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Journals – Creating Reality

Journalling has been an important part of my life for the past 20 years.  I don’t write everyday and I don’t beat myself up if I forget or get too busy and miss a day or a week of entries.  I do not use my journal as a record of my everyday life but as a record of the thoughts that just won’t go away until I see them on paper.  Writing is powerful.  It makes things real and somehow solvable.  Writing about something that is on my mind takes it off of my mind and puts it on a piece of paper somewhere that I can refer to later if I choose to … or not.  At least it is not rolling around in my mind driving me crazy.

Journalling truly keeps me sane.  It also allows me to formulate new ideas and synthesize issues and look at things in a different way.  When we have participants Journal at PULSE we ask them to write.  It doesn’t matter what they write, just write.  Once they have written we ask them to read it over and then notice whether they have written about thoughts, actions or feelings.  We ask them to use coloured dots to categorize their journal by placing red dots by feelings, yellow dots by actions and green dots by thoughts.  It is also possible to use the red for past, yellow for present and green for future categories.  When people do this they begin to see patterns in their writing that begins to help them understand more about their own predispositions and maybe even Enneagram types.  Are they in the Head Triad thinking about the future, Heart Triad feeling about the past or Body Triad acting in the present?

Journals can be quite revealing and you may even find out more about yourself then you really wanted to face.  A journal is a friend and like  good friend it doesn’t judge it only allows you to observe yourself in a reflective safe environment.  Journals are a wonderful way for us to begin to see the Walsch Illusions, the Love Criteria and the Riso-Hudson Qualities from earlier entries on this blog. 

Let’s continue this dialogue by examining more closely each of the rows of the chart that shows my suggested relationship between the Illusions, criteria and qulaities over the next few days.  Meanwhile, journal …. write what you are feeling, doing and or thinking and notice which is more comfortalbe to write about.  Have fun!!

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Happy Canada Day

I am a very proud Canadian.  I love my country.  I know that I am not alone.  I stood on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1st, 1996 and sang O Canada with about 150,000 other proud Canadians.  Ottawa is my favourite city and I was proud to take my daughters there last summer so they could feel the electricity and pride of nation that exists in our capital city.  I lived there in the as a child in the 60’s, the Trudeau years and I met my husband Jim there at a political convention.  I love Ottawa, the city and the idea and the country that it has governed.

My dad spent more than 30 years in the Canadian Navy in all of its iterations over that time frame.  We lived in Halifax and Ottawa and Edmonton. He also served with the Blue Berets, the UN Peace Keepers, in the Middle East.  I learned many lessons from my dad; how to be a gentle leader, how to stand at attention, to be respectful of the Queen and my country and to appreciate the fact that people die in the name of our country.  I am not sure that I understood the meaning of “the ultimate sacrifice” the first time I heard it.  I was very young.  I knew, however, that my grandfather had made that sacrifice in World War II and was buried at Groesbeck, near Nijmegen in the Netherlands. One of my proudest Canadian daughter moments was watching my dad stand back and salute his father’s grave when we visited it together in 2000. Another was watching him on the big screen as the videographer focused on him in the crowd standing very tall and at attention while they played O Canada at my graduation when I received my doctorate.

Canada is home and the idea of Canada as a peaceful nation where two European cultures came together and made peace with each other and eventually with the First Nations here has been a source of pride for me.  I loved reading “Reflections of a Siamese Twin” by Jonathon Ralston Saul, my favourite Canadian Philosopher.  From a young age I was interested in my country.  It was important for me to learn French and understand First Nation and Métis cultures.  When I was young we visited Quebec often.  My grandmother lived in Montreal and for reasons I never quite understood she never really learned how to speak French.  I felt that it feel to me to come to Alberta and become a French as a Second Language teacher to rectify or balance that somehow.  I also studied and taught Canadian History and French English Relations in Canada and took Alberta students to Quebec so that they could learn about our country. 

