I wonder

Teaching my mindfulness class, I came across this poem by Derek Tasker… it touched me, so I thought, I’d share it with you too!

I wonder what would happen if

I treated everyone like I was in love

with them, whether I like them or not

and whether they respond or not and no matter

what they say or do to me and even if I see

things in them which are ugly twisted petty

cruel, vain, deceitful, indifferent, just accept

all that and turn my attention to some small

weak, tender, hidden part and keep my eyes on

that until it shines like a beam of light

like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust

it to burn away all the waste which is not

never was my business to meddle with.

 

Heart Meditation

Mindful Leadership and Women

Jenny Ebermann Leadership Women ServicesRecently I was asked to develop a Mindful Leadership Programme for women. You might ask why women need a specific program. Well, being a woman myself and having worked internationally in various industries for many years, I have to say that I very often needed specific skills and competences. Actually, many of the women I worked for and with did so too.

Be it self-confidence or resilience, the capacity to be patient and take a project to the very end, dealing with emotions in an appropriate way, learning to lead using emotional intelligence and empathy (and that it is completely ok to do so)… and much more.

As women, we also often wear various different hats, juggling between priorities, needs and tasks. Usually, we end up putting ourselves last on the list of people and things to take care of. Right?

But in fact, I am no “super woman” and I don’t have multiple pairs of hands and heads. Instead, I had to learn to listen to myself and to grow into the different roles life made me play. And actually, if I look around the world, I feel very grateful that I have had the chance to receive an education simply because I grew up where I did. Many other women did not get the same opportunity, unfortunately…

I hence decided to put up a Mindful Leadership program for women in form of modular workshops. Depending on the target audience and the respective backgrounds and experiences, self-awareness (management) and self-leadership, interpersonal and intercultural communications as well as presentation and relationship management will be accompanied by dialogue, learning and discussion groups. Stillness, inner reflection and other mindfulness based techniques will be woven into the program in order to allow for the best possible outcome for the participants.

Leadership is firstly about being able to lead yourself in whatever situation you might be in; secondly it is about leading others, unselfishly and compassionately so that goals can be reached together, in co-creation. By doing that, one “eye” always keeps looking at oneself, whereas the other is looking at the people in front as well as the organizations or structure as a whole.

Interested to learn more? I am just a click away…

Jenny

Where are you in your life?

Are you downloading the same old story or trying the unknown leap into the future letting go of everything you knew this far?

Here’s a great graph by Kelvy Bird shared via Otto Scharmer on LinkedIn:

IMG_0940.JPG

The Power of Words

WordsSpoken words are extremely powerful but many of us are not aware of this fact. Words are used to communicate but most of the time we don’t really pay attention to what we are saying and which words we choose to make our point.

As soon as we are becoming mindful of what and how we are saying things, we begin to take responsibility for our lives.

Words are not only coming out of our mouths but are also unspoken, being constructed within thoughts. If we begin to pay attention to what we are saying, we will quickly notice that many things are quite negative. We are using words like ‘should’ and ‘must’ as well as ‘but’ and many other expressions to gain control over situations that we don’t control or to justify why we did not do something or are not up to the level that others are expecting us to be.

Test it for yourself: record phone calls randomly for your own use and listen to them later. Are there any patterns that you see emerging? Anything in particular that you are noticing? It is really interesting to find out how we communicate as it reflects the way in which we think about ourselves or how we are structuring our thoughts.

Have you ever thought about how  you start your day? Are you complaining about the weather, the fact that your coffee is not ready and that you have a terrible headache?  Or are you welcoming the new day with a smile and a friendly thought? Usually, what you expect will come true and the more your thoughts and words will be negative/positive, the more your day will be negative/positive.

You could also pay close attention to how you are speaking about yourself. What kind or words are you using? How are you describing your life, your work, your relationships with other people? What belief systems have you accepted and what are you expecting? Usually, what you expect and portray will emanate from you and expectations very often become reality.

How can you start becoming more mindful about what is going on?

  1. The first thing really is to become more self-aware. Which words are you using and how are you thinking about yourself. Recordings (voice and or video) can tell you a lot about yourself; if you add video to it, it will give you valuable insights about your non-verbal communication.
  2. Eliminate negative words and thoughts from you daily vocabulary and replace them with positive affirmations. You could even write some of these on little flash cards and have them handy for whenever you need them so that after a while they become part of your vocabulary.
  3. Stop spreading negative stories; ignore them and spread only the positive ones instead.
  4. Voice your thoughts around what you are wishing for in life (in a positive way) and repeat these words to yourself.

