18 Dec

Staying Sane at Christmas

Christmas for many can be a happy occasion but for others it’s a stressful time of year.

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The classic saying ‘let bygones be bygones’ is often easier said than done.

If your thoughts are on all the things that could go wrong over the festive season guaranteed having the expectation will bring more of the same.

The thing is – you don’t have to do what you’ve always done, you don’t have to think how you’re always thought and you don’t have to act and behave in ways which aren’t helpful to you or anyone else.

It’s natural that we may want to protect ourselves from criticism, the judgement of others, expected arguments and the continuation of a family feud but in reality it can be so different.

Just one small change needs to be made and that change begins with you.

Instead of thinking about what you don’t want, focus on the most positive outcome possible then hold the vision and trust the process that this too will come to pass.

The Spotlight Process will help you to stay sane at Christmas enormously.

You might like to copy out and carry around these questions until they become familiar in your thought pattern.  Instead of responding in the old way, begin afresh by exploring the meaning and beliefs you are placing on an event, experience or in relation to the person you are in conflict with.

1. Where is my thinking right now? (Past, Present or Future?)

2. What proportion of my thinking is negative?

3. How does it affect me when I focus on the negative?

4. Where is the evidence that what I think will happen will happen?

5. What do I want instead of thinking or feeling this way?

6. Coming from my heart instead of my head what would love do here?

Ready to know more about The Spotlight Process and how embracing and applying this process in your life not just at Christmas will change your reality, simply follow this link which will take you to my first book ‘Find YOU, Find LOVE: Get to the heart of love and relationships using EFT.

Here’s to staying sane at Christmas,

From my heart to yours with love,

x Wendy

15 Nov

Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries

What is it you want to change?

Making change and setting new boundaries begins with you.  As much as you might want your significant other, mother, co-worker, best friend or neighbour to change, you will find it far easier to make the change begin with you.  It might mean you have to step out of your comfort zone, be assertive, feel uncomfortable for a while and face your fears but without making the change to make new choices, nothing will change.

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Reflect on these questions first before reading The 10 Steps to Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries

•  What do you want ‘insert the name of the person here’ to stop doing?
•  What would you like ‘insert the name of the person here’ to start doing?
•  What do you want ‘insert the name of the person here’ to do differently?

 
•  What are you willing to stop doing?
•  What are you able to start doing?
•  What can you do differently to improve your relationship?

In relationships, until we can speak up and communicate our needs clearly, assertively and respectfully, the problems, challenges and the behaviours of those we have relationships with, remain the same.  When we change the way we communicate consistently, there is every possibility those around us will be influenced by the change and mirror back to us the positive communication.

10 Steps to Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries

1. Speak from the ‘I’. (‘‘I would like you to listen to what I’m about to say. I would like to make some positive changes in our relationship. I feel we would benefit from putting the past behind us. It would mean so much to me if you are able to hear what I’ve communicated and consider my requests, thank you for considering this’’) Saying thank you at the end of a statement like this voices the assumption that the other person will listen and acknowledge your proposal.

2. Keep communications in the positive and future tense (‘‘What I would like is for us to do is XYZ.  I believe we would both benefit from this change’’)

3. Clearly identify your boundary. Spend time figuring out what you want before you voice your limits (Do you need your neighbour, friend, your mother to stop turning up unannounced or calling you when you’re in the middle of preparing an evening meal. Would you prefer them to call round at a specific time when you are both free?)

4. Understand why you need a boundary. What’s your motivation and reason for setting this boundary? (If it’s not convenient for your neighbour, mother or friend to turn up or call without notice, let her know you will have undivided time them if you can call at 8pm for 30 minutes once the children are in bed)

5. Make your communications clear. Be direct and assertive in your conversation (If you fear conflict or confrontation you may not say exactly what you mean, which leaves room for confusion or doubt). It might spare the person you are in conflict with feelings if you aren’t direct and to the point but how will you feel? What is the cost if you do nothing to make this change, who suffers?)

