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HOW TO ELIMINATE A OO7 DOUBLE LIFE

When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’ 
 
On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.
 
Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is apparently something deemed unacceptable in his family and culture.
 
 

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt rejected for what you are?

 
 
James moved to Vancouver, found a job, and said he met the ‘love of his life’, whom he married a couple of years later. Though saying he is happily married, James had two Facebook accounts, one ‘straight’ and one gay, to ‘spare’ the family as he said. Looking down, he confessed few people (if any) where he came from knew he was even married.
 
 

Can you imagine what it feels like to hide things from the people you love? 

 
 
In tears, James said he needed to come out of the closet as a gay and this is why he was coming to see me. He felt he could Not do it alone, he said this was too much for him to face alone.
 

 
I asked…
 
 

In a perfect world, what would your life be like right now?

 
 
Jame’s face brightened. He shared how he would only have one Facebook account and one Instagram account. He laughed saying he would show pictures from the ‘crazy’ adventures he and his husband have been on, their food expeditions, their vacations together, even their honeymoon trip…
 
I asked James if he truly loved his husband. Without hesitation he answered choking up, “Are you kidding me? He is the best thing that has ever happened to me!”
 
I replied,
 
 

When we truly love someone, including ourselves, do we hide who we are?

 
 
James burst into tears. He did Not seem to care anymore whether the waiter or other patrons saw him crying; his shoulders were heaving up and down with heavy sobs. Then he took a deep breath, clenched his teeth, and said, “I deserve better! My husband deserves better! I am coming out!” I was impressed by this fiery determination.
 
That day, he went home with homework to do. Over the next seven days, he had to call every member of his family, his eight siblings and two parents, and tell each one of them he was gay. His framework looked something like ‘I am calling to share something important to me. I am gay. Being gay is a part of me, it is Not all of me. I love you.”
 
 

Have you ever had to stand up for what you believe in? How easy was it?

 
 
At our next coaching session, James sat down with his journal open. Where he had drawn ten little people with their name on top of each, three of them were still left unmarked by an ‘X’ signifying ‘the job is done’ and they knew he was gay.
 
I open directly,
 
 

What happened to you missing your goal?

 
James grabbed his journal with both hands. He mumbled how he was Not truly close to the only sibling left on the list as this person had once sexually assaulted him when he was a kid… He also said how many of his siblings were now sending him harassment messages telling him he was ‘wrong’, going to ‘hell, and ‘Don’t tell mom and dad! They’re too old and mom’s depression is too bad!’
 
Like so many, James was caught once more living a double life, living in the background of his own life while trying to get ‘approval’ from others, especially from members of his family.
 
 

Whose approval is most important to you to be happy?

 
I pointed to the top of the page where all his little people drawings were and I asked him to write down a story title expressing what his goal is. His pen almost pierced the paper as he wrote in capital letters at the top,
 

“I AM COMING OUT!”

 
 
Let me ask you…
 

Why do we become untruthful?

Why do we pursue lies?

 
 
I believe the answer is, because we think it will be better.
 
Is it though? How was James’ constant lying about being gay going to advance his goal of coming out of the closet?
 
Clearly, denying our truth does Not work.
 
With this in mind…
 

How do things become better?

 

I believe, things become better when we focus on 

  • becoming truthful. ‘What is my truth?’

  • becoming intentional. ‘What can I do right now to uphold my truth?’

  • becoming accountable. ‘What can I do to hold myself accountable so I live my truth?

 
I could certainly relate to James. When I got married, I did not tell my then husband about the way I grew up, the level of violence. I thought he would ‘love’ me more if I buried what had happened to me as a child. Can you relate? My life changed for the better when I became truthful, intentional, and accountable.
 
 

Here are some rock solid tips to assist you who may suffer from ‘007 Double Life  Syndrome’:

Once you have identified what your truth is, whether it is to come of the closet as gay or lesbian, leave an unhappy marriage, change jobs, or …
 

  • Make a list of who needs to know. When we make the decision to come out with our truth, often, we tend to believe everyone ‘must’ know all at once. Spare yourself feeling overwhelmed, work in stages.

  • Come up with an on point message telling your truth. Keep it short. Keep it sweet. Keep it to the point. Understand there is plenty of time later to go into the ‘Why did this happen?’ if you ever chose to.

  • Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ what we need to do in order to be happy, many of us end up losing our nerve when the stakes are deemed high.Therefore, having someone on your team who is Not emotionally attached to your situation allows for actions with a greater sense of clarity.

