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What exactly is a “freak-out”?
Why do we have them?
How can you benefit from one?

The first week back at work provided me with an opportunity to really give some thought to the above questions. Considering that we are all being affected by the recession and learning that more bad news may be on the way (at least in Fla.), it’s not too hard these days to personally experience a “freak-out” or help another person through one.

Beginning a “new year” brings with it many emotions. Getting back to work I observed some individuals ready to spring into new opportunities, others a bit tentative about what to do and where to start, and then a select few in “freak out” mode.

In this case, my definition of “freak out” is not only imagining the worst case scenario, but feeling it deeply and letting those emotions affect your day, your week, your month, and your future. Many times, it also can dramatically change the energy of those on your team, putting them in reactive mode instead of proactive mode.

So I gave some thought to what brings about this kind of reaction in people, one that can take someone off track and lose momentum. One reason is very obvious–FEAR. Fear of failure and fear of the unknown. The second reason that rings true for me is JUDGEMENT. Judging anything as good or bad automatically reduces the important activity of reasoning. The minute we judge something one way or another we leave no room for arguments otherwise; we have created a paradigm. In many cases we also make quick decisions which can be detrimental later. Worst for me, though, is not allowing for the opportunity of success. Success does not come overnight, it comes from sustained, thoughtful and energetic work.

Preventing one may not be as hard as it seems. The first step I’d like to propose to you is to learn how not to judge. This is hard at first, but it gets easier with practice. You can say to yourself, “This outcome is not good or bad, it just is.” Then, take the time to evaluate what opportunity you can take from this outcome. There is always an opportunity! I bet if you took the time to evaluate a past “freak-out” you would probably tell me what the opportunity was or could have been (if you allowed it).

The second step I’d like for you to consider is to be in the moment with the situation and with your emotions. Acknowledge them, name them, and talk to them (you may want to close your office door!). You can tell them to take a deep breath and calm down. You can then tell them to find the silver lining.

Finally, you can evaluate past situations that turned out just the way you wanted them to, identify the reasons why they were successful in your eyes, then take those same tactics and apply them to the current situation.

In following these three simple steps you will attack the onset of the “freak-out” and you will be in a proactive state of mind. Others can only benefit from your “state” and join you for the joy ride.

So, what if you are not able to avoid a “freak-out”? Pat yourself on the back for being human. We all have them. Again, if I follow my own advice, I will forgive myself for reacting this way, and I will use it as an opportunity to battle my fear head on and strengthen my intent for positive, proactive action. Some times we have to fall to stand up taller. 🙂

Remember, the New Year has barely fallen upon us. Have your “freak-out”, learn from it, get over it, and move forward with vigor and a deep intention to enjoy each day to the fullest.

Monique

Just BE!

December 16, 2008

It’s the final countdown to the holidays. It’s a time to be joyful, grateful, spend quality time with your relatives, and JUST BE.

Just BE??? Huh?? That sounds out of place, doesn’t it? I bet for a moment, some of you read “just be” and sighed because it felt so nice to imagine JUST BEING! Regardless of how special and beautiful of a time the holidays are, most people are a little stressed during these times. In fact, some just feed off of that stress, or compete with others to see who is the most stressed. Silly, isn’t it?

I have to admit that I still have not bought presents for the kids’ teachers, taken a family photo, and purchased holiday cards (they are coming, I promise!!). And, to make matters worst, I’m already thinking of ways to avoid certain conversations during our family get togethers or solve those family crisis’ that may come about. Sound familiar? My heart is racing right now as I type this. Yes, both my Superwoman and conflict avoider gremlins are beginning to show.

What is preventing you from JUST BEING this holiday season? The tight economy may offer many of us a valid excuse to cut back a bit, but do we really need any excuses? Sometimes we feel like we need permission to not be so perfect and to not fulfill our own and everyone else’s expectations of us. Sometimes our ego (the part of us that needs to be this or that, or must do this or that) requires permission to relax, not get everything done, and JUST BE.

This past week I gave one my clients permission to do just this…BE. I was sensing she really needed for someone to give her that permission and help her imagine what it would feel like to let it all go and take care of herself. The amount of time you need is up to you. So, if you happen to be in this predicament, let me help you as well. I give you permission to JUST BE!!! Take as much time as you need to get back to a place where you are truly ready to shift into high gear again. It is a place where we have no “needs”, “shoulds”, or “musts”, but “WANTS.” Remember, it’s not the speed by which we arrive that’s valuable, but the quality and source of the effort.

So, during the next few weeks I hope you will give some thought to things that can wait a day or two—or an hour or two—to get done so that you’re putting your heart and soul into these important activities that bring joy to so many in your life and to you!

To my friends and relatives who may be reading this…you will most likely get your “Happy New Year” cards after January 1st, but I promise they will contain all of my love and enthusiasm. “-)

Here’s wishing you all the space to JUST BE! Enjoy.

Monique

A New Dance

November 19, 2008

Welcome to my blog…Being En Pointe!

This is a “new dance” for me, and quite an exciting one. It’s exciting because when you take the time to understand who you are at your core and live the life you’ve been dreaming of, it’s quite exhilarating!

So, let me explain this a bit more. Over the last six months or so, I have taken the time to go “within” and examine my life and my “who”…those things about me that are inherent and that truly define my “I AM.” I believe that life calls for this type of examination during certain times in our lives. Although I feel we should always be in a state of curiosity about what we think and do, and why we think and do these things, CHANGE–in any form–will almost push you to do this important work.

My CHANGE was really an inner calling to find more purpose in my life—to begin doing more things that are meaningful to me and keep me engaged and happy. In doing the work it became very clear to me that creating deep relationships with people, learning more about their “I AM”, and helping them create more passion and success in their lives is something that I thrive for. These are things that I do for fun in my daily life, sprinkling in a few minutes here and there. So, I asked myself—“Why not do it more often and more consciously?”

What I know for sure, as Oprah loves to answer for herself each month, is that if you don’t jump when you are most fearful, then the change you desire will never come. So, I have leapt! In fact, I have begun a new dance…one that will keep me “En Pointe” as my days in dancing did, and one that will help me keep others “En Pointe” in their lives.

I hope you will join me weekly as I share my insights on the journey of self discovery and living a more purposeful life.

Let’s Dance!
Monique