Welcome to HEN - Transforming Conflict for our Health, Environment, Negotiation
HEN is published each month by Julia Menard:
Helping the Workplace Engage - One Tough Conversation at a Time! juliamenard.com
HEN arrives at the full moon -
because light transforms darkness.
Full Moon: July 31, 2015 - Year 13, Issue 8
Traditionally, the summer issues of HEN are my time to replenish - where content is slim and rest time is large. Summer is the time to kick back, relax and reconnect with and nourish our bodies! It’s also the time that I only write one article for HEN. This is it!
What I want to offer this month is in keeping with the offering of the last 6 months. Each month, I’ve included an excerpt of one chapter of an e-book I’m working on with Judy Zehr called “Hold Onto Yourself – Through Difficult Conversations.” Each month we’ve been moving sequentially through the book, so this month’s excerpt is from Chapter 7 about “schemas.”
Happy Blue Moon!
Heart Shift Tool
“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”
… Richard Bach
The Heart Shift tool is for you to use right in the moment. It’s intended to create a quick shift whenever you start to notice you are feeling triggered and going into a stressed state. You can use this tool when preparing for a difficult conversation or in the heat of the moment. It does require you to have your mindfulness honed well enough that you can catch yourself early enough, of course.
This tool helps you support yourself in staying more connected to yourself, more compassionate toward the other person, and to move back to balance.
This tool is expanded and adapted from the Heart Math Institute.
- Begin by focusing on your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. See if you can breathe right into your heart area. Then breathe out, directly from your heart. Take a few of these nice, deep heart based breathes. Notice if you begin to relax a bit. You can put one hand on your heart and the other on your belly for an extra powerful way to bring yourself into your heart and the present moment. If this is all you remember to do when you are triggered, you will already be more balanced than if you didn’t do this at all.
- If you can take one more step, it is very powerful for your mind-heart coherence to bring to mind something or someone you love or appreciate. It could be a person, pet, object, landscape, activity, or anything at all that you can feel some true, body-based feelings of gratitude, appreciation or love for. This starts to change your brain and heart wave patterns. The idea is to focus on this thing you love and breathe into your heart, breathing in the feelings of love, appreciation, and gratitude. Breathe out from your heart, breathing out and surrounding yourself with these feelings of love and appreciation. Take as many of these breaths, focusing on these feelings, as you’d like.
You can do this over and over until you calm down and feel more relaxed.
You can also use this technique as part of your preparation for difficult conversations more directly. It starts with thinking about the other person you want to have the conversation with. Here’s how:
- Imagine this person and see if you can imagine one small thing you love or appreciate about them. It could be a anything: the color of their tie, the way they care for their spouse, the way they arrive to work early every morning, their voice, the kind words they said to you last month, the kind of parent they are.
- See if you can breathe in and out of your heart, just as you practiced above, and breathe in this small thing you love or appreciate about this person. Breathe it in, and breathe it out, these feelings of gratefulness, love, or appreciation. Continue to focus on these feelings of love or appreciation, and use your breath, in and out, until you feel a shift in your energy, perspective or balance. You did it!
Know that each and every time you practice one of the tools you are literally re-wiring your brain for more peace, joy and compassion. You are changing your automatic reactions to stress, and in essence, growing yourself up!
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Julia Menard, B.A., Cert. Con. Res., P.C.C.
Leadership & Conflict Coaching, Mediating, & Training