Posts Tagged ‘Siobhan Shaw’

Your Strongest Ally – Your Attitude

You may have heard that your attitude is everything. It can make or break you. It can lift you up or knock you down. It determines how you live your life. The thing is that your attitude is your choice. You can choose what it will be. Will it be good or bad? Will it be optimistic or pessimistic? Will it be positive or negative?

Here are a few attitudes that I’ve been examining in my own life lately.

What others do, say or how they treat you should be of no concern to you. Your reaction to their behavior, their choice of words to describe you to others, their seemingly never-ending attacks on you – open or covert, and a myriad of other steps people like this take to try to take you down can all be stopped when you stop giving what they are doing energy! It’s that simple. Continue to react, get upset or stew about their actions and you dampen the one thing that can move you forward in life and that is your attitude. When you choose the path of no reaction, you are cutting off the head of the snake.

I’d like to thank my attitude for being strong against the viper stings and venomous attacks that have occurred recently in my life. Through diligent practice I am learning to ignore those who feel inclined toward vindictiveness.

How do you do this?

Know that what others think of you, are really just thoughts they have of themselves that they are not willing to accept and look inward to investigate the why’s of. They are not in a state of self-awareness. For instance, a person recently under-handedly called me phony and then within days they wrote about something in their life in a way that was extremely exaggerated. I knew what their reality was and shook my head when I saw this grandiose statement that made them seem like they had more than they actually do.

You are the only one in your life that knows the truth about you. Don’t feel you have to share every detail of your life with people even if they ask. This has been a huge lesson for me as, up until recently, I used to struggle with feeling like I needed to explain myself, to share personal details of my life with even my nearest and dearest. I’ve finally learned I don’t have to and if I don’t want my business to be other people’s business guess who has to keep shut her mouth. It’s hard at first as you have to ignore people’s questions or simply change the subject or say, ‘hey you know that’s not something I’m willing to talk about’. That is where setting boundaries come in.

I’ve been working on setting boundaries after being stung once again by people who have their own agendas for getting information from me.  I sat idly by one day as a person I had shared some sensitive information with repeated in a loud voice to other people, said information. I could not believe my ears. I said nothing and have said nothing to that person but have cut them completely out of my life. It took me a while but I had to come to realize as hard a pill as it was to swallow that the person had a personal agenda and I was just a pawn in their game of life.

Another person very dear to me sent me something as a present but there were strings attached. This person wanted to recruit me to their way of thinking. In the past, I had always just ignored or made comments to them that I figured they wanted to hear but this time I wrote a note to that person to thank them for the present however I did need them to respect my views as I respected theirs and not to send me more of this material. For the first time in my life I set a boundary with this person. I’ve not heard back from them.

I am going to say that gossip or having to know what’s going on is the worst attitude on this planet. A woman I know asked me one day if I knew what was going on down the street – there had been police and an ambulance at a neighbor’s house. I didn’t know nor had I even noticed in fact. She wants to be in the loop so badly that two days later she could not wait to tell me what she had discovered. The information she shared with me had no bearing on her life or mine at all and was simply gossip about another person’s lot in life. I walked out of that visit knowing that gossip is conversation for the idle. What happened in that person’s life was of no consequence to the story teller’s life other than to fill in the silent gaps that are present because there is no outside interest, desire to learn new things or take stock of their own lives and fix what needs to be fixed within.

My attitude has taken a major shift this past month or two. I’ve made some very profound choices and shifted my reactions to external events. It hasn’t been that long at all but I do now see that it is a process that I’ve been working on for quite a long time. It’s just all gelled and has become very clear to me what I need to do to keep my attitude at a level that enhances my life.

I’ve set boundaries and ceased the mindless gossip. I understand that people have personal agendas and know that I can keep my personal thoughts and information close to my vest without feeling like I’m hiding something. Finally, what others think of me are just thoughts about themselves they aren’t yet ready to face. My reaction and the attitude I hold, is first and foremost my strongest ally in this journey called life.

Interview with Sarah Brokaw

This is a confessional interview with Sarah Brokaw about her new book, Fortytude. On this clip she talks about why she wouldn’t and didn’t attend her high school reunion and why that act showed she lacked Fortytude. Sarah’s new book is titled, Fortytude and since that missed reunion she has found her fortitude, grace and connectedness. 

