#109- I am So Hungry & Thirsty (the Snares of Technology)

I, like most North Americans, can’t really say I know what it feels like to be hungry.
 I’ve gone on extensive juice fasts and done grueling detoxing cleanses but I haven’t really experienced hunger like many in the world face every day.
I have had clean drinking water almost every day of my life and I know, I take it for granted.
I lived on a sailboat for several years, sailing around the Caribbean and the Pacific. When our water tank was running low we would chase rain clouds and seek out storm squalls to fill our cistern.
We never ran out completely but we did have to ration water, quite religiously.
I even learned how to make bread with salt water. I wouldn’t recommend it because it tasted pretty awful but it was a necessity, if we ever really needed it.
The antithesis of people going to bed hungry and dying from starvation is the present health concern of obesity across North America. 
It feels criminal to me that we have so many obese and overweight people living in the world and yet, people are dying of starvation every day.
I know we have enough food to feed everyone in the world and the issues lie in distribution.
If more people in the world knew what it truly felt like to be hungry,
Really hungry-
We would be better stewards of our resources and be doing a better job of supplying food and water to the needy.
My point I am trying to make here is that we don’t allow ourselves to feel or experience being denied of the basic necessities of life.
We are fat and over fed. We are comfortable with our comforts and addicted to pleasures and being entertained. We spend little time in solitude and quiet.
We avoid time alone to think.
We rush from one event to the next. We fill our every waking moment with distractions.
We are uncomfortable with silence and struggle with how to be alone with ourselves.
When the power goes out we fall apart because we can’t watch our favourite show on TV or finish our laundry.
We can’t cruise the web and check in to our many social media platforms.
Unplugging ourselves from technology is getting harder and harder for us in this information age we live in. I am hearing more and more people fasting technology for short periods of time and think it is a very healthy discipline.
Next time you take a vacation, turn off your cell phone and tell your friends and family that you are unplugging yourself for the next two weeks and if they need to reach you they can telephone the hotel you are staying at.
The other growing problem for me has been the insistence of my friend’s expectation of my instant response to their text messages. I have the reputation of not answering text messages. Some of my friends even rib me about it in social settings. Honestly, some days I chose to stay focused on what I am doing and prioritize what I am doing. Eventually I get around to answering them- but more and more, I am deliberately not letting text messages govern my day.  
I observe Sunday Sabbath and take Sunday to rest from my normal routines of the week. If technology has gripped you and your family, like it has mine, fast from all technology, one day of the week.
Pull out the board games and take bike rides. Invite your neighbors over for a barbeque and play charades, play instruments and sing songs together.

Develop times of solitude to enjoy nature and listen to the internal conversations that you are having. The conversations that are being drowned out, by all the many distractions. Instill in your children the rich blessing of spending quiet time to reflect and be still. The reason God commands us to take a day to rest is He wants us to acknowledge and recognize that He is able to provide for us. We can cease from our toil and efforts and trust that He will take care of all our needs. When we take a day off from working, we honor God and say to Him- “You alone, O’ God, are able to provide all I need.”   

#105- Loving Others Well- Drawing out the Best in Others

So what does it mean to be a space changer? How do I do it? And why should I do it? These are all really good questions that I will begin to answer. When I focus on my needs and my agenda, before others, I am telling people that I am more important than they are.
I believe God has made it very clear that He wants us to love others, above our own needs. It sounds basic but that can be a really tall order, if we take it seriously. The Bible has laid out a standard, a plumb line for us, in which we are to conduct ourselves. The Ten Commandments are not really so complex. I think most people, regardless of their religion or belief, agree these are standards we want to live by.


#1- You shall have no other gods but Me.

#2- You shall not make an idol.

#3-You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.

#4- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

#5- Honor your father and mother.

#6- You shall not murder.

#7- You shall not commit adultery.

#8- You shall not steal.

#9- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

#10- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, animals, or servants.  

