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Bullying & Beyond…3.Improve your Listening Skills!

 

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

In my previous post…Bullying & Beyond…2.Really Listen!…I wrote about the importance of Listening.  When somebody, be it a child or an adult, is distressed as a result of bullying, just having somebody who is willing to listen to them can make a huge difference to how they feel.  Your first reaction may be to rush in and immediately solve everything but instead be patient and listen.

Here are some simple tips I found helpful,

1.Acknowledge your child’s emotional state -say that you can see how upset, angry etc., they are.

2.Remove or resist any distractions.

3.Make sure you can clearly hear what your child is saying.

4. Focus your attention and concentrate.

5. Be patient, listen to the whole story.

6. Make encouraging, agreeable sounds to show you are paying attention…’mmm,’ ‘I see,’ ‘oh right’.

7. Avoid making judgements – take time to consider before offering solutions.

8. Ask questions to clarify.

9. Keep an open mind.

10. Summarise or sum up what you heard, ‘so the main problem was’ or ‘if I understand properly you feel…’to let them know you understand exactly.

Remember to pay attention to their tone of voice and observe their body language, which can give you insights or hidden messages which they may not be able to voice.

If you agree on any particular course of action or efforts to address the issue, be sure and follow through.  Listening needs to be followed up with evidence of action, even if it’s only arranging follow-up conversations.  If you fail to follow-through, your child may get the impression that what they have confided just goes in one ear and out the other.

For any victim of bullying, building and maintaining trust is so important and this can’t happen unless you stick to your word.

I hope you find this helpful.  Please feel free to share any experience you have had which would have benefitted from active and effective listening.

Alternatively please share some effective approaches you have used. I would love to learn what worked for you.

Much love,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

Refuelled since Friday…

If you arrived home on Friday and felt like this…

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Andy after a tough day at the office!

 

I hope you’ve made time to do something you enjoyed, something just for you and that you are refuelled now and ready to face the week ahead!

How did you feel?  How do you feel now?Please share what worked for you?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

Flashback Friday…Privilege.

When I look back on the past year or two of blogging and consider this particular post, PRIVILEGE…

I feel even more privileged than I did back then. I feel privileged because I’ve come to know myself better by sharing my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve gained some new and life changing perspectives from insightful comments received from you wonderful bloggers.

I feel really privileged because an unexamined life is like a broken circle or a half circle, you think there’s a piece missing.  I’m slowly realising that I am a full circle, I’m seeing that the pieces were there all along, just out of view!   I’m enjoying this process, this unique journey and I’m no longer worried about who I will become because I am, I already am!

Do you feel privileged?  What makes you feel privileged?  Has your view of privilege changed in the past year or two?

Much love,

Marie xx

Perfectly imperfect…

Last month I travelled to Bonn for ICASSI 2018, (learn a little more about ICASSI here.)

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Beautiful Bonn

 

I got this opportunity after applying for one of a limited number of places on an Erasmus programme offered by my employers.  I had been hoping, like a real live blogger, to post some updates while in Bonn but my internet connection didn’t live up to my expectations. I’m home almost a month and I’ve been unable to concentrate long enough to pen my thoughts because I’ve been paying and still am paying the price in CFS/FIBRO currency for the huge amount of energy I expended during the wonderful yet demanding week at ICASSI but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  However, thanks to insights from Adlerian Psychology, one of which is having the courage to be imperfect I can accept that a post just over a month later is not perfect but is instead perfectly imperfect. It is good enough, I am good enough and I hope you find it good enough and if not, well that’s ok with me too!

I travelled alone to Bonn, and I didn’t know anybody there except one of the faculty, Karen. I found it a little intimidating heading into the registration area on the evening I arrived. Everybody appeared to know each other, there was an exciting buzz that was upbeat and friendly, yet I felt like an outsider.

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Within a few days I could identify all the people seen here by their first names and within a week I probably knew at least 100 of the 300 participants by their first names.

As soon as I had my name badge on and a cup of tea in my hand I mingled about.  I knew I just had to call upon my courage and do my best to connect with others.