She first joined my co-hosts, Donna M. Butler, Haley Patterson and myself, Siobhan Shaw on The Attitude Shift Show for a great conversation with guest host, Patricia Allen-Jenkins.

You Can End the Suffering & Experience Great Joy

“This seriously isn’t happening?”… are words I couldn’t even spit out of my pursed lips, as I discovered that my co-host of The Attitude Shift, Donna M. was stuck on the runway in Chicago minutes before the show began Wednesday evening. If you could have seen my face I was visibly relieved when she Skyped to say let her into the show. The plane had been sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes and possibly they were going to open the doors and send the passengers off until the storm passed. Whew. Bullet dodged.

As we were talking, the flight attendant came by and told her to shut her phone off as they preparing for take-off.

My throat closed up. My hands went clammy. My head felt faint. What if I just hung the phone up? Would people believe I lost the connection? 

Oh, but wait, Donna said that Haley was calling in any minute to do the show with me so okay I can do this. Sure, we may have the guest with what is most likely the biggest Facebook following ever in the history of the show on, but Haley and I can handle this. We did before. I’ve even hosted the show on my own once before, a long time ago.  I’ve got notes and stuff happens. We’ll get through it.

This was what my thoughts flashing through my mind were like. The manic thoughts came on strong as I started the show. I didn’t see anyone on the switchboard calling in, not a soul

No Haley.

No guest.

No one.

The lump in my thought now got bigger. My thought? Now if that isn’t a Freudian slip, then there never was one. I meant to type throat. (you’ll see why later that this is significant)

Despite the inflammation in my throat and I can see today, my thoughts, I kept talking. I truly have no idea what I said. I was thinking ahead. What was I going to do if no one came on? The panic was setting in.

Then all of a sudden I looked down at the computer screen and there was Donna’s number showing up.. I frantically clicked the button…”Donna!….Donna!” ….silence…..keep talking Siobhan, I heard a voice deep inside say…

“Oh there’s our guest, Byron Katie… okay still breathing… helloooooo.. whew there’s Katie as everyone calls her and oh Donna, thank goodness.. her flight has been delayed, they’re letting her off the plane…okay the show will go on.”

It certainly didn’t go off like that. Yes, Katie was on the show, yes Donna was on the show and then Donna was gone. The plane took off. She said hello and she loves Katie and a few words…then nothingness.

There was still no Haley. I felt there was deafening silence but I’ve since listened to the show and I kept talking. Katie talked, I talked. Katie talked. I talked.

As we talked, I began to feel a heat deep within myself. It was a feeling I do not believe I have ever felt in my lifetime. It was like someone had wrapped my heart in a warm blanket. I began to breathe. I began to calm down, I began to listen to Katie, I began to hear Katie. I began to hear myself. Really hear myself. We shared with each other, with the callers, with the audience.

My great friend Kim, has since written to say she felt I was doing the Work of Byron Katie as we did the show. I agree. I was working it all out in my mind.

I met a good friend, Kia the day after the show and Kia had actually called in, as she is a huge fan of Katie’s and the moment I saw Kia, I said… I know what it was like now for the disciples to have met Jesus. I’m not saying Byron Katie is the second coming of Christ as that’s not my business, that’s God’s business, however I met on that show, a woman who has the tools for each of us to end our suffering, for the world to end war and for all of us to experience great joy. Sound familiar? I’m not here to run a commentary on religion, Jesus or God. That’s not my business. I am here to share with you what I experienced and maybe, just maybe you will experience as well, something so profound, so life changing that you too walk around with a silly grin on your face at the local grocery store feeling like you have a surprise for everyone in the world.

Byron Katie, was unknown to me a month or so ago. I had determined recently that I must follow my intuition. My intuition brought me to Katie’s website and without out a thought, I pushed the send button as friend of the show and mentor. Paul Martinelli had once told us to do, and invited her on the show.

As she said on the show, “when you filled out a request asking me to be on this show I just couldn’t jump at it quickly enough, I love what you are doing. I couldn’t say yes quickly enough. My motives are your motives.”