 
 
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
 

What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?

 
Before James came to see me, he had all the best intentions in the world, BUT he lacked a solid accountability system. This is why as soon as he went into ‘What will they think of me?’ he lost his nerve of telling his truth to his family.
 
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who holds her clients highly accountable so they get to live their truth openly, and like James, get to come out at the top of their story page.
 
For coaching inquiries, reach out to me at anne@walkinginside.com
 
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,
Anne
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com
 

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Accountability Anxiety Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Commitment Compassion Conscience Courage Curiosity Decency Depression Dreams Emotional Intelligence Empathy Enabling Equality Faith Forgiveness freedom Frustration Gratefulness Guilt Happiness Hope Ignorance Inner Child Inner Peace Insanity Instinct Intellect Intent Intentions Intuition Joy Leadership Life Purpose Love Magic Mindfullness Parenting Self Patience Peace procrastination Racism Reality Relationship Sadness Sanity Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Space Success Tolerance Trust WalkingInside

ROUND AND ROUND

ROUND AND ROUND
 
Round and round
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life.
Ups and downs,
We think that’s life
Until we get off our mount.
 
Round and round
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life.
Laughter and tears
We think we’re here
Until we go deep within.
 
In and in
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life,
Darkness and light
Fuse into one
Until we go round and round.
 
With love & compassion,
Anne
 
What makes any of us go round and round in circles?
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com
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acceptance Accountability Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Commitment Compassion Confidence Conscience Courage Curiosity Emotional Intelligence Empathy Equality Faith Forgiveness freedom Friendship Gratefulness Happiness Hope Imagination Inner Child Inner Peace Intentions Intuition Joy Leadership Life Purpose Love Magic Mindfullness Parenting Self Peace Reality Relationship Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Space Tolerance WalkingInside

HOW FAR AM I WILLING TO GO?

HOW FAR AM I WILLING TO GO?
 
Am I willing to go beyond the stars
Where you and I were born
Where the sun befriends the moon
Where rainbows bridge us all?
 
Am I willing to go further than the eye can see
Where trees plant their roots
Where flowers drop their seeds
Where leaves take in the colours of seasons?
 
Am I willing to go deeper than the ocean floor
Where all the river beds make one
Where the illusion of division is triumphed over
Where we all feel as one?
 
How far am I willing to go?
 
I am willing to go
At the centre of myself
Where I hear it all begins
The point of origin
That unites us all.
 
I am willing to go
Where ‘broken’ lines disappear
Where there is no you or me
Where there is only a we.
 
I am willing to go
Where love is no more a concept
Where love becomes fully being
Where love is visible in all.
 
If ever I think I have reached this place
Where I hear it all begins
Ask me again
‘How far am I willing to go?’
And I will come back to
Being in the here and now
Until we all feel that we belong.
 
With Compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
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acceptance Accountability Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Commitment Compassion Confidence Conscience Courage Curiosity Emotional Intelligence Empathy Enabling Equality Faith Forgiveness freedom Friendship Gratefulness Happiness Hope Ignorance Imagination Inner Child Inner Peace Insanity Intellect Intent Intentions Intuition Joy Leadership Life Purpose Love Magic Mindfullness Parenting Self Patience Peace Racism Reality Relationship Sadness Sanity Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Settling Shame Social Awareness Space Success Tolerance Trust WalkingInside

I — USED TO THINK

I — USED TO THINK
 
I used to think
A tree was just a tree
I saw it with my own mind
Roots, trunk, branches, leaves.
 
I used to think
You were different than me
I saw it with my own mind
Bodies, fences, judgement, fear.
 
Thanks to my mentor, I met me
For a moment, I stopped thinking,
In stillness, my mind cracked open
Discovering sunshine cooling breeze within.
 
How refreshing
To hear inside the giggles of a small child
Who never thought we were separate
Who’s always known we all belong.
 
Because of my love for this child and me
The lines in my mind are becoming blurry
If there is nothing separating you from me
Then, who am I? What are we?
 
Willing to know, I ask her to show me the way
How I may serve her from a place of integrity
Laughing, she is showing a world full of wonders
Where roots and bodies, you and me,
Are merging into, this or something greater,
Then… I used to think.
 
