How to Ask a Person to Change Behavior

As an empowerment coach my focus is on how my clients can make decisions that bring more joy and satisfaction in their lives. An area that may be challenging is to establish boundaries so that my client feels empowered to live with less stress and more self confidence. Holding to the boundaries may require a person in my client’s life to make changes.

For example, my client may feel the person is constantly disrespectful of time or space needs. Or an individual may not respect my client’s opinions or priorities. Below are some strategies for when you feel your boundaries have not been respected and the other person needs to make a change of behavior.

1. Listen to the words you are using in demanding a change. For example, saying, “I want you to stop [fill in the blank],” does not show any consideration for what the other person wants. Another approach would be to say, “Having you [fill in the behavior] doesn’t work for me. What might we agree to that would work for both of us?”

This approach can lead to a discussion that includes the individual in the decision that affects him/her directly and possibly create a compromise that works for both of you.

2. Consider habits you have developed that allow, or even encourage, the undesired behavior to continue. If you have accepted, or put up with the undesired behavior in the past, then you have trained the person to think that there are no consequences for not making the change.

It’s up to you to decide the consequences of continued unwanted behavior. It’s important to determine if you will really carry through with the consequences because when you don’t carry through you are giving permission for the unwanted behavior to continue.

3. Be certain that you hear what the person says about why they are refusing to change. You may, or may not be sympathetic to the reasons, but hearing those reasons can give you insight into how the person values the behavior and the relationship with you.

Sometimes you may repeatedly request a change of behavior and the person refuses to change. In that case it suggests that there is no buy-in or benefit to the person you are talking to. It can mean that the person does not care why you want the behavior to change because it’s more satisfying for the behavior to continue as is.

The holidays can be stressful for many families. Become empowered by establishing your boundaries now to minimize the anxiety and chaos for a more relaxed season.

Celebrating the Dead Around the World

October is often said to be when the veil between the worlds is thin, allowing the spirits of those who passed on to come back to this realm. Some cultures see this time as frightening, while others see it as a joyful celebration because they believe the ancestors come back to celebrate. We’re going to explore the Pagan tradition of the Celts and the Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico and other regions of Latin American.

Halloween is a modern carryover of these traditions that have celebrated of the departed for thousands of years. The Pagan celebration called Samhein (pronounced SOW-in) was first celebrated by the Celts and generally lasted from October 31 to November 2. It is the Pagan New Year and the spirits return to roam in this realm.

Samhein is a Celtic tradition to remember and honor the dead. In the past, food was often left on altars and just outside the door for the ghosts of the departed in order to appease them so they would not harm those in the house. Thus, the beginning of modern day Trick or Treat

In a like manner in the olden times, people wore costumes and painted their faces white so the evil spirits could not know them. The tradition lighting of Jack-O-Lanterns was also to protect them from the spirits. This is the history of Halloween costumes and pumpkins.

Also from October 31 to November 2, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is celebrated to honor loved ones who have passed over. It is believed by many that children who have died come at midnight to spend a day with their families on October 31 and then leave the next day. Adults who have crossed over arrive the next day. The celebration is often held at the gravesites of those who have passed. It is a joyful, rather than solemn, occasion with food, games and lots of sugar candy.

Many other cultures have celebrations during these 3 days. The Festival of the Dead include Peruvians, Pacific Islanders, people of the Tonga Islands, ancient Persians and ancient Romans. Additional celebrations for the ancestors include those in Japan, Korea, Nepal, China, India, and Madagascar.

Whether you dress up or you welcome ghosts and goblins (and many supeheros) enjoy the celebration this year.

Setting Intentions

Setting your intention is different than telling yourself what you “should” be doing or want to do. When you set your intention you state your highest desire and activate your goals. Setting your intention is active, not passive.

When you state your intention you put your desires out into the universe so that the various energies can line up to help your intentions come true. Your intentions are best be manifested when they are in alignment with your values.

Your intention is a call to attract to yourself what you desire. It can be in the physical plane (a friend just manifested a home), or an internal objective (another client just achieved forgiveness towards a late partner).

Begin by being thankful for the things you already have in your life before setting your new intention. Create whatever kind of ritual that will be meaningful to you. My way of setting intention is to begin by calling on my angels and guides, but that may not work for you.

Be pretty specific about what you want. Maybe you want to manifest a new job. Rather than name the title and company you want to work for, perhaps calling in the perfect job for you that pays you well and is work you enjoy with compatible co-workers in a convenient location.

Re-state your intention (it can be a shortened version) in the days and weeks that follow. Notice what you are doing to support your intention. For example, you might write a note to remind yourself of the intention and place copies of your intention where you will be reminded of what you are calling into your life.

