conversation. 

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You may know now (from my previous posts or elsewhere) that our thoughts impact our emotions, and they in turn, our mood and experiences. 

How can we control our thoughts or, more specifically, how can we choose what thoughts we are thinking? 

Beliefs. 

Whatever you believe about your surrounding world, yourself and those around you, impacts your world.

We can see every situation from a numer of different perspectives, at least two. And whether we chose to see something from a negative or from a positive perspective determines our reality.

In other words - every experience is a choice.

There are of course extreme situations and circumstances, which disable ‘an easy’ choice, but even then it is possible. The examples of such are some of the survivors of Auswitz concentration camp, who through the choice of their thoughts, managed to sustain positivity or hope and survive the most atrocious experiences possible. 

How can we change our perspective to alter our reality? How can we get out of the race of negative thoughts in a seemingly hopeless situation?

Here is my list of tips: 

1.Shift your physical posture 

Open your chest, open your heart, take a few deep breaths, slow down your breath. Energise yourself by taking a brisk walk, run, dance or jump. 

2. Change your physical location 

If you are sitting, stand up and walk up to the window, look out. Move to a different location, walk outside. Sit in a spot you wouldn’t normally sit.. Do something different. Then talk it over with someone or.. 

3. Make it a unique or an exciting perspective 

When looking out the window, ask yourself ‘how would I see it if I was looking out the window in Paris?’ or ‘if I was looking down the hill in the mountains, how would this situation be like?’ 

4. See, smell, taste or touch something you don’t usually - make it unique 

Connect with your senses - use one you don’t usually connect with. Marvell on the sensation. Smell a new perfume, coffee beans, taste something new 

5. Ask yourself an empowering question such as: 


Once you have shifted your perspective and taken your attention away from the previous outlook, ask yourself one of the following questions: 

  • What is the opportunity in this situation? 

  • What could I/ am I meant to learn here? 

  • What would (insert the name of the person who inspires you most)  do now? 

  • What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? 

Use one or two of the above questions. Write your response. 

I am curious to know how this strategy works for you? 

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Whether you need to re-negotiate how your workload looks like, whether you are looking for a new career path or  a life path, if you find yourself at the cross roads or are simply struggling to find joy in life, ask yourself the following three questions:

1️⃣  WHAT ROLES DO YOU PLAY IN LIFE? 

(e.g. a mother, a wife, a business owner, an engineer, a friend, a fun gal, a listener, philosopher, go-getter…) However you describe yourself and whatever you are good at, write them down.

2️⃣ WHAT ACTIONS DO YOU UNDERTAKE?

  • What do you do that works? 

  • How do you interact with the world most effectively? 

  • How do you influence others?

    (e.g. do you listen, do you educate, talk, create, fix things, do you sell, do you produce or interpret things for others…?  

Hint: Don’t just write’ help’ - that’s too vague. Write down the words, which describe your specific behaviours and actions.

3️⃣ HOW WOULD THE WORLD LOOK LIKE IF IT WERE EXACTLY HOW YOU WANT IT TO BE? 

It is not meant to be a metaphorical or philosophical view, but a picture of the world, which you can actually see.

➡️ Hint: pick an aspect that you deeply care about and something, which really inspires you, brings tears to your eyes, grabs your attention, and focus on that.! 

4️⃣ PURPOSE = Combine  1️⃣ + 2️⃣ + 3️⃣ 

WHAT ROLE(S) AND ACTION(S) CAN YOU UNDERTAKE TO CO-CREATE THE WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN?

Example:“ Through my openness, fun and engaging nature (roles), I listen to students’ needs (actions) and create an after school hours program that benefits them most (better world) “

I hope you will find this helpful. Please send me an email or let me know below how you found this exercise?

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Today I got to thinking about my motherhood journey and a parallel journey as an entrepreneur. 

Being challenged constantly by my 2 year-old who more often than not, does not want to eat, brush her teeth or go to sleep or is simply irrational (of course that’s normal, I know!)  I am challenged to find PATIENCE and RESILIENCE to keep going. 

Mothers often feel guilty about failing in one area of their life or another. They feel that they either don’t devote enough time to their kids or to their romantic relationships or their business/ career OR themselves (this usually comes last !). 


The thing is - we can have it all, but not all at once.

And I have to constantly remind myself of that. 


Here is the thing: 

While striving or struggling in an area of your life (be it career or motherhood) - borrow some of your own strategies, which work in another area, and apply them to what doesn’t (yet) work or flow. 


Motherhood has so much more to do with Leadership than we think. And so do good relationships. 

We can gather in a room full of women to discuss leadership attributes at a women focused conference OR we can ask a mum. The chances are she either knows or has experienced or been challenged just like a corporate leader often is… especially when it comes to human behaviour and interaction. 

