Get your play glasses on!

Did you have fun today? If anyone had asked me this question a few years back, I would have thought of them as trivial. While I was finding my feet in the coaching business and sharpening my ability as a coach, my teacher used to end our session saying, “Play with it …have fun.” My mind used to send away those words immediately. How can I have fun when I am building a business, a career, working with people and achieving results? I need to work hard and harder and then a bit more to reach my goal, isn’t it? Fun and play was a sin in my world when it came to working or taking care of responsibilities. I trust most of you look at it differently. But sometimes I meet clients who share the same frequency like I used to have and for them and all of you who equalize hard work and focus with a severe intensity I wish to share my newly found perspective here.

Is it possible to be disciplined, focussed, hardworking yet playful and joyous at the same time? I would have mocked it a few years back but not anymore. I realized I was pouring intensity into everything I did, even while hosting a party and though it was undoubtedly not killing me, I ended up feeling drained almost all the time. I could also sense people being uncomfortable around me. As ridiculous as it may sound, but honestly it felt like if I loosened up, then things will go awry, and my intensity was holding the fort.

Why do we have to be so uptight and dismal on the inside when we are thinking of meeting a deadline at work?  Why do I have to seem to feel like carrying a truckload of weight on my head while getting kids ready for school? How does feeling agitated and grumpy help in managing a wilful team at the office? How does it become useful to us when everything looks larger and seems more massive?

So, how about replacing those emotions with joy or pure pleasantness? How about looking at everything with playful eyes? Remember the last time you did something feeling cheerful and playful? How was the experience?

I took up a project last year, and that was to maintain effective energy levels through the day. Amongst other lifestyle changes, I decided to work on my ability to bring fun and playfulness in my work. I distinctly remember one moment if not the moment when I felt it change. It was one of those days when my morning began with a text from my cook that she cannot come in that day. It was a packed day, and I am a pretty old school when it comes to food and prefer home cooked stuff. I sensed a heaviness in my body and irritability in my mind as I walked into the kitchen. Thanks to the project, I was aware of what was happening with me, and my teacher’s sentence echoed. That moment I just glanced at the refrigerator and said to myself, “Let’s play” and began humming my song. I felt so creative in that instant that by the time I was done I was almost saying, what next?

This is not the fun we may wait to have on a weekend or a Friday evening. Nor am I speaking of being an entertainer. I am talking of functioning from a place of fun that gives us of a sense of being alive, lightness. The latest from the avenger’s franchise is a hit with most of its fans, and one of the reasons I am told is because of the effortless playfulness the characters bring on the screen while they are on their mission.

Someone once told me that the journey is as important as the destination and that got me thinking. Life is a journey, and I believe we nurture our life and work by the energy we are exuding. If I am sad, angry or desperate then whatever I do seems to be like a task, a chore, a must do.  However, when I am full of wonder, playful, joyous or even just curious, then, my experience changes.  We all want to feel happy at the end of the day, so why not use happiness as a fuel to create more happiness and spread it? We got to do what we got to do, be in places and situations. We can choose to be miserable and keep compounding it or decide to be cheerful. These are emotions that refuel your sense of liveliness like a cash back policy. Today I find myself doing tasks with much more ease and comfort. I sense my creativity is better and my energy levels are fantastic. I am completing stuff rather than putting it off and how I am able to connect with my relations is beautiful. I am just at the beginning of this and am sure there are miles to go.

In my journey what I realize is that bringing fun and playfulness is a way of thinking that engages my body also. It is a very simple, easy way to be, and can be mastered with practice. I feel it is a conscious choice that we need to make every day. Being grim and serious-minded is very comforting as we have millions of reasons to be upset every day. But the real brave choice is when we choose to be light-hearted and cheerful at heart while we still have millions of reasons not to.

Today I choose to create fun in my work and how I look at things.  It can be learned! Here are some ways I do them

  1. Fall in love with whatever you do. Find a reason to enjoy whatever you are doing and notice how differently you look at it.
  2. Take a moment to centre yourself at regular intervals through the day. Step into a state/ sense of playfulness or wonder or joy, or just curious.
  3. Play your own music through the day and let the music in your head guide you. I have my own list of favourites songs that I hum through the day.
  4. Laugh at yourself and try to find humour in
  5. Think enough, don’t overthink, and flow with the moments.

