Category : SHIFT Happens

BEACHs, Blog post, PULSE Conversations, SHIFT Happens

Re – membering PULSE

I have been working on combining the two PULSE books today.  They both include some of the history of PULSE and some clear distinctions that make PULSE unique. I love the five stages and how easily they occur in regular conversation.  I love how you can watch the patterns emerge and people move through orientations to the past, the present and the future all the while shifting directions from away from the other,  to with the other and toward the other in a kind of dance that fills the space between them.  Each social exchange helps them define their own social being.

I write about the patterns as a structure to use when the exchange is difficult, when there is conflict or miscommunication.  It is also so helpful in everyday life.  Whether it is a face to face or a voice to voice or a text to text encounter really doesn’t matter.  Social interaction guided by good communication that furthers the social capital of the sender and receiver always contains the five stages, anyway.  They occur naturally.   Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Prepare for the social interaction by defining purpose, process, protocol, people.  Some times these are tacitly understood but if there is no clear understanding or assumptions are made that are not shared then things can go very wrong.

Uncover the circumstance that lead to the encounter … the past.

Learn what’s important about the circumstance  in the present and identify BEACHs to use as criteria for change.

Search possibilities for a future that will meet the criteria.

Explain a plan of action with enough detail to make it sustain able.

The guiding questions move us through past to present and future orientations when you need them .  The encounter map works to ensure that we use all of the directions.  People have an opportunity to move away, to move with and toward when the structure is followed.

Each stage has critical elements.  Mastering the elements takes time.  Learning to use the frame is a little easier.

In Prepare for example it is important to use GHOST – Gentle Honest Open Specific Talk.  It is important to be thorough and deliberate as you explain or have the other explain the rules of the game as you understand them.  This is where you take an Appreciative Stance and ACT AS IF the encounter will result in a mutually beneficial outcome.  The more you know about AI and how it works the better you get at Prepare. It is here that relational well being comes into play.

In Uncover it is important to listen deeply – with HEART – Hush, Empathize (feel their pain or joy), Attend, Reflect and Trust. Passive listening without judgement or bias, allowing the past to surface and sometimes change in the telling of the story with a different audience and allowing the shared title of the story to emerge. Emotional well being is important here.

In Learn it is important to prove that you are listening with POWER – Paraphrase, Open questions, WAIT, Empathize (name their pain or joy) and Reframe.  Social selves emerge as do rules for future encounters and redefining of past encounters as Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns and Hopes are shared, acknowledged and understood. Relational well being is again at play here.

In Search it is important to focus on creativity and possibilities and the future.  Patience is key as ideas are generated later to be vetted against the criteria of the BEACHs. Intellectual well being can make a difference here.

In Explain the other side of the brain, the analytical side is asked to perform as the details of the plan emerge and are tested to determine their sustainability. Again intellectual well being makes a difference.

Each stage requires levels of  intellectual, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual well-being.  More about that later.

Today was about remembering PULSE and the power of social exchanges.  It was about expanding that thinking to include not just conversation but any human social interaction that contributes to us knowing who we really are, or re-membering ourselves as part of a greater whole.

Remembering PULSE and RE-membering PULSE.

We are working on getting you back into the habit of PULSE.  Watch for a Newsletter next week and notice the changes on the website and join again if you can.  Making it membership based has been the plan for a year or two now and we are closer today.

Adding value for our members and adding to the list of those of you who read and learn is the PULSE 2.0 Purpose, to give you the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.  The Process is to generate Products and Opportunities that help you gain the courage and the confidence you need to have successful social exchanges, when and where you need it.  The Protocol remains a gentle, honest, open, specific, talk approach, using PULSE to teach PULSE.  The People are PULSE professionals past, present and future with a shared desire to create the best social exchanges and build social capital for brighter futures.