With love & compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
 
To know more about Soul Leadership: www.fullmontyleadership.com
 
P.S. With this post, I am including more forms and patterns I have seen when opening up pictures. This time, I am not showing the pictures they may have originated from because I want you to imagine what can possibly give rise to …
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acceptance Accountability Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Commitment Compassion Confidence Conscience Courage Curiosity Dreams Emotional Intelligence Empathy Enabling Equality Faith Forgiveness freedom Friendship Gratefulness Happiness Hope Ignorance Inner Child Inner Peace Instinct Intellect Intent Intentions Intuition Joy Leadership Life Purpose Love Magic Mindfullness Parenting Self Patience Peace procrastination Reality Relationship Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Settling Social Awareness Space Speaking Success Tolerance Trust WalkingInside

AWAKENING

AWAKENING
 
I awoke in the middle of the night,
Frightened and scared,
Thinking I was alone.
I looked around the bedroom,
Stillness and shadows greeting me.
What an unfamiliar sight, I thought to myself,
To be alone with one’s thoughts,
To be shyly greeting one’s feelings.
 
Out of habit,
I called out a name,
Thinking you would come,
But the echo came back empty.
I did not yet understand,
Love is neither a name or a game,
It is a flowing feeling,
Like waves, rising and falling,
Amidst our own waters.
 
Thinking I knew better,
I turned my bed into a raft,
I paddled day and night,
Still hoping to find you,
Afloat on another raft nearby.
 
Feeling more lost than ever,
I finally stopped doing this crazy thing,
And started instead to
Listen to the wind
Who has always known my name.
 
It said,
“Dive,
Dive deep within,
For the one you are looking for,
The Beloved,
Is awaiting.”
 
I told the Wind,
“I am no Mermaid,
To flag my tale under water.”
And the Wind softly replied,
“Trust and Have Faith,
Within you is always the Way.”
 
So I took a majestic dive
Perhaps the way Dolphins do?
Feeling my own breathing
Echoing back to me
The beauty of universes within.
 
I now use my raft as a diving board,
In whatever room I find myself in,
I remember Ocean Waves belong
To the One
Awakened in the middle of the night.
 
With Deep Gratitude,
Anne
 
Dov Baron, thank you for being the Wind speaking softly to me, I am grateful
 
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com
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HOW TO GET THROUGH “HE’S NOT THAT INTO YOU”

I look at him, a playful grin on my face. I am laying on the bed, watching him as he enters the bedroom. “Did you miss me?” he asks casually. As I pull him towards me, I whisper, “Let me show you…”
 
We have all been in this kind of situation…. where we have believed we were in ‘love’ and ‘all’ that mattered was ‘being’ together, right?
 
… Until the dreadful moment where we realize…
 

“What the hell did I get myself into?”

 
 
In the past, I have had my share of this kind of realizations. Feeling squeezed, I wondered,
 

 “What is wrong? Why isn’t he that into me?”

 
 
I thought… it all started ‘great’… We locked eyes across the room and felt a strong physical attraction towards one another.
 
Can you relate?
 
… And before we took the time to really know each other, there we were, showing how much we had missed each other by having sex.
 
 

Is sex automatically synonymous of intimacy?

 
 
I was so eager to have a relationship that I did not know how to be in a relationship.
 
Sounds familiar?
 
Before long, I started noticing his,“Hey, my battery’s about to die, gotta go, ok? Love ya though!”
 
This type of behaviour from him surfaced especially when I wanted to talk about our lack of spending time together…
 
 

Is spending time together automatically synonymous of intimacy?

 
To my increasingly ignored hurt feelings, he answered things like, “You’re harshing my mellow right now!” before storming out of the door, leaving me feeling even more unwanted, unloved, and undesired.
 
It is in moments like these that I have said,
 

“What the hell did I get myself into?”

 
 
 
It has taken me many years of mentoring (I was stubborn) to deeply realize that,
 
 

Like attracts like. 

 
Go back. Read it again.
 
 

A toxic relationship is based on two individuals having the 

SAME primary wound, but

DIFFERENT coping mechanisms.

 
Look at it as a magnet… The magnet is the toxic relationship wound and each end is one person’s coping mechanisms (+ or -). A + could be confrontational, a – could be withdrawal…
 
 

Now, what is your primary wound? 

 
My primary wound is the shame of existence. I grew up in a household where my father treated me like chattel, ‘do as I say or else!’ I had to blindly obey, no matter what I felt. I mainly felt unseen, unheard, unloved. This is why in the past I became attracted to men who treated me like chattel, who did not see me for who I truly am, who did not believe my needs, feelings, and emotions mattered.
 