 

“Remain playful. The moment we take ourself too seriously is the moment we get lost in the story of the mind. The self is fluid and flowing, it has nothing to prove”

– Nicole Kavner Miller

delighted!

Manjiri

Invitation to a Seminar

Hi,

I am delighted to announce the next monthly free seminar on –

” Saturday, 26th May 2018 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm”

The intent of these monthly seminars is to provide an insight and awareness about the power of coaching to those of you who wish to create outstanding results at the workplace and did not know how having a coach can help.

Would you like to understand more about coaching?  Read more here: https://blogmanjiri.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/343/

To register:  https://blogmanjiri.wordpress.com/register-for-seminar/

Venue Address: Reivent Office, Rathod Vatika – Opp Iskcon Temple, very near to Orion Mall. We will share the exact location pin after registration.

Thank you!

Manjiri Jawadekar

Life & Executive Coach

 

Learners Mindset

I was bitten by the learner’s bug in my college days. I loved reading books related to my course, taking notes sitting on the first bench, making my own observations and studying. After college hours, I made sure I was always learning something. So I enrolled in a Chinese cookery class, a typing class, computer class, stitching lessons and many others. Today, when I sit back and connect the dots, it looks like me getting into the facilitation and coaching realm was a very obvious sequel to my career than by chance. In the years when I was heading a system integrating business for a few years, I remember feeling stagnated as I was not actively learning. I was someone who believed that learning comes only from doing and studying. And once we learn, we automatically mature and expand in intelligence. That was my understanding till my teacher/mentor helped me to see different possibilities of learning.

Do we learn only by enrolling in a class?

Do we learn just by reading or doing?

Do we learn only when taught?

Do we grow only when we are taught, or when we show ourselves something new?

Can we learn and yet not grow?

What do you think?

I think lessons can be learned all the time if we are willing. Learning need not happen only in classrooms, textbooks and through courses and degrees. There are different ways and levels of learning. Learning does not have to be restricted to skill alone.

What would you say if I ask, “Is having knowledge equivalent to learning? If I think about it, at one level, it is a yes.  I know it is not safe to cross the road while the red signal is on, but when I use that knowledge while crossing I have learned at the next level. Just revising or reviewing makes our learning deeper.

We can learn by staying curious.  If I had stayed curious in my previous career, I would have probably gained more. Kids learn the technique of driving a car just by being curious. I learnt to cook quite early since I was very curious to see how one can get a tasty dish out of a few differently seeming ingredients.

We can also learn by listening. When my husband explains the features of a new car, I learn. When my daughter describes the science behind her experiment at the lab, I learn. When people share their travel experiences, I learn.

We can also learn through awareness. When we speak of change, personal excellence or transformation I believe we are our best teachers. If you are willing to learn you will notice that there is so much wisdom in life around us. All we need to do is look for it.

Learn from Humility:

My daughter and I always seemed to have this discussion about how she and her friends preferred eating at all the trending fast food chains and never at a traditional Indian joint. So I assumed that these youngsters were not finding our cuisine “cool” enough to be seen eating outside. But then my daughter asked me a question which taught me the meaning of being with people without continually evaluating them. She asked me if it was possible that when her friends went out with their families, they always ate Indian food hence they preferred something else on other days?  A simple conversation can teach us, but I learn only when I receive it as learning and become more aware of how I am thinking in future.

Learn from Mistakes:

Each time we make a mistake we learn something. However when we get busy being defensive or feel victimized, then the lesson gets lost. Also, life has its most unique way of throwing up a lesson repeatedly that we seem to have not got in the first go. It took me a while to realize that I cannot empower others in a coaching session if I keep shrinking. To think before I blurt out is a lesson I have learned the hard way.  Our mistakes, failures, can teach us but I learn from my mistakes when I take the lesson and commit myself to it.