If we live mindful of these rules we are in alignment with God’s heart for us. He knows that the key for a successful life; marriage, relationships, business, career, parenting . . . requires a conscience that is free from destruction and misery. God is protecting us when He asks us to follow these commands. He loves us enough that He wants to spare us- the devastating, debilitating consequences of sin.
In the book of Leviticus God lays out some guidelines for how we are to treat people.
Leviticus 19:9-18 New International Version (NIV)
9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
11 “‘Do not steal.
“‘Do not lie.
“‘Do not deceive one another.
12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.
“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.
14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.
15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.
“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.
17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
So, back to loving others well. It would be difficult to love someone well if you are busy robbing, cheating, slandering, and lying to them. I understand people are difficult sometimes and there is a place for bringing about proper justice, when necessary.
This passage is a good reminder for us to stay in integrity with the people in our lives. Be honest and speak the truth (vs 17) and then let it go (vs 18) don’t hold a grudge.
Letting it go isn’t saying we need to forget or pretend nothing happened. We simply can chose to not let the argument or injustice eat away at our conscious and keep us engaged in the vicious circle of revenge and ‘pay back.’
In CS Lewis’ book, The Screw tape Letters, a senior demon is mentoring a junior demon and this is their strategy;
“First make humans flabby, with small passions and desires, then offer a sop to those diminished passions so that their experience is one of contentment. They know nothing of great joy or great sorrow. They are merely nice.”
Some might argue that the greatest aspiration is to ‘be nice.’ That we should bend, at any cost, to avoid ever offending someone. If our greatest virtue is not to disappoint, or offend each other, then this leaves us vulnerable, but, in the very worst way possible. We are leaving ourselves wide open to being ineffective and impotent, on any real level of genuine engagement with people. Being a passionate and authentic Space Changer is about having a spine. Standing up for what is right, what is worthy, and what is good. C.S. Lewis also quotes,
“We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful."
Lewis states the greatest enemy of holiness is not passion, but apathy. He used Jesus as an example for us to follow; He was always truthful and zealous about hypocrisy and false motives. Jesus was something far more powerful- He was holy.
Another excellent book I recommend reading is Bold Love by Dan Allander. It gives fresh insight on how to deal with difficult people and even evil people. If you want to connect better with people then you must become a better listener, ask questions that get people to share their feelings.Pay attention to people’s subtle clues and make them feel like they are the most important person on the planet, while you are with them. If you want to see exponential results, in the depth and quality of your relationships - this is key.Chapter 5- Loving Others Well- How to Draw Out the Best in Others.

#106- What’s Spilling Out of My Cup?

I am using the analogy of a cup getting knocked over. If you have orange juice in your cup and it gets knocked over or it spills- you have a mess of orange juice to clean up. You, like the cup, have stuff inside of you. When you get knocked over, what comes spilling out?

Are you crucial and condescending?

Are you angry and full of shaming words?

Are you impatient and pushy?

Are you embarrassed and experience feelings of worthlessness?

Are you blaming and judgmental?

Are you resentful of that person?

Are you stoic but secretly planning revenge?

 We all respond differently to circumstances and we all, on occasion, have stuff spilling out of us, that we later regret.   
None of us are perfect. So, what’s spilling out of your cup?
Addressing this is the beginning of learning how to draw out the soul in others and ultimately, to love people well.
If you honestly don’t like what is spilling out of your cup then you have the opportunity to change it. Becoming a Space Changer is powerful and it always starts with having your own aha moment. AHA stands for Awareness, Honesty and Action. Hence my coaching practice <ahalifecoaching.com>

#100  Introduction

This morning, while making coffee, I started thinking about what she said, “Be a space changer.”
The words came from my friend, Kimberley. She is the president of a successful growth and development company.  She told me a story that happened to her the day before, in the San Francisco airport. After a full day of connections and delays, here she found herself in the baggage claim. Four flights had come in over the last 20 minutes. It seems all fourflights were merging, at the same time, to collect their bags. Tired people, crying babies, stir-crazy toddles. All hunger, thirsty, anxious to get their bags, and find a place to lay their heads for the night.
One young father caught her eye. He had a two year old in his arms and a five year old at his feet. The kids were expressing out loud, what everyone in that terminal was really feeling.
I love that about Children; they are true to how they feel, however irrational it may be.
They were whining and crying, tugging on their father’s arms and legs. He had his hands full! The crowd gathering, in and around, were also feeling the tension as now their space was being hijacked by little, screaming, over-tired, hungry, cranky children. As soon as the bags began to roll out the crowd pressed in to stake out the optimal spot to grab their bags and make a run for it.