I soon discovered that so many people, from all over the world, have either been to Ireland or are curious about Ireland.  I sat down beside a young Asian lady, who was on her own.  It turned out that it was her first time at ICASSI also.  She came looking for me at tea break a day or two later, asking to take a selfie together and thanking me for talking to her that first evening as she had been feeling lonely and apprehensive in her new surroundings. Reaching out to encourage others takes courage too but it’s definitely worth the effort.

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It was so easy to smile when you were in Sophia’s company, she was like a ray of sunshine! Sadly she can’t access this blog to read my post as it is forbidden in China.

If you were energetic and wanted to partake in an exercise programme, then your day began at 7am. If not you could start your day at 9am, like me, with a Plenary session which was a one and a half hour presentation with power point delivered in English and translated into German or vice versa.

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Tea break was from 10.30 until 11am and morning classes started promptly at 11am until 1pm.  Lunch was available on site if you wished.

I usually walked back to my hotel to grab a quick siesta following my lunch. This helped recharge my battery for the afternoon classes which started promptly at 2pm until 4pm.

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If you are considering a holiday in Bonn, I would highly recommend the V Hotel. If you are a pet lover, it is a dog friendly hotel also!

 

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…guess who wanted his tummy rubbed every time you passed him!

When afternoon class ended there was then the option to attend short presentations from 4.45 to 6pm at which time dinner was served. There was a vast canteen area and plenty of outdoor seating which was so welcoming in the warmth of the evenings and provided ample opportunities to talk to lots of interesting and like-minded people.  Coping with the heat was challenging as it ranged from 31 degrees on Monday to 40 degrees celcius on Wednesday. Thankfully a thunder storm and lots of rain on Thursday saw temperatures drop back around the early 30’s which dare I say felt managable!  Bear in mind 25 degrees is considered a scorcher of a summer’s day in Ireland and quite rare!

There was ample opportunity for socialising every evening and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday an evening programme of entertainment started at 7pm and included a German Night, a talent show and a closing ceremony.  There was a lovely bar where we gathered to relax over a drink or two and there was always someone happy to sing or play a guitar!

There were many different courses to choose from and I decided to participate in two short courses, instead of one long programme.  I chose Cooperative Problem Solving and Encouragement in Stressful Situations. These courses were delivered using an Adlerian approach which is based on respect and social interest.  Working in small groups was a great way to get to know some of the participants better.

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My “Cooperative Problem Solving” group.. I looked forward to every minute of this class and Theo Joosten (ICASSI Co-chair), was the type of facilitator I aspire to be!

I’ve come away from my first ICASSI with so many beautiful memories which include lots of conversations, laughter, fun, cultural insights from participants from 35 countries, renewed awareness of the importance of community, lots of new friends and promises of e-mails, a fantastic approach to cooperative problem solving and strategies from BASIC PH to encourage myself and others through stressful situations.  Looking back now it really was A New Book…a beautiful one!

Thank you for reading and sharing in this experience with me!

I’d love to hear your comments or answer any questions you have.

Much love,

Marie xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success…a person or thing that succeeds.

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Flourish…because you can

Today I’m counting down the remaining days to my upcoming trip and it reminds me of when I was counting down the final few weeks of my first pregnancy, eagerly awaiting our daughter’s arrival. The feeling was a mixture of concern for the unknown and an all encompassing exhilaration! That feeling was denied to me on my second pregnancy as our son decided to arrive prematurely, 12 weeks early!

That feeling of concern for the unknown and an all encompassing exhilaration is back…as I prepare for my trip to ICASSI in Bonn!!

I realise I have been given an opportunity through this experience to put into practice some of Adler’s theories. Bettner and Lew’s Crucial “C’s” built on Adler’s theories, believing that in order for us to develop and flourish we need to overcome our mistaken goals of misbehavour; our mistaken opinion of our capability and our mistaken value placed on the opinion of others. By engaging with a new adventure I can discover more about this simple approach to achieving Life’s goals.

To be successful;
1. I need to believe I belong…I CONNECT.
2. I need to believe I can…I’M CAPABLE.
3. I need to believe I make a difference…I COUNT.
4. I need to believe I can handle it… I’VE COURAGE.