My view on the SKILLS REQUIRED for us to SUCCEED be it IN RELATIONSHIPS, MOTHERHOOD or AS LEADERS: 

  • EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ( balance of Listening & Talking) 

  • RELATIONSHIP BUILDING SKILLS (Give more than you Take) 

  • FLEXIBILITY & ADAPTABILITY (the Most Desired Skill by employers) 

  • CREATIVITY

  • PRIORITISING, TIME MANAGEMENT

  • RESILIENCE

  • PRESENCE - being with what is right now 

  • PROBLEM RESOLUTION - thinking on your feet 

  • OPENNESS TO NEW PERSPECTIVES

  • CURIOSITY IN COMMUNICATION

  • PATIENCE

  • LETTING GO OF ATTACHMENTS

  • ABILITY TO SWITCH OFF TO FIND TRUE BALANCE

I could elaborate on any of the above points  - which aspect interests you most? 

And can YOU relate? 

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There is a challenge is every opportunity. And in every challenge, there lies an opportunity.  And so everything that goes up, has to come down, right? 

There is this perception that the more excited we are in life, the more likely we are also to suffer later down the track.   

Is this really the case though? And does it have to be that way? 

I think it depends what foundation we build our excitement on. 

The level of our self-worthiness will determine how much both the excitement and misfortune impact us. 

The self-worthiness needs to be there first, like an anchor is there for a boat to avoid too hard rocking.  And even if we get rocked, the staying cool or balanced remains in both ecstatic and unfortunate circumstances. 

It is the story that we feed our soul and head, that will determine how solid the anchor is in the ground. 

So the question remains - how do we get ourselves to be better, do better, achieve more without falling? 

We need to start by not allowing both opportunities (positive experiences)  and challenges  (negative experiences) determine the quality of our existence. Only from the perspective of self-worthiness, inner trust and love for ourselves first, and then others, can we rise. 

We can be better, do better and achieve more when we change our energy - by changing thoughts, stories we tell ourselves and then the language we use.  We achieve more by changing habits and enriching our lives with what is good to us, and completely eradicating what is not. Then we rise. 

But that’s not all… 

Self-worthiness is required to not go about our lives at the expense of others. Not against them. But with them. 

With self-respect and self-love come joy and then compassion, empathy and connection with others, which help us feel more alive and for that, improve the quality of our lives. There is no fear in those experiences, only pure love. 

If we were to rise the quality of our lives, deliberately, at the expense of others (evoking jealously or resentment) then so are we likely to crush down experiencing the same sensations - being jealous or resentful.  

The key to it all is to feel adequate and worthy enough within so that neither the good nor bad impacts us. It just happens. And passes.  

The bottom line is this:

  • Don’t rely on good or bad experiences - they come and go and neither determines your worth 

  • Connect with others- they are more a part of you than glory, accolades or criticism and judgement 

  • Rise up by empathising and connecting with others

  • Don’t try to rise up deliberately making others feel jealous or inadequate. Your self-worth will benefit only for a short while, and then it will suffer the same way. 

  • Work on your sense of self independently of the good or bad in your life.  


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Elkhart Tolle in his book ‘A New Earth’ talks about three ways of perceiving our reality. We can be excitedabout it,enjoyit or at the very least, acceptit.  It is the latter that we are challenged by the most.


Acceptance will not come easily unless we hold beliefs that allow for it. 


The beliefs that we hold about our life, about where we are heading, what we believe is possible impact how we perceive our world and whether we allow for things to be ‘acceptable and curious’ or ‘unacceptable and hurtful’.

Our perceptions influence our self talk (thoughts), and then our emotions.  


For me the acceptance of tough circumstances, allowing for things to emerge, breathing, not worrying and working through challenges occur when I hold a very positive belief about my life and my future.  When I am hopeful. 

Negative beliefs prevent us from moving forward. If we encounter a bump in the road, then this misfortune becomes a proof of how unfortunate our life is. 

If the belief that you have serves you and others then acceptance to whatever else goes on in your life comes more easily. 


We seek a proof of whatever we believe in. Therefore if you believe positive things in your life, not only are you manifesting whatever is to come your way. You also approach challenges with more curiosity and openness.


I have recently written about ‘Just Deciding’- it is that concept of taking your life in your hands and stating how it is going to be. If that statement is a positive belief then it allows for more acceptance to what’s unpredictable and tough.  It happens that way because we ask different type of questions. Instead of saying “why is this happening to me?’ or not again, we ask ‘what am I meant to learn from this?’


And finally, acceptance comes more easily if we let go of our expectations towards how we want for things to turn out.It requires a disciplined practice of detaching from the dependence we otherwise have on external factors for our happiness. The type of questions, or enquiries we ask will again determine how well we will manage the process of detachment. 