If you have ever had kids in your care, at an airport, you understand how difficult executing this last step is, and you understand the challenge of procuring your belongings, while maintaining the safety of your children. My friend engaged this young father in conversation and found out where he was coming from and how his day of travel had gone.
The children settled down and the crowd around her seemed to sigh in relief for the welcomed silence. She suggested that she would be happy to help him retrieve his many bags, if he could help her identify which ones were his.
Another man next to them over-heard their conversation and he too volunteered to help pull off his bags. Over the course of the next few minutes this small community of weary travellers, pulled together and helped one another.
They became real to one another. Real people, real feelings, real needs.
As they helped each other manage through this process they exchanged smiles and kind words. They made the best of their short time together meaningful and an act of service.
They were strangers sharing the same baggage claim area, for what was a trivial and, might be viewed as, an insignificant moment in their lives. And yet, I ask myself. Isn’t it true that how I do anything is really how I do everything?  
It is true. What is possibly an insignificant moment in time, could be an opportunity to make a friend, help a stranger, show compassion, put another’s needs above my own- it may seem insignificant but I believe, it can be the test of what’s really in my heart.


Posts 

  • #100 Introduction
  • # 101 What is aSpace Changer
  • #102 How Present Are You, ... Really?
  • #103 What Do You Have in Your Hand?
  • #104 The Why- Connection and Love
  • #105 Loving Others Well- Drawing Out the Best In Others
  • #106 What’s Spilling out of Your Cup?
  • #107 Children are Natural Space Changers
  • #108 Emergencies Can Bring Out the Best
  • #109 I am So Hungry & Thirsty
  • #110 Seeking to Fill?
  • #111 Being a Space Changers In My Workplace
  • #112 Being a Space Changer In Social Media
  • #113 Personality Profiles and Pitfalls
  • #114 How to Be a Space Changer

Carol's Blog page

#107- Children Are Natural Space Changers

Children have this innocence about them that makes them real. They say what they think and find pleasure in the moment they are in. They are not consumed with yesterday or burdened by tomorrow. They are accepting and curious. They take you at face value and love to study and observe people and the world around them.
They practice the simple act of wonder and take delight in the ordinary. Children and animals are our best examples of being powerful, Space Changers. God suggests that we become like little children, if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. There are many interruptions of this scripture but I can’t help but think it is suggesting for us to become ‘powerfully present,’ to show up as our real and unpretentious selves.
Have you ever noticed that children usually don’t have an agenda for how you should show up? They don’t arrive at an event and get bent out of shape if someone doesn’t acknowledge them or say hello. They aren’t looking for other people to affirm them or pat them on the back, to make them feel comfortable, or feel good about themselves.
The next time you are anywhere and you are having some emotions coming up- check in with yourself and ask, “What is the conversation going on in my head?” If you notice you are going into resistance with an individual- pay attention to what is coming up for you. Process yourself and ask, “What expectations am I putting out there, for how others treat me?” Another good question, “What is my expectation for how this person needs to ‘show up’ to make me feel comfortable?”  
Behavioral Scientists have studied this and our common sense also confirms that we make up our own meanings for every event that happens to us. As a Space Changer we can recognize we can make up stories (create meaning) for things that happen, that actually benefit us. And we can unpack the past, by rewriting the stories we made up, that haven’t helped us.
For example. If my dad and mom divorced when I was 10 and my dad left - I might have told myself that my dad didn’t love me and that he was ashamed of me. If this story, that … remember I made up, becomes my truth about what I believe about myself, then this meaning is going to affect every relationship I have. 
I might spend my whole life feeling unworthy and undeserving of love. 
The good thing about discovering these old events and recognizing the damaging meanings we created- we can change our story. We can actually rewrite what our conscious and subconscious mind believes. Replacing the ugly lies with life-giving truth. 
As a life coach I spend time working with you and encourage you to process what you believe, about the past, and address the truths you have created that are not helping you succeed in life.
If my dad did leave my family when I was 10, I can chose to make that mean that my dad loved me very much and his decision to leave wasn’t about me, and I am able to give and receive love from people. 