But the challenge for me lies in handling this new experience with empathy for my fibro/fatigue and recurrent heart arrhythmia. How do I participate rather than find excuses to avoid? How do I develop and flourish rather than stay static? How do I best balance self-care with personal and professional development? How do I build on my social interest rather than self-isolate? How do I get the balance right?

I hope I will discover how as I proceed through this new experience. Thanks for reading and it’s lovely having your company on this learning journey.  How have you overcome challenges?  How have you developed and flourished?

Much love,

Marie xx

Cultivate your Dreams!

You owe it to yourself to cultivate your dreams. You don’t have to start out big…just begin.

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Small children grow into great adults and similarly if small projects are tended with the same love and kindness, they too grow beyond measure!

Did you cultivate your dreams lately? Have you seen them blossom?  Can you share any tips that worked for you?

Much love,

Marie xx

A Mentor comes in many guises…

via Daily Prompt: Mentor

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Killarney National Park…a peaceful place to reflect on your mentoring skills.

 

A mentor is someone who educates or offers support and advice and is usually an older person.

Something special happens when you find a good mentor – they don’t just spot your errors and failings and tell you how to improve…

No, a good mentor knows that your thoughts, behaviour, work, class exercise or assignment is your best effort at this moment in time.  But they know how to build upon those foundations and help you reach your full potential.

A good mentor has a generous spirit and they enjoy pointing out all the things you are doing right. Their aim is to help you acknowledge your strengths and learn to believe in yourself. They know that along the way you just forgot how to trust in yourself.

When the time is right an experienced mentor knows it’s time to step back.  They don’t want you to become dependent on their support.  They don’t need your dependency to buffer their self-esteem… No, the very opposite is the case, they enjoy letting you take the driving seat.  They know their job is done!  They believe in your ability and can see you are ready to step confidently outside your comfort zone and achieve your full potential!

Isn’t parenting, being an employee or a colleague, being a sister, being a cousin, being a friend…being alive and just living your day, just amazing…Isn’t it the best mentor and look at what it can teach you!

Much love,

Marie xx

P.s. Thanks for taking time out to stop in to visit. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

‘The best gifts we have to give…’

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A life changing book.

 

I now know what I did not know back then, back in the summer of 2016, when I first tentatively decided to put my thoughts and words out there by creating a blog; I now know that I was looking for something more in my life, I was searching for a sense of purpose, I was unfulfilled and lonely.

Starting my blog, Create Space, has made a difference to my life.  Being part of our online community, reading other blogs and sharing some of my writing whether from the daily prompt or other random ideas has helped me to find my voice; a voice that I now know was silenced because of the bullying endured by both our children.  Blogging has helped rebuild my confidence while also building my writing practice.  It has helped me realise, thanks to all the bloggers I’ve connected with in the comments section, that all of us have so much to offer each other!

Over the next few posts I would like to share quotes and writing tips from one of the most influential and informative books on writing that I have read, that book is…

 ‘Writing Alone and with others.’

Pat Schneider says,

‘We are all connected to one another and to the mystery at the heart of the universe through our strange and marvelous ability to create words.  When we write, we create, and when we offer our creation to one another, we close the wounds of loneliness and may participate in healing the broken world.  Our words, our truth, our imagining, our dreaming, may be the best gifts we have to give.’

If you are looking for something more in your life, searching for a sense of purpose, feeling unfulfilled and lonely then reach out, blog, share the best gifts you have to give and connect with others!

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Pg. Xvii, Pat Schneider said…’If I were this book’s reader, I would write in the margins, underline what I liked, and argue with the author where I disagree. I’d mark favourite exercises with a star, so I could find them again…’ Well I guess I did exactly as Pat suggested to my well read book!

Much love,

Marie xx

 

 

 

 

 

Life gets messy…

via Daily Prompt: Messy

Life gets messy when you don’t say what you mean and mean what you say!

Learn to say ‘No’ when you want to say ‘No’

Learn to say ‘Yes’ with a generous heart!

Much love,

Marie xx

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Ps. When the snow got messy and trapped us in for three days… I had no difficulty saying ‘Yes’ to Emma’s tasty creations!

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