WOW! Little did I know that Katie’s message would radically shift my world.

She is not a talking head, telling me to wish my way to success and happiness. She has ground breaking tools to shift our attitudes.

They work. They are part of what she refers to as The Work.

The Work is free for everyone around this world and I encourage you to go do the work. At first I was resistant. I was angry. I closed her book and walked away from it. I came back the next day and started writing…I wrote, my penmanship got bigger, messier, harder to read…I was angry about the situation I had chosen to write about. I was doing her Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet.

The process of inquiry as she puts it, is:

Judge your neighbor,

Write it down,

Ask 4 questions,

Turnaround 

(This is free at http://www.thework.com)

I’ll use the situation with the show to provide an example of how this tool ends your suffering and pain.

1.   Judge Your Neighbor.

My neighbor in the case of the show would be Donna. My thoughts about her not being on the show would have gone something like this.

How could she do this to me?

What was she thinking booking a flight home on show day?

She doesn’t care about the show.

She doesn’t care about me.

I’m so upset with her.

I’m angry she didn’t do the show.

There shouldn’t have been a storm in Chicago.

2.   Write it Down.

Okay, you get the concept of the exercise. You actually judge your neighbor. You write down your thoughts as they flow and boy do they flow. Writing them down is important and you can find out why on Byron Katie’s website.

3.   Ask 4 Questions.

I’ll ask the first 2 questions for just one of the statements I wrote down for space and time constraints but you answer the 4 questions for each statement you wrote.

I’m angry she didn’t do the show.

Question 1: Is that true?  (yes or no answer)

Yes

 (yes, I was upset and angry)

Question 2: Can I know it is absolutely true?  (yes or no answer)

No

(No, I can’t know that she absolutely didn’t do the show because she planned it that way or wanted to see me fall on my face or…any number of reasons I can come up with)

I hoping you see the process here. It may not be as clear as mud here but it’s clear as stink at  thework.com  and there are even facilitators, you can call for free and work through this process with. I encourage you to do it.

There are 2 more questions that are part of this inquiry. However, although I have done them, I want to go straight to turnaround again for space and time constraints.

The turnaround has me look at myself. Turn the statement, I’m angry she didn’t do the show to I’m angry I didn’t do the show.

Aha!

I’m angry I didn’t, I can’t do the show. I have no confidence to do the show on my own. I’m no good at hosting a show.

You see where this is going. My thoughts of anger were actually thoughts of anger towards myself. I was afraid to host the show on my own because my confidence to do that is, was, the size of an ant.

This realization is very freeing. It isn’t Donna who made me feel the way I was feeling. It was myself.

The anger I felt for her not being able to do the show was simply a reflection of the anger I have about my ability to not do the show. I’ve used Donna as a crutch. As long as she’s on the show I don’t have to step up. I don’t have to face my fear of hosting a show. I don’t have to do much on air, I can stay safe doing the producing work behind the scenes. I can do what I am confident I can do. Book the guests, do the research, make friends.  I don’t have to step up and talk. I don’t have to show the world my fear, my nervousness.

The situation was what it was. My negative, fearful thoughts stood in my way of pure enjoyment of talking with a wonderful woman. I see that now. I know that now. The concept of questioning my thoughts has shifted things for me dramatically. Question the negative thoughts that crop up. Write them down, turn them around and you will find freedom.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts to write down and I will. I am confident that my life has just turned a corner and what’s around that corner is my version of heaven.

I love you Donna for who you are and for not being on the show last Wednesday. Thank you for being my catalyst to this revelation. I’m excited for the next show and the next one and the one after that. It is an amazing, joyful ride.

CLICK TO HEAR THE SHOW

Stand Your Ground

“Oh man that was tough, but I did it”. This past week, I said something to that effect, as I reached the top of what seemed like a never-ending hill in Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. 

It is my favorite hiking trail I’ve challenged myself to so far. It’s not a walk in the park. You need to be sure-footed, and definitely paying attention to where you step. Look up to daydream, and a twisted ankle may be the image you find yourself staring at as the rescuers pull you out of this canyon.