#104- The Why- Connection and Love

 

There is a basic need in every human being. To love and to be loved. We are social beings who need to be in relationship with others. We all search for deep intimacy in one form or another.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

 So we can agree, we all long to be loved and give love? It is a critical longing shared by every human being. If we all want it so badly then why are so many marriages ‘on the rocks’?
People don’t have a good marriage because they tell people they want one. Marriage, like any relationship, takes effort. There is no such thing as a marriage lottery. I think people are just not willing to work at it- it just feels too hard. I have a friend who says he has an ‘okay marriage.’ I think he compares his relationship to others and tells himself ‘his’ is at least better than ‘That couple.’ I wonder if he has ever dared to believe he could have a +10 marriage?
 Perhaps he feels stuck with having to admit he and his wife could use some help, on the marriage front, and they could benefit from a reboot? Having a +10 marriage is possible. They do exist.

I think people get comfortable with being complacent and don’t allow themselves to believe they deserve better or that they don’t have to settle for mediocrity.

Just like the Velveteen Rabbit, we must be vulnerable if we ever really want to be real. I recommend reading the book, Making Happy. It covers the art and science of a happy marriage. It focuses on creating activities that deliver pleasure and meaning. When we commit to building dreams with one another we stay connected with our heart- not just our head. We have to stay in touch with the why- why we desire a healthy, growing, and vibrant marriage. We need to learn how to celebrate each other, every day, with the little things.

#108- Emergencies Can Bring Out the Best

 North America had a big wake-up call on 911. It has been one of this generation’s greatest testimony of how those who survived this terrible attack, and in their moment of testing; they rallied together and became united in the fight against terrorism and the acts of violence upon our country.

 It is heartwarming to hear of the stories of bravery and heroic acts of men and women who risked their lives that day. It fills us with pride when we hear about the 100’s of private boat operators who rescued 1000’s of people off of Manhattan Island. They just came in and started taxiing people to safety. They weren’t thinking about what else they had to do that day, or who was going to pay for the gas, or even about the risk to their own lives.

 There is an instinctual impulse that just jumps in when disaster or calamity strikes. Those people were Space Changers that day. They offered hope and security to frightened and threatened people.  

 In the face of emergencies we learn that we are capable of so much more than we could ever imagine. We can do extra ordinary things, physically and mentally: For the mother who is able to lift a car off her pinned-in child or the passengers on flight 93, who took down the terrorists, who hijacked their plane.

We can do extra-ordinary things when necessary. So why not chose to treat everybody with that kind of urgency? Why does it take an emergency to get our focus off ourselves and into action? We are all in need of each other, if we are going to do this thing called life, together.  

#101  What is a Space Changer?

If you google the words ‘space changer’ you will find many listings for furniture and staging service companies that are in high demand, in the world of real estate and buying and selling property.

I am proposing a new meaning, for the phrase ‘Space Changer.’ 

We all possess the physical energy to actually change the environment we live in. Even our thoughts and mood can be sensed without us ever having to say a word.

Our human intelligence and reasoning knows this to be true. We have the ability to physically be in a space and the opportunity to actually effect that space by our thoughts, actions and words.

Have you ever experienced someone in real mental anguish or deep depression?

People carry with them ‘vibes’ that are as real as the air we breathe. You know what it feels like to be in the presence of someone that is truly angry or irritated.

They may or may not be using words to express their emotions but you know exactly what they are thinking. They are in a hurry. They are bothered by having to wait, and they are ready to bite the cashier’s head off, if they dared cross them.

People usually stay as far away as possible from people like this. They avoid having to get close to them or I dare say-- have to speak to them.

On the other hand, we also meet people whom we instantly wish we had as a friend. They kindly hold the door open for us.

They smile and wish us a good day.

They casually exchange conversation, as you share an elevator together or they sympathize with you when your pet is having a melt-down in the vet’s office. They take the opportunity to exchange kind words and pleasantries, even though you will likely never see them again.

The energy you and I carry with us is powerful. You can choose to use it to produce a positive or a negative effect. Now I consider myself an intuitive person. I am usually able to pick up a great deal about people in a very short amount of time.

I also create the space for others to be open and to be known. Now that might sound airy fairy but it really works. The idea of creating space for others isn’t a new concept. And I am not talking about physical space so much but creating a safe emotional place that provides others a sense of security and safety.