Give the universe time to create the circumstances for the intention to come true.

4 Empowerment Steps to Create Possibilities

1. Set intentions – Make a list of the areas in your life that you want to create new and/or expanded possibilities. Be specific without getting bogged down. Your life is integrated between the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When you want to spend more energy in one area, realize that you may need to shift some energy from another area.

2. Evaluate options – As you review your intentions, evaluate what you will need to accomplish each intention. Do they require an investment of time, money, commitment or space? Decide from among the various approaches that you may take to create your intention. There is almost always more than one action you can take to achieve your intention.

3. Take action – Now that you know what you want to achieve, and the best steps to take for success, really commit yourself to your goals. The purpose of setting your intention is to make your life better and this is your opportunity to claim a more expansive life. GO FOR IT!

4. Pay attention – Keep your list of intentions and actions where you see them and pay attention to how well you are completing your actions and staying with your intention. Pay attention to where you stumble and celebrate your successes.

When you feel stuck, pull a card to see what energy is in your way, and then another card to determine what energy to call upon to get past your challenge.

You can always call on me if you have a question.

Be Empowered To Make Wise Choices

To a certain extent we choose what we want in our life or, at least, we choose how we will respond to what life brings us. Even when we don’t make a choice, we are choosing to let our emotions rule us. Sometimes we need a reminder that we are responsible for our attitude and the joy we call into our own life. Below are seven strategies to increase your happiness.

1. Know and accept that you deserve to be happy. It’s often easier to live your life by default, that is, by absorbing whatever is in your environment rather than by changing your actions and attitudes. However, taking action is almost always empowering and provides you with purpose.

2. Be willing to take risks and move beyond your comfort zone. When our son went to college he had the wisdom to try one new thing every day. It varied from something small, like taking a different path to class to something more dramatic like deciding to learn a new instrument (that choice led him to become a professional drummer and artist). Your mind and heart expand when you try something new. Get your adrenalin moving a little bit every day (or a LOT on some days). You will learn and appreciate more about who you are.

3. Select your entertainment carefully. Although there is a plethora of movies, books and causes that are meaningful, many are depressing. Review your entertainment to see if it makes you feel good about yourself and your universe. Find material that suggests solutions, has humor or is just plain fun. Sing, dance, draw or do some other creative venture that makes you happy. You needn’t be a professional artist to enjoy artistic dips and spins.

4. Avoid negative people, especially at work. Don’t give people permission to spew their negativity on you. Try to create a buddy system by being honest enough to explain to complainers that you are trying to be more positive in your life. Invite them to turn the conversation around by sharing solutions and bringing humor into work situations.

5. Be grateful for what you do have. Start each day thanking the universe for at least 2 people, situations, possessions or ideas you have in your life. Be sincere and explore how to expand the role

6. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. This is one of the most difficult tasks when you are feeling down because you may already be feeling awful about who you think you are. But this is the time to look at yourself as you would your dearest friend who needs some cheering up. Do whatever you can to force yourself to be there for that friend: yourself. Give yourself encouragement, buy yourself a treat, say kind words to yourself, have fun with yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, meditate, journal. Never accept abuse from anyone, even yourself.

Sometimes you can’t find joy on your own and that’s okay, be willing to reach out to a professional if needs be.

Life is precious and deserves to be joyful. Do something new and different today.

 

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Make space for renewal in your life and in your environment

Spend a day, a week or a month to take these few steps to freshen up your life.

1. Simplify your living and work space. I used to call this an “albatross day” where I would eliminate the smelly thing hanging around that was claiming attention it didn’t deserve.

We all have paperwork, memorabilia, and stuff around that zaps our energy whenever we see it. Use a day, week, or the whole month to go through everything in your home and office and decide if each thing is bringing you joy or just taking up space.

Make a practice to do what needs to be done to complete the related task; to release the items to a new life with someone who will appreciate it (Neighborhood group, Goodwill, Value Village); or to thank it for its contribution and end its life (recycle, dump).

2. Get rid of the excess, outmoded, outlandish words and messages you carry in your mind that keeps you from becoming empowered to be who you want to be. As you release the physical memories, attachments or other representatives of obsolete thinking from your past, be sure to release those thoughts and messages related to them that keep you from growing.

3. Do something new for yourself. Join, or start a book club or something else that you enjoy doing. Maybe make time for that trip you’ve wanted to take. As the season changes so do available fresh foods. Discover new recipes that excite you. Go to a spa and have a facial or body wrap to release the old skin and allow the new to shine through.

