Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Do you see me? (My Daily Intention)

Recently I read that Maya Angelou suggested there are four questions that every human being unconsciously asks other human beings all the time.  

Workmates, playmates, lovers, friends, bosses. We ask and are being unconsciously asked these 4 critical questions:

  1. Do you see me?
  2. Do you care that I’m here?
  3. Am I enough for you, or do you need me to be better in some way?
  4. Can I tell that I’m special to you by the way that you look at me?

And then, we make decisions (assumptions), and choices based on what we perceive to be the answer.

We will move closer, or move away. We will seek intimacy, or find distance. It all depends on what we assume the other person is telling us by their actions, words, gestures and expressions.

It makes sense why people love dogs so much. Dogs always answer these questions with a huge emphatic YES! (and a lot of tail wagging and squirming too).

It might also explain why parents often complain about how little their teenagers notice if they’re even in the room, or if they hear them — teenagers have perfected the art of pretending they DON’T see you and we humans do not like the feelings of not being seen!

I’m not suggesting you wag your tail and wiggle your body when you are talking to people, but you might consider putting down the IPhone when you partner walks into a room, or at least looking up from the TV or tablet in your hands to say hello. You might even consider smiling too.

‘Seeing’ someone doesn’t mean going over the top, gushy and breathy when you talk with them. It means, taking one second to really look them in the eyes. Taking a moment to pause and listen, attentively, to what they’re saying. A smile helps. As does touch, nodding your head in acknowledgement… There are countless ways to show someone you’re seeing them — ways we too often forget to employ in today’s plugged in, activity-charged pressure-cooker environments.

‘Seeing’ someone means making the effort to show you’re paying attention. It means showing love and affection through being loving and affectionate — again, you don’t have to go over the top. You just need to connect, show them you are truly present in their presence, and care about they’re being present too.

It means turning up, being real and being present with the people in your life.

And don’t worry about the dog feeling like he’s losing out on your attention. He’s going to love you anyway. He always does.

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Today’s Daily Intention was inspired by Ian Munro of Leading Essentially who shared THIS article on his FB page from ThriveGlobal.com

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Breathe In. Breathe Out. (My Daily Intention)

Where do you spend your time?

Are you constantly running forward and backward, replaying the past and worrying about the future? Are you constantly trying to play catch-up with time and running out of minutes  in the day to get it all done?

Stop.

Breathe.

Slowly.

In.

Out.

And with every breath in imagine that you are drawing in pure energy filled with peace, love, joy.

Breathe out and with every exhale, imagine that you are releasing pure energy into the world. Peace. Love. Joy.

Breathe.

In.            (slow down)

Out.

Breathe.

Yes. what happened in the past was awful. Hurtful. Mean.

Forgive the past.

And yes, it’s easy to get caught up with feeling the pressure of so much to do in order to be ready for tomorrow.

Let go of worrying about the future.

Breathe into this moment, right now.

Feel the vitality of the goodness of the air pouring into your body. Feel its pure energy transforming your woes, fears, and worries into Peace. Love and Joy.

Just for today, spend your time in the place where you have limitless possibilities to experience all the goodness that is present, right now.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe.

Namaste.


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Time: Enemy or friend? What’s your POV?

Snow falls, settles to the ground. Time passes, settles into the past.

No matter the weather, or how many things I try to cram into any given moment, time keeps passing at its own pace.

I wonder some days where time has gone. Then I wake up to realize time hasn’t gone anywhere. I was just too busy getting done whatever needed getting done, running a race I hadn’t even noticed I was running, to see that time was always flowing at the same pace.

Time. Like the limit on my credit card, the closer I get to the deadline, the faster it appears to go.

Some days, it feels like lack of time is the prison-suit I wear to keep myself from being aware of what I’m really doing with my time.

I tell myself I’m too busy to work out. To go to the chiropractor or even the doctor.

Too busy.

And in my busyness, I quit being present to the moment right now as though my busyness will bring me to some unseen finish line where I will win the race I didn’t even realize I was running.

When I perceive that time is my enemy, my perception of time is out of whack! Big time.

In those moments, I have a choice. To breathe. To slow down. To cut back, pare back, realign my priorities so that my time is less chocker-block full of ‘must do’s‘ and more filled with ‘good to do’s’.

My choice how I spend my time.

Yesterday, I was feeling stressed. So much to do. So little time to do it in.

Is that true? Or am I lying to myself by telling myself my busyness is a measurement of my worth?

Today, I choose to sit back, breathe and relax. Today I take the pressure off and move into that time where the possibilities are limitless and I am inhibited only by my belief there is not enough time — I let it go. My point of view determines my outcome. If I take a negative perspective of time, I will never quit running that endless race of trying to beat time.

In breathing into this moment right now, I find a whole new point of view where I get to choose grace as my companion with time as my friend.

My time. My choice. My point of view.

The question is: What are you doing with your time? Are you rushing about running a race you didn’t know you were running? Or, are you choosing to flow with grace and its invitation to be present in this moment now?

 


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Where are the men?

No. 30 #ShePersisted series
http://louisegallagher.ca/shepersisted

When I was in my late twenties, I worked as a stockbroker. Years before, I had worked for a summer at a brokerage firm in Toronto and was intrigued by the business. Perhaps not the business itself, but more the aura of power and wealth that imbues the industry with its sense of self-importance and attitude of ‘the whole world revolves around us’. It was seductive.

