Finding a solution requires the right mindset — a conscious decision that you will do your best to contribute to a positive outcome (solution) rather than contribute to a negative outcome (problem).

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if our focus was on finding a solution rather than focusing on a problem.

How much more smoothly would our days go? Would our ideas of right and wrong shift? Would we stop judging something as good or bad? Would finding a ‘common ground’ become our focus?

Consider some of your concerns or problems at the moment. Do they always have to have a ‘me versus you’ mentality attached to them? If we didn’t take things personally, would we be able to step out of that mindset?
The answer to any of the above questions lies in what is the desired outcome. Is it more important to live your life with less chaos and drama by focusing on a solution? Is finding a solution a better outcome than tolerating a problem?

It reminds me of a pendulum, the constant sway from one side to another. One side is swinging to the left and the other side is swinging to the right. Back and forth, back and forth, with no one desiring to give any ground.

Extremes are located on either side of the pendulum and perhaps it is the middle ground, the still point, which favours us — or at least provides a ‘best-case scenario’ for all involved.

Cooperation and willingness from both parties is required to achieve this still point. Not getting caught up in whose opinion is right or wrong. Not getting caught up in taking things or comments personally. And, most importantly, not having to always be right.

Have you ever noticed that when you start complaining about how bad things are or how something doesn’t fit your belief system that you actually feel your heart rate increase, your emotions rise? You may feel incredibly indignant, or you may even feel your breath becoming shallow due to stress. Do you like this feeling? Does it make you feel empowered or safe? Initially I would say yes, because you are ‘fighting for your beliefs’ and this is comfortable ground. But what happens when the dialogue stops, the conversation goes into a lull or you change subject.

Where does all this pent-up energy and frustration go? Do you have a solution for all your complaining or blaming?

More often than not, if you were paying attention to your responses you would understand that you actually end up feeling flat and deflated.

Why is this, if you were so fired up only minutes earlier? Perhaps it is because you are actually looking for a way to fix something but all you ended up doing was complaining, blaming, making excuses and, in the end, voicing your concerns without having a viable solution in mind.

A solution-focused mindset is so much more powerful and creative than a problem-focused mindset. Attitude is everything.

If you are experiencing an area of your life that you wish to change, focus on the solution.

A simple guide to consider when looking to find a solution:

1. Blaming others never solves anything. Ask yourself: “What can I do here and now to help improve this situation?”
2. Making excuses is a form of procrastination. If you are unable to start working on a solution, the inevitable outcome will be that the problem will persist and that the desired outcome, a solution, will be non-existent. Better to start now than not start at all and resent others or yourself for doing nothing.
3. Finding a solution empowers you. No one likes to think of themselves as not capable. Working on a strategy or a way to come up with a solution not only creates a sense of empowerment (I AM capable of…) but achievement as well. Finding a solution as a group or community empowers everyone.
4. Staying detached from the situation is beneficial if you wish to truly create positive change. This way, it does not become about your beliefs, or their beliefs, or his beliefs or her beliefs. Stay out of the emotional merry-go-round.
5. Be more proactive and less reactive as this impacts your emotional state of being.
6. The choice is yours. Be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
7. Compromise is not a negative. This just may be the single most important factor in finding a solution. Compromise is not about someone getting ‘their way’. Compromise shows that you are willing to meet someone half-way in order to benefit everyone. Perhaps this is a key ingredient in true leadership.
8. Don’t be afraid to say you’re sorry. If you made a mistake, own it. Taking responsibility for your actions or words may just be the quickest route to finding a solution.
9. Remember everyone is doing the best they can in any given moment. When I meet someone who is challenging I remind myself of this simple statement. I have no idea what is going on inside their head or their heart and what challenges they may be facing.
10. Practice breath awareness. Focusing on taking a series of deep inhalations and exhalations (5-10 cycles) to calm your mind and your body. Entering into any discussion feeling stressed or on ‘edge’ is never a good idea. Hit a RESET button and make sure that you are clear and focused. You will be less reactive and will communicate much more effectively.

 

Full article – http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/tami-roos/be-the-solution_b_9179642.html

There is a place within each and every one of us that stores a hidden well. The power of this hidden well gives us the ability to rise above ordinary, day-to-day situations within an instant if called upon. Within this well resides love, courage, compassion, hope, strength, humility, integrity, respect, faith, resilience, passion, benevolence, kindness, patience, joy and truth.

Most are not aware of its existence, but if you look closely enough you will recognise that there have been many instances in your own life where you tapped into this well and into your hero within. Are you able to recognise that each and every one of us has all of those traits at our disposal if we so choose to call upon them and action them?

I believe there are heroes among us, not just some of the time, but all of the time. Every single day, human beings perform amazing acts of courage and love. Some of these make headline news, but more often than not it is the unsung hero that goes about their business, acting from their hidden well and never understanding the enormous impact their presence or action has had on another human being.

And, going one step further, the positive impact on this one person never stops with them. The family, the co-worker, the company, the team, the community and perhaps even the nation is also impacted positively from this action.

Take the analogy of a pebble thrown into a still pond. The pebble thrown into the water creates a ripple effect. If a boulder is thrown into the water it creates an even bigger ripple effect, but neither is more important than the other. Both have made an impact.

If you understand that for every action there is a reaction and that it is instant, you would also understand just how powerful we are and together we can be the difference we wish to see in this world.

The hero within comes in many forms. The hero is not limited to a certain gender, age, religious background, ethnicity, geographical location or financial status.

Have you stopped to consider that the smile you just gave a complete stranger may have been the highlight of their day? How many of you think that a small act of kindness is never wasted? What if, for a moment, everyone decided that they would call upon their hero within and pledge to do one unconditional act of kindness a day. Would that not then spread out into your family, friends and community?

To be a hero does not require a herculean effort or act.

Try the following:

  • Open the door for someone.
  • Let the mother with the crying child go in front of you in the line at the grocery store.
  • Let someone know that you care.
  • Listen and acknowledge another’s presence, point of view, opinion or belief. Sometimes people just want to be acknowledged and heard. It doesn’t mean you have to change your opinion or belief, but the care that you display for another person’s wellbeing softens the heart and makes them feel included.
  • Offer a homeless person a meal. Being hungry and alone isn’t always a choice they made, nor does it mean they are lazy. Some people become homeless over something as little as a paycheck one week late. Showing compassion for the less fortunate is true grace.
  • Stay free of judging, gossiping and spreading rumours.
  • Treat everyone as you wish to be treated. At the end of the day, you will know how you acted.
  • Mow the lawn for an elderly neighbour.
  • Hug a loved one.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Stand up for someone being bullied.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Buy the next person in line their coffee.
  • Offer to take that photo for the one person in the group who would otherwise have missed out.
  • Pray for someone who is unwell or is in need of support.
  • Pray for solutions (don’t focus on the problem).
  • Pick up trash you may find on the street, in the park or at the beach…
  • Take your dog for a walk (and perhaps offer to take the neighbours dog too).

It is rather easy to make a difference to someone’s life, our planet and our animals. All you have to decide is to do it. The choice is yours.

You have all of those amazing qualities within your hidden well.

You do have a hero within.

Honour others and you honour yourself.

 

——–

Written by Tami Roos
Author and meditation facilitator

Reposted from Huffington Post

It’s official — December is here and with that the mad dash towards the close of the year and the many different holiday festivities you have planned.

You may be experiencing excitement with the build up towards New Years or you may be feeling exhausted and ready for a holiday. Some of you may be experiencing a heightened sense of anxiety or even stress that surrounds this time of year.

As this is the month of December and we hear “tis the season of giving”, why don’t you practise giving back to yourself by choosing gratitude?

One of the easiest ways to experience more contentment, joy and happiness is to practise being thankful for what is in your life right now.

Wherever you are on the scale of fluctuating daily emotions we all can benefit from practising gratitude.

The energy of gratitude is powerful because it allows you to rise above situations or states of being that would normally disempower you or knock you off your centre.

This is because there is an awareness within you that there are a lot of people, places, things and situations to be truly thankful for. Knowing this is powerful as you are tapping into love and an interconnectedness with others. The recognition of what you’re thankful for allows your heart to expand and a real sense of contentment, happiness and joy is experienced.

I’m not suggesting that there will be days that are not challenging — even if you are practising gratitude — but by beginning each day being thankful you are actively choosing to take your awareness into your heart.

Gratitude Exercise:

Simply close your eyes and start taking slow rhythmic breaths concentrating on the sound of your breath. Feel the breath entering in through your nostrils and exiting slowly out of your mouth. As you breathe, feel any anxiety that you may be holding onto slowly dissolve with each inhalation and exhalation. Repeat this process for a count of 5 inhalations and exhalations.

At the end of your breathing exercise you should be feeling more relaxed. Sit quietly and ask yourself “What am I grateful for in this moment?”

You don’t need to rush the answer — simply allow the answer to come to your mind.

The answer that you come up with should fill your heart with a sense of gratitude. The feeling is similar to experiencing a sense of wonder and joy. You should feel happy and uplifted by the experience.

Feel the expansion in your chest that tells you yes, I am thankful for this… whatever it might be. It could be a sunrise, a smile you received today, a friend, a bonus, a gift, your dog, your health, running on the beach, seeing a rainbow… the list is endless.

When you feel your heart expand, you are opening yourself up to more! It may come in the form of a new opportunity, more energy, a higher frequency/vibration, more positive emotions and more positive experiences.

As you breathe in, keep thinking of what you are grateful for and allow the energy to keep flowing to you.

Now come up with another thing that you are truly grateful for.

Again, you must feel your body respond to what you are thankful for. If you do not ‘feel a response’ then think of something else until you experience a sense of expansion. It is similar to an ‘aha’ moment — that moment when you know or have the feeling of perceiving something that you hadn’t before.

When you are ready gently bring your awareness back to the room and open your eyes.

You will start to identify quickly with what you are truly grateful for because the body does not lie. You will feel your heart expand.

Use this exercise daily to raise your vibration, shift your mood, as a form of prayer, and as a way of being more present.

Original article – http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/tami-roos/a-daily-dose-of-gratitude_b_8694804.html

On a recent trip to the United States I had the pleasure of sharing a taxi back to the airport with a girlfriend. During the short car ride we were engaging with the driver, who had lived in the area for nearly 20 years, about life.

In short, he said, “I would rather be happy than crappy.” He said it took him a long time to work it out but that being grumpy took up too much of his energy and left him exhausted.

I thought about this comment for a few days as I truly appreciated the reminder. This taxi driver had innocently passed on a great truth to both me and my girlfriend and I was grateful to have been in a position to really hear what the ‘teacher’ was saying.

We all have the ability to “choose to be”. I can be having a “bad” day and let it not only ruin my day in my thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions but of those around me too. If I am grumpy then those around me feel it too. It may be the way I say something, the emotion behind the statement or my body language.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and you recognise straight away that the person is in a bad mood? It’s like they are walking in with a large dark rain cloud above their head saying ‘watch out, I am having a bad day’.

You speak with this person and by the end of the conversation you feel like all of your energy has been zapped away! What happened? You had been in a good mood and then the storm cloud walked over and now you’re not feeling as good or positive.

Energy is real. We are all constantly receiving information and feedback from multiple sources all the time and people are one of the greatest sources of passing energy on from one to another.

Which brings me back to the taxi drivers realisation. If I am the one who is feeling down do I have a choice to change that and lessen the impact on myself (my state of wellbeing) and on others too? Of course I do —
I can ‘choose to be” more positive. Simple. It is all in your mind-set.

All of us have had days where we wish we could have just started all over again or, better still, wished we could just go back to bed and wake up to a new day.

Those thoughts all lie in the hope that somehow everything is going to just go away. But the bad mood is still there or the experience that we wished we didn’t have, we have had, etc…

So what can I do about it?

What if I have the choice or the power to choose my response right then and there? Would I be better off? Of course I would. I would no longer play the victim game or the blame game or the martyr game. I wouldn’t allow a bad mood to ruin my entire day or that of another person.

If I am not a victim to the situation I can choose a more appropriate response. If I take responsibility for a situation or an emotion than I am more able to move on quickly rather than blaming another for being the source of my so-called problem. If something is out of my control, it is better to accept it rather than think I can change the outcome or what a person may have said or done. I can’t.

The only person that I can control is myself. I can control my thoughts, my words, my actions and my feelings and not those of another person.

Some helpful hints to bring more awareness to a situation where you wish to change your mind-set.

Remember to Breathe- if you’re in a really bad mood than try to find a moment to yourself to practise some deep breathing. Sit still and inhale deeply and as you exhale visualise yourself breathing out all of your anger or negative energy. Repeat this exercise for at least five cycles of breath and you will feel your body relax. The more relaxed your body, the easier it is to quiet the mind. This will allow you to become more present and more able to find a solution to your present situation rather than ‘hang on to it’.

Smile- my grandmother used to say to me if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. It’s free and you don’t know what that smile will mean to someone else. It is a very powerful form of connecting with another and makes you feel better because you are not focused on yourself but rather another human being. This is surely one of the quickest and nicest ways of becoming more positive.

Connect with Nature-if possible go outside for 5-10 minutes and simply sit in nature. Gaze at something beautiful, admire a sunset, lie on the grass and watch the clouds float by. Nature brings you back to yourself. Nothing looks or feels as bad when you are sitting in nature. You’re able to let go and simply enjoy your surroundings, thus disconnecting from your negative thinking or bad mood.

Read original article here – http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/tami-roos/happy-not-crappy_b_8168254.html

In 1989, I went skiing in California with my boyfriend (now husband), Paul. We got to the ski lift and the operator looked at me and commented on how much she liked my jacket and we chatted for a moment. I didn’t give the conversation a second thought.

Paul and I got on the chairlift and halfway up he turned and said to me, “how rude was that girl? She obviously doesn’t like your jacket.”

I was so genuinely surprised that it took me a moment to realise that we were experiencing a cultural difference.

There are obvious cultural differences between Australia and America and then there are those that are more subtle.

When I moved to Australia in 1993 I learned that people were more likely to think you were “taking the Mickey out of them” rather then giving them a genuine compliment. It took some getting used to. At first I was completely perplexed by this. In California, where I grew up, compliments are given and accepted rather easily.

The Australian and American senses of humour are two completely different things. Australians are incredibly funny with a quick wit and I find that they have the best humour. Sarcasm is everpresent, whereas Americans tend to be a little more serious. I think this undercurrent of sarcasm makes it difficult for Australians to accept a compliment – though it’s changing with time.

Over the years I have noticed that our two cultures have become more integrated. When friends visit from the States or Paul and his friends travel to the U.S. there is a genuine warmth as the cultures blend. Humour is an amazing and incredibly liberating gift.

I have been teaching meditation in Australia for 12 years and I’ve noticed that people struggle to give themselves a pat on the back. All kinds of people from CEOs to hairdressers attend my classes — and most of them can’t acknowledge to themselves when they’ve done something well.

So how can we learn to accept compliments and give ourselves a pat on the back?

Start by being more gentle with yourself in words, deeds, thoughts and actions. Everyone of us has berated and criticised ourselves. If you find it difficult to receive and accept a compliment I hope that this simple understanding below will help you:

  • We are all trying our best;
  • There are wonderful gifts inside each and everyone of us and it is up to us to accept them;
  • It is OK to acknowledge when we have done something wel. It doesn’t mean we’re being egotistical;
  • Take pleasure in the quiet acceptance in your own heart and mind that you have accomplished something well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/tami-roos/australians-dont-know-how_b_7985564.html?utm_hp_ref=australia