Join us at the next workshop: 'Deliberate Planning and Living' THIS THURSDAY, 24 Jan in Perth, Western Australia to learn:

  • more about how to decide about your way forward in life

  • more about what believes you hold and change them!

  • how to accept the unpredictable and difficult, and much more.

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Just Decide.

I heard Will Smith say the words: ‘Just Decide’ in reference to fulfilling our deepest desires, and the words instantly resonated with me.

You may have heard a different version of the same message, but it is the simplicity of those two words that really struck a chord with me.

  • What sort of year are you going to have? Decide.

  • How is your future going to look like? Decide.

  • What relationships are you going to have? Decide.


Make a decision and see what emerges.


More often than not we place both credit and responsibility for our own happiness onto others.

And yet we could do a lot more both in our relationships, communication with others as well as in terms of how things turn out for us in life and career.


How does it actually work?


Once you know what you want, get excited about your future and BELIEVE that what you have always wanted is now possible. It is the belief that holds the key to success.* 

If you DECIDE in your heart and then in your head that you are going to have the most amazing relationship, career or a job, business venture, or the best year (however these mean to you, however you visualise and think of) then your whole being changes:

  • Your responses to people change from hostile, aggressive, defensive to more curious and inviting.

  • Your reactions to undesirable or challenging situations change from anger and frustration to acceptance, enjoyment or maybe even excitement.

and

  • Your ability to accept the reality for what it is increases as you know that whatever comes your way is just a part of the next lesson to move you forward.


However you perceive the reality, determines what questions you are going to ask.


Instead of asking yourself: “Why is this happening to me?” or saying: “Here we go again, another proof that I cannot be happy!” ; you would say: “I wonder what I am meant to learn from this?”.

Note: we can only ask the right questions, like the last one, once we KNOW what we want, we BELIEVE we can have it and we DECIDE that that’s how it is going to be.


Once you decide that it is going to be the best year for you, your attitude to problems, emotional reactions in stressful situations will shift. Your anxiety will cease and your energy will match that which is required for you to envisage the best future for yourself.

If YOU don’t know what you want, if you don’t believe you can or if you haven’t DECIDED yet, come along to my ‘Deliberate Planning and Living’ workshop on 24 January in Perth. Details and registration below:

P.S. * Some beliefs will prevent you from succeeding, but others will enable the positive action. In my case (at par with working on my limiting beliefs of course) it was a matter of finding the belief that helped medecidea positive future outcome. Let me know if you want to discuss your specific situation with me or have any questionshere. 

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The Intention that Precedes every Goal Outweighs the Wording of that Goal

Goals can be transactional or transformational.

There are short term goals or steps, for which we take deliberate action, such as completing every day tasks, and then there are long term goals, which we set intentionally and which often take longer time and effort to realise.

For a long term goal to be accomplished we usually need to first transform and become the person who can achieve it.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTENTION AND A GOAL:

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A Goal What do I want? e.g. I want to get a new job.

An IntentionWhy do I want it? - e.g. I want to have more freedom and autonomy and a more balanced life.


Intention - asking 'why' will always be more significant than the goal itself. 


HOW TO BECOME MORE INTENTIONAL IN THINKING? 

To become more intentional, choose your thoughts wisely. If an un-intended thought emerges let it pass, accept its occurrence without judgement of yourself or that thought. Then choose a different thought , one that aligns with your intentional living. It takes practice for it to become a habit. What helps in the process is a physical shift of perspective.

SOME TRUTHS ABOUT INTENTIONS: 

  • You have impact on what happens through your intentions

  • Your intention is a reflection of who you are and what you want

  • Intention is the energy which flows into and through your actions, words and deeds

  • Whatever comes back to you is the direct reflection on what you intended and not on what you actually said or did

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Planning for 2019?...But What About The Year Behind?

Reflecting on the year that has been is just as important as planning for what's ahead of us. 

The purpose of reflections is to invite a new perspective, more gratitude and let go of what's been to embrace new. 

Find a peaceful place, make yourself a drink of a favourite beverage, put your feet up, take a deep breath in and reflect. 

Here is the list of questions you could ask yourself. Choose one, two or as many as you like to help you close the 2018 chapter and embrace 2019 without looking back: 

  • What new habit(s) did you embrace and how has it served you? 

  • What did you let go of in 2018? 

  • What are you still holding onto, which doesn't serve you? 

  • What did you learn about yourself in 2018? 

  • Who or what made the biggest difference and how? 

  • What are you the most grateful for in 2018? 

  • What was your biggest achievement? 

  • How did you overcome challenges - what worked and what didn't? 



I would love to hear from you if you would like to share your reflections?  

Please email me your comments or realisations about this process. 

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