Is it any surprise to you now that I attracted men who were not that into me?
 
What about you?
 
Let’s take it deeper…
 

What is the greatest form of intimacy?

 
 
I have come to deeply believe,
 

The greatest form of intimacy is, vulnerability by authenticity.

 
 
Go back. Read it again.
 
 
What does this mean, you may ask?
 

Intimacy is, 

 

Being vulnerable with our own self 

by discovering who we are at the core of our being.

 

It is the greatest form of self-love.

 
 
Think about it… If we start discovering who we truly are… where our past hurt comes from… and do somethings to heal our self… What do you believe happens to toxic relationships?
 
I strongly believe,
 

Toxic relationships then become a thing of the past.

 
 
For example, I often get propositioned by men who approach me with seemingly hungry eyes as they say, “I love how deeply connected you are to yourself, it’s sexy as fuck…” 
 
Their dry hunger I perceive, this kind of self-starving self-love, puts me off so much that I energetically close the door on them.
 
Why?
 

With self-discovery comes discernment! 

 
 
When we have discernment, we feel what works for us, we feel gradually into situations or possible relationships. There is no more denying, no more giving in to just blind physical attraction alone, we become clear!
 
 

How do we become intimate with our self?

 

  • Spend time alone. Ask yourself, ‘What do I need right now?’ and ‘What do I really want in my life?’ Act rightfully upon these answers. Build compassion for your self.

 

  • Build strong emotional boundaries. I know, it is easy to say and hard to do, especially for many of us who spend more time stating what they do not want rather than deeply feeling knowing what they do want.

 

But for people like you and me who are deeply committed to their healing,

 

  • Hire an emotional intelligence coach or mentor. We all have blind spots and unless conditioning is transcended, guess what? It will keep running the show under, “What the hell did I get myself into?”

 
Now, I am so deeply into-me-see (intimacy) that I am becoming a different kind of magnet, a magnet who attracts people like me, getting intimately connected with their own self.
 

Like attracts like, remember?

 
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach, Authentic Speaker, and Bestselling Author. I can be reached at anne@walkinginside.com
 
With love & compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com

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WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO SAY, “IT’S NOT WORK ANYMORE”

I have just spent the last 90 minutes with my mentor Dov Baron. As he leads me to the elevator, he asks me,
 
“What are you doing tonight?”
 
I pause and answer, “There’s this blog I want to finish writing after my walk, but that’s not work, it’s not work anymore”
 
Dov looks at me with a smile on his face, his face soft, a nod of acknowledgement following my revelation.
 
I walk outside and I think about what I had just said, “It’s not work anymore”. The more I am pondering, the more I am coming to the following realization…
 
When the concierge in my building made a comment again that he had seen me late ‘at work’ again, I paused, unsure what to say. I mean, how do we explain to someone that writing is my passion and it is not work for me anymore?
 
When a friend called and asked, “Hey, what are you working on right now?” I caught myself pausing, unsure what to answer again. Working on a speaking presentation, making workshops proposals, coaching clients… well… that’s not work anymore either.
 

So, what has been happening?

 
I grew up in a very blue collar community, where most people never attend college after high school if they finish high school at all. In this environment, I developed specific ideas about work and they are not pretty…
 

Work is something like

  • “a job with a minimum of 40 hours at minimum wage and shitty benefits”

  • “a job where my boss irritates me and my co-workers are so-so”

  • “a job where I am ‘chained’ to a desk doing ‘chores’ I do not wish to do”

 
 
Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?
 
And yet, this is how many people, including the old me, view work, as some kind of slave ogre master taking away the freedom of little children…
 

Can you relate?

 
Wanting to know more about ‘work’, I check into my French etymology dictionary to see where the hell did my parents get their ideas of work from…
 
Turns out,
 

travailler, travail’ (to work, work), as early as the 12th century, 

means ‘torment, suffering’.

 
 
SAY WHAT!
 
From the 16th century on,
 

‘travailler’ starts taking its modern meaning: 

“to give our self misery for”.

 
SOOOOOOOO……..
 
If I get this straight… the French went from being a victim of work to victimizing themselves about work?
 

What kind evolution progress is this???

 
Maybe the English know to suffer less than the French?
 
Turns out,
 

“work” comes from 

the Old English woerc

Germanic wyrcan

Dutch werk

and German werk

 
The irony does not escape me… the English have had to check the core meaning of work across four nations? O_O
 
Guess what?
 