Thanks for the member – ies. (smile)

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Blog post, SHIFT Happens

Down Days – Go Play the Piano

What do you do on down days?  Some days it is just hard to get out of bed let alone your pyjamas.  Everything just seems a little off, a little chaotic.  The fifteen projects you have started at work and at home over the past few weeks are in a state of incompleteness and that’s how you are feeling … incomplete, dishevelled, off.

It’s a serious question.  If other people are depending on you it can put you further into the “just leave me alone” spiral.  Or it can pull you out knowing that you would disappoint them by not showing up.  Sometimes it is difficult to show up for yourself let alone others.

Here it is a sunny winter day in beautiful down town St Albert and I am sitting feeling sorry for myself.  How can that be?  Life is good.  I am doing what I love to do.  I hang out with people I love.  I have wonderful friends.  I have a great place to live and another to work and yet …..

The voice in my head is screaming JUST FINISH ONE THING AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.  I know that is true and still I mope from one unfinished task to another, bored and cranky.  Where is the antidote for down days, for blue days?  Sometimes I think you just need to move through them and hope the energy wave hits tomorrow.

Go play the piano…..

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SHIFT Happens

Tomorrow at 10 Mountain time

Tuesday February 4th, 2014 I will be broadcasting the first in a series of SHIFT webinars. It will be a 40 minute discussion of how the SHIFT model can be used to improve life experiences. is the URL

It will be a live broadcast that will be recorded and made available to you if you cannot attend.  We will be broadcasting each month on the 4th at 10:00 AM MDT.  Here is the list of topics we have created.

February 4th – SHIFT Happens
March 4th – PULSE in review
April 4th – Checklists for every PULSE conversation
May 4th – GHOST a way to speak and listen
June 4th – The POWER of deep listening
July 4th –  The PULSE Enneagram grid
August 4th – Intelligences – Ways of Knowing
September 4th – a Sharp Mind
October 4th – a Happy Heart
November 4th – an Independent Spirit
December 4th – a Fit Body
January 4th, 2015 – a Trusting Soul
The webinars are free to attend just enter the URL or go to the PULSE website events page and click on the calendar of events.  The link will take you to the webinar.
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SHIFT Happens

The Heart of the Matter…

Hearts … the organ that keeps us alive or takes life from us. The thing we cannot see and yet we feel it everyday. Our language around heart is telling. Our hearts are bursting with pride or joy. They are broken by love and loss. All emotion is tied to our heart.
Yesterday my mum’s heart stopped … One breath she was here and the next she was gone. Code Blue.
My heart is heavy.

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SHIFT Happens

Posture – Sit up Straight to SHIFT

“Sit up straight” How many times have you heard that from parents and teachers? Today it sounds like good advice. It is not just about how you sit which is the physical wellbeing aspect of posture. It can also apply to all the other scales of wellbeing.
“Sit up straight” on the sharpness scale asks you to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings. Sometimes when I am reading my mind wanders. If I were to say to myself “Sit up straight” I know that the physical act of doing that would bring my focus back to the words on the page.
“Sit up straight” on the Happiness scale could be a reminder to choose happiness and not allow yourself to move into that slouchy, depressed state that is often easy to be in and difficult to get out of. When we “sit up straight” from the heart we can feel the lift that we get and it can make you smile.
“Sit up straight” on the relational wellbeing scale of independence is an invitation to take charge of the situation and make the most of the relationship you are working on. Don’t allow others to make decisions for you. Use your back bone to straighten the situation in your favour.
“Sit up straight” on the Fitness scale allows your organs the room they need to work properly and lets your back do the work it was built to do. Using the muscles in your back this way strengthens them and you in many ways.
“Sit up straight” on the Trusting scale is another invitation to pay attention to the “coincidences in your life, the unexplained, the miraculous. Trust that your intentions when shared are powerful and that we are all in the right place, doing the right thing.
The significance of good posture, of sitting up straight is enormous. So it for a day or two and see how much better you feel.
SHIFT will happen.

