Stay tuned to hear about our new venture: The Listening Room
Forgiveness is about choice.
You can be the victim of your story or you can create your own.
You can define your life by how you’ve been hurt, let yourself be swallowed up by your own bitterness & sense of injustice or or you can choose to enjoy the present
You can pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience or
You can lessen the grip of negativity on you, move on and focus on other positive parts of your life by choosing forgiveness.
compliments of Steve Ventura of “Lead Right”
Have you spent years perceiving yourself that you ARE your work, your relationships, your roles? Many women have. In times of transition— when our job no longer defines us because we retire or choose less-lucrative but more satisfying work, or, when our parenting role changes when our last child leaves home—it’s no wonder we may get confused or depressed. Especially during such times when our outer lives have shifted that it’s wise to shift our personal lenses of how we see and express ourselves.
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are. Cicero
Seeing yourself through your personality styles is one way to identify and honor core components of who you are. We suggest that you place yourself along an opposite-poled continuum for each of these five-categories*. Shifting lenses isn’t about changing yourself but rather recognizing and embracing that which you see.
Equality vs. Hierarchy
Equality: You believe, let’s say men and women, should be treated the same. While you may follow the rules, you allow for exceptions and may bend them. You challenge people in power and are self-directed.
Hierarchy: You expect men and women to behave and be treated differently. You prefer taking direction from those in power and respect rather than challenge their opinions because of their position.
Think: In your family or workplace are there distinct roles? Are men and women treated equally? Do you all know who is ‘boss’?
Direct vs. Indirect Communication (verbal, nonverbal, and written)
Direct communication: You feel comfortable openly confronting issues or challenges and do so straightforwardly. You engage in conflict when necessary and state things clearly, not leaving much open to interpretations.
Indirect: You focus your communication more on how it will be received over the integrity of your message. You avoid conflict if at all possible, discreetly avoiding difficult topics and contentious issues.
Think: Do you say your piece with family members, co-workers or friends? Do you highly regard everyone’s feelings before speaking? Do your words move right to your point or meander with hopes you’ll get to say what you really feel?
Individual vs. Group Initiative
Individual: You make your decisions individually and are a nonconformist when moving in and out of groups as needed or desired.
Group: You are a team player and like to act cooperatively and establish group goals. You make loyalty to friends a high priority and determine your identity though group affiliation, putting the team before your individual self. You conform to social norms and keep your group memberships for life.
Think: Do you value each person with unique contributions to make? Do you believe in socialized medicine, nationally funded education? How do you interact with total strangers on the street?
Task vs. Relationship Oriented
Task: You move straight to business and keep most relationships with co-workers impersonal and superficial. You may sacrifice leisure time and time with family in favor of work and allow it to overlap with personal time.
Relationship: You establish a comfortable relationship and sense of mutual trust before getting down to business. You have personal relationships with working subordinates, often getting to know them in depth.
Think: Is your style “business before pleasure” or “pleasure before business”? Do you define people based on what they do or who they are? Do you feel for a vacation to be successful you need to see all the sites, visit all the museums?
Risk vs. Caution
Risk: You embrace change in your life. You don’t worry too much whether ‘things’ are going to work out. You are willing to plunge into new ventures.
Caution: You do all that you can to eliminate uncertainty and ambiguity. You wait until you absolutely need to make a move and do so, only after careful planning.
Think: Is your style of planning and decision making ‘Ready, Aim, Fire’? Or are you more comfortable with ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’? Where do you spend more of your time—planning a project or jumping to implement it?
Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back,
especially the ones in your own head. Meryl Streep
There is no right or one way of being. Shifting lenses is about seeing yourself from different perspectives. Being ‘you’ but with a fresh self-awareness of the other aspects of your person that you may not have called on before. Today is always the day to embrace both the ‘old’ and be open to the ‘new’ you—the whole package for today’s relationships and roles and creations.
Mucha, Rochelle T. Aesthetic Intelligence: Reclaim the Power of Your Senses. S.l.: S.n., 2009.