Work in English, just like work in French, 

are both derived from the latin trepaliare

which means to torture, to inflict suffering or agony. 

 
 
Insight of this,
 
 

WHO THE HELL WANTS TO WORK?!!!

 
 
Maybe, the Chinese can enlighten a little?…
 
In Chinese Mandarin,
 
Work translates into 工作 (gongzuo)
 

工 (gong)

means worker, the working class BUT it also has the meaning of skill, craftsmanship, to be versed in, to be good at
 

作 (zuo)

means to rise, to grow, to write, to compose, writings (as in ‘the works’)
 
 
Therefore, for the Chinese,
 

工作 (gongzuo) means to develop one’s craftsmanship 

so one can rise and grow?

 
 
SOUNDS LIKE PASSION TO ME!
 
This is just it!
 
I love what I do! I love speaking, coaching, and blogging! These ‘activities’ are not work anymore, they are vehicles for passion, bringing more compassion into our world.
 
When I used to believe that work was work, I had very little compassion for myself. I mainly came from a place of duty and obligation. I was very much a victim of my own closed-minded upbringing.
 
Once I started developing compassion for myself, my ‘work’ became less about work and more about passion, a rising and growing flame that  keeps burning bright inside my heart.
 
Do I have my moments when some of the stuff I need to do feels like work? Yes. Bookkeeping is such a thing for me. This is why I have contracted this work out, so I can keep focusing on Compassion, my Burning Passion inside of me.
 
SOUNDS MIGHTY FULFILLING!
 
Therefore, if work is still work for you, perhaps it is high time you hire an Emotional Intelligence Coach or Mentor.
Why?
 

Because if you knew how to turn your work into passion,

you would already be living it right now….

.
.
.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach and a Work Myth Buster. Contact me at anne@walkinginside.com
 
With Compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com

Categories
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HOW TO ADDRESS A HAND ON A NON-CONSENSUAL LOWER BACK

As soon as I enter the room, I spot him right away. He is not hard to miss, really, for he looks like a beautiful social butterfly, passing a joke to a man with a hand on their shoulder, shaking another man’s hand on their way out. What I find deeply intriguing is how his behaviour seems to change when facing women…
 
I watch him approach a female full frontal. To me, she appears like a nice girl, you know, the type that rather turns beet red instead of speaking up? Smiling a smile I believe does not quite reach his eyes, without even asking her, he pulls her hard into his arms. She laughs nervously and says… nothing!
 
I ask my girlfriend, “Who is he?”
 
She laughs, “It’s….  He’s actually harmless, Anne, he does this to all women.”
 
I look at her, shocked. “You mean, he is allowed to behave like this because this is what he does?”
 
She shrugs, “What’s you gonna do? I just ignore it.”
 
 

How many of us allow a potentially offensive behaviour 

to continue, just because ‘that’s what we do’?

 
 
I ask her, “Has he ever done this to you?”
 
“Yeah, several times.”
 
“Where has he touched you?”
 
She shrugs, “O, you know, he hugs me, gives me kisses on my cheeks.”
 
“Does he even know you’re married?”
 
“Yeah, I think so. He’s married too, very pretty wife. She’s not here tonight.”
 
My eyes grow bigger.
 
“Anne, he’s harmless!”
 
I am unconvinced. In my past, I have seen my share of men taking physical and emotional advantage of unassertive women. How do I know? I used to be a doormat for guys like him.
 
Our social butterfly zeroes in on me and swiftly walks over. Quickly cocking his head into mine, he smacks his right hand possessively on my lower back, pulls me closer to him physically, and asks ‘smiling’, “Who are you and what do you do?”
 
I look at him with zero smile on my face or in my eyes. “I’m Anne, I’m an Emotional Intelligence Coach.”
 
“A whaaat?”
 
I take a deep breath. “I assist people understand why they do what they do, like what you are doing with your right hand. Remove it now.”
 
Maybe it is my tone and body language… but he physically takes a step back. He stutters, “I’m… I’m… educated… and I don’t even understand what you do!”
 
“You’re educated? ‘Educated’ means something else to me, but get this….” By the time I finish listing my academic and professional accreditations, he throws both his arms in the air, and says the most fascinating thing ever,  “How do I compete with this? You just emasculated me!”
 
On this, he walks away, seemingly unhappy.
 