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Blog post, SHIFT Happens

Aloha – family

Last night I enjoyed dinner with 17 members of my family on the island on Kauai.  We have spent a marvelous week here together.  It has been good for body and soul to spend time in this beauty and with this company.  If I were to assess my wellbeing on the scales we have been talking about I would say that mentally I am relaxed and attuned to my surroundings so between my finger tip and my first knuckle on the Sharpness scale.  On the Happiness scale I am near the tip.  My heart is full of aloha, love dampened only by the fact that they are all leaving today.  On the independence scale for relational wellbeing I am also high.  I have just spent a week with people I love and who love me.  I feel related and hanging with family shows you how you relate to the world.  Lots of mirrors to look into comparing similar bodies and attitudes and it seems easier to appreciate them in others.  You can only know yourself in relation to others.  Today I know myself better than I did a week ago putting me high on the Independence scale of wellbeing.

On the physical wellbeing  FIT scale I am feeling relaxed and tired.  Physically  we have been active.  We zip lined one day and played at the beach in the waves every day.  I did aqua-size and we walked a lot.  We also ate well ….maybe too much. I feel great.  Closer to the tip on the Fit scale.  On the Trust scale for souls I am also high passed the knuckle on the thumb.  The Luau we attended on Tuesday was magical and reminded us of the importance of family.  The Aloha Spirit is all around you here.  The MC reminded us to look at the beauty and be as beautiful as you what you see yourself.

Today I move to the Big Island.  I will stay in touch. Aloha……


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SHIFT – a Trusting Soul

Here is the last digit in the five digit approach to maintaining your well-being on a daily basis.  The thumb in this daily ritual represents your soul, your connection to the collective consciousness to a deity or a faith that you share with others. It is very important to have a connection with something bigger than yourself.  These are the things that give your life meaning and these are the things that separate you from other animals, much the way your opposable thumb does.

On a scale from close to your palm to closer to your thumb tip where are you in your spiritual well-being?  How connected are you to the universe, to the almighty, to whatever you believe in?  It is a tough question and for me it has always been very, very personal.  I don’t talk much about my spiritual well-being.  I am often careful when I am teaching not to say things like “the Universe is unfolding as it should” or the universe will provide”.  Instead I say “Trust that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know”.

I do believe in a power greater than you and me.  I have been reading “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch for years… again and again.  It is a series of books that resonates with me.  Walsch writes his grievances to God and God answers.  It’s cool and real in a way that other things I have read are not.  I like the idea of a God that doesn’t judge, one that loves everything about human beings and who reminds us that we cannot fail, that we create our own lives through thought, word, and deed and that no one does anything they do not want to do at some level.

Thought, word and deed … powerful ways to define your life.  First you define what you want.  Then you talk about it and then you act as if it is already true.  Sound familiar.  It is a common message from many sources and that is the cool thing about spirituality.  Where ever you start you end up in the same place … connected to others and the universe.

Ways to maintain that connection include prayer and meditation, charitable acts and giving back.  All are good for the soul.  Connecting with nature and our fellow-man in a way that lets us see the worthiness, the blessedness and the holiness in others because we can see it in ourselves.  If you have ever watched “Secret Millionaire” on Slice TV you will know how Charitable acts effect the person giving as much if not more than they impact those receiving.  Watching that show is good for the soul.

I am confident that you have your own list of “things that are good for the soul”.  Mine includes music, babies, family and friends, sunsets and sunrises, a walk in a park or on the beach or just time to consider what I am grateful for.  Gratitude is key and very individual as well. The main element of a Trusting Soul is choice.  Choose to be grateful and gracious and watch what happens.

RENEW for Souls.  Release any anger or resentment.  It is poison.  Energize with meditation or reading. Nurture with nature.  Exercise by acts of kindness. WAIT.  Be patient … the universe is not finished with you yet.

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Blog post, SHIFT Happens

A Fit Body – SHIFT

Five frogs are sitting on a log.  One decides to jump into the pond.  How many frogs are left on the log?

