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“Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished as myself.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Originally posted February 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!Valentine Kitten

While most people think this day is strictly for those in a romantic relationship (and yes, that was and is the intent), it doesn’t have to be that way.  When we take a moment to ponder on the meaning of this day, it’s really about all our relationships and what makes those relationships good, great or not so good or great.

Have you ever equated the size of the gift or the number of flowers or the grand dinner and lavish desserts you give or receive with the amount of love given and received…or expected?  If you have, you’re not alone…I’ve fallen into this trap, too.  And it can leave one feeling deflated, disappointed or, dare I say it…not loved enough.

Today, spend a few moments away from the flowers and the chocolate and the surf n’ turf dinners and think about all those in your life where you want to be an active participant in that relationship – spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, children, grandchildren, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, co-workers, acquaintances… and make those relationships better.

Here are 3 things that will help strengthen all your relationships:

  1. Communicate – Listen openly, without judgment or defensiveness.  Ask clarifying questions so you better understand the other person.  Be willing to lovingly share your thoughts and feelings, too.
  2. Respect – Honor those in your life for who they are, not what you want or wish them to be.
  3. Trust – Courageously be open, loyal and committed.  Do what you say you’re going to do and do so consistently.

Off to work on my own relationships….

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with love, light, joy and happiness!

Until next time…

P.S. — Want a better understanding of how a coach can help you improve your personal and / or business relationships?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

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“When your fear touches someones’ pain,
it becomes pity; when your love touches
someones’ pain, it becomes compassion. 
To train in compassion, then, is to know all
beings are the same and suffer in
similar ways, to honor all those who
suffer, and to know you are neither separate
from nor superior to anyone.” 

~ Stephen Levine

Here’s a quick review of what we talked about in Part 2 of “What Were YOu Thinking?”  You learned about Jumping to Conclusions, Emotional Reasoning, Shoulds, Labeling, and Blame.

In Part 3, here are the final 5 Cognitive Distortions (again, in no particular order)…or “What Were You Thinking?!”

5 Cognitive Distortions (Part 3)

  1. Control Fallaciesseeing ourselves as a victim (external control fallacy) or assuming the responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us (internal control fallacy).
  2. Discounting the Positivediscounting your achievements or insisting your positive actions, achievements or qualities don’t count; saying anyone could’ve done it..
  3. Fairness Fallacygoing through life applying a measuring rod against every situation judging its fairness; feeling resentful because we thing we know what is fair but others won’t agree with us.
  4. Always Being Right feeling continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct (or pointing out how wrong someone’s opinions and actions are).  Being wrong is unthinkable going to any length to demonstrate your “rightness”.
  5. Heaven’s Reward Fallacyexpecting your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, then feeling bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

What have you discovered?  What distortions do you recognize in yourself?  Where do you want to begin making changes?

You’ll have an opportunity in the next post to find out more about what you can do about your “stinkin’ thinkin” and improve your rate of success – however YOU define success.

To be continued…

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about Cognitive Distortions and how they may be impeding your progress and success?  Tired of being at the mercy of your distortions?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary discovery session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

Continuing our celebration of International Coaching Week, here are some thoughts and reflections.

It’s a bit of a snowy Wednesday here and I find myself thinking about some CHOICES that I’ll make a bit later today.  Like most of you, I’m going to do things based on what I feel is best in the moment I’m making those choices.  And if I’m not careful, I may even get “hung up” deciding what to do because certain thoughts might be flying in my brain space that would make it difficult to stay focused on what’s important.  Or, I may be supported by certain thoughts.  Rather than ramble on, here’s something that will help.

I’m reminded of an often told story, the Cherokee “Legend of Two Wolves”

One evening an old Cherokee looked into his grandson’s eyes and asked,  “My son, I see fear in your eyes what is troubling you.”

The boy responded, “Often I feel as if two wolves are living inside me, one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But…the other wolf… ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his pain and fear are so great.

“Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit and are always struggling against each other.”

With tears streaming down his face the boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one will win Grandfather?”

Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one you choose to feed.”

When life’s daily occurrences and events disrupt your schedule or get you out of balance, which wolf will you feed?

When there is conflict during your meeting and everyone is out of agreement, which wolf will you feed?

The next time someone interrupts you, which wolf will show up?

What will you reaction be when a customer is unhappy about a product or service you or your company provides?

When presented with a challenge, how will you respond?

Is your wolf one of exhaustion overwhelm, or chaos?  Perhaps your wolf is self-doubt, disbelief, and negativity?

Or, is the wolf of happiness, balance, order and structure showing up?  Is it the wolf of optimism, confidence, generosity and enthusiasm?

Which wolf will you feed today?

It’s a choice…YOUR choice.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to find some great-tasting wolf feed?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary discovery session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

“Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished as myself.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!Valentine Kitten

While most people think this day is strictly for those in a romantic relationship (and yes, that was and is the intent), it doesn’t have to be that way.  When we take a moment to ponder on the meaning of this day, it’s really about all our relationships and what makes those relationships good, great or not so good or great.

Have you ever equated the size of the gift or the number of flowers or the grand dinner and lavish desserts you give or receive with the amount of love given and received…or expected?  If you have, you’re not alone…I’ve fallen into this trap, too.  And it can leave one feeling deflated, disappointed or, dare I say it…not loved enough.

Today, spend a few moments away from the flowers and the chocolate and the surf n’ turf dinners and think about all those in your life where you want to be an active participant in that relationship – spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, children, grandchildren, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, co-workers, acquaintances… and make those relationships better.

Here are 3 things that will help strengthen all your relationships:

  1. Communicate – Listen openly, without judgment or defensiveness.  Ask clarifying questions so you better understand the other person.  Be willing to lovingly share your thoughts and feelings, too.
  2. Respect – Honor those in your life for who they are, not what you want or wish them to be.
  3. Trust – Courageously be open, loyal and committed.  Do what you say you’re going to do and do so consistently.

Off to work on my own relationships….

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with love, joy and happiness!

Until next time…

P.S. — Want a better understanding of how a coach can help you improve your personal and / or business relationships?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

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