 
Let’s stop for a moment and consider,
 

Why do some women get uncomfortable 

when a hand is placed upon their lower back?

 
 
To answer this question,
 

Did you know our LOWER BACK is often associated with 

the feeling of FREEDOM?

 
 
Therefore,

If our lower back is touched in a non-consensual way, 

survival mode often kicks in…

 

some of us will…

say nothing (freeze) or

walk away (flight) or

insult or push back physically (fight)

 
Not a great place place to be in any case, if you ask me.
 
Therefore, let’s understand,
 

What might be the hidden purpose of a hand 

placed on another’s lower back?

 
Is it a sign of friendly gesture?
 
Is it a loose attempt at flirting?
 
Is it a focused attempt at testing the waters to see if can go lower?
 
I don’t know about you, but this social butterfly did give me some clue as to his own motives when he said, “How can I compete with this? You just emasculated me!”
 
Now,
 

If a hand is placed onto a non-consensual lower back, 

how much of it is a claim for domination?

 
You be the judge.
 

Here are some coaching tips for women who are having issues with unwanted hands placed onto their lower back:

 

  • Acknowledge the awkwardness of the situation. Pay attention to the physical signs showing up in your body. Are you tensing up? Does your breathing become shallower? When we become anxious, often, we stop breathing deeply, which signals the brain we are in the presence of some kind of personal danger.

  • Breathe deeply. Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” If it is for the other person to remove their hand from your lower back, breathe deeply and firmly affirm, “Remove your hand now.”

  • Take action. Some people might not take well to an assertive woman. For example, snide remarks might be made. My question to you is, “Who is more important to you, you or them?” If the answer is you, stand by your position. If you think others are more important, then why did you read this blog to the end?…

 
 
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who believe we are all deserving of strong emotional boundaries. I can be reached at anne@walkinginside.com
 
With love & compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com

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THE LESSON BY THE OLD MAN WITH THE RABBIT

His eyes fascinate me, two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle. Every time he looks at me, I feel transported inside the world of an innocent child, perhaps confused by how many years seem to have flown by him. His face, a maze of zigzagging lines, looks like a race against time. The more I look at him, the more I want to know the heart behind the beggar I see on the street.
 
Unlike many other pedlars perhaps, he does not verbally ask directly for money to me. He usually leaves a hat or an empty cup in front of him and silently waits. For a while, I even thought he was mute…
 
On some days, I notice him holding a big fluffy brown rabbit in his lap. He seems to love his rabbit very much and the rabbit seem to reciprocate greatly by snuggling its nose deeply inside the old man’s open jacket, maybe to hear their uniting heart beat?
 
As the old man pets his rabbit in long rhythmic strokes, I notice there is no cage for the rabbit and no leash. Amazing, considering we all live downtown where sirens are blared, buses breaks loudly, and passerby talk on their cell phone.
 
Today, though, something happened to break ‘our’ routine. A great gift was given to me. As I was about to enter my favourite coffee shop, the old man suddenly appeared behind me and asked softly, “Can you buy me a cup of coffee?”
 
Startled, I jump. How did he get here? Holy Molly, he can talk! As I look inside his two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle, I feel my heart fill with the desire to know him.
 
I reach inside my coat pocket and retrieve a bunch of spare change. I am unsure if I have enough to buy an extra cup of coffee for him, so I impulsively say no, then wishing inside I had brought more money. Peaceful, he says okay and starts standing in line by my side, as if money was a non-issue.
 
I do not know what to think. I put my hand inside my coat pocket again and I find not only an extra $2, but also a free donut prize I had won the day before. I smile at the old man triumphant. “I have extra money! I can buy you that coffee after all!”
 
The old man smiles at me as if he had been expecting this result.
 
Waiting in line, I ask him how he is and he smiles at me asking. I ask him how his rabbit is and he answers his rabbit is fine and at home. I ask him if he lives in a centre and he answers yes. At one point, I mention his new haircut that I believe suits him tremendously and my, o my, he blushes like a young child, passing his bony hand through his balding greying hair.
 
The whole time we are talking, he first looks into my eyes before answering any question. He reminds me of The Fiddler on the Roof. Any moment, I imagine him erupting in a traditional dance with his arms wide outstretched open.
 
We get to the counter and I take a step aside. I ask him to order his coffee as he likes it. Then I give him the coupon for the free donut. His face lights up like a Christmas tree. After I pay for both of us, I realize I am left with spare change close to $2????
 