Learn by Observing:

One Sunday evening we were returning home after dinner. As our car drove into the narrow lane, off the main road, the car headlight caught something delightful. Just outside our home, I saw a little pug held onto a leash by his owner, barking and growling at four tall sturdy street dogs. The street dogs who live on that road were crouching behind and barking hesitantly while the little one was standing firm at the centre of the road, looking straight at them. His disposition was declaring loudly,”Don’t you dare mess with me while I cross your road” The owner was trying to pull him back, but the little fellow was refusing to move. He wanted to move forward and go through the entire road.  What I learned that day was nobody can make us feel small. What matters is how we see ourselves. Observing the environment and people can help us learn, but I learn only when I choose to.  

The morning sun, the sprouting seeds, the discipline of the ants, the perseverance of the bees, the patience of an eagle, teaches us so much. What I sense is that learning is not just a skillset but a mindset. So today when professionals and my coaching clients explain to me that they are feeling rusted and not learning anything new, I ask them, ‘What if you seek’?

Lessons are all out there, for us to pick and grow. When you create a goal you learn, when you take a challenge, you learn, with each win and failure you learn, in every moment you learn.

Would you like to read a poem? Here it goes

My Wage

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more. However, I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.

by Jessie B. Rittenhouse  ( Web Source: http://www.ellenbailey.com/poems/ellen_025.htm)

What did you learn?

Have a happy day!

Manjiri

 

Shed the layers

Today I would like to begin by sharing the gist of three movies that I feel gave a compelling universal message. Hope you have seen few of them.

A few years back I watched the movie “Up” that I love repeatedly watching even today. In the film, Carl Fredrickson’s heart is hardened by his wife’s death. He buries his loving self and spirit of adventure along with her. But there is a moment in the movie where he is flipping through his childhood –adulthood photo album. As he looks into the pictures that reflect his genuine self, in an instant he realizes what is missing within him, and sheds his defences. He reconnects with the innocent, full of wonder adventurer who he is quintessentially and that brings him back to life!

In the movie Tamasha, the main protagonist is almost executing his life by concealing his true spirit. He is reluctant to be himself, so he pretends to be the person that he feels is expected of him. The movie is about his journey where he chooses a career and a way of life that is lapping the joy out of him until he finally sheds his layers and steps into his true calling.

In the movie Moana, the feisty protagonist travels oceans to restore the life of the mother goddess ( Te Fiti) by returning her heart.  She has to go past a monster (Te Ka) to be able to do that.  But on reaching the island Moana realizes that Te Ka is Te Fiti without her heart.  She restores the heart, and the monster sheds her dark cover and then emerges the brilliant goddess who is trapped inside of her.

I want you to meet Moana, Tefiti and Teka. Here they are

I believe most of us will relate to all these three stories that send a simple message.  Be who you truly are.  Shed that cover and embrace your real self. Your strengths, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and fears will help you evolve when you begin to be the quintessential you.

Being true to ourselves is so simple, yet we make it so complicated. Here I am not talking about the behavior’s we do, but about the core emotions that you operate from.  We want to feel peace and joy, but that gets difficult if we are busy pretending or build a fort around us. I used to be a lively, exuberant, chatterbox child and those who know me may be surprised, but I used to mimic characters, enact solo dramas, and dance to Boney M and Abba songs with my mother watching me in delight. But as life happened, unknowingly  I began to lock myself up. It was like those stacked toys where there is a doll inside of a doll.  I took on the cover of being solemn and proper as it felt like a very safe way to be as a grown up.  I was totally unaware of why I had so much of resentment and anger towards the world when actually I was stealing my own light. But in the past few years, my coach helped me to set myself free. Today I feel very comfortable with who I am because I feel so connected to the smallest doll in me which is my core spirit.

As children, we are so pure, innocent and aligned to our core spirit. But, as we hear voices criticizing us, experiences testing us, society judging us, we begin to put up a façade or borrow masks. It feels safe but is also suffocating. It feels so frighteningly safe that we start to feel this is who we are.  Then to get rid of the uneasiness or to feel good about ourselves we keep searching for something or someone on the outside. Anything on the outside never will be sufficient as the true self is shut down and not receiving it. The layered self-does not want it.