The answer is five.  Although the one frog decided to jump he is still sitting there thinking about it.  I think of this story every time I feel a need to make a commitment to physical activity or physical fitness.  I am FULL of good intentions but the couch potato in me would rather put in a disk from my 13 season set of MASH programs a watch it in my comfy chair than go for a walk.  I have decided to be fit many, many times.

A Fit body is found on your index finger in on the SHIFT hand.

Sharp mind – pinky finger

Happy heart – ring finger

Independent spirit – middle finger

Fit body – index finger and

Trusting soul – thumb

Your index finger is the one you wag at people when you disapprove or are trying to emphasis a point. Like the finger print on that finger measuring levels of fitness is individual.  there are as many ways to get and stay fit as there are people in the world.  There are people who never really have to think about being fit.  They just are.  There are others who have tried every program and have never quite succeeded in reaching the level of fitness they are looking for and are never really satisfied with how they look and feel in their body.

Physical intelligence is one we sometimes ignore.  Our bodies have wisdom.  They KNOW things.  They know when we have had too much food or drink.  They send us messages to indicate any kind of over indulgence… and they send us warning messages too but most of us have learned to ignore those in favour of a good time.  They know when we have over exerted ourselves and when we should stop our extreme workouts and take a rest.

The best advice I have ever heard for Physical fitness is found in the RENEW.  Rest is essential.  We all need a daily dose of sleep.  Our needs vary but we all experience exhaustion when they are not met.  Energy is essential.  We all need a source of motivation and energy, a feeling of euphoria we get from participating in a game or a sport. Nutrition is essential.  This is another area where if we listen to our body we can learn what it needs as far as nutrition goes.  We have a wonderful system that can take what is needed from what is provided and eliminate the rest. Exercise is essential.  We need to move everyday or our muscles atrophy and we become weak. Walking or curling or swimming or shoveling or dancing.  It doesn’t matter.  You just need to move.  Water is essential.  It is the first medicine.  It is life-giving.  It is what keeps us alive.  We are made of water. Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water = RENEW.

Listen to your body.  Where are you on the fitness finger today?  Closer to the tip of the finger is feeling fit and powerful and in control.  Closer to the palm of the hand indicates a need to depend on other intelligences to get you through the day and back to where you can DECIDE and then act on the decision to move.  Bodies are like that.  Use it or lose it.

Trust your body to be there for you if you need it.  When you feel threatened it will respond with Fight Flight or Freeze to give you what you need to survive.  Treat it with the respect that it deserves.  It is your home.  It is wise and by listening to it and answering its requests of you, you will be able to improve your physical intelligence, your FIT body score.

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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Enneagram, SHIFT Happens

Independent Spirit – SHIFT

So let’s continue the SHIFT approach to evaluating and perhaps adjusting your life to meet your needs with a discussion of what Independent Spirit means.   The middle finger represents relational intelligence.  I have chosen to use independence as a scale for measuring relational intelligence because having a sense of independence is so important to be able to manage yourself in any relationship.  An independent spirit means that you are fully aware that you deserve to be treated well, to have respect and consideration as well as to give it to others.  It means that you make decisions based on your own AND the others best interests. That way you are better prepared to manage the space between you and the other person.

It is less likely that you will become lost or stuck in a relationship that is toxic if you have a great measure of self-esteem to work with.  No doubt that self-esteem will come from high scores on all of the scales.  It is important to know who you are and that you can stand on your own two feet. Know, too, what you have to offer in the relationship whether it is a work environment or not as well as what you can gain from being in the relationship.

Learning about yourself in relation to others is important.  There are many psychological tests and self-help books that can help you with that.  I love the Enneagram for helping me understand the space between me and others and how I can manipulate my responses to get the responses that serve us both. Manipulate might be a strong word but it really means that you can adjust what you are doing to improve the interaction and make it healthy for both of you.

