Friday, August 31, 2012

The Most Powerful Tool to Support Others


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

When was the last time you acknowledged or validated others? Or, acknowledged or validated you? To acknowledge something or someone means to recognize as being valid or true.  For example: when your son rides his bicycle without falling, you acknowledge this truth to him; when your employee arrives on time for one week, you recognize this and let him/her know; and, when your client is courageous in an action, you confirm this with her/him.  The odd fact is, though, many of us seem to implicitly believe that acknowledging is not important; thus, it is taken for granted that others already know what they do well or where their strengths lie.  Nonetheless, even if others know their truths, doesn’t it feel better to have someone recognize and validate it?  Of course it does.
With my experiences in coaching women clients, I believe many individuals have not experienced a huge amount of encouragement or acknowledgment growing up, and, in the end, it doesn't come natural to do it for others or ourselves.  As a result, this leaves us neither knowing how to give nor receive a simple yet powerful tool that will support others and ourselves for miles of trials.

A few examples to show how acknowledging can support others:
  • Having someone endorse you when you are afraid to forge ahead; 
  • Focusing on your strengths when all you see are your weaknesses; 
  • Wanting a better way for you when you find it hopeless; 
  • Holding your vision high when you are down; 
  • Recognizing your talents and accomplishments when you are blind to see them.
Acknowledgement is one of the most powerful tools to begin gaining trust within one’s self and to move someone into action.  It is a way to solidify what you know but haven’t really confirmed with yourself.  A simple acknowledgement is a way to bring out the best in others. It is a way to shed the light so they can see their true and unlimited potential.  Acknowledging is a powerful technique to give someone strength and courage through their, sometimes very fearful, endeavours.

Additionally, toddler hears the word no an astonishing 400 times a day.  Besides the no word, many children and teens, right up until adulthood and beyond, are scolded, belittled, and even mocked.  As an Acknowledger, you strengthen someone’s inner-worth.  Acknowledging is a precious and invaluable gift to acquire and give freely to others. There is not enough gold or diamonds on this planet that will bring that sense of empowerment, warmth, and love to someone's heart as they grow into acceptance towards this gift and their own strengths.

Don't wait.  Begin acknowledging someone you love today for their strengths, talents, emotions, attributes, skills, and everything else in-between.  Be genuine in your acknowledgements and they will go far.

"You get the best effort from others 
not by lighting a fire beneath them, 
but by building a fire within" 
[Bob Nelson].

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When Sleeping Women Wake

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Your Voice Matters


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Self-expression keeps us healthy.  The fact is, though, some women have not been given justice to live with self-expression, and, in the end, they have lost their individuality as a powerful woman.  Living in an oppressive environment, children and women are forcefully pushed down and silenced.  This behavior, then, becomes them.  They continue to protect themselves by keeping quiet, and, of course, in extreme situations, this is important.  As a result of not expressing their needs and desires, though, their vibrancy for life dies. Their messages get diluted and distorted by not conveying them at all, or eventually over-reacting, or resolving to self-destructive or passive behaviors.

The expression of one's individuality is a human right.  When you express your individuality fully, you are actually treating yourself with self-respect, self-love, and self-acceptance.  This is extreme self-care.

Further, I've come to realize that moving through the difficulties of life is about how much elasticity you are willing to give yourself. Making it through the extremes of life is not about ignoring the emotional or mental challenges. It is about having the ability and strength to return to integrity by fully expressing your individuality, and, at the same time, cultivating your inner-richness and beauty of being a powerful and free woman.

Holistic healing is about reclaiming your integrity to let self-love spontaneously arise. You don't need a plan of action to start. To move through life's chaos, you need to dig deep and grab onto every ounce of determination and perseverance and know that life can be better. As difficult as it may feel to express yourself fully, you can decide to take action to heal your life today.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Uncover True Happiness for the Deeply Hurt

Uncover True Happiness for the Deeply Hurt

By Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

There are so many wonderful shares on the social media networks. It's great to see various positive quotes about healing to support our community, family, friends, or neighbors.  Reminding others to be optimistic and positive can raise them from a place of despair to, at least, a glimpse of light or hope; and, that is a good thing!  Frankly speaking, though, this is not a form of deep healing to uncover true happiness for the deeply hurt.

After a while, you get this bottleneck of meaningful messages that lose their potency. For sure, positive psychology has its place.  I am a supporter of this field.  Nonetheless, let us consider the individuals that have suffered deeply and need more intense healing.  What I see happening is that this field is creating various personas filled with masked hurts, anger, pain, and deep despair. Is the positive thinking holding these individuals back from really healing what is harboring deep inside?

There is a huge wave going on in this world today making it almost impossible not to believe anything different.  When we get caught up in these social waves, we lose our critical thinking cap.  The mentality is, because everyone else is doing it, it must be right.  Is positive psychology just another wave to conform to a way of living that others keep promoting but, in the end, the results are still the same?  Meaning, there is no deep internal change because of the avoidance to the source of the problem.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approx. 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed each year with low self-esteem (lack of self-worth) as an underlying issue.  Consumption of antidepressants is soaring not declining.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that there has been an increase of 400% in antidepressant prescriptions in the last two decades.  Is this wave of positive psychology really working? Thinking positively works wonders especially after the deep hurts have been resolved.  Nevertheless, let us not forget about the many victims of odious crimes that cannot quickly turn on the positive attitude.  So then, how do we uncover true happiness for the deeply hurt?

First, metaphorically speaking let me give an example about what happens to the congestion of messes that never get resolved or cleaned up. A cow Pasteur has many piles of dung (unresolved issues). You tip toe around the piles to get where you need to go (avoidance). You are always on guard and anxious because you are never sure if you're going to step in a pile of mess and make a bigger mess (fear that words, thoughts, and emotions may arise and you won’t know what to do with them).  Sooner or later, you would think that the best thing to do is to take a shovel and begin cleaning this mess up (confronting your pain).  For many, though, this may seem like too much work, so, instead, you throw sweet smelling flowers (positive thinking) on the dung and continue to ignore it. In the end, though, the dung is still covering much of the Pasteur, and, its presence still smells bad (negative thoughts not resolved are still harbouring within your mind and body causing physical, mental, and emotional discomfort). To add, the pile up (congestion) starts to get onto other things that pass through the Pasteur (other relationships). As a result, you become hypersensitive (reactive) to every situation because you have to be extremely cautious to where you walk and how you place yourself (and what you say).  You have to make sure you keep balance; otherwise, if you fall down, it will be a disaster (life will fall apart as you know it).

For this reason, placing a blanket of positive thinking will not change a thing, internally; thus, this reflects externally. In the end, the heavy dark pit in the bowels of your belly will remain.  Here is a Sufi Parable that is so fitting in this moment.

An old man was walking home late one night when he saw a friend on his knees under a street light, searching for something.
"What are you doing?" he asked his friend.
"I dropped the key to my house."
"I'll help you look."
After a few minutes of frustrated searching, the old man asked,
"Where exactly were you when you dropped this key?"
His friend pointed toward the darkness, "Over there."
"Then why are you looking for it here?"
"Because this is where the light is."

To conclude, healing takes deep soulful work.  By clearing up the mess at its source, you uncover true happiness.  A huge hollow empty space becomes you.  The lotus flower rises to the surface and you gain crystal clarity.  You finally begin to see your own beauty.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh