What is your sphere of influence?

November 25, 2009

What is your sphere of influence?

What do you want to do, and where are your areas of maximum impact?

You can discover or clarify your answers to these questions by first answering these:

1) What do you care about? What interests you, excites you, motivates you?

2) Where do you connect with people – your family, your friends, your community, your work? These are the people you see and talk to regularly, so these are the people you can most easily affect and influence in a positive way. These are your contacts, with their own spheres of influence, who can potentially help and advise you with your projects: your answers to question 1.

Your Sphere of Influence contains the things you care about, plus the network of resources you are connected with. Examine these; get the parts in balance; create for yourself a consistent, congruent, balanced and coherent whole and

Your life will have more meaning, be more fulfilling, and will flow easier with greater impact than ever before…

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Reflecting on positive ways forward

October 8, 2009

I haven’t written a Blog entry for a long time – there are so many Blogs, so much written, visual and auditory material on the internet, so is it really worth my spending precious time just adding more?

Mostly my answer to that is no. it isn’t.  There are more positive and amazing things I can be doing directly through my shamanic energy work.

However, I do find certain thoughts coming to the surface and forming into expression during these challenging times.  Maybe it will add something to offer them here:

One is, the importance of acting with integrity.  If you follow the link to this Wiki entry, it is interesting to see how incomplete it is – but worth reflecting on the different senses of meaning offered, for what integrity means to you.

Two is, the importance of making good choices rather than “decisions”.  If you follow the link, you can read and reflect on making choices on different kinds of decisions.

Three is, the importance of facing and dealing with your personal challenges – don’t ignore them, don’t run away and hide, don’t resort to actions that are less than honest, positive and life-enhancing.

Many of you face financial problems, loss of health, work, family, home – these are exactly the times to pare back to the basic principles.  Act with integrity, according to your own highest values and beliefs, make good choices – you are where you are – now create a better way forward for yourself, your family, your friends, your community, for all of us.

Believe in what you can create. and make it beautiful. Make it life-enhancing.

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I’ll just sign off now…

March 10, 2009

Back last century when I did a secretarial course, it was all so easy – if you started “Dear Sir” you ended “Yours faithfully”. If you started “Dear Mr Bigby” you ended “Yours sincerely”.

Emails have changed all this, throwing our written leave-taking into confusion. Now our business correspondence is largely via email, and this is so much more informal, what is appropriate? And how do we differentiate between business and more personal emails?

For a while, I noticed “Best wishes, regards or kind regards”. All was fine and I tended to reciprocate in kind. “Love” as a sign-off was reserved for my family and close friends – loved ones.

But somehow people can’t leave it at a standard sign-off; or perhaps, tempted by a loosening up of conventions, their creativity and self-expression has started to blossom. Anyway, when stuck in the company of my computer and unable to ‘people watch’, I started noticing the variety of closing messages:

Some people seem to have started varying the warmth of their closing sign-off, perhaps in an attempt to make emails more personal. So I have received ‘warm wishes, warmest wishes and warm regards from those who wish – well, to add more warmth to their sign-off. Today I received “fondest wishes” in the first communication from a new acquaintance, which prompted these reflections.

Some seem to want to add a spiritual element, or to show their spiritual allegiance, by signing ‘Namaste’, ‘Bright Blessings’ or ‘Angelic blessings’, while others seem to have an urge to be creative, to personalise or to make their own individual mark.

I was suitably impressed some years ago by the NLP Master Trainer who started signing off with “Be Well”. It was the most original and unique sign off and, better still, a positive suggestion. Others must have liked it too, as this particular signature statement has been much copied amongst the NLP/personal development community, who have taken it up, or tried for their own variations of “Stay Well” (not so good if the recipient is not well) or “Get well” (equally unfortunate if they regard themselves as already well) or “Be Well Now” for added emphasis!

Meanwhile the originator continues to use his sign-off, probably secure in the knowledge that ‘us NLPers’ all know where this one originated…

So what is your experience? What is the most unusual, meaningful or interesting closing wish or greeting you have received? And does your own signature statement reflect the message you wish to convey?