Some might argue that interdependence should be the top of the scale for relational intelligence.  Maybe …. But a measure of  independence is a prerequisite for healthy interdependence.  Let’s start there.  Are my needs being met in the relationship?  If not renegotiate the relationship or leave it all together.  This may sound a little one-sided.  The other question of course is are THEIR needs being met?  If not what can I do to meet those needs and maintain the relationship?

You have heard me talk about the five As before.  Relational well-being really needs all five.  Appreciation, affection, approval, acceptance and allowing for both parties to gain a level of independent well-being within your relationships.

What I mean by independent spirit is better understood if you consider life as a talk show. You would be Oprah.  You are in charge of who the guests are on the show.  You control the conversation and when appropriate you give them the stage but you always maintain that independent decision-making about what’s good for the show.

It is the middle finger.  Use it if you need to to get what you need to maintain your relational well-being.



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SHIFT – A Happy Heart

SHIFT is often what we need when things are not working.  A SHIFT in perspective can change everything and really there are many ways for that to happen.  With one measure of intelligence on each of your five fingers you can quickly access where you are today and evaluate what might work to SHIFT you to a new perhaps healthier perspective. The measures of well-being are a Sharp Mind, a Happy Heart, an Independent Spirit, a Fit Body and a Trusting Soul.  They describe your level of mental, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual well-being and you can put them on your fingers so you remember to assess them daily.

In the last blog I talked about shifting your score on the Sharp Mind Scale and today I want to explore the Happy Heart measure of emotional well-being, the one I use my ring finger to measure.  Like the mind, the heart has its own intelligence and we know when our scale is close to the palm of our hand when we are feeling low or disconnected from our feelings.  When we are past the second knuckle on our ring finger, we are feeling pretty good and we are in touch with those emotions.  That can range from joy to pain.  The idea is to experience more joy than pain but recognizing that you have emotional pain is definitely the first step.

How can you learn to experience more joy, deeper emotions and improve your emotional well-being?  There are so many books about happiness and how to achieve it.  Every one from the Dali Lama to your next door neighbour has either published a book on happiness or has a suggestion for how you might be better at being happy.  Happiness is characterized by positive or pleasant emotions and the scientific study of it has been prolific in recent years.  You can even earn a degree these days in positive psychology and if you are American you have an inalienable right to pursuit happiness.

Here are some ideas for moving your score from 1, near the palm to 10 near the tip of your finger.  Smile.  Just smiling can change your mood. Find something to smile about.  There is usually a happy place you can go to in your heart when you are feeling blue.  The trick is to learn all of the ways to get there.  Gratitude is important.  The old adage of counting your blessings can bring you back to happy.  Accomplishment and a sense of pride in yourself can improve your happiness score.  Remind yourself of happier times.

Appreciation, affection, attention, approval and allowing given or received can also move the scale toward 10.  Sing, dance, move, call a friend, share, play, connect, organize, plan … do what makes YOU happy.

Happy is an individual state, different for each of us.  I think part of it is learned which means you can get better at experiencing happy just by noticing when you are and what is happening at that moment.  Put that experience in your smile bank for use when needed. Knowing, doing and being happy will take different levels of energy on a given day.  Assessing it daily with the other scales of well-being is an important step of awareness.

For a quick fix go back to the RENEW idea.  Rest: Give yourself an emotional break. Energize:  Read something happy, visit your happy place, watch a happy video. Nurture:  Some forms of nutrition have magical happiness qualities, comfort food, chocolate.  Go easy on the mood enhancers though. Exercise:  Releases endorphin, the natural happiness drug.  Water:  Hydration is good for you and your heart.  Keeping your heart healthy goes hand in hand with keeping your emotional well-being score high. Rest, Energize, Nurture, Exercise and Water.  RENEW.

We sometimes assume that others are in charge of our happiness.  Not true.  It’s up to you.  That will be the topic for the next Blog on relational well-being.

Don’t worry….be happy…..

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