Poem by Virginia Satir, Family Psychotherapist

I Am Me

My declaration of self-esteem

I am me
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine
because I alone chose it – I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
whether they be to others or to myself – I own my fantasies,
my dreams, my hopes, my fears – I own all my triumphs and
successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of
me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts – I know
there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other
aspects that I do not know – but as long as I am
friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
and for ways to find out more about me – However I
look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
and felt turned out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
which I discarded – I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of
people and things outside of me – I own me, and
therefore I can engineer me – I am me and

I AM OKAY

Would you be able to fathom in an age of Positive Psychology, that I grew up in a family environment who believed that when you praise a child, the evil ones will steal them or cause misfortune to befall. Mine is not the only family.

Children have names like pig, dog, or demeaning names, as dogs are not cute well-groomed poodles in a culture which eat them for food due to poverty.

Learning to affirm someone is hence, not a familiar trait to most of us. I could not help notice the irony when my Spanish Mentor Coach, was giving me coaching feedback about my lack of acknowledgment of my client, and spending 95% of our time together telling me where I needed to improve. 5% rushing through where I did well, before our 1hr session ended. Thankfully, I’m well trained by my culture to appreciate that I’m paying for her to tell me where I can improve, rather than being affirmed. (My strength is ideed Perspective taking.)

As an educator and coach, parent, we can acknowledge the people in our area of influence. Acknowledging my students in the virtual classroom for stepping out of their comfort zone and asking questions or attempting the answers. Even if the answers are not correct at first attempt, can I acknowledge their effort? Can I acknowledge their willingness to get out of their comfort zone, or even to clarify their learning?

How can I improve on “acknowledging” and “affirming” others? Here is a short list of what to watch out for, in acknowledging your “target”:

🍋 Accomplishment/ Achievement/ Awareness/ Appreciation

🍋Boldness/ Bravery (I’m hearing bravery/courage to try something new)

Commitment (I’m wondering what will you commit to today?)

Determination/ drive/ resolve/ desire (I hear your determination, I can see this is really important to you)

Effort ( Or you can acknolwedge the emotion. I can sense some emotion, I’m wondering what’s happening there)

One last thought is that “whatever you pay attention to, you will encourage more of”. If you want to encourage a positive behavior, expand on that. How true is this belief?

What are your thoughts on “acknowledging” and “affirming”?

How are you acknowledging yourself?

As my mentor coach pointed out, “thank you” – which I do a lot of – is not acknowledging someone.

What are some practices which you try out and would like to share with us in this space?

Remember, sharing is caring.

Sharing this beautiful song – Royalty

Like a brush in the hands of an artist
I am Your masterpiece
A thought before life ever started
You took Your time on me

A friend shared this insight. Does a brush know the intentions of the Master Painter? Sometimes, dark paint is used. Sometimes, empty spaces -silence. Other times, bright paint on the canvas of life.

At times, dabs, blobs to create texture. A brush does not know and cannot comprehend the final painting but trusts completely that the Master Painter will bring about a final picture that is full of glory.

Today, are we willing brushes? As humans, we have choice to use or not use our skills and where to use them.

Do you believe you are a mistake, accident? Or do you believe that your life is co-dependency with a Master Painter who wants to work with you and share the blue print of your life.

Sent to me via whatsapp, author unknown

Love this poem ❤️

Sometimes,
I feel I want to go back in time ⏰

Not to change things, but to feel a couple of things twice..

Sometimes,
I wish I was a Baby 👶 for a while…

Not to be walked in the pram but to see my Mother’s smile

Some times,
I wish I could go back to school 🏫

Not to become a child but to spend more time with those friends, I never met after school..

Sometimes,
I wish I could be back in college…

Not to be a rebel but to really understand what I studied

Sometimes,
I wish I was an Apprentice at my work 🖥

Not to do less work but to recall the joy of the first pay cheque

Sometimes,
I wish I could marry 💑
again all over…

Not to change the partner but to ‘feel’ the excitement and ceremony better

Sometimes,
I wish my kids 👨‍👦 were younger….

Not because they grew fast but to play with them a bit more

Sometimes,
I feel I still had some more time to live…

Not to have a longer life but to know the appreciation and resources I could share with others. It will be well.

Since the times ⏰ that have gone can never return,

let’s enjoy the moments as we live them from now on,
to the fullest..

Let’s Celebrate our Life – Every Moment, Every Day…… 😊❤️

A man is hiring for an accounting position and is conducting interviews for each of the hopefuls. The first accountant walks in and starts to introduce himself.

Accountant 1: “I’m here for the accounting position.”

Boss: What’s 2+2?”

Accountant 1: “4.”

Boss: “Get out.”

Sad, disappointed, and a little confused, the accountant slowly leaves the office. Then, a second accountant comes in.

Accountant 2: “I’m here for the accounting position.”

Boss: “What’s 2+2?”

Accountant 2: “4.”

Boss: “Get out.”

Just as confused as the first accountant, the second accountant leaves thinking that if the boss is that stupid he doesn’t want to work there anyways. On the way out, a new accountant walks into the office.

Accountant 3: “Hi. I’m here for the accounting position.”

Boss: “What’s 2+2?”