Spring is time for renewal! Share with me how you did, or will, renew yourself.

Actions of Empowerment

About twice a week I create a Facebook quote with suggestions for self-empowerment. Below is a summary of the posts from the last several weeks.

EMPOWERED NEW MOON (JUNE 5). Happy New Moon! Take time to look inside yourself and celebrate 3 things that are you. When you are going through transitions it’s good to acknowledge and own what is good that you want to keep and what to release. Everyone has at least 3 things that are good and worth keeping. What are yours?

CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Make a complete list of the changes you want to make and then prioritize that list. Select one change to make and create a second list that outlines steps you think you need to take to make that step come about. For example, if it’s financial security you want, then might want to make a detailed outline of your expenses and income.

You may not want to take these steps, but outline ALL of the options on paper. Then you say the words of power to manifest your intention. By saying the words of power you are creating the space for new thoughts and creativity to come into your life. Be open to the unexpected. Make the words of power your mantra and repeat them several times a day. You will see the changes.

USE THE FULL MOON. In June the full moon will occur on the Solstice and is expecially powerful. The full moon is the time to shine the light in the dark places of your life and release that which no longer serves you. If you made a list of what you want to create during the last new moon on June 5 bring out the list, review it, and burn it. Burning your list releases the energy to manifest your desires in the universe.

For those who did not make a list at the new moon, simply release any and all things that are holding your back from whatever you would like to call into your life (new job, healing, joy, relationship, prosperity or whatever). Be empowered to ask the Universe to manifest that which is in your highest and best good.

EMPOWER YOURSELF IN RELATIONSHIPS. All too often we allow ourselves to be victim to the opinions of others, thereby giving away our power. When you concentrate on the criticism rather than the positive, you run the risk of becoming a victim. Understand that there are many options in every situation. When facing disapproval, review the critique to see if there is value in the other person’s perspective and acknowledge the useful part of what they have to say. If the information is not supportive or productive respond neutrally by saying, “I hear your perspective.” Then, mentally package the information up and send it on the wings of release from your life.

Refrain from engaging in gossip and being critical of the negative person. You can only change yourself, never another person. The more you think or talk about negativity the more power you give away. Whenever you think of her/him say, “release,” and imagine the words flying that energy away. Hold onto your power. You are not a victim.

GET PAST OLD STORIES. A big obstacle to self empowerment is getting past the old stories that you carry in your head that belittle your self-worth. I don’t know why we always hang so tightly to those conversations that makes us feel bad. Here is an exercise many of my clients have found useful:

For 3 days carry a notebook around and record those self conversations that attack your self-worth. For example, “I’m so dumb, I can’t do anything right,” “Ah, what an idiot I am,” “If I weren’t so [fat, lazy, worthless, etc] I would be happy.” You can put tick marks every time you repeat the comment, but do take note of each time the comment comes to mind. Now, see which comments you most frequently repeated and go back in your memory to identify who gave you that story.

Speak to that person’s high self, even if they have passed on, and tell them how those comments have impacted your life. Then explain that you are changing your story and that the old story is not true, and may have never been true, and that you are taking your power back. Repeat this with each of the phrases and with each person who made you feel less than adequate. Replace the negative with a positive message, “I am good at [organizing, singing, care-taking, etc.] and find joy in life.

Burn the paper with the negative words and say, “As this paper is transformed to ashes, so may I be transformed to an empowered, strong and graceful person.” After this ceremony you also need to change the habit of being a victim to the negative stories you believed for so long. When you catch yourself revisiting those negative messages say, “Release, you have no power over me, I am a good and empowered person.” You may need to do this several times a day in the beginning.

2 HOURS TO EMPOWERMENT. We are all responsible for our own lives. Sometimes we can’t control all of the circumstances, but we can practice controlling our reaction to the circumstances. You are empowered when you don’t allow circumstances to defeat your sense of who you are.

Allow yourself 10 to 30 minutes of grief, anger or sadness. Then give yourself 3 to 5 minutes to release the negative feeling. Then give yourself 30 to 60 minutes to think about and perhaps write about what you are going to do to take your power back. The circumstances might involve physical pain management, emotional angst, mental confusion, or spiritual crisis.

Whatever the cause, allow the feeling of loss, neutralize the pain, and get back your power! If you  need more help, ask the community here to assist you.

What empowerment is, and what it is not

Empowerment is being willing to look at your life and identify the changes you want to make

Empowerment is NOT looking at someone else’s life and identifying changes you want THEM to make.

Empowerment is being willing to push your boundaries by exploring new thoughts and actions.