Wishing you, dear reader, the most stimulating blessings of mind, body and spirit you could possibly wish for on this bright and cheerful day,

Susanna

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Art, Architecture and Healing the Land

March 4, 2009

Imagine you had a plot of land – quite a large plot of land, large enough to build a residential complex and a shopping arcade and a leisure area, perhaps restaurants, gym, leisure centre, green parkland area and other services – A mini residential area with all utilities and lifestyle choices close to hand.

What would you do? How would you design it?

Quality of life, desirability and saleability determine the need for some green areas and attractive landscaping. For similar reasons there must be some facilities and utilities there. Yet this must make a profit, or at least be sustainable. Where do you expect to make the bulk of the funds for this project? From businesses, offices, service industries, residential homes?

You may have nothing to do with building, architecture or town planning – neither do I – but bear in mind all the considerations you have, when you are choosing a desirable place to live.

Surely these places should all be designed with these considerations in mind: would this be a good, balanced community? Would I myself want to live here? (At the appropriate stage: young single, professional, married with children, retired…) How would you design a balanced community, bearing in mind what already exists, surrounding, and perhaps ‘zoning’ areas accordingly? Would it make sense to have quieter, easily accessible areas for the older part of the population, and a student/young people’s noisier, area, with bars, restaurants and nightclubs, away from residential areas.

If so, then such a design must also take account of transport and services needed to take people to and from the areas they wish to use?

All these considerations, involve an internal community harmony. There is another level of consideration too – harmony within the landscape. Doesn’t it make sense to take into account the natural shape of the land and the resources and natural building materials that are present? If you do not take account of the land, for example – if you do not allow for flood/river drainage, you can end up with serious damage to your homes and buildings.

This whole ‘hypothetical’ discussion is all about planning holistically, in harmony with all around you. And just because it has all been done before, does not mean it was done right, nor that there is not room for fresh ideas, for reviewing the past and renovating for the future.

Surely it is time to take advantage of new developments, new technologies and a new age of fresh minds, to design better communities to live and work in, sustainably, for the future.

For example: if we are concerned about global warming, diminishing resources, increasing populations and other ‘modern ills’ we should be thinking about costing better heating and lighting solutions into new developments and redevelopments. We should be finding better, more harmonious ways of using space, new ways of creating and enjoying community space.

And yes, governments, town planners, builders and architects are concerning themselves with these matters. My point is that more people need to take an active part and to respond to invitations to comment and to participate in the way their own local town, city or community is moving forward.

Why am I writing about this as a shaman, healer and energy worker? Because I believe that shamanism is actually a very practical concern. It has to do with the spiritual wellbeing and health of the community, and this is greatly affected by where and how people live. Traditionally, in Hawaii, their shamans (kahunas) were traditionally the ‘people of knowledge’ and they each had their own specialties. Some had to do with the spirit world and magical realms, but equally there were shamans whose expertise was in hunting, fishing, agriculture and community building.

It seems to me that 21st century healers, energy workers and shamans tend to float about with ‘energy tools’, ‘angelic guides’ and good intent, flowing positive energies into the land. For one thing, this is a remedial approach – trying to go round and fix energetically what has become out of balance. For another thing, many of them do not take the time to notice, respect and harmonise with what is already there. They bring their own practices and tools and ‘do their energy thing’ instead of taking the time to sense the bigger picture and work practically and in harmony.

I’d like more ‘energy workers’ to bring their practices ‘down to earth’ in practical ways. And I’d like everyone else to discover and integrate their latent shamanic energy abilities. Then we can all be shamans and live in harmony and balance with each other and the natural world around us.

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Quality or Quantity?

February 25, 2009

Quality or Quantity? This is important to consider, especially in the current tough economic climate, when finances are so tight for everyone.

Do you buy quantity of the cheapest foods to feed your family, but maybe lose out on nutritional quality? (And through public demand, supermarkets drive down prices so far that producers of quality foods may be driven out of business and the quality option is potentially lost?)