Have an excellent weekend and thanks for reading! As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me should you wish some advice or coaching.

Jenny

 

 

Checking-in with yourself

RocksMany of us have been extremely busy during the last months and still are. While the days are slowly becoming longer and the sunlight warmer – at least here in the French speaking part of Switzerland – let me give you some ideas for your daily informal mindfulness practice (and even if you are not practicing every day, this will also be very helpful for you, I am sure).

  • First of all, please take a moment to settle in with yourself, take a deep breath and become aware of the air streaming in and out of your body. Try to feel your feet and how they feel on the ground, whether you are walking, standing or sitting. Move your toes and explore the sensations that you are having right now, in your feet. It might sound strange but it is actually an excellent exercise for grounding yourself and becoming more centred.
  • Secondly, become aware of the tensions in your body; how are your shoulders feeling? What about your neck and your back? Is there any particular sensation in one or the other part of your body? If so, try to stay with that sensation for a moment. Explore it in a non-judging way.
    • Is it possible to release the tension, intentionally?
    • Is it possible to breathe deeply into it?
    • Does the feeling change, soften or maybe even go away?

If you are at home, you could also observe yourself in the mirror, watching out for tensions that you are able to see in your face, your jaw in particular.

    • Are you clenching your teeth?
    • What happens when you smile at yourself, does the tension go away?
  • It would indeed be helpful, if you could try to ‘check-in’ with yourself every time you are encountering strong emotions (positive or negative).
    • What is happening in your body and where during these strong emotional moments?

Doing this on a regular basis will make you accustomed to your bodily reactions and will help you noticing what is happening even before your brain knows what’s going on. Try it for yourself, you will be surprised of what you’ll find out!

Have an excellent week,
Jenny

What about being yourself today?

Inspiration

Sometimes in life you have to re-charge your batteries, sit down, mindfully, be on your own and simply BE. Every one of us has different ways of doing so. Don’t be afraid of yourself, look into what really matters and what is important to you.

You are fantastic as you are, no need to change! Remember this wherever you are geographically and personally in your life.

No obligations, no achievements, no targets, simply being with yourself…

That’s exactly what I am going to do for the next days! Jenny

Intercultural competence begins with self-awareness

Have you already encountered your first intercultural issue during your holidays? Maybe it was in a restaurant where the waiter did not serve you exactly what you wanted; or maybe your neighbours in your holiday resort are awake when you normally sleep and vice versa. How do you deal with these problems? Do you walk away angry, do you change rooms and hope it won’t happen again?

Intercultural competence begins with knowing who you are and being sensitive to your own values and beliefs. What are your triggers and how do you behave? Where does this come from? How open are you to other views, cultures, habits etc.? A good way to start, is the Bennett scale or “Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity” (DMIS). You can find more info about it here (as I explained it in one of my previous posts). This scale is actually a good starting point to examine where you are so that you can become aware of your own actions/reactions. If you are in one of the ethnocentric stages for example, you will be more likely to think in stereotypes and not be able to appreciate different worldviews as you would feel threatened by these.

I personally always find that Europe during the summer is an excellent place to practice intercultural competence and skills. Why? Many people from different backgrounds are coming together in major touristic hubs so that you can not only hear and listen to many different languages but also observe different cultural behaviours all in one spot. What a great potpourri of people…

By the way: as I am now on wordpress.org and not anymore on wordpress.com, and if you don’t want to follow me with your e-mail address, you can simply click ‘edit’ in your wordpress reader and enter my URL (www.jennyebermann.com) in the text box at the top of the page. All my new posts will start appearing in your reader immediately! Happy reading! Jenny

Time for a little self-reflection

TulipsIf, like myself you have a couple of days off right now, you might want to reflect upon:

  • what really counts for you in this life
  • how you began this year and if you are still on track towards where you wanted to go
  • the moments that made you very happy and how you can have more of these in your life.

This little moment of mindfulness for yourself will help refill your batteries and put you on track, so that spring with its energy and colors (at least in this hemisphere) can find its way to your inner self. Even if it’s not spring you are waiting for, a conscious focus on yourself, a close look into how you’re doing and feeling will be very beneficial, I can assure you.

Happy Easter to those of you who are celebrating these particular dates! And to say it with the words of Pablo Neruda: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming” (quote)