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August 2015




What are your Values?

"And now for something completely different.”

… John Cleese, Monty Python's Flying Circus

My normal pattern of writing e-zines is to write whatever shows up to me at the time of writing. For the next few months, I would like to change all that and take you on a bit of a journey.

One of the keys to my work has been the idea of building alignment whether this is about oneself or about a group of people. That alignment is based on a foundational value set that is established from these four questions:

  1. What is at the heart of how you want to experience life?
  2. What is most important to you about what you want to create in life?
  3. What is central to how you want to approach life given an uncertain future?
  4. What is the basis of how you want to relate to others?

Ontological FoundationsThese four questions are posed to establish FOUR values. They are then used to form a trigger and provide a set of questions that help one navigate through life in a consistent way. This idea is to establish more aligned and habitual patterns of being ultimately leading to an authentic sense of self.

I will address one question each in this and the next three newsletters by sharing with you the values that I have come to through this process and how I have done so. I will also offer some insights into how you might explore these questions for yourself and arrive at your own personal value set. In a future e-zine, I will share how to use your value set to build more alignment in your life. My invitation is that you can enjoy reading and reflecting on the ideas or you can jump right in and seek to develop or revisit your own value set for life. If you want some help to develop your own value set, you are free to write to me and I will give you what help I can. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

So let's begin with the first question, "what is at the heart of how I want to experience life?"

When I have posed this question to others, there are some key themes that tend to repeat. People want to live in integrity. Some want to be authentic. Some happy. Some want to be passionate about life, whilst others just want to live a simple life.

When I reflected on this question there were a number of aspects that showed up for me. The first was acceptance. One of the first aspects I learnt when I initially encountered the ontological approach some twenty years ago was the idea that we are all different observers of the world and that way of observing is legitimate for each of us. It does not mean that we will necessarily like the way of being of others but we accept it as a legitimate way for them to engage in life. This understanding was critical for me in being an effective coach and also in learning to accept myself. My interpretation of acceptance is to accept the world as I interpret it and also accept that there are some aspects of the world I will not like and yet cannot change.

This understanding led me into another. By appreciating that I cannot change everything in the world, I was then able to focus on what I could do something about. It also allowed me to appreciate what I did have in life and led me to a place of gratitude. The key for me was in self-acceptance. If I could accept myself for who I am; predominantly like myself for who I am and work on becoming who I want to be then I had no choice but to be grateful for all the aspects of my life that had brought me to this place. I could be grateful for the people who have loved and nurtured me on the journey. I could be grateful for the opportunities I had found in life and my own gifts. I could also be grateful for those who might have caused me pain at some point, although I certainly was not at the time.

So my answer to the question of "what is at the heart of how I want to experience life?" is "Gratitude".

What's yours? Here are some ideas that you might explore - integrity, authenticity, creativity, accountability, passion, acceptance, gratitude, responsible. Remember there is no right or wrong answer here, nor is there a need to absolutely define what your answer means as creating greater clarity about your answer is part of the future journey.

Next month, I will focus on the question, "What is most important to you about what you want to create in life?"

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


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time. ”

... Leo Buscaglia (1925 - 1998) US author and educator

A Series of Small Moments

In the southern hemisphere we are heading in to spring. After many long weeks of grey skies frowning on me I was so delighted to have a break in the monotony. There were two days of back-to-back pure spring anticipation. I awoke to early blue skies and sunshine that had a warmth that penetrated deep into my skin. It was a delightful reminiscence of springs and summers past. It reminded me that very quickly I would be enjoying the sensuous warmth of the summer sun again.

In those moments of walking out in that sunshine, driving my car with my window down and the sun streaming in on my face, sitting in my office with the sunshine bursting through the windows and the most beautiful azure blue sky in my peripheral vision I found myself brimming with gratitude. The visual splendour of a clear skied pre-spring day. The warmth soaking into my body. The deep sense of appreciation of the day. All those things reminded me yet again of the importance of appreciating the little things and the value of gratitude in building and sustaining resilience.
Clearly I am a sucker for the first warm, sun-filled day after a bleak and dreary winter. I am thankful for the myriad of positive sensations that I get, bodily, visually and emotionally. Even just glimpses of sunshine after two sunny days can be enough to sustain and nourish me and build my gratitude muscle.

So what is it for you? What is it, whether it be a frequent occurrence or a less than common experience, that floats your boat and has you appreciate the little things in life. As it has been said in the classics:
life is made up of a series of small moments.

I invite you to pause and reflect on the last time you were appreciative or grateful for something small that’s a regular part of the warp and weft of life. So are you making the most of your small moments? Are you doing the best you can to build your gratitude and resilience muscles? Why?

…because your mind health matters

Launching My Books

My two books "Disclosure" and "Black Dogs, Rollercoasters & Pink Elephants: Masterful Mind Health Resilience Strategies" have been contracted to European Publishers Whyte Tracks aPs and Mill House Publishing for international release. They are in pre-production and are expected to hit the shelves in hard copy and e-book formats by the end of October. Blink and we’ll be there.

If you are interested in attending the launch of the books in Melbourne’s inner south on Saturday 7 November between 1-3pm please register your interest TODAY at http://eepurl.com/bfkRpn. The event will be by invitation only and guest numbers are limited so to ensure you get your invite sign up now!

How excited am I? Very!

'But I Feel Good' Radio Show

Remember to tune in to ‘But I Feel Good’ ...talking pink elephants and black dogs at its new home broadcasting across Melbourne at 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pmAET or listen on demand at www.jacquichaplin.com/bifgondemand

Radio Show ‘But I Feel Good’ will still be heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pmAET.

I’d love to hear your ideas for mind health topics you’d like to hear about and any mind health resources you’ve found helpful. Email me at butifeelgood@jacquichaplin.com

If you’d like me to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact me at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on Mind Health Matters next month!


“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

... Albert Einstein, (1879-1955) German Physicist

The Monthly Diversion

From the vaults of www.jokesclean.com .

Susie's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months. Things looked grim, but she was by his bedside every single day. One day as he slipped back into consciousness, he motioned for her to come close to him. She pulled the chair close to the bed and leaned her ear close to be able to hear him.

"You know" he whispered, his eyes filling with tears, "you have been with me through all the bad times. When I got fired, you stuck right beside me. When my business went under, there you were. When we lost the house, you were there. When I got shot, you stuck with me. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. "And you know what?"

"What, dear?" she asked gently, smiling to herself.

"I think you're bad luck.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

… Martin Luther King Jnr, (1929-1968) US civil rights leader and clergyman

Join Us Online

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. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting Group dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.

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