Empowerment is NOT conforming to your current limits.

Empowerment is being willing to release people, situations, and ideas that are not in your highest good.

Empowerment is NOT holding on to what is not in your highest good.

Empowerment is having the courage to walk in the fog of the unknown until you have clarity.

Empowerment is NOT being paralyzed by fear of the unknown.

Empowerment is not for the weak of heart.

I invite you to engage on a journey to Empower yourself.

Is This Energy Yours, Or Does It Belong To Someone Else?

An empath is a person who is highly sensitive to the emotions and energy of other people or events. Empaths often feel overwhelmed when they are in crowded situations such as a mall or stadium because they may unknowingly pick up the conflicting energy of many people at the same time.  Sometimes an empath will feel sad or upset before a major event, such as a natural disaster, that may not even involve them or anyone they directly know.

Being an empath can be exhausting, especially if you don’t know that you are picking up on feelings that are not your own. Empaths may become depressed because they can’t seem to control their feelings or they don’t understand why they are suddenly angry or overwhelmed. Empaths can’t choose what they will pick up on and sometimes they will experience panic attacks or high levels of anxiety.

If you are an empath, the best thing you can do is to acknowledge this gift, and be gentle with yourself. More than most people, you will benefit from having strong boundaries and controlling your environment by deciding what visual (movies, media) and auditory stimulation you want to expose yourself to.

When you feel that you are losing yourself in another person’s issues learn the habit of releasing their energy. Release the unwanted energy by imagining  you’re are cleansing it from the top of your head and running it down your body from your feet into the earth. You may feel most people’s pain, but your life purpose is not to take on their pain. Instead, try to find a sanctuary where you can reconnect with your own energy.

Below are some resources you might want to read to understand yourself, or an empath you may know:
An Empath’s Guide to Staying Balanced:
The Happy Sensitive:
The Joys and Sorrows of Being an Empath

Are You Worth it?

Don’t be too quick to claim the stories that you believe about your life, they can easily become blocks to creating the future you want for yourself. The stories often justify actions and support your dis-empowerment. In these times of transformation, think about your stories and re-write them to empower yourself. The point of power is now, and now you can create a story-foundation that will support the new, empowered you.
– Karen Crane: Wisdom Work for Women

Karen’s words are so true. People often say things that lead to us feeling unworthy to accept love, money, success or joy, yet we adopt them as our story. It’s not possible to be empowered when we don’t feel worthy to claim what life has to offer.

Empowerment is about disengaging from the stories that create low self-esteem and to accept that it is our right to claim all of the majesty of life. To become empowered we need to take responsibility for our lives rather than passively accepting what comes our way. We can’t always control what life brings, but we can learn to respond from different perspectives.

You are worthy. You are worth the best that life has to offer.

Believing negative stories that others tell us about ourselves allows their perception to influence how we are in the world. Learning to reinterpret our own story from a new perspective gives us the freedom to respond in a way that we would like to become.

Over the years I’ve learned to listen to different stories from people who love and support me and now I can accept that I am more the empowered, positive person I want to be. Don’t listen to the people who don’t love you.  Listen to the people who do care.

We often don’t recognize where in our life we feel unworthy. Below is an exercise to help you identify where you lack self-esteem and how to connect with empowering changes.

Do the work. You are worth it!

1.     Pick an area in your life where you experience a lack of fulfillment or joy. Now, write down the feeling or beliefs you have about this part of your life. For example:

I feel unattractive, therefore I don’t deserve someone to love me.

I don’t have money because only selfish people have money.

I can’t improve my work (school, home) situation because this is the best I can do.

2.      Look at each of those points and identify the story behind these feelings. For example,

I was teased about my looks many years ago.

My parents were poor and were jealous of those who had money.

I was encouraged to make decisions to benefit others rather than myself.

3.      Make a list of where and from whom, you heard these stories. Acknowledge the beliefs had a hold on you and release them into the universe by burning the paper. Burning transforms the energy.

4.      Now, decide how you want to rewrite your beliefs and make a list of what beliefs you WANT to be true about yourself. Acknowledge and embrace those beliefs. Put this list in a safe place and periodically review what you have written.

5.      Finally, practice your new beliefs about yourself.

Get out of the habit of believing the negative and embrace who you want to become. Call in the energy to support your new beliefs. Every time you catch yourself reacting in the old paradigm again, release the old and firmly replace it with the new paradigm.

You are worth it. Let me know how this works for you.

More Wisdom Works for Women can be seen on facebook at Karen D Crane or she can be reached at KCsoul53 [at] yahoo.com