When the referendum in 95 was so close and no one else in Alberta seemed to care, I ran for Parliament in the 97 election.  Someone had to make sure that Quebec stayed in Canada.  I didn’t think I could do it alone but I had to do something.  I lost that election and the one in 2006 but I did make sure that Albertans in rural Alberta who supported my vision of Canada, a united, peaceful Canada, had a place to put their vote.

Last summer, months after I had accepted the nomination to run again in a federal election, I had a serious talk with my friend and colleague from Ghana.  He, himself, had been a politician there.  His own ideas of how to serve his country had changed as a result of his experience in parliament. He made good arguments for me to leave the political scene and become focused on PULSE.  He argued that I could serve my country better as an ambassador for peaceful conversations all over the world and especially in Canada.  The two prime ministers with whom I had run for election and other countrymen, like Stephen Lewis, had devoted at least some of their political energies toward the African Continent.  Why couldn’t I?  He reminded me of how he had used the PULSE Discovery to settle long standing disputes between warring tribes in Ghana and how, with support and focus we could make a difference in other areas of the world as well.
Those arguments convinced me that maybe if I were to focus on a campaign to have people all over the world learn about the PULSE Discovery as a peaceful way to reach sustainable resolution, even in difficult situations, that I would contribute to the Canadian reputation as Peace Makers and Peace Keepers.  World Peace – One Conversation at a Time is a mantra you hear often at the PULSE Institute.  Contribution to my country and its reputation in the world is important to me.  I knew there were many ways to contribute to Canada and had chosen teaching and politics at the municipal, provincial and federal levels as the way for me to do that.  He was suggesting another way. I took him seriously.  So for this past year I have been away from politics and focusing on PULSE.  A book, video and 30 PULSE Professionals trained.  It is amazing what you can accomplish with focus.  Politics is never far from my heart.  I heard a politician say recently “Politics is a conversation”.  He is right and there are times when I miss the conversation and the protocol and the ceremony that contribute to our identity as Canadians. I am committed to continuing to contribute as best I can as the Peace Maker from Canada when I travel in the US and Africa over this next year.  My goal is to contribute and to make you all proud of this Canadian as she continues her campaign, not for political office but for PULSE – World Peace – One Conversation at a Time.
How are you contributing to your country?? 
Happy Canada Day.

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WHY? PULSE Ways of Knowing

PULSE is brain based conversation.  It is also heart based and body based because thereare three ways of knowing that integrate in PULSE conversations.  We study not just how conversations work but why they work.  Examining the why has lead to an interest and curiouslty about brain knowledge and body knowledge connection andheart knowledge in this triangulation of ways of knowing.  I recently read an article “The Brain at Work” by Adrienne Fox on the SHRM Website.  It is a very interesting account of where motivation goes and how it ebbs and flows much like confidence does.  It talks about serotonin, a chemical that increases happiness and motivation and what leaders can do to have the brain secrete serotonin. hmmmm.

I think the PULSE conversation is good at creating situations or experiences that induce serotonin production.  People feel satisfied that they have been heard, that their criteria have been considered and met after a PULSE conversation.  When leaders accept the principles that underlie the PULSE Conversation, they act in ways that focus on the positive and a future based on what’s best from the past.  Serotonin is produced when people are hopeful and are aware of the truth, goodness and beauty around them. And once they have begun to produce serotonin they see more truth, goodness and beauty and it becomes a self perpetuating state.  The GREEN Zone, as we call it at PULSE, is a good place to be,

The Heart knowledge in PULSE is based largely in the Enneagram and the work of Riso and Hudson.  I have been distracted from the completion of the Sunday thoughts on illusions and wanted to get back to the ideas of integrating the illusions described by Walsch and the Paths for Transformation described by Riso and Hudson.  As a reminder, Walsch describes 10 illusions; Need, Failure, Disunity, Insufficiency, Requirement, Judgement, Condemnation, Conditionality, Superiority and ignorance.  Reading through the descriptions of the illusions I was struck by the possibility in the re-frame of the illusions.  What is missing if you believe in this illusion?  I had identified need as more universal illusion that could be re-framed as Abundance and re-framed the others; Failure to Success, Disunity to Unity, Insufficiency to Sufficiency, Requirement to Approval, Judgement to Acceptance, Condemnation to Forgiveness, Conditionality to Inclusion, Superiority to Identify and Ignorance to Understanding.  I could see the Enneagram types in each of the re-frames.