This is how local shops and personal service lost out to superstores and large shopping malls. This is how jobs and labour and product in development and production are outsourced to countries where labour and material costs are cheaper, thereby losing these jobs at home. Yes, this may be creating new jobs elsewhere, but also may be leading to ‘sweatshops’ as labour costs are screwed down. It doesn’t seem ethical or sensible, but is it necessary and unavoidable? (And yes, some do redress this injustice by ensuring fair trade prices to local producers overseas – but none of this helps the problem at home.)

Setting aside ethical questions for a moment: while money / cost is a necessary consideration, I feel that quality is the better choice – it makes more sense.

Better nutrition – quality – and maybe you need less bulk. Or the less you can then afford actually does you more good.

In my own field, finding the right training, rather than any cheapest option, makes sense, as you get what you really need to get the skills and experience you want. If the cheaper options don’t give you that, it is not a saving, and may be a complete waste of money.

Like some people I know, who buy clothes and shoes in the sales, because they are ‘bargains’ and cheaper – but they are never quite the right size, or colour or fashion.
They don’t look and feel quite right and they don’t end up wearing them, or if they do, they don’t feel and look as great as they look and feel in the higher price things they love in the right colour and size.

I don’t advocate spending wildly, but investing in quality, choosing wisely and having less ‘clutter’ around ? Definitely, YES.

Choose quality in your life. You don’t need so much quantity – much of it is just clutter.

Many of the ‘savings’ are false savings anyway – the endless sales and price reductions and offers are driven by the public’s demand for cheaper prices and bargains.

Yes, prices must be kept competitive, but beyond a certain point, materials and labour cost a certain amount and that is it – push it more and what you get is sub-standard goods and poor service. Or you drive people out of business and the quality is no longer available. Is that what you really want? If so, don’t complain when goods don’t last, service is poor and food is tasteless and leaves you listless, low in energy and overweight.

If you would rather be healthy, skilled, fulfilled and paid what your time and effort is worth, and you want the same for others – then go for quality, every time.

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Living in the Love – the key

February 10, 2009

The Love Stream, Part Three of Four

Living in the love, to me, means letting go of judgements – desisting from judging others or yourself harshly. Instead, seek to accept and yes, even love yourself and others. Instead of making judgements, judging wisely the course of your actions and your thoughts and feelings.

Relax into love. Ask the love stream to teach you how to be loving, to help you to judge wisely and to love well. It is so easy to ‘be right’ and to make others wrong – but it only brings pain to all concerned.

Take issue, if you must, about words and actions, habits and behaviours. Speak and act to redress perceived wrongs, but maintain a positive regard and respect for other human beings, and indeed for all life on the planet. We are only human and I believe that we are all doing the best we can manage, even though this does not mean that all we do is acceptable.

In any event, we can never know the full story of someone, to judge them, as a person, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, positive or negative. We can judge their actions, but even then, who can foresee all possible results of an action?

The best we can do and strive for, is to speak and act the best we can, according to our own highest principles, values and beliefs. And remembering these are only the best we can manage at our personal present stage of mental, emotional and spiritual evolution.

Today – see how long you can go without making any kind of negative judgement. If you catch yourself making one, seek to find a positive way of reframing it. Clear these negative thoughts from your thoughts, speech, actions and behaviour and what are you left with? Can it be love..?

The Love Stream, Part Three of Four

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The Challenge to Love

February 7, 2009

The Love Stream, Part Two of Four

It can be very hard and challenging to love – I am the first to admit that I am nowhere near perfect. I can find it very hard to love and to trust other human beings at times, especially when I have felt hurt by their words and actions – I want to close myself off and hide, or to lash out in anger or fear. And I think this is a natural human reaction.

But –

There is always something or someone to love and to appreciate, if life’s events or other people let you down or cause you pain. If it is hard to face people, start by focusing on the beauty of nature, plants, animals or birds. I have found that this helps me feel calmer, then happier, stronger, more positive, and then I am back in my heart space and can face and love the humans again.

I have found that whenever and wherever I notice and focus on and feel the love – I feel better, happier, healthier and more of a sense of purpose and meaning in my life.
So my recommendation to you, for this week, or just for this day, is to test it out for yourself – make love your guiding light and notice what follows.

The Love Stream, Part Two of Four

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