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Gentle encouragement and inspiration for choosing love instead of fear and connection instead of separation . . .

By Ann Strong

Click on the title to go to the Sparker of your choice (Feel free to reprint our Sparkers in your newsletters or send to clients just be sure to attach the copyright info and the link)

Calm Your Cynic
Choosing A Bigger You
Connecting More Deeply
Releasing Our Grip


Calm Your Cynic

Our inner cynical voice will not help us create our ideal life, and yet, we often let it run the show. You know the voice – the one that says, “it will never work, you tried before and couldn’t do it, you aren’t good enough, you don’t know how, you’ll just get hurt.” And then asks, “who do you think you are, why bother, when would you ever find the time?” The cynic stops us before we ever take our first step.

Next time you hear the cynic, try something new. Give it a voice. Allow it to run its course and write down all of its comments. Get it out of you and onto the paper. Write until the voice is finally silent.

Then review your notes and begin a new list – one that declares all the self-limiting concepts you want to dump. You may want to release fear, skepticism, anger, apathy, worry, indifference and/or hopelessness. Imagine yourself putting these concepts in a mental dumpster or actually tear up the list and throw it away.

Then make a third list – one that delegates to the highest part of yourself (whatever you believe that to be – God, Spirit, Higher Power, Source, All That Is) whatever you’d like to happen. For example, if you’re working on getting more clients, you might delegate something like: getting an abundance of clients easily and effortlessly, releasing whatever stands in the way of getting new clients, having fun getting new clients.

Allow your inner cynic to help you create whatever you desire. By using the critical voice as a signal to become more present and consciously choose what you’d like, you have created a most unlikely ally!

Sparkers - Practicing Oneness © 2007 Ann Strong for Coaching Toys Inc - Sparkers, all rights reserved. Find more Sparkers by Ann at www.coachingtoys.com/practicingoneness.html

If you'd like to comment on this Sparker, visit the Coaching Toys Blog


Choosing A Bigger You

By Ann Strong

Recently, I heard myself saying, “I'm an emotional person. That's just who I am.” I gave this justification during an intense, messy situation with a friend. I would have felt happier if I could have responded in a detached, intellectual manner. The next day, I heard one of my clients saying, “I make things hard. I've always been that way.” Imagine how much easier her life would be if she routinely told people, “Things are easy for me. It's always been like that.”

I believe I'm an emotional person. My client believes she
makes things difficult. As committed as we both are to
those concepts, they are just concepts. If we choose, we can
change them this moment. How would my life improve if I
believe I am an emotional person who knows how to detach
in certain situations? How would my client's life improve if she believed she also sometimes knows how to do things the easy way?

In what ways do you put yourself in a box? What labels are
you attached to? What are your three favorite ways to describe yourself? Would you be willing to play with expanding each of those three identities this week?

Say you describe yourself as “outgoing,” would you like to find out what it feels like to observe or allow others to approach you first? If you believe you’re someone who can’t pick one thing because you have many interests, would you be willing to experiment for a few days with picking one thing or picking two things and noticing what that’s like for you? When you hear yourself saying, “I can’t, I’m not athletic,” would you be willing to join the volleyball game anyway?

Enjoy the exploration as you hold yourself a bit more lightly!

Copyright 2007, Ann Strong

Sparkers - Practicing Oneness © 2007 Ann Strong for Coaching Toys Inc - Sparkers, all rights reserved. Find more Sparkers by Ann at www.coachingtoys.com/practicingoneness.html

If you'd like to comment on this Sparker, visit the Coaching Toys Blog


Connecting More Deeply

By Ann Strong

After a recent "miscommunication" with my boyfriend, I remembered John Gray's book, "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," When I first read it, I felt stunned to learn that men often didn't understand me because they speak a different language. I thought we all spoke English. What I didn't realize: each person perceives the same situation differently. Often, quite differently!

For example, generally, if a man tells a man about a problem, they both know he wants help finding a solution to that problem. If a woman tells a woman about a problem, they usually both understand she wants to talk, will feel better from talking and does not necessarily want help finding a solution. Of course you can see the mess a man and a woman could get into if they don't understand each other's different needs. You may even have experienced that mess first-hand!

To avoid falling into that hole, it's helpful to listen for clues about where the other person is coming from. The next few times you share problems with others, see if you notice different types of responses from men than from women. See if you can detect if they made assumptions about where to take the conversation. Perhaps even ask them if they made any assumptions.

Develop the habit of reminding yourself to learn where another person is coming from, rather than assuming you know. If you get triggered or charged by the direction of the conversation, why not use that as an opportunity to take a deep breath and find out more? Ask questions. "I hadn't thought of it like that before. I'm curious, how did you come to that conclusion?" "Could you tell me more?" "What is that like for you?" The more we choose first to understand and then to be understood, the more we'll create deep, meaningful connections with others.

Copyright 2006 - 07, Ann Strong

Sparkers - Practicing Oneness © 2007 Ann Strong for Coaching Toys Inc - Sparkers, all rights reserved. Find more Sparkers by Ann at www.coachingtoys.com/practicingoneness.html

If you'd like to comment on this Sparker, visit the Coaching Toys Blog



Releasing Our Grip

By Ann Strong

Personal growth often involves loosening our grip on our thoughts, identities and all that our ego holds dear. As a young adult, I had zero tolerance when someone told me, "I don't know." I needed them to stop acting wimpy and weak, to make a decision. I wanted them to know! Now I know that my lack of tolerance really centered around my need to be in charge.

If we don't need to control, then we don't need to know. We can go with the flow. We can follow energy, rather than rules. We can try black AND white. We can accept this AND that. We can live in the present moment and respond to that moment, rather than react from situations in the past or to what we think must be done for the future. We can connect more deeply with others, learning the value of “their” ways, too.

What thoughts or identities do you hold tightly?

The next time you hear yourself saying, “It must be done this (read “my”) way,” take some time to explore what you are holding so tightly. Ask yourself, “Is it true, absolutely true, that it must be done that way?” Challenge yourself to find three or five other ways it could be done. Give some thought to why someone else would do it differently. Begin to notice similarities rather than differences.

Releasing our grip may mean we "know" less, but feel more alive. And more free. Releasing our grip allows more harmony as we stop fighting with others or with life itself.

Copyright 2006 - 07, Ann Strong

Sparkers - Practicing Oneness © 2007 Ann Strong for Coaching Toys Inc - Sparkers, all rights reserved. Find more Sparkers by Ann at www.coachingtoys.com/practicingoneness.html

If you'd like to comment on this Sparker, visit the Coaching Toys Blog

 


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Disclaimer

Sparkers Creative exercises, while mostly fun and enriching may occasionally tap into unresolved issues or discomfort. This may signal some healing to attend to. If this should happen for you and you feel you need help contact a professional counselor. Coaching, while powerful it is not a substitute for therapeutic intervention.

 

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