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  • 8 simple steps to giving feedback

How to give feedback, 8 simple steps…

One of the most intimidating things to do can be giving feedback when it’s needed. Are you guilty of not telling someone they’ve got something between their teeth and yet it’s all you can look at while you’re talking with them? Don’t want to embarrass them, right? But how mortifying is it to keep working under an assumption that all is going great, when secretly people are commenting behind your back? Despite the awkwardness of [...]

Quality communication begins here…

Communication is such a tricky thing to do well. Invariably people misunderstand each other, misinterpret or struggle to stay connected by the inadequacy of language. Despite lecturing in counselling and communication skills, being a psychotherapist and a lifetime of study on this very topic, I’m still working at mastery! I’m better at it these days than in the past but I still feel like there is room for improvement. It takes great courage to speak [...]

30 minutes could save the day!

It’s Soctober, which means it’s social compassion month at Bare Hands Central. If you find this blog useful, in the name of social compassion, please share it with a friend so they benefit from it too. Switching gears isn’t instant and yet we often expect it of ourselves and others. The end of the working day is often when this happens the most. I’m not sure about you but when I get home from work, [...]

Feelings… how do you know when to trust them?

Feelings… have you ever felt something so strongly that you’re sure you can predict the future, or what someone else is thinking, or when to make a decision one way or the other? We can be uncannily accurate about what another person is feeling and it’s what makes us empathetic individuals, which is great. We’d all be psychopaths without this ability. However, feelings can just as easily lead people astray. You only have to ask [...]

How to develop your ‘brain to mouth’ filter…

When was the last time you had ‘foot in mouth’ disease or were at the receiving end of it? With the prevalence of Instagram, email, Snapchat, and so much more, the ramifications of not filtering before hitting [send], [post] or speaking can cause waves of after-effects. A simple comment on Facebook can go viral in hours and open people up to a world of abuse. It’s more important now than ever to start being mindful [...]

Can stress be good for you?

Strangely enough, yes it can. Stress gets a bad wrap in the press but there is such a thing as helpful stress. Anyone who has suffered an extended period of boredom will fully relate to how the lack of any expectations or pressures can leave you feeling listless and unmotivated. A dose of healthy stress can reconnect people with feeling truly alive, particularly when it involves learning and stretching to newer levels of competency in [...]

How to find more of what you want in life?

Focus, focus, focus. So much depends on what we choose to notice and how we frame it. Do you see the glass half empty or half full? Is your work load overwhelming or demanding but interesting? Are the kids noisy and disruptive or fun loving and active? Do you make mistakes or learn lessons? So much depends on the way we choose to see it and the great thing is, we do have choice and [...]

  • Attention_span_dropping

Is your attention span getting shorter? You’re not alone…

A recent article in The Daily Good cited the 54 page study by Microsoft Corporation, which has found that our digital lifestyle is reducing our concentration span. It’s now 8 seconds …that’s less than a goldfish (9 seconds)! In effect, technology is now creating generations of ‘ADHD’ like adults who are becoming accustomed to constant stimuli and the need for distraction. For example, 77 percent of people aged 18 to 24 responded “yes” when asked [...]

Clarity of Mind may be a page away…

Life can get confusing and overwhelming at times and in the midst of the storm, it can be hard to find clarity. How do you make the right choice when you feel torn in multiple directions? Writing 20 minutes a day, for four consecutive days, has been shown to really help? Just 20 minutes of non-stop writing, without thinking about; grammar, punctuation or spelling, can reduce stress levels, remove mental blocks and open up new [...]

“Expect the best and prepare for the worst”…

Sometimes, despite even the best of care, stuff happens. So it is that my little car of 17 years met a nasty surprise this week. I won’t go into details but I fell prey to a very reckless driver. Fortunately, no lives were lost nor did serious injuries occur. My reason for sharing this story though, is that I noticed a marked difference in my reaction to this experience, versus being involved in a car [...]

  • You're not selfish

Do you ever feel guilty of being selfish?