Referring back to Riso and Hudson, I found  9 Paths to Transformation described using some of the same words I had used to re-frame the Walsch illusions; Acceptance, Self-nurturing, Authenticity, Forgiveness, Understanding, Courage, Gratitude, Self-surrender and Self-remembering.  Coincidence???  I think not. Riso and Hudson describe the Enneagram essential qualities as Wisdom (1), Unconditional Love (2), Value (3), Equanimity (4), Direct Knowing (5), Will (6), Joy (7), Strength (8) and Unity (9). So let’s put the three lists together and match up the ones we can …

 

Walsch’s Illusions

Love’s Criteria

What’s missing?

Enneagram Path’s (Love)

Riso-Hudson’s Qualities

 

 

 

 

 

1

Need

Abundance

 

Integration

2

Failure

Success

3

Authenticity

3

Disunity

Unity

9

Self-Remembering

4

Insufficiency

Sufficiency

7

Gratitude

5

Requirement

Approval

6

Courage

6

Judgment

Acceptance

1

Acceptance

7

Condemnation

Forgiveness

4

Forgiveness

8

Conditionality

Inclusion

2

Self-Nurturing

9

Superiority

Identity

8

Self-Surrender

10

Ignorance

Understanding

5

Understanding

 

 

 

 

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Can you hear me now????

It is interesting to write blogs into the ether. You don’t really know if anyone at all is reading them or if they are, what they are thinking.  It is the “If a tree falls in the forest question??”  Is there an internet if no one uses it??  Okay… I know that people read this from time to time and my goal is to make it interesting enough that you will come back or suggest a topic or learn something or just smile.

Have you ever notice how confidence is like a tide?  It seems to ebb and flow.  I am not sure if the moon has anything to do with it but it is an interesting thought. 

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PULSE is an INSTITUTE

Yesterday Terry and I were talking about PULSE – the name of our company.  She was wondering about why we called it an institute.  Her curiousity was based in her own understanding and experience of what an institute is.  She thought that it might be misleading because we are not necessarily associated with a university, nor are we housed in a big building.  My understanding of Institute was more “think tank”, a place were people study and hone ideas on a certain subject and the PULSE Institute is a place where we study People Using Language Skills Effectively.  I thought if Terry who has been with us for more than a year is confused then others might be too.  So we looked it up on Wikipedia:

An institute is a permanent organizational body created for a certain purpose. Often it is a research organization (research institution) created to do research on specific topics. An institute can also be a professional body. The word comes from the Latin word institutum meaning facility or habit; from instituere meaning build, create, raise or educate.

PULSE is an INSTITUTE.  It is a permanent body created to promote the use of language skills, to resolve conflict and to prevent the need for conflict management at the root.  The guiding question for our Institute is how can people use language to build, create, raise or educate toward peaceful, productive families, work places, communities, societies?   How can we use language to create world peace – one conversation at a time?  Over the course of our work we have accepted underlying principles related to Appreciative Inquiry from the field of Organizational Development and an enhanced and enlightened understanding of people through the use of the Enneagram.  The search and the research for ways to spread the word of the institute and the evolution of the understanding continues.

My PhD is in Educational Research.  When we first began we also had a non-profit society that we called PIPER (PULSE Institute for Public Education and Research).  PIPER focused on ADR and was instrumental in initiating the Mediation Month Publicity Campaigns that continue here in Calgary each year. And the Research continues.  Marjorie were talking this morning about the research that we will need to do for the next book.  “World Peace – One Conversation at a Time”.  I have several articles in the works and am collaborating with three other authors on projects this summer.