I worked with a student some years back who wanted to be someone who could crack jokes, humour a crowd and look stylish. He wished to be a favourite among friends. Each time while going out with friends he used to feel miserable. He believed he was not cool like most of them and also terrified to pretend to be something he is not. So after an evening full of trial and error of pretence he still was not the favourite guy in the group and came back feeling worse. In our sessions what changed for him was when he paused to think of his deeper intention of hanging out with friends and that was more than just fun. He slowly realized he is someone full of wonder, laughter, appreciative, and just simple. He was then facing the dilemma of whether he wants to connect with that core or be someone else. Sometimes after we peel the layers and see who we are, we need to make that choice.  Either honestly embrace that side or draw a curtain on it.  He started stepping out being that real person, and soon he became aware of how gifted he was. He saw he had the gift of not judging people constantly, truly listening and being happy for them.   As he began to show up with people being comfortable with who he was, slowly he started to bond. He realized his light was sufficient for him to shine and stand out, and that allowed him to receive what he valued the most….deep bonds of meaningful friendships.

Ask yourself this very moment, how real do you feel each day when you are alone and with others? Observe yourself for a while like you were observing someone else, and see yourself in different phases of your life. Describe yourself on a piece of paper as to who you are, what are your gifts.

What is stopping you from being the real you? What has to happen for you to be who you really are?

I know right now you must be saying,” Hey this is not as simple as she is saying it ”.

I agree, but you know what? It is.

Moana’s song says it all :

I have crossed the horizon to find you

I know your name

They have stolen the heart from inside you

But this does not define you

This is not who you are

You know who you are

You truly are…

 

Keep smiling!

Manjiri

The Inward Angle

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During my coaching and mentoring program I had an amazing awareness of myself. Then as I thought more about it I began seeing traces of it in many areas of my life.

  • I realized I wished to take actions in certain situations and yet was holding back.
  • I wished to stop doing few behaviour’s, however, was not able to change.
  • I was pushing myself to complete some actions that I had initiated but was finding excuses not to finish them.
  • After taking a decision I found myself being passive. The decision seemed right yet did not feel right. But, with some decisions, it was an instant go, felt totally in charge.

When I asked myself what is happening, I got an instant reply saying, “I don’t know”!! So I labelled myself as lazy, not confident or not good enough.

How about you? Do you experience something similar?

With the help of my coach, I then became aware that the times when I was pushing myself to do things, there was a lack of congruence in my thoughts and actions. There was a conflict within me, and that needed to be resolved first before I attempted to move ahead.

The presence of that inner conflict was springing from a sense of fear.  Fear is not new to anyone and we are aware of it when going for an exam or doing a presentation. But it can also be present silently in different ways. That inner conflict also arises from a clash in our values and the soreness stays like a tiny thorn in the foot. Reminding us that our values are being threatened, and asking us “Are you okay with that?”

So before changing a behaviour or beginning to do a new behaviour, if you are seeing any of the above responses in you, it would be very important to realize, acknowledge and resolve the conflict. Otherwise, that sense of incongruence will manifest itself in various undesirable emotions.

One of my earlier clients, a young lady was battling a sense of fatigue that she felt the entire day. She wanted to feel energetic and alive. She said that she had several responsibilities and yet she kept postponing them or being indecisive about completing them. As we had our sessions, she began to realize was this was not physical fatigue but mental. Also, slowly she became aware, that her role in the past one year at home had changed. There had been a sudden reversal of roles where she was taking care of her parents. All the while it was the other way round. A part of her was happy to do that, and there was a part of her that resisted it and wanted to go back to being the child who was looked after, and that was the inner conflict. The fear of being responsible, unexpected reversal of roles and stepping out her comfort zone was causing discomfort. She chose to acknowledge this and as we worked with it, soon she stepped into her new role with a purpose. She began planning actions, taking decisions and having conversations that she used to keep postponing or avoiding.