Do you ever feel guilty of being selfish?  “How do you know the difference between being selfish and just good self-care?” This is a question that Michael Yapko PhD, in his recent book, poses as one of the top 12 discernment struggles. Too often people give up on good self-care because they wrongly judge something as being ‘selfish’. I put my hand up for being guilty of this countless times, putting everyone else’s needs before [...]

Going Wild Improves Mental Performance

I was picking my path carefully, jumping from one boulder or driftwood log to the next, when I was struck by the realisation. “I haven’t thought about work for at least three days!” Wow, HOW did that happen? That day, on my way to the outdoor ‘loo’, below the high tide mark at our camping area on Ross Islets off Vancouver Island’s wild west coast, I experienced a sense of relief (no, not that kind [...]

  • Be_helpful_not_enabling

Are you really helping or enabling? Something every helpful person needs to know…

When you see someone struggling, do you feel impelled to make it better and fix it, to stop the discomfort? This can look like; doing your child’s homework for them, fighting your friend’s battles on their behalf, taking on another person’s workload to stop them from getting in trouble at work, etc. If this sounds like you or someone else you know, it’s important you know this… Helping someone to avoid the consequences of their [...]

  • Girl with umbrella

A Laugh a Day Keeps the Blues Away

As a child, my family subscribed to the Reader’s Digest and my favourite part of that little magazine was the two page spread titled, Laughter is the Best Medicine. One of us would often bring out the Reader’s Digest and say, “Listen to this!” and then share something that had tickled our funny bone. The reward was when someone else ‘got it’ and laughed along; it was a source of connection. At age 20, when [...]

Keeping your cool takes…

It can be hard to keep your cool with other people, children, bosses, work colleagues and the like. They may at times seem thoughtless, inconsiderate, rude and even deliberately hostile. Yet, I’m guessing you may have experienced losing your cool in moments and then felt that you didn’t put your best foot forward or represent yourself as effectively as you would have liked. It’s more useful to remain calm in situations and allow your mind [...]

How to make a friend of the voice inside your head…

By popular request for help on self-talk, here are some strategies. We all know the critical inner voice inside our head. It’s the one who can pick every nitty gritty fault out, even the ones that others don’t see. It will focus on the one thing you could have done better rather than the bucket load of things that you’re doing well in any day. When things get really bad and this voice takes over [...]

  • Holding_the_Space

How to ‘hold your space’ in the face of adversity

We’ve had people ask us, “How do you stay confident in the face of other people’s criticisms and judgements?”  Confronted with an onslaught of negative opinion or being around negatively focused people can easily impact your feelings of self-worth. You can end up doubting your own judgement and wondering if you really are… (what everyone says you are). How do you find your way in a world which is inclined this way? You need buffers. [...]

Lacking confidence some days? 3 quick tips to gain more…

Maybe you’ve experienced some of these feelings: a lack of confidence in your ability, feeling that you have to keep people happy and the frustration, oh the frustration that no matter how much you do, it doesn’t feel like enough? These feelings are in plague proportions for a good majority, so take comfort in knowing you’re not the only one. Here are three things I’ve learned that may help you gain a foothold on confidence and [...]

  • Getting_Committed

Looking for transformation – here’s a tip

Writing to you now as a blissful and content Mrs. Hibbins, rather than Ms. Lebsanft, I wanted to share something that has been a little surprising and given cause for reflection. My husband and I have been together now a decade, so we’ve already spent a long time in a relationship and I thought that marriage wouldn’t really change anything greatly, yet it has. On the outside it’s subtle but internally, it’s deeply transformative for [...]

How to stop getting cranky – 5 hot tips

“How can I stop getting cranky at my kids? A question emailed to us a week or so ago, by one of our lovely readers, asking for tips. It’s a great question and we’ve all had moments when we feel wretched because we turned into a she-wolf for a moment and bit a loved one’s head off. Tip One: Know your early warning signs Are you feeling irritable, tired, overwhelmed, have a headache, etc.? At [...]

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