*Peterson, Brooks. Cultural Intelligences. Boston: Intercultural Press, A Nicholas Brealey Publishing Company. 2004.
UnPacking for This Journey
Looking at what you carry
We invite you to join us in SWITransitions. We believe that a transition is like a journey in that it’s an on-going process that requires movement, even when we’re not quite sure where we’re going to wind up. As with journeys, what we carry often determines the quality of the experience. So we’re starting our Transition journey with Unpacking.
Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self
will require not just small adjustments in your way of living
and thinking, but a full-on metamorphosis.
Martha Beck, O Magazine, Growing Wings, January 2004
Are you carrying ‘bags’ of associations that no longer serve you? Perceptions and behaviors that were possibly thought to be essential in getting you where you are, but are no longer helping you get where you want to be? Are you moving through your transitions with patterns and ideas from “the morning of life”?
We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program
of life’s morning—for what was great in the morning will be
little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at
evening have become a lie.
Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung
Why do people say that letting go of old patterns and outdated ideas is so difficult? One reason is that it is often threatening to lose the threads woven in our old lives through which we have come to know ourselves. We may still need to hold on to the person we recognize as ‘me’ lest we lose ourselves or become unrecognizable.
Intellectually we understand that separating from the past can be liberating, maybe even energizing. Nonetheless, we need to negotiate particulars to cross to the “unknown,” that which separates the old from the new. So before we can fully move forward, we must look at what we’ve accumulated and ask ourselves on the onset of our transition: ‘Are the ‘bags’ that we carry today—the responsibilities, the roles, the self images and relationships—still the right ones for us as we disembark on this journey?’
To answer, let’s make a commitment and take a conscious look at what we are carrying and why. Do our possessions, responsibilities and relationships still help us move forward? Or, or do they drag us down? Are we taking care of “our stuff” instead of taking care of ourselves? And, what determines if the weight of it all is worthwhile and relevant?
In theory, we are all free to choose what goes and what stays. But, in reality, how many of us do?
Martha Beck says we all have our own Everyday Committee, people in our lives who we have somehow empowered to tell us how to be, what to believe, and what we ought to do. Their voices are blaming and negative. They tell us we’re not good enough, not safe. Many of us listen to and adhere to what our Everyday Committee whispers in our unconscious ear: socialize only with certain kinds of people because if you don’t….;you should live in a particular neighborhood because….; you were never really good at anything so….; you’re being selfish if you….; you need to buy that ___ and that’ll make you happy. If we are poised to please our Everyday Committee, we will always be listening to others and they have no real interest in you or your happiness.
Looking and finding what is within us and being guided by it is what makes our lives truly ours. Operating from others’ beliefs and values is what makes our ‘bags’ heavy and burdensome. If you’re embarking on a new adventure or transition, make it truly your transition, your journey—the only things in your ‘bag’ will be what you put in there. So it’s time to disband some or all of your Everyday Committee members and at the same time, unpack all their shoulds and agendas. It’s also time to unpack obligations and associations that you have packed into your life if they no longer fit.
Unpacking is the first step! It may require breaking old habits and patterns and establishing new ones over time. Some may take quite a long time—take as long as you need. When you’re ready, begin to choose who you want to be on your new Everyday Committee. Choose from people who inspire you—they may be persons living or not, fictional or real. Choose from people who love you and from whom you gain strength and courage to do what you want to do. Choose carefully, start with one person and build a committee whose positive, caring guidance is to help you live in integrity with your values and dreams. It is also time to listen to your own inner voice and connect to your own personal power—a power that lies within you and works through you and for you. Working together, you and your Committee will consider what matters most in your life and how to attain it, with courage and determination, and often, love and forgiveness.
At SWITransition Kit and Amalia introduce you to ways to tap into your power and wisdom as you unpack and eventually repack your bags. SWITransitions offers ways to have you be open to the possibility of seeing things differently. And at this initial unpacking stage, reflect on how much you want to carry forward—knowing that the weight and contents of your bags will ultimately determine the quality of your journey.