Another is the story of this gentleman who loved his family immensely and did everything he could for them. So much that he wanted to make life perfect for his spouse and kids. He had a habit of getting angry often with them and wanted it to stop. He felt his anger was a kind of resentment that showed up as a result of insufficient verbal appreciation from his family.  As we spoke more, he said: “I realize I do not rely on my family, I do not trust them as they do not help me”. When I asked him if he had ever asked for help, he said “No”. He further said, “What if they refuse?” I asked, what would happen? He guffawed and said “Actually nothing, I will survive!”  He then said,” I actually fear that they may see me as being weak.” So a part of him wanted help from his family in some areas and a part of him was not allowing him. He had a fear of being refused, a fear of being seen as someone who is not strong enough and that was manifested in anger. He realized how he had been communicating with himself and just acknowledging that made him feel free.

The reason I am sharing this is that just like I became aware, probably some of you may be going through something similar. You may be trying to take a decision or change a behaviour and keep getting the feeling that something is just not fitting right.  In such instances, when I have tried to change something only at the doing level or looked at it as a “have to” change of behaviour, it has felt incomplete. Probably like a pretence. The change was temporary.  What has helped is to get aware of the fear, discomfort or unrest, face it and look at it honestly. Just acknowledging, is a great way to begin and then to resolve it. Developing powerful habits and discipline is definitely the way forward but once the inner conflict is rested then moving forward becomes simpler.

More smiles to all

Warm regards

Manjiri

 

Thinking with a Coach

Last week I was speaking to a dear friend and we were catching up after a long time. He narrated an experience that encouraged an initiative that I have shared below. Since he knows that I am an NLP Coach he mentioned that he works with an Executive coach. He admitted that initially when his organisation had offered him coaching sessions he was quite apprehensive. He said,” Since I was doing very well in my workspace I wondered what could a coach do for me so I read about it on the Internet”. On the morning of the first session, he said,” I was still unconvinced and was resisting the idea, but as I walked towards the meeting room I said to myself, let me stay curious and discover how it can benefit me. And, the experience was worth every second of my time as I took back powerful insights and awareness about my life. In a way, it was like being given fuel to have a better run.”

As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr says “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a Life’s experience.

Just like my friend, I have been fortunate to meet people who have shown a keen interest in understanding Life Coaching, Executive Coaching. During conversations I have heard statements like “It is not something for me who has been in the Industry for 20 years, it is for youngsters” or “I think I must be someone who will gain from personal coaching” or “This is something I have been looking for” I have also had instances where my audience heard me for a while and gently changed the topic. One relative tried explaining it to his wife that I listen to people and make big bucks.  I got an honest opinion from a friend who said she just does not have the time and is better off managing things on her own. One enquirer has told me explicitly that he is tired of getting suggestions and advice, and just wants results now.  Another friend asked me if he could send a few people whom I could change as that would make his life simpler.

With all these experiences I began to wonder if there was some way I could introduce people to experience and decide how effective coaching is. To probably give them a first look at coaching. As a coach what I see happening is while most people are open to coaching, there is also an apprehension. I feel this hesitation comes mostly from the comfort of living life with our well-anchored beliefs and values.  Today most of the top leaders, successful people have a Coach. I also work with a Coach.

I completely respect and understand different points of view, and for those who wish to understand more about how specifically coaching sessions can benefit, I have this initiative for them.

Join me for a free Discovery Coaching Session this month and get an opportunity to experience ” Thinking with a Coach”. The last date for sending the request is 13th Dec 2017.  Just drop a message on info@reivent.com or +91 8880423157

Warm Regards

Manjiri

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it’s a GOAL!!!!!

I am not a core sports fan but sometimes watch  Foot Ball in passing moments. When a match is being played on television, just as a player is about to hit a goal, I see my family on the edge of their seat. I stop and watch that wonderful moment play out and get goosebumps as the players rejoice.  Accomplishments, Achievements, Triumphs feel wonderful, don’t they? They fuel a sense of joy and fulfilment.  But it all begins with the player having a goal to get a goal, doesn’t it?