6. Don’t give long explanations or apologise (Setting boundaries isn’t something you need to say sorry for and it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. Short, sharp and clear communications works best.  If someone is demanding of your time when it’s inconvenient you have to let them know e.g. (‘‘I would like weekends to myself, I need more time to study, thank you for understanding this. I look forward to meeting you on Wednesday afternoons to catch up’’)

7. Remain calm and polite (Boundaries are best set outside of an argument, getting into dialogue about making change in the heat of the moment when both of you are angry, neither person can really hear the other. Keep your anger in check and leave all sarcasm and condescending tone out of your communications)

8. Start with firm boundaries (It’s easier to loosen a tight boundary after it’s been set rather than trying to tighten a weak boundary.  If your mother or mother in law is interfering and trying to reorganise your home, e.g., ‘‘I’d prefer it if you don’t come into my home when I’m not there. I want the way I’ve left my home to stay the same, I like it how it is.’’ It’s easier at a later date to invite her to take a mini-break in your home while you are away, on the condition she leaves things as they are, or to pop round an hour before you get home if she wants to watch something not available on her own TV package). Don’t overextend yourself or try and ‘people please’ or agree to commitments you will later have to cancel or do begrudgingly. Get clear from the start.

9. Address any breaking of boundaries early on. As soon as a boundary is broken, reset it. Remind the person concerned of your boundary. (‘‘You may have forgotten , I need the weekends to myself study, I can see you on Wednesday afternoons instead’’)

10. Don’t make it personal. Rather than tell the person you are in conflict with everything you think about them being inconsiderate of your time, your appointments and plans it is far easier to be direct. eg (‘‘I’m happy to pick you up and take you to Maggie’s, but you will need to be ready at 10 a.m’’)

It’s possible the person you wish to set boundaries with won’t welcome these changes though in order for your relationship to improve, it’s important to end the struggles you each have within your relationship and find new solutions to old problems.  All it takes is one person to change and this change begins with you.

Stand up for what you want in life, agree to disagree if need be.  If you don’t you are living someone elses life on their terms, not yours, and that’s not really living life at all.

If you’re in need of further support in setting healthy personal boundaries please do make contact at
www.wendyfry.com to discuss best support options.

18 Oct

Keeping Mum

Since the 14th Century people have been talking (or rather not talking) about ”keeping mum”.

So what exactly is this blog post about you might wonder…

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Keeping ”mum” can refer to silence and also a mother.

Now, It’s a universal truth we all have had a mother…

As much as you might like to change your mother, transforming your relationship with her and coming to terms with your past, ultimately begins with you.

If you are experiencing familiar emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, blame or shame, please understand that you are not alone in your search for your mother’s approval, acceptance and love and you no longer need to keep ”mum” and keep it all inside.

With no ‘Dummies Guide’ available to help  you make peace with your mother and move on from past pain, I realised the importance of writing an informative and practical self-help guide specifically aimed at daughters to help them find emotional release, gain personal closure and an understanding of how all daughters’ lives are shaped through the mother-daughter experience.

I want you to know, that it is possible to move beyond the pain you feel inside.  It is possible to move on from your disappointments, regrets, feeling that you are unappreciated, unloved and misunderstood.  It is possible to work towards accepting your mother – warts and all and in turn, you will ease the pain of the past and realise you are worth loving.

Each of you reading this will have your own story when it comes to your mother and for mothers reading this, your story about your daughter will be unique to you.  Our personal realities are based on what we each individually experience and the perceptions and beliefs we filter through.

It is my intention to help you to bring balance to your thinking, guiding you to react and respond to your mother in a way which serves you better and by doing so; you will understand and transform your relationship at the deepest level.

What does the word ‘Mother’ mean to you? When I use the term “mum’’ or “mother’’, I refer to your childhood mother, your mother at the time she raised you.  This may also include a step mother, foster or adoptive mother or ‘other mother figure’ that cared for you.

Until your ‘mother stuff’ is understood and healed, the inner and outer conflicts you have or once had remain a burden.  I reach out to you and offer to share the strategies which have helped in my relationship with my own mother and also the wonderfully open women I have had the privilege to work with in my second book Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother

Over the coming weeks my blog will feature and introduce some of the topics covered in Mothers and Daughters.  So if you’ve had enough of ”keeping mum”, this blog and my book are a great place to start making the changes which enable you to feel heard, understood, accepted and loved for who you are.

Regardless of your past, you need not let it shape your future, stay with me and I will show you how.