As I practice the art of self-awareness, it seems more and more stuff crops up, that throw me off my path. Now I’m tuned into what is going on in my mind, in my heart, in my gut, it seems issues or let’s call them considerations show up more often. I am attempting to no longer go blindly through life. Don’t get me wrong, there are many days I find myself hiding behind those figurative dark glasses, afraid to peek out for fear of being seen for who I am and what I think and feel. It’s a process, this practice of self awareness, and I highly encourage it. Courage is the tool you need to pack with you for as sure as you seek self awareness, you will discover many things about you that set you downhill into a crevice of self pity, self doubt and self loathing. You must have the courage to see these things clearly and at times the truth cuts deep. Yet, it is only with an open wound that one can witness the healing process.

I’ll call these things that crop up, trip over, run into, considerations because they make you consider their impact on your life. They make you consider new avenues to turn down. They make you consider if what it is you are thinking and doing right now is a result of following your gut or following the crowd? Is it ego driven or passion driven? Does it help you or hinder you? Is it a result of past issues from your family of origin? This list is probably endless.

It was on this hike that I found myself face to face with some considerations. The catalyst, was a woman. I was on the path heading up a somewhat steep grade. Billy-goating as I like to refer to it as. Yet, this is where I lost my footing. I ran smack dab into her steadfastness, which meant there was not a chance on this green earth she would give way for me so I could pass.

That’s right, she was in my way, on my side of the path. There’s etiquette when hiking and like driving on the right hand side of the road, you walk on the right-hand side of the path and when someone is coming up hill you move over to let them keep moving.

Well for whatever reason, bad day or bad manners or simply unaware, she stood her ground. I was almost right in her face expecting she’d move over when she said, “excuse me” in a you’re in my way tone, and in an instant I shifted over and gave way.

I actually recorded my emotions as I reached the top of the hill and headed for the car to lick my bruised feelings.  I got upset with myself as I realized I give way often. Some of you may know what I’m talking about. Some may not. Take for example, you’re walking on a busy sidewalk or in a crowded mall and people just don’t budge and it’s you that has to move over or go around them. My question is why do we do that?

It’s been a few days since this incident so I’ve had time to mull it around. The conclusion I’ve come to is that first, I must be grateful for people like her because if she had not blocked my path I wouldn’t have taken one iota of time to look at myself, try and understand what was going on in me. Why did a small thing like bad hiking etiquette upset me so much? I know that by facing this and trying to figure it out I”ll be in a better position mentally and spiritually for having thought about it and understanding why it happened, and how I would handle it next time or what I would do to create within me a way of being where someone would move out of my way.

Back to why we give way? Is it sheer politeness? How our parents were or how we were taught? Are we mimicking what other people around us do? Or is it a deeper reason, one that goes way back to our youth? Is it that we need so badly for people to like us? Do we give ourselves to their control simply because we want to be liked or to be lead? Are we looking for that way of being where we don’t have to make decisions, and that we don’t have to get into fights, or disagreements so we give away our power. Or maybe we’re sabotaging ourselves for fear of failure, being seen as inconsequential, as missing a few brain cells because if we stood up and said “hey, no, you move over buddy”, then we’d have to walk into unfamiliar territory. Territory that means we have to own the consequences, which may in some cases mean harsh words thrown our way or a strong left hook.

There’s probably a book beginning here so I’ll end it with, what do you think? Why do we give way? I have a feeling it’s different for each of us.

One last thought – take up the practice of self-awareness and begin to get out of your own way! It eventually makes for a more pleasant walk through life as you work on and then leave issues that crop up, in your dust.

 

Bunt Out

“Hang-up on that nasty woman”. Yes, sadly that comment was about me. It came flying out of left field. It was as if the left-fielder threw a curve ball as I was just walking up to the plate. Whoa, where did that come from? After shaking that hit off , I took a moment to think about what had just happened.

There are times no matter how diplomatic you feel you are being, the person on the receiving end doesn’t see it that way. I’ve written about this type of thing in previous blogs. It’s like we’re talking two different languages. As always, I see things like this as part of my life learning curve. What’s very interesting is that the more aware I become the more lessons I learn. Without blinders on, I see things on the field of life, much more clearly today than I did just a year ago even. It’s a supremely cool place. Imagine that. Being able to see life under a new light. Pretty amazing. I had no idea that I could. I had no idea I wasn’t previously aware.