We wish for many things in different areas of our life, such as I wish I had better communication skills, I want to be a CEO, I want to lose weight, a dream to own a library at home someday and many more. Sometimes these wishes may just remain as wishes, wants and dreams because though they represent aspirations, hope, happiness,  they probably also have hidden beliefs such as “ I  don’t deserve it”,” Is it even possible?”  “ I would like to, but can’t have it”, “It’s for someone who is better”  and so on. I was someone who always doubted my worthiness and my coach asked me, “How do you know that you cannot achieve your dreams? I had no answer. The coach then asked         ” What would help you find out?  “One way could be to try and find out “, was my reply. I realized that rather than wondering my entire life as possible vs not possible I wanted to get into the process and find joy in the journey towards my vision. I sensed my dream was bigger than my ego and felt certain that whether successful or not, the journey will help me learn and grow. I made a choice to grow and drew a sheet full of colourful dreams with an intention to pursue them.

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t.
They don’t suffer. But they don’t live either

– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Dreams to Goal :

I am really not sure as to how this word got coined.  Initially, when people spoke to me about goals and smart goals it felt very clinical and thought of it as an unnecessary activity. I used to wonder, I know what I want to achieve  so what’s more to think about it? But when my coach asked me specific questions  about what I wanted to accomplish professionally  I realized that I only had a vague idea of what I wanted. Also, it became evident to me that I have no idea how to get there.  As I began to define my goals I realized writing goals is a process which brings clarity, focus and also calls for action. When we talk about wants and dreams they sound more as hope. It is like wishing that something on the external happens and what we want falls into our lap. But when we say Goal, we take responsibility, take charge of our life and chart our journey with focus and action. Isn’t that better than just wishful thinking? One way to give shape and form to our dreams and wishes is by stating them in the form of a Goal.

Does it have to be called a Goal? Not really! You can call it outcomes, result, vision, performance or whatever feels right for you. More than the word it is the process of working with what we want to create that is important. But whatever you call it, make sure it is motivating and inspiring

How does Goal Setting help?

1.You stop complaining or blaming the external world :

When we begin to write our goals we are focusing on” creation”.  Creation manifests positivity, so we state the goal in the positive and all our energy and focus goes there.  I remember my daughter used to say “ I don’t want my friends to get better marks than me” Really? How do we stop them I would say. She then changed her goal to “ I want to score  X marks in the upcoming term”

2.You get ready to take risks and face your fear.

I think in the act of writing  down our goals we challenge our belief of “ I  won’t be able” and reframe it as “ I can do it”. That gets us going.  The process of goal defining  helps us replace fear with commitment.

3.You get clear about what You do not want.

This was during the time my training career had just taken off, and I was welcoming all the work I was getting.  I used to visit my goal occasionally to check if I was on the right path, and that helped me realize that there is some work I would like to say No to. So I began refining my goal statement with the process of elimination. That again helped me to get more focused and determined about what I wanted for myself.

4.Your unconscious guides you :

The process of goal setting offers so much clarity and focus that it becomes a sensory experience. We see a vision, the main path, inside lanes, passing lanes. We know what we need for the journey and to check for recognizing that we are packed for the journey. Know how to check for milestones and when to stop for fuel. That is why some people prefer to draw their goals, use colours or use picture themes. Then, once you write your goal you need not refer to it as a map each day. The powerful unconscious will hold the map for you.

5.You experience a sense of purpose, joy:

Some of us believe that a goal has to be long-term and something very substantial such as making an x amount of money in the next five years.  Need not be. It could be as simple as what “Russell “wanted for himself in the movie “ Up”. His goal was to earn the wilderness explorer batch for helping the elderly before the upcoming ceremony where he would get the honour of being called as the senior wilderness explorer. Take a look at him…. his determination, focus, the joy in his eyes, as he states his goal.

Not met Russel yet? Here he is

 

The sheer joy of exploring and moving towards what we want makes life more meaningful, and that is why you need to create a new goal for yourself once you achieve the current one!

Goals are not just words but powerful possibilities and aspirations.

What is your dream? What are your goals?

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going… It’s as simple as that “ Earl Nightingale.

Keep that smile on!

Manjiri