True Braveheart

The personality Dot is fascinating, as it seems to be the effort of our True Self to have a safe identity out in the world.  Born into families and cultures with values, and certain behaviors and feelings that are affirmed, we as clever little tykes quickly figure how to get our needs met by developing certain identities. Below is a list of common identities we can use:

Common Compensatory Identities

Why is understanding your Acting Identity important?  Because even though you bring the gift of yourself somewhere in the role, there are automatic reactions from the chosen identity that keep you from really connecting to others and feeling the kind of joy we usually reserve for celebrations and special occasions.

For instance, if you are the Angry One you tend to attack and push your energy/opinions forward or if you’re the Easy Going One you may withhold/withdraw and even though these actions keep you safe in the short run, they don’t make for respectful connections that bring the sense of being understood and loved – because your heart is not open.

So a braveheart for the Angry One: take a deep breath (Holy Spirit time) and truly listen, or for the Easy Going One: take a deep breath (equally Holy Spirit time) and put some words out there. True actions open opportunities for true interactions, and love is found in that space between.

Jane Austen, PhD in personalities

Jane Austen Fairfax-xmas-08-18

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often
used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to
our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
  -Jane Austen

Before modern personality assessments, there was Jane Austin. Her observations on the different behaviors and motivation are really perceptive.  The people that she creates, complete with history, preferences and values, make for some well rounded, unforgettable characters. She seems especially fond of exploring the difference between the task oriented and the heart oriented, between the practical and the romantic (idealist, adventure – not necessarily flowers and chocolate).

From Pride and Prejudice, I feel most akin to some Elizabeth and some Mary characteristics, I do love to read and discuss, and it must be for love and deeper values that everything is done, but I can be a party pooper and melancholic about issues/events that others enjoy.

What is your favorite Jane Austen book/movie?  To which character do you most relate?

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Getting through – the 3 Minute Check In

The ASAP access of social media and instant messaging makes old fashion phone calls seem outdated.  Dialing up someone and waiting for it to ring, then having a conversation where you give attention to one person and what they have to say…  what a quaint notion.

phone

Are there any teenagers or young adults in your life? Try the 3 Minute Check In. My kids will pick up now that I have instituted this format.  There is often a reason for the call, but I have thought about it and have three minutes to check in with them as well, how are they – what’s up recently, and then my idea, request or question.

If you have older friends or relatives that still use the phone to stay in touch, it might be good to think of your own adaptation of the 3 Minute Check In.  If Aunt Martha reports on every physical ailment and condition of her and her neighbors, you might try the 10 Minute Check In.   Just the structure of the time frame might help to eliminate organize topics.

Whether it’s a land line, a hand held or the latest cell phone there is a place for the voice to voice conversations, especially when travelling, to help you feel connected.  Skype was a challenge for this tech resistant caller, until our daughter was studying abroad – then it was a magic portal into her international experience.  How do you best connect with your friends and loved ones?

Cutting out the negativity, 30 day challenge

The Zero Negativity Challenge  was mentioned in a previous blog… a 30 day promise of NO negative messages conveyed through words, body language or tone. My family was game, willing to try after a discussion about humor and talking styles.  It builds a safety zone through respect, and encourages self awareness for needs and wants as you learn to ask, and not demand, things from others. This means that the two people, or in our case four, who sign the agreement will let the other know if they feel respect and understanding, and likewise if they hear/see/notice put downs, criticism or dismissive comments.

Zero Neg
True story – our two young adult kids who live at home were both enthusiastic about signing this agreement with us. Thirty days we would all watch what and how we said things to each other. And as our kids and I turned to leave the den, signed agreement in hand, there broke out a discussion that included some criticism regarding a mutual friend accompanied with eye rolling and the works…  after waving the newly signed paper and they quickly added, “this starts tomorrow!” which got quite a laugh from all of us.