I am able to give people the sensitivity they need to bring down their walls of self-protection and to be their genuine selves. I make an effort to study people and understand who they are and what their needs are.    

Flying on airplanes, unless you fly first-class, can be a real challenge for most folks.

Your personal space is compromised and you are at the mercy of whom ever you share your row with. People are not always at their best when they fly and yet I will risk sounding condescending-- when we are tested to our limits, it is a true indication of what’s really in our heart.

I love flying on airplanes and I usually engage my seatmate in a meaningful conversation. In fact, I have actually experienced what ‘the role of the stranger’ is.

I have had people tell me things that they confessed they hadn’t told anybody else on the planet. I even got a phone call last week from a young pilot I met on a flight and he called to tell me he is moving back into my area and reminded me he promised to take my kids flying.

So, he’ll be coming over for dinner soon. So you see, I made a friend on that flight. I made a connection with him-a total stranger became my friend.  And is wasn’t difficult or awkward. In fact, it takes much more energy to be evasive and standoffish than to be present and warm towards others. If you are looking for ways to be a true servant and using the everyday, ordinary circumstances, to be generous and kind-hearted, you are a person to be celebrated.

I think this is why the whole ‘pay it forward’ thing resonates with a deep, tender part of our souls. We receive great pleasure giving to others, without a hidden agenda of what is in it for us. But once we participate in a ‘pay it-forward’ activity we receive the rewarding pleasure of contribution and service to others.

Our words have the ability to bless or curse. Our words either heal or hurt.

Our conversations and mood have the power to encourage others or cause tension. We can be a source of calm, peaceful energy, or we can carry with us a heavy spirit, filled with fear and anxiousness.          

When you spend time with others would they experience you as a negative or positive person?

You might think that nobody around you really notices what you are thinking about but if you find that your presence seems to repel people, if you don’t have many close friends, if you find that people avoid you or seem to pull away from you- ask yourself why.

Maybe you are desiring to go deeper and have greater intimacy and transparency in your relationships? Being an intentional space changer will bring about a shift in how you relate to others. It happens in you first. As soon as you start to consciously practice ‘space changing’ you will begin to see how powerful you are.     

Type your paragraph here.

#103  - What Do I Have In My Hand?

 

Every time I turn around I hear the word, vulnerability.
If you are like most people, you might think about this word as being something you don’t really want to be.
You might associate vulnerability with weakness or setting yourself up for harm?
It may have been true at one time but today, the word vulnerability is actually something we are learning to strive for more of. Being vulnerable is actually being willing to open our selves-up, taking the risk of being hurt, by another person.

It is the truest form of humility when we allow others to see and experience our true, unprotected, raw selves.
It is now considered to be an honest and authentic way of relating. Our culture is learning that to be vulnerable is to love others well.
It is not a weakness, it is a strength.
With true vulnerability comes the opportunity of bringing our genuine selves and not trying to be something that we are not.

The underlying message is we are learning to embrace each other’s uniqueness and recognizing we all have a special purpose and gift.

I love Taylor Swift’s song, Shake it Off. She sings about what everyone is saying about her and she is just going to continue being who she is, and doing what she was made to do.
She is a talented songwriter and singer. She is in the public’s eye at every turn and she is just going to shake off all their judgment and ridicule, and just be true to herself. I love her songs and her vulnerability in writing about her love life. She plays the cards in her hand, without apology.
She is honest and authentic. And her authenticity has made her a very successful singer/songwriter- nobody can refute that!

Another leader in the shift of embracing vulnerability is Breanne Brown. She did the Ted talk, The Power of Vulnerability and has written books on the subject of shame and vulnerability. She started out with a mission to study and research vulnerability and shame and to figure out, how to clean up all the messiness and drama, she hypothesized, it caused.  

I think I have listened to her Ted Talk a dozen times. What she has to say resonates with everything I believe to be true, about vulnerability.
If you haven’t listened to it, stop reading now and go listen to it on YouTube.

Okay, you are back now. I hope you did take the time to listen to The Power of Vulnerability.

 She addresses a real need that each of us possess. We all long to be loved well and to love others well. Her work highlights how becoming vulnerable is key to bringing love into our lives, real, whole-hearted living and relationship.