The field research that I have done over the past 6 years will be done to a greater extent by others moving forward.  They will take the message to the clients, use the skills and concepts in the field and report back to me so that we can have PULSE conversations about how the thinking might change or how it applies in other fields or what other applications can be found.  They will be encouraged to write and share their experiences.  The PULSE Institute dialogue continues.  It is on our website, in our newsletters where Marjorie pulls together the thoughts and ideas from PULSE Professionals and other authors that support or challenge the Institutes underlying premise that WORDS CREATE WORLDS.

This summer we have invited the PULSE Professionals to gather again in Canmore to share their past year, their present projects and their future plans.  It will all relate to the PURPOSE of the INSTITUTE to promote People Using Language Skills Effectively.  If you would like to contribute to this dialogue please post a comment or send Marjorie something for the newsletter.  Is PULSE an Institute?  I think so.  What about you? What do you think?

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The Element of Surprise

I was completely caught off guard yesterday when I arrived at my friend Laurie’s place for lunch and 20 or so of my favourite people in the whole world were there waiting in the driveway for me, shouting Happy Birthday.  I was confused.  My birthday is more than a month away.  It didn’t really matter to me why all of these women had gathered.  It was just wonderful to see them.  My daughters, my mum, my sister- in -law and niece, my Tuesday night girls, mediator and business friends, my neighbour.  To my greater surprise, my friend from San Diego and my friend who summers in Saskatchewan had flown in and Carol, my best friend from Lethbridge had left out of town visitors at her house to drive two hours to be there.  It was WONDERFUL.

The Tuesday Night Group had rewritten Hey Jude so that it became – Hey Nance and they sang for me.  There was food and wine and conversations and the most wonderful gifts. Yesterday morning I had been looking for some thing to journal in and had found an old one with a few empty pages at the back and had used that space to clear some thoughts.  Today I have six new inspiring blank journals to write my next books in.  Wonderful, touching cards and wishes and thoughtful gifts and gift certificates and a magnificent poem by one of my Tuesday Night Girls that made everyone cry.  My daughters had written something on the way from Edmonton in the car that was very, very touching.  I love them very much.

I am at a loss as to how to thank everyone, how to tell them how much it meant to me to think that people would take time out of their busy lives to gather together like that to help me celebrate being on the planet for a very long time.  THANK YOU.  It hardly expresses it.  Imagine a large swell in the middle of the ocean, one that could create an enormous wave.  That is the feeling I have.  My heart is full of warmth and gratitude and appreciation for what you have all done for me.  My life is richer because of all of you.

Carol Steen said it best, “Nancy couldn’t figure out what to collect so she started to collect interesting women.”  So true and lucky me.  I bet I have a better collection than Oprah.

Back to the serious stuff tomorrow.  THANKS…

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The Space-Time Continuum

Have you ever re read your old journals?  It is an interesting experience that I allow myself from time to time.  Mostly what I learn is that I haven’t really learned much.  I seem to still be complaining about the same things even if things around me have changed.  It seems that internal longing that everyone has remains.  What is it that we want out of life?  The answer to the questions of Life, the Universe and Everything, is 42 according to Douglass Adams.  I am beginning to think their may be nine answers so I divided 42 by 9 and got 3.6 repeating.  Hmmmm.

We repeat our patterns until we learn to integrate the lessons and multiply the 3.6 * 9 to get back to 42 …    if you can!  I know it sounds complicated but really it is fun to reduce life to mathematical equations that can’t really be solved.  Two plus two equals something but the answer depends.  So to it seems to be with life.  Just when we think we have figured things out they get complicated and the lesson that we were applying to a situation doesn’t have the desired effect.  That can be confusing.  The trick is to get curious about what you might be missing.

It seems to come back to the Enneagram for me.  I was reading this morning and came across a passage about illusions.  There were 10.  I was able to easily identify and reframe Nine of them as Enneagram criteria.  The first one was more universal, talking about the illusion of “NEED”.  For me  a need is something that each of the Enneatypes would define differently.  The other nine illusions seemed more specific to the types.  I will write about each of them over the next few days.