It is really difficult to go a day, yet less a month without letting hurt, disappointment or resentment creep in via criticism or sarcasm. This agreement is really a challenge to self regulate, or as the ancient philosopher said “know thyself”. In your day to day, when are you being dishonest and saying Yes to something you really don’t have the energy or motivation to fulfill? When are you past the point of hunger and your blood sugar is wavering or you’re tired and instead of taking a break, you soldier on? Then within moments your voice tone gets snappy or louder or feeling resentful/put out the criticisms or put downs come sliding out because your feel overwhelmed and underappreciated?

Come on, try it. Just for a day – encourage each other and build each other up. It’ll make them wonder what you’re up to. 🙂

Heroes from childhood series – Monty Roberts, the man who listens to horses

HERO

noun (pl-roes 

  1. a person distinguished by exceptional courage,nobility, fortitude, etc

 

Cleaning out one of our bookshelves the other day, (we are downsizing and off to see the world in a year or so), gave a chance to glance through books that had a big impact on my life. If a person who questions what they are told is a brave human being, then one who questions what has been modeled by family and culture and finds new ways to create respect and love is a hero.

Monty Roberts, of “The Man Who Listens to Horses” fame has an a-maz-ing story!  If he is an honest cowboy then some of his life stories belong in the movies. From Monty’s earliest years riding and winning in horse shows with kids 5 – 9 years older, to his boyhood adventures camping overnight and observing the wild horses and their communication within the herd, to his stunt riding and a brush with stardom and friendship with James Dean to his dreams coming true with the most well planned out horse stables in the country off the beautiful coast of California and success with choosing, training and riding some talented race horses… and then an unbelievable triumph over an unbalanced business partner who nearly destroyed it all, to his command performance with the Queen of England and the Queen Mother.  His extraordinary way of “joining up” with horses and earning their trust without whips, tie ups or violence allows for the trust of a horse that has never been ridden to accept the bridle, saddle and rider in just 30 minutes!

Monty developed and refined his techniques, similar to other horse gentlers,  in spite of what some family members, the horse culture of the past, his school teachers and more than a few nay sayers told him was possible. He persevered and held to his vision through ridicule and alleged abuse to bring this observant, respectful way of handling horses (and people) to the main stream.  Monty, aged 79  is still in the saddle at “The Flag is Up” Ranch in California teaching these skills to others from around the world and offering Horse Sense and Healing workshops for veterans.

Who am I? Part 2

“We are many parts of one body and we all belong to each other.”

When answering the age-old question, “Who am I?”,  we find there are different roles in different relationships (friend, daughter/son, boss, neighbor, in law, etc), and we even have different parts within ourselves. Have you ever felt, “part of me wants to do this, but part of me doesn’t”?

We each have different parts, different aspects of our personalities. In future blogs, I will explore some of the wonderful assessments that help define who we are and are not by how we learn and love, and what we value and want out of life. My favorites include the Myers-Briggs, which gives a framework of the four main temperament types, the Love Language test with the 5 ways we give and receive love, and the Enneagram a tool that highlights 9 different points of view and underlying values.

But today I want to focus on some of the Parts we each carry with us, like the Creative part, the Judging part, the Responsible part, the Loyal to family/tradition part and the Loving part. You might notice when next you’re clicking on all cylinders, lost in doing something that really engages you – that would be your Creative part. How about the times you feel ‘you should exercise’ (or stop eating, go to bed, not argue…), that would be your Responsible part speaking up. When you are hard on yourself, or feel let down or betrayed, most likely your Judging part is in the control room. When you feel life is worth living, or can see the other’s point of view, feel compassion or gratitude or connection – your Loving part is humming along.

For example, my Creative Part loves to learn and share stories like with this Blog, my Judging part would keep reviewing and editing the Post and perhaps never hit ‘publish’, my Responsible part wants to commit to some type of regular sharing, my Loyal to family tradition part is nervous when I talk about anything that invites conflict and my Loving part appreciates the opportunity to connect and share ideas of the mind, places in the heart and the mystery of the spirit with others.

Living and interacting in the workplace, at home and with friends, notice which part of you is most engaged. When you’re at your best, which part of you is stepping forward? When do others connect with you? Which part of you is rewarded, in which situations? Each part is important and tells us something about ourselves.

Next week – moving towards change, and how these different parts can gang up and make new action steps feel like mission impossible.