I’m learning the universe seems to give you things designed to teach so that you gain wisdom, knowledge and in this case grace under pressure (and material for my blog), among a multitude of other skills. I may ever be the President of the World, like former US President, Bill Clinton, is currently being described as, by Chris Matthews on MSNBC for his peace-making skills, but I do know that there is no reason to take it on the chin when someone calls you nasty or let it take the spin out of your life. We have differences but so be it. That is life.

If we were all automatons how fun would that be? Learning about the differences between people is all part of becoming more aware of your thoughts, the sometimes useless or uncalled for comments that leave your lips and how you react to other people and what they say or do. To fly off the handle and call someone a name means you have lost control and the ironic thing is that control of your life and others is what you so desire to have, but you may not actually know it. I look back at times when I pitched barbs at others and my aim was pretty much on target so I have been known to do some emotional damage yet what I am seeing now is that the damage was more to me than my intended target.

To add an entertaining angle, I looked up the meaning of nasty as I was wondering just what did she mean. I doubt she meant I was filthy and foul-smelling because last time I looked phone conversations don’t allow for dial-a-smell. Another meaning goes to being obscene and I know I didn’t need a censor for my mouth during this conversation. Another option would be insultingly mean and spiteful. No, if I was she would have just been a wet spot on her carpet rolled into a fetal position, so no it wasn’t that. She must have meant difficult to deal with as what I said was that what she was speaking to me about was in fact none of her business. Well, it wasn’t. I had just spent 45 minutes in a negotiation and the party involved and I had come to an agreeable decision and were moving on. I wasn’t prepared to do a doubleheader.

She had no part of the dealings and to keep the baseball analogies going, was sitting in the bleachers and needed to ‘bunt’ out, so when she began on her tirade I was not going to discuss with her something that was clearly not her concern. It’s like the baseball coach running up to the fans and asking them what the next play is. Not going to happen. I know I said it in a manner that did not include cursing or other fiery wording. I simply said, that the issue had been dealt with and it is not something you and I need to speak about.  I was setting a boundary. Hell broke loose. People really have to take a pill and relax before flying off the handle or wielding a bat. Take a breath, really hear what the person just said and  if it isn’t any of your concern back off and quickly. Bow out of the conversation with grace.

Why do we have to add our two cents? Why do we have to step up to bat when no one has called you up to the plate? I’ll leave you to consider these questions for yourself. Me? I’m off to catch more awareness so I can play the game of life…my life, no one else’s.

Living Louisiana – Gratitude

I have many people to thank for their kindness, generosity or simply their smile during my time in Louisiana. I may not acknowledge them all here but know if you came into my world these past two weeks you made an impact on my life and for that I am grateful. Specifically I’d like to thank:

Donna M. Butler for opening her home and sharing her family and friends with me and for calling me big head. We’ve shifted to a new level. Get ready for the ride of your life.

Ivy Butler for being my walking partner and unexpected life coach and for great tasting breakfasts. If you want a coach call Ivy now, don’t leave it another moment.

Ariane, beautiful Ariane, for sharing her room and all that she does to keep her family’s home tidy and the members fed. Someone needs to get her a flat iron and roller for her birthday.

Ellie, Michael and Savannah for being great kids and making me smile everyday. Always be detectives and find solutions to your problems.

Arielle for entertainment while watching The Bad Girls Club and Housewive’s of Beverly Hills.

Haley Patterson for flying in pregnant to co-host with us, and her boys who stayed at home.

T.A, Zarrius & Mikeayla for great hugs.

Tristan for being such an adorable little boy and making motherhood look so inviting with your happy, content attitude.

Nina for pinch-hitting on the show and for sharing her incredible talent. Also for her infectious cackle.

Pat and her family for making me feel at home and for delicious Louisiana cooking.

Jim Colbert for believing in TBWC and bringing in the crew to film our first shows and broadcasting his radio show live from there.

The Joan for a great cut and color, what could be very fun opportunity, and stunning earrings and a bracelet that rock!