For the body types, 8,9 and 1, I identified the illusions of Condemnation, Disunity and Judgement.  Judgement caught my attention.  “Judgement is not the same as observation.” Observation is just noticing.  Judgement is attributing meaning.  I need to think more about that.  I think ones have a tendency to judge and I know that I do when I go to one.  I would like to think more in terms of just noticing or observing and less about judging.  Is that me judging myself???  It is complicated.

The illusion for eight is Condemnation which I would reframe as “deserving” and nine is disunity which is easily reframed to “Unity”.  More about those tomorrow.  Meanwhile Neale Donald Walsch’s ” Communion with God”  Is the reference for these thoughts.  I recommend his earlier “Conversations with God” Series. 

It is Sunday after all ……

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“Shoulders Back”

Last night I attended my niece’s dance recital.  A long time ago I had a short and less than illustrious career as a dance instructor.  As I was watching the dancing, I found myself sitting up straighter, feeling the muscles in my back and shoulders working to help the dancers pull back and dance BIG.  The recital was great.  The kids were all very talented and well rehearsed.

At the end graduands from the school thanked their teachers and remarked on how dancing had given them confidence.  Even as they spoke these young ladies were articulate and you could hear the confidence that you had seen in their performances.  The wholeness principle came to mind.  We talk about Head Body Heart at PULSE and the integration of them.  Dancing is integration.  Dancers need the discipline of body to hold their shoulders back.  The need the discipline of head to remember the next steps and formation.  The need the discipline of the heart to express the emotion of the dance.  The great dancers are those who know CPR – Content, Process and Response.

Body – When we talk about body at PULSE we are talking about “Body in Motion”, present focused and moving.  We are talking about action, filling space with limbs and muscles and noticing the impact on the body of what is going on NOW. Notice two how much bigger you are and how much more space you can fill with your shoulders back. Body is our PRESENT SELF.

Heart – When we talk about heart at PULSE we are talking “Heart in State”, responses to past experiences that we feel deeply and that we can pull into the present and project to the future because they are tied to experience. “State” is a place of emotion, arousal where you FEEL.  Difficult to express but close your eyes an imagine something that happened to your once and conjure the experience in your head and your body and feel what radiates from somewhere in your chest, between your shoulders. Feel how much bigger that feeling is with your shoulders back.  Heart is our PAST SELF.

Head – When we talk about head at PULSE we are talking about “Head in Projection”, thoughts, rationality, concepts and content all being considered as the brain and the mind work together to figure out how the past might have been different, taking the lessons from the past and asking what that means in the present and how all of this impacts the next step – the future.  Think about something you would like to do in the future.  Imagine what it would be like.  What would you be doing?  How would you be feeling? Notice how you can project bigger images with your shoulders back. Head is our FUTURE SELF.

The integration of Heart, Body, Head – Past, Present and Future SELF – THE DANCE.

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RENEW – a PULSE Acronym

Years ago I was working with dentists to organize a conference for wellness.  One of the presenters was a chiropractor with some good advice on how to stay healthy.  He talked about Nutrition and Rest, about Energy and Exercise and about drinking lots of Water.  “Hmmmmm” I thought…. and asked him “Do they have to be presented in that order or could they be reogranized to spell RENEW!”  He loved the acromyn and I think went on to write a book.  It has always stuck with me, too.  Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water are the things you need to maintain health – thinking, doing and being healthy.

Rest – The idea of adequate rest is important to me today.  Three days after a journey through 8 time zones means I really need four more days to regain my temporal equilibrium.  Rest is what Itlaians and many others do after lunch.  We seem to keep busy all day and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Maybe we could learn something from the siesta approach.  I know that nothing puts me in a better mood or frame of mind then a good night’s sleep. It clears our thoughts, our emotions and our bodies, preparing them for a fresh start each morning.

Energy – What gives you energy?  What puts you in that state of flow where time seems to pass at a different speed?  As a seven it is variety that energizes me.  I could be feeling quite low and when a new idea or project is presented to me I find energy and can devote hours to it without feeling the least bit fatiqued.  Others are energized by order or control or detachment or differentiation, by acknowledgement or a sense of security or an opportunity to help others or by a peaceful outcome.  Knowing ourselves and what energizes us helps all of us maintain our healthy perspecitve.

