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Cat Power – Love and Communication

16 Sep

Paloma Faith – Upside Down

28 Jul

Conflict Resolution…

24 May

Conflict Resolution

I have been wanting to write an article about this for some time. Conflicts can easily occur throughout our lives under various guises. My theory is that there are two different styles of conflict resolutions that can generally occur – which then branch out into sub-categories. 9 times out of 10 we seek to resolve our conflicts as soon as possible. In an effort to do so, we try to come up with ways that will settle a dispute amicably..therefore, conflict resolution can either be Constructive or Destructive.

Destructive Style – hinders or inhibits the conflict resolution process:

* Confrontational (win or lose, blaming)
* Sabotage (focus on weak points, shaming)
* Manipulation (blackmail, withdrawal)
* Giving in (passive, submissive)
* Avoidance (denial, withdrawal)

Constructive Style – trying to minimize the issues and avoiding the difficulties in resolving the problems:

* Compromise (meet halfway, understanding)
* Accommodate (open discussion, communication without confrontation)
* Partnership (solutions, forgiveness, honesty)

When trying to resolve conflicts, try to clarify your goals, as you will probably share many of the same goals despite your differences. Avoid bargaining, as this may lead to each party taking a rigid position which in turn can flare tempers.

When resolving conflicts, remember that their causes may run deep. Sweeping issues under the carpet isn’t going to work in the long term, as old baggage will be brought up each time an argument starts. Try to fully resolve each issue as it comes along. You may find the following method useful:

1. Ask the other person for their feelings. Your conflict probably isn’t about the issue that caused it to start in the first place. Don’t forget that your goal is sorting out the problem, not winning an argument! Sometimes losing can be winning too.

2. Ask the other person to define the problem. Stick to solving one problem at a time, that way you can understand each problem as the other person sees it.

3. Express your own feelings. Be careful to word them carefully, for example use phrases such as “I feel…” rather than “I think you…”

4. Define the problem as you see it. As your feelings come out, the solution may become clearer. Remember that by you listening to the other person; you will have set the tone for them to listen to you.

5. Create multiple solutions. Don’t go back to your original agenda. Aim to find alternative or creative solutions that reduce emotions and tension.

6. Rate the possible solutions. Remember that no one can force an unacceptable solution on the other.

7. Combine and create a mutually acceptable solution. Create something acceptable to both parties, if this doesn’t work – go back to step 1 and ensure both parties are being totally honest.

8. Be sure both parties agree to work towards resolving the issue.

Troubleshooting For Common Problems in Communication

Control or Power Issues: Effective communication cannot take place if one person has “control” over the other or where there is not mutual respect and equality of relationship. To stay in control leads to relational isolation as the underdog reacts in anger at being manipulated or belittled. So why go there? just care to differ. Its easier on both parties.

: Do not bring in a third party to avoid direct confrontation. If you have a problem with someone, go directly to that person where possible.

How to deal with our emotions

7 Feb

Its been quite a while since I wrote an article about relationships or anything in general etc. Instead this time, I want to write a more generalised piece if I may. This is about how we can deal with our emotions that can arise on a daily basis and what strategies we can use to feel better sometimes as the case may be. As you know some days are better then others etc. So then, what sort of things arise when our emotions kick in? Well first of all – it depends on the circumstances of the situation but everything that we as humans feel can be sourced back to our heads and how we deal with the perception of issues over time.

Our Mind Is the Source of Happiness and Suffering

Some of what I am going to say can closely relate to meditation and teaching ideas that are often seen and filtered out through Buddhism so apologies if what I say overlaps with some of their thinking and or teachings. So, how can we work with emotions effectively? – how can we subdue disturbing emotions and enhance positive ones??

1. Each of us wants to be happy and to avoid suffering.

From a Buddhist viewpoint, they believe that our mind – specifically its attitudes, views, and emotions – are the primary factors contributing to our experience of happiness and pain.

This view flies in the face of our usual perception of things. For example, most of us instinctively feel that happiness is “out there” to be had in an external person, place, or object. Its ours for the making so to speak. We think, “If I only lived in this house…had this career…married that person…moved to that place…bought this car, I’d be happy.” We are taught to be good consumers – not just of possessions, but of people, ideas, spirituality, and everything else as well – in our search and quest for happiness. However, no matter what we have or how much we have, we are perpetually dissatisfied. How come?

Similarly, we feel that our problems have been thrust upon us from outside forces. “I have difficulties with family, my boss might be inconsistent, my children don’t listen to me, the government is corrupt, others are selfish.” And this list can go on and on…you get the point… its all circumstantial.

Thus we devise wonderful advice for others to follow and believe that if they only did what we suggested, not only would our problems cease, but also the world would be a better place. Its true that we often need this encouragement and solution at the best of times as when all of us have no hope left in our souls and hearts, people perish…its only a matter of time..

Unfortunately, when we tell other people how they should change so that we can be happy, they don’t appreciate our sagious advice and instead tell us to mind our own business! or to get lost etc.. well some do and some don’t…it depends on the person’s mood and outlook at that given moment in time.