Mikeayla Butler for dropping by to say hi. Stay longer next time girl.

The sponsors of our Attitude Shifting event who sent books, CD’s & food.

All the women who came and took part in the event including, Michelle for that very cool thing you did. Jacque and Janine for sharing sage advice.

Cynthia for a gorgeous silver ring which I will cherish as I do our long time friendship.

Donna’s mum for the coffee pot and being a generous when we were up against it.

Anne and her Mum for a great mani/pedi and THE treat.

To Shirnell and Kenyatta for their style. Butterfly rings and all.

The gang at Chili’s for taking good care of us.

And to my significant other, John, for surviving while I was away, his undying support of my dreams, and not losing his only suit that wasn’t moth-eaten in our old house.

Living Louisiana – Leaving Louisiana

“Have a nice flight ma’am”, the gentleman at the ticket counter at Baton Rouge airport said as I was collecting my carry on bags and heading off to the gate for boarding. Today, I left Louisiana. (See my previous entries titled Living Louisiana, for the entire story, if you missed them.)

As I sat waiting for the announcement to board I noticed two billboards in the airport lounge. The first one read – southern hospitality, of which there was much during my time here. Then next to it, was one that stated:

New View, Same Vision

A coincidence? I think not. It has been a new view traveling to the south yet our (meaning my partners and I) vision for The Broke Wives Club remains the same. The goal? To create the world’s largest tow chain of women inspiring, coaching, sharing with, and supporting one another on their journey from broke to stoked and beyond through developing our awareness of who we are, what we truly want and the thoughts, feelings and paradigms that hold us back from being all we can be.

These past 17 or 18 months creating this movement of women who are shifting their attitudes and revving up their lives from broke to stoked, by shifting their thoughts, patterns and beliefs that have limited their growth as purpose-driven beings, has definitely been attitude shifting for me as well, yet it took this weekend for the realization to settle in that I am already stoked. My enthusiasm for life and to create a life I have always dreamed of has always been there. The thin veil around it just needed to be lifted. Who I am, who I am to be, has always been available to me, I just needed to open my eyes and let the fog of pessimism, the feelings of deprivation and lack, and the limiting beliefs and unflattering behaviors that no longer serve me as a strong, confident, vital, successful, loving, inspiring woman fade.

As with everything and according to our friend and titanium link of The Broke Wives Club, Dr. Alex Ledgister, practice makes permanent not perfect. This permanency comes through the practice of self-awareness. Becoming conscious of our thoughts, behaviors, patterns and beliefs that often rule our existence is paramount to shifting from a life of limitations and self-doubt and to one of abundance and generosity without expectation.

We have tools available to us to shift anything we set our minds to. One participant of this weekend’s Attitude Shifting event was sharing with me that she knew she talked too much and that her motor mouth had curtailed the number of friends she has. She shared with me that friends rarely call her to go for a quick coffee. She is always the one instigating the get together. This obviously made her feel sad and frustrated. By becoming aware that she talks more than necessary is her first step to shifting her social life from broke to stoked. Acknowledgment of these types of things is key to making a positive difference in your life.

This is not a difficult process if you are willing to look deeper into your life and the role you play in your lack of contentment. To start, she acknowledged she talked too much and then she figured out she did that because like most everyone she likes to talk about herself. It’s what she knows and in that knowing comes comfort. Talking may be her way of covering up nervousness in a crowd or a need for attention. It could be any number of reasons but the sheer act she knows she does it, is tremendous.

Her exercise to take home with her is to simply be aware that she is prattling on and stop herself, take a breath or pause allowing the other person or people in the conversation to respond. Take time to listen, avoid interrupting, and edit out the peripheral chatter that just takes up time. You may find yourself involved in more meaningful conversation with this easy fix. This simple practice may make all the difference in the world for her and her relationships with other people.

Practice makes permanent so get out on the field of life and play the game with heart, enthusiasm, make smart plays by being aware of the entire field ahead of you, and focus on the goal. When you do this you win.

Tomorrow I will close this Living Louisiana series writing about gratitude, another vital aspect of shifting gears from broke to stoked and beyond.