Have you figured out what really excites you?
Do you know what your special gifts are and what you were created to do with this life?

 We all possess many gifts and natural talents but are you in alignment with what they are? If you can figure out what that ‘thing’ is, you were created to do, then you will never work another day in your life.
That’s right.
Once you are flowing in your purpose, whatever you do will not feel like work. You will be doing what you love and generating money doing it.
Lose your focus for earning money or making money. It’s now about generating income and creating abundance.
Don’t look for a job- search for your purpose and do what you are passionate about. Be who you were created to be. Use what’s in your hands today. Step into your authentic, vulnerable self, and be that.
It is enough because you are enough.         



A bit about me...


Three years ago I began my own journey of redesigning my life and finding out what my passion was. I had been trained as a RN and I loved working with people. Patient care was very fulfilling but I realized I wanted to care for more than just people's physical needs. Life coaching brought all my life experience into one arena; I have co-founded two successful businesses, currently raising four teenagers as a single mom, I continue to walk out grief, following the death of my husband, and many many more adventures.  


So, I am delighted you are taking on your life and ready to create something powerful.


Anything is possible....


 

#102- How Present Are You?

There are some people who purposely distance themselves from others. They go to great lengths to keep people at bay and avoid any personal intimacy. They are hiding. Hiding from hurt and disappointment. They have never learned the social skills necessary to interact on a close, personal level. They position themselves in the upper-back corner of the balcony at church. Then they duck out of the service, during the closing prayer or song. They avoid public places in the busy times of the day. They might even go as far as to do their grocery shopping in the middle of the night.

All in an effort to avoid people.

They have fallen into a critical and depressive cycle of reclusive, anti-social behavior. Their behavior is merely a symptom of an abuse; emotional, physical, sexual, mental- no doubt they have suffered greatly. It could be one or many different kinds of abuse they have suffered. And they are still suffering. Somewhere along the way, they have let the events in their life define them. They have limited beliefs about what is possible for them.

Now the limited beliefs dictates how they behave. Understanding that people can be carrying around real wounds, from their past, gives us the opportunity to meet them where they are at.

Instead of choosing to become angry or irritated with their behavior, however dysfunctional it is, we can begin to love them well and create the space they need to heal.        

How are you showing up?

Really take time to do an honest inventory of what you are presenting in your life. What are you thinking about while you are waiting in line? What kind of words flow out of your mouth?

How engaged are you in what’s going on around you? Are you listening to what people are saying? While people are talking are you just waiting for them to finish, so you can say your next line?

Are you constantly glued to your cell phone, physically there, but fragmented at best? You are distracted. Do you know that the number one threat to pedestrians today is people distracted on their cell phones and devices?

This article ran in the The Globe and Mail; “According to the BBC, a new study has found nearly one in three pedestrians use their mobile phones while crossing the road. The study, which tracked 1,000 people crossing intersections in Seattle, found 10 per cent were listening to music, 7 per cent were texting, and 6 per cent were speaking on their phones.

Those listening to music crossed the street more quickly than those not using their mobile devices, but they tended to not look both ways before stepping off the curb. Texters were four times more likely to ignore a red light, and they took two seconds longer to make it across intersections, the BBC said.”

Wow- we are so engrossed in our phones we are endangering our lives. I have told my kids repeatedly to not be on their phones, while they are walking in intersections- ever!

We are changing the way we behave in public, now that everyone carries a cell phone. I see young people sitting together in groups and every single one of them is either on their phone, or has one in their hand. The way we are relating to each other and the world around us has been drastically altered and I do not think the change is beneficial to us socially.  

Do you intentionally work at being 100% present with everything you do? It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious effort and be intentional about this.

Being in the moment is what I call being ‘powerfully present.’

Do you look people in the eye when you talk to them, when they are talking to you? Do you stand and face people with your full body or are you talking to them side-ways, showing only half of your body?

These are all clues to how you are showing up and how well you are using your power to change the spaces you are in.

Can you talk to someone without having to use your hands and arms to express yourself? Using your hands and arms too much can be distracting and can also be a sign to others that you are insecure and lack confidence.