I do not get what is happening, but I take all the left-over change and give it to him saying, “For whatever you need…” The two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle smiles at me in acknowledgement.
 
I watch him choose to sit alone at a table. Wrapping his two hands around the warm coffee cup, he closes his eyes, a peaceful smile spreading on his face. I feel the same smile spreading on mine…
 
In our everyday interactions, we never fully know who we are impacting. My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach whom you can reach at anne@walkinginside.com 
 
With love & Compassion,
Anne
 
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com

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TAKING RESPONSIBILITY, WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

What if I were to tell you that taking responsibility has nothing to do with shaming or guilt tripping, what would you answer to that?
If you are like the old me, you might answer something like:
“That’s horse shit!”
“Of course taking responsibility comes with shame and guilt! How else do you expect anyone to become responsible if they do not feel wrath?”
 
But is it true? 
 
 
Just so we are on the same page here, I believe
 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

means to

ACKNOWLEDGE the CHOICES we have MADE

and

ACCEPTING THE RESULTS we currently have.

 
 

The CHOICES we have made, being:

-> The words we spoke

-> The actions we took

-> The words we refused to speak

-> The actions we refused to take

 
 

The RESULTS we currently have, being:

-> what we currently perceive as good, bad, or ugly in our life

 
 
When my children were little, like any good parent I guess, I wanted to teach them about taking responsibility.
Case at point…
As my young son kept leaving his socks scattered all over the house, I yelled at him and gave him the cold shoulder. One day, I lost my shit and put all his clean and dirty socks into one big bag that I hid inside my bedroom closet. With zero socks to wear the next day, that ought to teach him, right?
 
 

How many of you have ever used yelling, 

given the cold shoulder, or

taken away a privilege 

as a way to teach someone how to take responsibility?

 
 
Now let’s assume for a moment
we all agree on the definition of taking responsibility:
 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY 

means to

ACKNOWLEDGE the CHOICES we have MADE

and

ACCEPTING THE RESULTS we currently have.

 
 
Let’s look at the sock tragedy.
 

  • Did my son acknowledge the ‘bad’ choice he had made, aka leave his socks scattered all over? No, he did not. Why not?

 
 

To ACKNOWLEDGE a perceived ‘bad’ behaviour, 

one has first to be aware INSIDE THEMSELVES 

that something might need to change. 

 
If this is true, then either my son was unaware of his sock behaviour (clearly not the case based on my yelling alone) or his sock behaviour suited him just fine. Therefore, in his view, there might have been nothing needing change inside of him, hence the lack of acknowledgement?…
 
 
 

  • Did my son accept the results he currently had, aka, have all his socks hidden in my closet? No, he did not have to. Why not?

 
 

To ACCEPT a RESULT, 

one has to first acknowledge

they have played a role in said result.

 
 
Let me remind you here…
Who yelled? Me.
Who gave the cold shoulder? Me.
Who hid the socks? Me. 
Soooo, if I did not teach my son how to take responsibility, what is it exactly I have taught him?
 

  • Tuning out. From me, he has learned how to disconnect, ignore, dismiss. Sounds harsh? How many of you tune out when someone is yelling at you?

  • Becoming invisible. From me, he has learned to soothe and please in order to appease irregardless of his feelings and emotions. Sounds terrible? How many of you walk on eggs when given the cold shoulder?

  • Dismiss own needs. From me, he has learned to forego his own needs, tell himself he does not care for much (I took all his socks!!!). Sounds horrifying? How many of you have ever felt less than after you lost a privilege?

 
In light of what I have just shared with you, how can anyone take responsibility when they are tuning out, becoming invisible, and dismissing their own needs? 
Where is the integrity? 
The love of self? 
The self-worth? 
I believe the integrity, self-love, and self-worth are being stripped away with yelling, cold shoulder, and privileges removal.
 
I have personally found out that,
 

To take responsibility, one needs integrity.

 

To take responsibility, one needs self-love.

 

To take responsibility, one needs self-worth.

 
So, how do we take responsibility? 
 
We take responsibility by becoming self-aware of who we are and what we need while at the same time aligning our self to what we say, think and do. Only then can we develop the integrity to acknowledge and accept all the choices we have made.
 
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists her clients in taking full responsibility for the choices they have made in their life. You can reach me at anne@walkinginside.com
 
With love & compassion,
Anne
www.walkinginside.com
www.fullmontyleadership.com