Accountant 3: “Anything you want it to be.”

Boss: “You’re hired.”

Recently a phenomenon that’s become global and a big headache for companies is the “the great resignation”. Since April, a record number of US workers, the overwhelming majority in low-skilled jobs in the service sector, have quit, no longer concerned that they will struggle to find a new position. (ST, 10 Dec 2021)

Who is affected? Which sectors are affected? Types of jobs?

What is the cause of this great resignation?

What can we do to mitigate this?

When I say “we”, I’m referring to both companies, as well as career counsellors, government and even individuals in our job search.

Understanding the cause or reasons can help in the most important question, solution.

Traditionally, labor economist look at demand and supply conditions, say the economic recovery, and the short labor supply, and conclude that salaries should increase. This is true.

But is that the only perspective?

A very useful piece by Jeremy Engle to look at this Great Resignation as a discussion piece to brainstorm critical thinking in class which I’m using in my 3rd year Human Resource Management course.

Some have called covid-19 the “The Great Realisation” and the number of deaths and surreal happenings have pushed people to either an emotional meltdown or treasuring relationships more than status and significance in their career ladder.

A friend of mine, decided to move his family back to Canada, to be near his aging parents and help his young son enrol in a better education experience. Both him and his wife decided that they will put in their best efforts to make changes in their career.

Reflections

What are your thoughts on the Great Resignation?

What can companies do to help employees navigate this Great Realisation of work-life harmony?

How will this impact the Future of Work?

A recent HBR article dated 21 Sep 2021 proposed some retention measures, what are your thoughts on these measures? Do they resonate with you? Any that you might suggest instead?

“The Great Realisation” by Tom Foolery (aka Tomos Roberts)

“Tell me the one about the virus again, then I’ll go to bed”.

“But, my boy, you’re growing weary, sleepy thoughts about your head”.

“That one’s my favourite. Please, I promise, just once more”.

“Okay, snuggle down, my boy, but I know you all too well.

This story starts before then in a world I once would dwell”.

“It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

Back before we understood why hindsight’s 2020

You see, the people came up with companies to trade across all lands

But they swelled and got much bigger than we ever could have planned

We always had our wants, but now, it got so quick

You could have anything you dreamed of, in a day and with a click

We noticed families had stopped talking, that’s not to say they never spoke

But the meaning must have melted and the work life balance broke

And the children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone

They filtered out the imperfections, but amidst the noise, they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker, ‘till you couldn’t see the stars,

So, we flew in planes to find them, while down below we filled our cars.

We drove around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run

We swopped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks ‘till there were none

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped

Until, each day when you went fishing, you’d pull them out already wrapped

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us why

It’s best to not upset the lobbies, more convenient to die

But then in 2020, a new virus came our way,

The governments reacted and told us all to hide away

But while we were all hidden, amidst the fear and all the while,

The people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile

They started clapping to say thank you and calling up their mums

And while the car keys gathered dust, they would look forward to their runs

And with the skies less full of voyagers, the earth began to breathe

And the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off into the seas

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking

We’d grown so used to bad news, but some good news was in the making

And so when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside

We all preferred the world we found to the one we’d left behind

Old habits became extinct and they made way for the new

And every simple act of kindness was now given its due”

“But why did it take us so long to bring the people back together?”

“Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better

Now, lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that we can do

And who knows, if you dream hard enough, maybe some of them will come true

We now call it The Great Realisation and yes, since then, there have been many

But that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight’s 2020”

‘No Regrets’ Is No Way to Live https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-regrets-is-no-way-to-live-11643385936

The last two years of pause, unearthed deep reflections in the way we live. Some, celebrated the brevity of life. Others, deep regrets, especially with relationships that grew apart or is no longer possible. Business which fail, opportunities lost.

Daniel Pink’s latest book “No regrets” is a recommended read as we think about opportunities, gains and losses.

Pink cites experiments by Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California who found that writing about negative experiences or talking into a tape recorder about them for 15 minutes a day substantially increased people’s overall satisfaction and improved their well-being. Better than merely thinking about those experiences.

Reason according to Pink is that using language, whether written or spoken, forces us to organize and integrate our thoughts. Describing regrets converts abstract feelings into concrete, less fearsome words. Language captures emotions in our net, pin them down and begin analyzing them.

I just may pick up journaling again. It also explains why I always feel lighter after a group prayer session where I say out prayers rather than think through prayers by myself.

Pink also cites Tina Seelig who found , “The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

“The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

Another useful activity is “Psychological Distancing” whether through time travel or social- through using third person perspective or physical and cultural distance.

Whether we deep dive like a scuba diver or to zoom out from problem like an oceanographer, changing lens helps reframe a problem and see opportunities.

Finding a coach helps this white-board reframe of a problem/ concern.

Lastly, move forward. What lesson does it teach? What would you advise doing next? Now follow your own advice.

Recently, one of the hinges of my bedroom door was spoilt.

We tried to change the hinge ourselves. A door is supported by 3 hinges which are in turn supported by tiny screws.

When a screw is loose or a hinge is misaligned, the doors of opportunity do not swing.

Aligning my heart, my thoughts, my feelings and my emotions to the Creator to listen actively for opportunities.