Nutrition – Eating is such a personal thing.  We are all on diets.  Some are deliberate.  Others are routine.  Each of us has an eating pattern that is more or less deliberate that nurtures us and provides us with the nutrients that keep our bodies going.  Most of us have more body knowledge than we know or pay attention to.  Sometimes we fight cravings rather than giving in to them and other times we binge and abuse ourselves with our eating and drinking and yet our body continues to find what it needs in what we give it and get rid of the rest.  We are wonderful organisms that renew and regenerate.

Exercise – Fitness is such a personal thing.  What works for one is not always the right perscription for another.  I have friends who exercise hard everyday.  I have others who never set aside any time for formal exercise programs.  Each person is fit to a degree that is functional for them and each could run a marathon given the motivation to do so.  When I am looking to stabilze my weight, I do not do physical exercise.  I rest more, drink more water and eat more vegetables and stay as still as possible.  Physical exercise gives me energy and strengthens my muscles but it does not produce weight lose. Our levels of fitness – Body, Heart and Head – are indvidual.  What is important, I think, is NOT to neglect anyone of the three. Do something each day to increase fitness for your body, your heart and your head.  Notice which is easiest to do and you will know something more about yourself.

Water – We are water.  We need water.  It flushes our systems.  It hydrates our muscles and other tissues and makes us feel good.  We drink it.  We bathe in it and inside and out it helps us maintain our balance with the universe.  “Water is the first medicine.” That is what on of the Elders once told me.  Drink water for health.

RENEW – I know it is time for me to RENEW my commitment to these things, to give my body, my mind and my heart a new lease.  I once read a bumper sticker that said “You cannot turn back the clock but you can wind it up again.”  Summer is a good time for rewinding.

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PULSE the World Edition

I have been thinking about rewriting the PULSE Conversations for Change book so that it has a greater degree of explanation. Now it serves its purpose of supplementing the training that we offer.  What I hope for it is to be more of an off the shelve Oprah book club kind of read so I am hoping to find the time to rewrite with attention to greater detail.  I am hoping that all of you who have read the book will provide input into what ought to be “beefed up” so to speak.  I think I would like to call it the “World Edition” because of the borader nature of the audience for which it will be intended.

Of course it will be written from nine perspectives on the world and it will take into account the past, present, future aspects of explanation and demonstration through expamples necessary to have people understand PULSE as a concept, a process, and as a response to the world as we know, do and feel it.  I like the idea of the rewrite becuase it allows me to encorporate the things I left out the first time knowing that trainers would be filling in the gaps.  I am not looking forward to the long, lonely hours of concentration that it will take to actually do the writing.  It makes me feel tired just thinking about it.

One thing that PhD’s do for you is teach you the discipline of writing.  It is lonely work. As a seven, I of course resist anything alone that has the potentional to be boring.  It took that call to discipline of the PhD to PULL me to the five perspective where I learned to detach and enjoy the time to think and write.  I am much better prepared for that work than I was before hand.  I really feel different about it, more prepared to deal with the boredom that may ensue if I do not organize to have four or five writing projects underway at the same time.  Juggling is what sevens do best.

This morning two things happened that made me think.  I had a great discussion with my friend about the work of Eckhart Tolle.  We were talking about people and being present and he was mentionning how much the book that Oprah supported had helped him understand his own reaction to others.  I am not as convinced as he as tot he value of the Eckhart Tolle work.  Having only had the opportunity to listen to tapes of his, I was unimpressed.  The conversation convinced me that I might want to read some his work.

The Oprah discussion is fun.  Many of my participatns have suggested that I would make a good Oprah guest.  I love the idea and am following the advice of those who know how to get on the show.  Some have suggested applying to do something on her satelite radio station.  I think it would be fun to do a phone in piece with people who have read my little book.  One of the goals for PULSE this year remains to be on Oprah.  This is me putting that out to the Universe as I do whenever the possiblity presents itself.

 

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