At the time, I was  one of a small group of females in the sector.

We did not band together. We did not form a group to support one another, even though sexual misconduct was rife within the industry, covertly and overtly. When we occassionally met over a glass of wine or at a party, we’d talk about the sexual advancements we’d received as if being propositioned every day was the norm — because unfortunately, it was.

Every woman I knew attested to the fact that from innuendo to explicit comments, there was little confusion as to where some of the men stood on the notion of women in the field — they might ‘accept’ that woman were brokers, but they sure did not respect nor accept that women had equal status and rights to being treated like anything other than sexual objects.

I say ‘some’ because the vast majority of men I worked with were respectful and considerate.

And then there were the few.

The one’s like one of my bosses, a VP in a large firm who offered to pave the way to my success if I had sex with him. “Tell anyone and they won’t believe you,” he said when I rejected his offer. “You’re just a rookie. I’m a VP.”

I believed him. I left the firm and went to a smaller company where I felt safer and accepted. Even though I was the only female broker amongst a cadre of men, not once was I subjected to sexual improprities. I believe it was because the Managing Partner was pretty clear on the level of professionalism he expected from his team. There was to be no sexual misconduct.

A father of three young daughters, he stood up for what he believed in – that when they became adults, his daughters deserved to step into a world where they were safe to make their dreams come true, without having to face sexual misconduct and harrassment.

Which brings me to my question this morning… Where are the men?

Women have been marching. Speaking out. Wearing pink pussy hats and t-shirts decrying sexism and sexual harassment. Calling out for equality. Fair pay. Fair treatment. Fairness.

Where are the men?

Not just the single voices speaking out against those who have recently come under scrutiny for sexual assault and misconduct, but the marchers. The placard bearing. The fist pumping the air demanding an end to sexual violence; in the home, in offices, in military quarters, in locker rooms and movie sets.

Where are the men?

Do they not see that while they stay silent they risk being tarnished by the same brush that paints the perpetrators of sexual aggression and violence? Do they not see that in their silence they become victims of another man’s bad behaviour?

Sure, there are laws against sexual violence but laws do nothing for a woman while she is being raped. Laws do not bring comfort to a child while he or she is being abused. And laws do not heal the wounds of sexual assault.

Woman have been marching and in their midst there are a few men courageous and strong enough to stand up for what they know to be true and right — women are not sexual objects, the weaker sex or a sex toy who’s main purpose is to pleasure a man so he can get off on his power.

We are human beings deserving of respect. We have the right to feel safe walking down any street a man walks down. We have the right to step into an elevator alone with any man. We have the right to be in a room with any man and not be harassed, demeaned or propositioned.

Where are the men demanding their brothers stop behaving like beasts? That they stop forcing themselves upon women. That they put an end to using their masculinity as a weapon?

Where are the men?

 

 

 


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Get naked with life

As teenagers, my sister and I liked to play tricks on each other (the naked truth — I liked to play the tricks, she tolerated them. I’m the youngest… what can I say? :)).

One night, a girlfriend and I decided that as my sister tended to sleepwalk, we’d play a trick on her. Laughing at our ingenuity, while my sister was sleeping, we took a bite out of a chocolate covered cookie and placed it on the pillow beside her head.

The next morning, she awoke with chocolate smeared all over her face and the sheets. She couldn’t figure out how the cookie got there.

We told her she was sleep-walking. (Naked truth again — we hadn’t counted on her rolling over onto the cookie and the heat of her face making the chocolate melt. We were a bit scared to tell her the truth, so…)

She believed us. For years (and years). Until thirty years later when I fessed up.

The truth is, I thought the story of her sleep-walking was way more interesting than the reality where I was the culprit and she the innocent victim.

The moral of the story? We all sleep-walk through life. It takes a conscious decision to get up close and naked with life for us to awaken from our dreams, and our nightmares.

Naked with life means stripping away the masks, the games, the excuses we employ to protect ourselves from loving intimacy with ourselves, and the world around us. It means, letting go of the stories we tell about why we fear being vulnerable, being real, being hurt.

It means letting go of our fear that life will hurt us.

Life will serve up hurts and pains, joys and triumphs. It’s up to each of us to decide how we want to carry life’s happenings. In secret. As a burden. As a deadly weight. As an opportunity to learn and grow and become more intimate with ourselves. The choice is always ours.

We are not separate from life, we are one with life.

This life, the one we’re living right now, is all we’ve got to live. When we choose naked contact with it, we are choosing to grow, to learn, to become more intimate with ourselves and in that intimacy, to grow vulnerable and real with the world around us.

Sure, we can stay all decked out in our stories. We can hold onto our fears and life will continue on. Day by grinding day.

To get naked, to reveal our true selves, to fall fearlessly and consciously in love with ourselves, is a constant journey into the wonder and mystery that sparkles within the multi-faceted, ever fascinating aspects of truly knowing, being, living as Me. Myself. and I.

Why not try it on? Get naked. Get real. Get living awake!

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One of the most fulfilling and rewarding ways I have ever found to get naked and real with my life has been through Choices Seminars.

And wouldn’t you know it — a brand new session begins today at noon. If you’re in Calgary and environs, you still have time to give yourself the gift of awakening to the wonder and mystery of you! I invite you to check it out!