Unless you use sign language to communicate, the over-use of hand gestures will not help you be a better communicator.

Be your own detective and be aware of what you are projecting in your social encounters with others.

As you become more aware of what you are doing, you will be amazed at how powerful you are. You will increase the quality of your relationships and people will trust you more.

Being powerfully present has been a transforming tool in my own life. I believe it can serve you well and increase your effectiveness on many communication levels.       Chapter 1- Space Changers

If you google the words ‘space changer’ you will find many listings for furniture and staging service companies that are in high demand, in the world of real estate and buying and selling property.

I am proposing a new meaning, for the phrase ‘Space Changer.’ 

We all possess the physical energy to actually change the environment we live in. Even our thoughts and mood can be sensed without us ever having to say a word.

Our human intelligence and reasoning knows this to be true. We have the ability to physically be in a space and the opportunity to actually effect that space by our thoughts, actions and words.

Have you ever experienced someone in real mental anguish or deep depression?

People carry with them ‘vibes’ that are as real as the air we breathe. You know what it feels like to be in the presence of someone that is truly angry or irritated.

They may or may not be using words to express their emotions but you know exactly what they are thinking. They are in a hurry. They are bothered by having to wait, and they are ready to bite the cashier’s head off, if they dared cross them.

People usually stay as far away as possible from people like this. They avoid having to get close to them or I dare say-- have to speak to them.

On the other hand, we also meet people whom we instantly wish we had as a friend. They kindly hold the door open for us.

They smile and wish us a good day.

They casually exchange conversation, as you share an elevator together or they sympathize with you when your pet is having a melt-down in the vet’s office. They take the opportunity to exchange kind words and pleasantries, even though you will likely never see them again.

The energy you and I carry with us is powerful. You can choose to use it to produce a positive or a negative effect. Now I consider myself an intuitive person. I am usually able to pick up a great deal about people in a very short amount of time.

I also create the space for others to be open and to be known. Now that might sound airy fairy but it really works. The idea of creating space for others isn’t a new concept. And I am not talking about physical space so much but creating a safe emotional place that provides others a sense of security and safety.

I am able to give people the sensitivity they need to bring down their walls of self-protection and to be their genuine selves. I make an effort to study people and understand who they are and what their needs are.    

Flying on airplanes, unless you fly first-class, can be a real challenge for most folks.

Your personal space is compromised and you are at the mercy of whom ever you share your row with. People are not always at their best when they fly and yet I will risk sounding condescending-- when we are tested to our limits, it is a true indication of what’s really in our heart.

I love flying on airplanes and I usually engage my seatmate in a meaningful conversation. In fact, I have actually experienced what ‘the role of the stranger’ is.

I have had people tell me things that they confessed they hadn’t told anybody else on the planet. I even got a phone call last week from a young pilot I met on a flight and he called to tell me he is moving back into my area and reminded me he promised to take my kids flying.

So, he’ll be coming over for dinner soon. So you see, I made a friend on that flight. I made a connection with him-a total stranger became my friend.  And is wasn’t difficult or awkward. In fact, it takes much more energy to be evasive and standoffish than to be present and warm towards others. If you are looking for ways to be a true servant and using the everyday, ordinary circumstances, to be generous and kind-hearted, you are a person to be celebrated.

I think this is why the whole ‘pay it forward’ thing resonates with a deep, tender part of our souls. We receive great pleasure giving to others, without a hidden agenda of what is in it for us. But once we participate in a ‘pay it-forward’ activity we receive the rewarding pleasure of contribution and service to others.

Our words have the ability to bless or curse. Our words either heal or hurt.

Our conversations and mood have the power to encourage others or cause tension. We can be a source of calm, peaceful energy, or we can carry with us a heavy spirit, filled with fear and anxiousness.          

When you spend time with others would they experience you as a negative or positive person?

You might think that nobody around you really notices what you are thinking about but if you find that your presence seems to repel people, if you don’t have many close friends, if you find that people avoid you or seem to pull away from you- ask yourself why.

Maybe you are desiring to go deeper and have greater intimacy and transparency in your relationships? Being an intentional space changer will bring about a shift in how you relate to others. It happens in you first. As soon as you start to consciously practice ‘space changing’ you will begin to see how powerful you are.