This innate world view that happiness and suffering come from external sources leads us to believe that if we could only make others and the world be what we wanted them to be, then we would be happy.

Thus, we endeavour to rearrange the world and the people in it, gathering towards us those we consider happiness-producing and struggling to be free from those we think cause pain. Although we have tried to do this, no one has succeeded in making the external environment exactly what he or she wants it to be. Even in those occasional situations in which we are able to arrange external people and things to be what we want, they don’t remain that way for long. Or, they aren’t as good as we thought they would be and we are left feeling disappointed and often disillusioned. In effect, the supposed path to happiness through external things and people is doomed from the start because no matter how powerful, wealthy, popular, or respected someone is, he or she is unable to control all external conditions.

This supposed path to happiness is also doomed because even if we could control external factors, we still would not be fulfilled and satisfied. Why? Because the source of true happiness lies in our mind and heart, not in possessions, others’ actions, praise, reputation, and so forth. But we must examine this for ourselves and observe our own experiences by taking a momentary step back from any situation we are presented with in order to see what causes happiness and what causes misery. Once we have established this…it is much easier then for us to deal with it effectively.

For example, we have all had the experience of waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Nothing in particular happened YET it might have caused us to be in a bad mood; we simply feel lousy. But, interestingly, just on those days we feel grumpy, we can stumble onto and encounter so many un-cooperative and rude people. I name no names. Just on the day we want to be left alone, some strange person who you may not even know might have a go at you and suddenly descend upon us even when you have said something totally banal and normal! Maybe it is worse then that, maybe the way our spouse smiles appears sarcastic TO YOU, and our colleague’s “Good morning” seems manipulative. Thankfully I can’t say that for myself but am just talking in general here. Even our pet can have an off day too..where you think they no longer seem to love us! but that is just YOUR perception and may not actually be the reality. When our boss remarks on our work, we can either take offense or look at it as enlightened criticism. When our friend reminds us to do something, we can sometimes accuse them of being controlling when in fact their intentions can be well-meaning. When someone turns in front of us on the road, it feels they might be deliberately provoking us when in fact they may have just simply been careless – who knows..

On the other hand, when we are in a good mood, even if our colleague gives us some negative criticism on a project, we can put it in perspective and sometimes do better work as a result. When our professor asks us to re-do a paper because he disagrees with your point of view, we seek to try to understand his/her reasons for putting it down and then similarly make a case to show what you feel they are missing. When a friend tells us that he was offended by our words, we calmly try to explain ourselves and clear up the misunderstanding before it gets ugly!

In essence therefore we could say that:

our interpretations of events and responses to them change according to our mood says something important, doesn’t it?

It indicates that we are not innocent people experiencing an objectively real external world. Rather, our moods, perspectives, and views play a role in our experiences. The environment and the people in it aren’t objective entities that exist from their own side as this or that. Instead, together with them, our mind co-creates our experiences. Thus, if we want to be happy and to avoid suffering, we need to subdue our unrealistic and non-beneficial emotions and perspectives IN ORDER to enhance our positive ones.

Working with our Emotions goes even further then that…lets dig a little deeper here.

As you know our emotions vary so here is list of different emotions and their counterparts – food for thought.

1. Reflection on impermanence and the unpleasant aspect of a person or thing counteracts attachment.

2. Cultivating patience and love opposes anger, and wisdom demolishes ignorance.

3. Thinking about a difficult topic or reflecting that all we know and have comes from others eliminates pride.

4. Rejoicing prevents jealousy.

5. Following the breath diminishes doubt.

6. Contemplating our precious human life dispels depression – think about it!!

7. Meditating on compassion counteracts low self-esteem (this is a Buddha idea)

8. Reflection on Impermanence and Unpleasant Aspects Counteracts Attachment

So having said all that, what happens next:

When our mind is under the influence of attachment, we cling to people, things, or circumstances, thinking that they have the EVENTUAL power to bring us happiness.

However, since these things are transient – their very nature is to change moment by moment – they are not safe objects to rely on for long term happiness.

When we remember that our possessions do not last forever and our money does not go on to the next life with us, then the false expectations we project upon them evaporate, and we are able to cultivate a healthy relationship with them. If we contemplate that we cannot always remain with our friends and relatives, we will appreciate them MUCH more while we are together and be more accepting of our eventual separation.

Example 1
Contemplating the unpleasant aspect of things we are attached to also cuts false expectation and enables us to have a more balanced attitude towards them. For example, when we have a car, we will definitely have car trouble. Therefore, no benefit comes from getting too excited about having a new car, and no great catastrophe has occurred if we can’t get a car.

Example 2
If we have a relationship, we will undoubtedly have relationship problems. When we first fall in love, we believe that the other person will be everything we want. This skewed view sets us up for suffering when we realize that he or she isn’t. In fact, no one can be everything we want because we are not consistent in what we want! This simple process of being more realistic cuts attachment, enabling us to actually have more enjoyment. Its really a balancing act between the the juggler in the circus.

Cultivating Patience and Love Opposes Anger

Having exaggerated certain negative aspects of a person, thing, idea, or place, we become angry and unable to bear it. We want either to harm or defend our territory like an animal gone to war as what we think THEY ARE the element that is causing our unhappiness or we wish to escape from it (fight of flight).

