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April 2014




Listening to Yourself

"It’s one of those homely little stories that stick in your mind and stir up memories; a story that brought back something my father used to say to me: “Son, you’ll do all right in this world if you just remember that when you talk you are only repeating what you already know - but if you listen you may learn something."

… J. P. McEvoy (1897 – 1958) US writer

We often hear about the importance of listening and there is no real surprise as to why. Listening is a critical aspect of communicating with others, which in turn is a central aspect of relating to others. It is not hard to see that to have good relationships, we need to be good communicators and to be a good communicator, we have to be a good listener.

Visit The HubIn the ontological approach, listening goes beyond such basic ideas as "active listening" techniques where we paraphrase back to someone to show them that we have heard what they have said. Although such an approach is useful, effective listening goes far beyond this.

When we are able to listen well to others, we open ourselves up to explore the way they interpret the world and more importantly the way they see themselves. Our listening is itself an act of interpretation as we look for their meaning and the context that would have them see things a certain way. We can look for their prejudices; their preferences; what is important to them in life; how they feel and so on. We can seek to understand them and their way of being and when we listen well, at some level we connect with them in their world and not just hear their words.

To achieve this, we have to put aside our judgements and ask the question, "what would have them see that this way?" This is not easy as our assessments will come to us as a conversation unfolds, particularly if the topic triggers our key concerns in life. Yet it is well worth the effort as effective listening opens up the possibility of a new way of experiencing the world.

So here is a question. Do you ever listen to yourself? Can you get behind what you think and say and understand your way of being? For most people, this is easier said than done as many people make frequent judgements, often negative, about themselves and what they do. Without some learning and practice, it is a challenge to want to listen to ourselves and then put aside our automatic responses, which may be the product of a lifetime. However, to do so offers great rewards in understanding ourselves and ultimately in finding a better way of being.

We invite you to explore more in the articles section of our web site.

Play Create Elevate

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

… John Wayne (1907 - 1979) US actor and director


Cleaning Windows

When I get out of bed in the morning, pull up the blind in the bedroom and look out the window, it’s interesting to notice on which days I appreciate the broad expanse of sky and which days I just see how dirty the window panes are.

How we see the world and what we make of the parts we see is a fundamental part of our mind health.  Sometimes it’s all too hard to look directly at what exists in our world. What we’ve created. What we ignore. What has become dirty and grungy and can spoil the beauty of the morning sky.

It’s time for cleaning windows.

This is an invitation to you to see which literal and metaphorical windows in your life could use some cleaning. What might you see differently if you cleaned up the way you thought about the situations in your life that aren’t working for you? What might be possible for you tomorrow that did not seem possible for you today? Is it a project at work that seems to have stalled? Is it calling that friend that you have not spoken to in months? Is it letting go of the people in your world whose values and expectations no longer serve you well?

What will it take for you to do what is best for your mind health, your ability to get up every morning and see the broad expansive magnificence of life that is yours for the taking?

I’d love to hear how your window cleaning goes at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com.

May your days be resilient ones!

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

You can visit the Play Create Elevate website here

More on PCE next month!

Hey, did you know?

Webinar - The Ontological Coaching Approach

Presented by ANZI Coaching

Many coaches know the term “Ontological Coaching”. Some coaches know its benefits. This webinar offers the opportunity to understand why panel members have chosen ontological coaching as their preferred coaching methodology and how they apply an ontological approach to coaching and its philosophies in practice.

The panel will discuss coaching scenarios where the approach has been effective and how they determine when it won’t be. Panelists, including Chris Chittenden, will be answering your questions about ontological coaching ‘live’ during the webinar.

The webinar is scheduled for 10:30 (AEST) on Tuesday 20th May. You can find out more at the ANZI Coaching web site.

"But I Feel Good" Radio Show

Radio Show

Did you know that since November 2013, Jacqui has been hosting a weekly radio show called ‘But I Feel Good’ …talking about pink elephants and black dogs.

The show is dedicated to speaking openly and comfortably about the ‘black dog’ of mood disorders from a lived experience perspective and the ‘pink elephant’ strategies and practices that build emotional resilience and inner fortitude.

It covers a range of topics related to mind health and plays a great mix of music in between interviews with subject matter experts and related content.

The show goes live to air, streaming on www.MAINfm.com so it can be heard AROUND THE WORLD every Monday from 1-3pm AET. Its official broadcast base is MAIN FM 94.9 – the Voice of the Goldfields and extends across the Mt Alexander Shire in Victoria on the wireless.

The Monthly Diversion

One courtesy of my friend David Powis ...

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment to ask their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it.

The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories. There were all the regular types of stuff: Spilled milk, pennies saved and so on. Finally only Janie was left.

"Janie, do you have a story to share?" the teacher asked.

"Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife. She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then she parachuted right into the middle of 20 Iraqi troops. She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands."

''Good Heavens," said the horrified teacher. "What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?"

"Don't mess with Mommy when she's been drinking."

I love these touching stories!

"Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer."

… Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) US writer and lecturer

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LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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