Patience is the ability to bear harm or suffering. With it, our mind is calm, and we have the mental clarity to figure out a reasonable solution to the difficulty. One way to cultivate patience is by seeing the disturbing circumstance as an opportunity to grow as an individual. In this way, instead of focusing on what we don’t like, we look deep inside ourselves and develop our OWN resources, our own identity and talents to be able to deal and cope with it.

Seeing the situation from the others’ perspective also facilitates patience. We ask ourselves, “What are this person’s needs and concerns? How does he/she see this situation?” In addition, we can ask ourselves what our trigger buttons are. Sadly, we all have things that make us tick. Instead of blaming the other person for pushing our buttons, we can INSTEAD work to free ourselves from those buttons and sensitive points so that they cannot be pushed again. Its all too easy to blame the other person when in actual fact, we should be blaming our minds first and foremost for not looking at alternative solutions to the problem to begin with.

Cultivating love – the wish for sentient beings, including ourselves, to have happiness and its causes – prevents as well as counteracts anger.

We may wonder, “Why should we wish those who have harmed us to be happy? Take for example a break-up…where you wish your ex well with his/her life etc…YET you wonder at the same time why you were so nice…I guess its karma. Life is hard enough – its all about survival, they never said it was going to be easy but you are much more mature to wish someone well in the process… let’s wish others to be happy and thus free from whatever internal or external conditions precipitate their negative actions. One day, they might actually understand. Its all up to the individual.

We cannot tell ourselves we must love someone either; rather we must actively cultivate this emotion. For example, sitting quietly, we begin by thinking and then feeling, “May I be well and happy.” We spread this thought and feeling to dear ones, then to strangers, and to people we find disagreeable, threatening, or disgusting, and say again and again to ourselves “May they be well and happy.” Finally, we open our heart and wish happiness and its causes to all living beings everywhere. Why? because without any hope – we all perish over time.

Charlie Bit Me – Re-mix

20 Dec

And also for anyone who will be minding the kids this Christmas..this video is for you 😉 I just love this! B

Four Reasons why a man withdraws in a relationship?

22 Jul

Why does a man withdraw in a relationship?

Here are four possible scenarios:

1. He realizes that though he may like you a
lot — maybe even “love” you — he’s either just
plain not ready for a real relationship, or he
doesn’t feel that you’re his “one.”

2. He’s still “into” you, but the vibe that
you’re putting out towards him is so strong (it may
feel needy, desperate, clingy, controlling,
overwhelming to him…), he’s instinctively
leaning away from you and trying to maintain the
emotional distance he needs in order to feel safe
and comfortable with you.

He may have actually stopped enjoying the time
he’s spending with you and using most of his
energy to protect himself from what he may see as
your expectations, your needs or — and this is a
very powerful way to push a man away — your

***And I don’t mean the FEELING of anger, or you are
letting him know that you feel anger, but the way
you show him your anger.

If the way you handle your strong emotions
always ends up being all about him, and those
emotions get dropped all over him — like a
lecture, a teaching moment, a complaint, an
expression of constant disappointment in the way
he is or the way he behaves, he may simply be
giving up and instinctively (without even knowing
it himself) trying to actually get away from you.

3. He is a toxic man. He’s just playing with
you, whether he knows it or not, or he is simply
incapable of a real relationship.

4. Things have become stalled for you because
the emotional connection isn’t going any deeper.

This means that instead of building intimacy,
you’re sort of staying within each of your own
“comfort levels.”

Things are “nice,” but they’re not thrilling.

He may like you and love you, but he just
hasn’t been pulled over the edge into falling in
love with you.

And so — he’s confused, he doesn’t know what
to do, he’s afraid of leading you on and feeling
guilty, and he’s angry.

He doesn’t know what to do with all the
emotions he feels as the intimacy between you is

And this problem is something you can fix!

You can fix it by working to get into your own
emotions and express them in a way that he will
find totally mesmerizing.

The power of your emotions is an amazing thing.

And it’s the thing we women have all been
taught to ignore!

We’ve been taught to “hide our light under a
barrel,” and hide our emotions — which are
exactly the same thing.

Our emotions ARE our “light.”

We’re taught to act more like a man —
“reasonable” — and what that ends up doing is
completely blocking love, chemistry, and intimacy.

What we think is emotion — like getting angry
with him, feeling hurt — is really just a
defensive reaction to our real honest-to-goodness

And sometimes (in fact most of the time), our
anger and hurt come, not so much from what he’s
done, but from what we expect — and how much
energy and effort we’ve been putting out towards

Solution: Back off, let him come to you…and don’t
get yourself tied up in a knot just because his
behaviour is different towards you…perhaps he
is just in his cave and needs to be there….but
remember even a caveman will get hungry and
come out eventually..even if its just to eat 😉

Have a nice day… 😎 B

What to do when you are obsessed…

29 Jun

I think her video is interesting…especially if you have fallen victim to someone
you really love…I had to post it cos I found it kinda cool… Maybe it might
help a few people out there… who knows… have a good day… 🙂 B

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