No “dumping” zone

No dumping zone - abundance guy

I had a link on last weeks post to this blog back in 2017. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so I just thought I’d repost the blog:)

Do you feel people are often “dumping ” their problems on you?

Do you feel like you can’t say no or stop someone from talking about their problems? Does it leave you tired?

Do you feel obligated to hear someone’s problems? is it supportive for you?

It feels good to vent now and then and I enjoy supporting family and friends that are working through issues. However, to hear someone go on and on about their problems, especially when its filled with gossip or blaming others is usually draining. I certainly have noticed this for myself. Sometimes when I feel this obligation to listen, I notice a few things happen. First, I resent it and my energy gets drained. Also, I’m not as present as I’m usually wanting the conversation to end after a while………. Any of you, start checking emails or doing chores around the house when a conversation becomes one sided? How much value are we really adding in this “not so present” listening mode. If someone is really stuck in “drama” mode, getting stuck talking excessively about the problem, gossiping or blaming others for their situation, that is a lot of negativity to hear. I feel it eventually it starts to drain ones energy.

In the past I have gotten mad at myself for “listening” too long as now my energy has been affected, sometimes lasting for hours or more after I leave the conversation. No matter how much we love someone, does allowing our energy to be drained really serve either person? I feel keeping my energy high actually helps the other, even if they can’t see or feel it.

A few years back, I added a 5 minute “dumping” rule for myself. That is, I would allow 5 minutes of “dumping” to go on in a conversation and if it went beyond I then asked the person if we could schedule a time (if I wanted to) when I could better listen and be present for them. I would say something like, “this sounds like a really important issue for you and I want to hear you when I can be fully present” or being more direct, “it is sometimes draining for me to hear someone talk at length about their problems when my energy is not so strong”. If their was a lot of gossip and blame, I sometimes would offer, “I feel I might be more helpful to you to be a sounding board for SOLUTIONS to your problem” (rather than gossiping and blaming others). Of course, communicating this can be a delicate balance in relationships. I have noticed that it is best to bring up how you want to communicate in the future to those closer relationships, as in the heat of the moment can be a bit harder for the other person to handle. Practice those “I” messages when communicating, “I feel this way”…..”I notice this about myself when”, ect. We all are allowed to feel how we feel about something.

Know that this is a practice and you will likely mess it up, at least I do. I believe in taking small steps to improvement  and that often comes as two steps forward and one step back.

I have been practicing this 5 minute rule more these days. It takes some communication and patience and what I found was and is that when I did this with some people they would eventually dump somewhere else and in many circumstances our connection grew as we more frequently moved into real feelings and solutions when some of the drama was removed. Also, there is an definite energy shift when you change from talking about the problem to talking about the solution.

This is still a work in progress for me and I’m always on the look out for creative ways in dealing with “dumping”, so let me know if you have any ideas!

Feel better by shifting your focus from problems to solutions

Focus on solutions instead of problems - Abundance Guy

“The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

 

Read this quote somewhere and reminded me that when we are in our problems we are often focused so much on them, that our thinking becomes self fulfilling……Focus on problem, the problem remains, gets bigger or more problems surface…..When we are stuck in/on the “problem”, we are in the “energy” or thinking of that problem. We think over and over about the problem.  Play it over in our mind, again and again, I believe staying in the “problem energy”.

Let’s say we have a problem with a person that “created” a problem for you. What someone said or did. Staying in what was said or done, will not change anything of course. What was said or done is over and in the past. Talking consistently about it will only keep you in the situation of the past. That situation has an energy to it, like a vibration, and I believe affects not only your thinking, but your body and its health and vitality. Think of the difference you feel and your energy you have when you have a pleasant conversation versus an argument. One you feel fresh and light and the other drained, sometimes physically AND emotionally.

I Kinda like to think that each old thought of this “problem” as you are bring it (the thought of the problem) into the present like an anchor. Having to bring the thoughts (the anchor) of the past forward into the present. If we had no judgement on the issue, we would just move on, right? But, sometimes we instead carry the burdens of the past forward or we choose to be right versus happy and free. We love to blame things on others, it’s easy, their not there to speak the other side, so we talk about how THEY have affected our lives. It’s their fault. Of course, this gives our power away as now the problem can only get fixed if someones else does something. Good Luck on finding long term happiness when others actions determine your happiness!  I get caught up on that one personally sometimes. Also, we can be often be just unconsciously stuck in negatively. I occasionally see people that seem to like stress and negativity over peacefulness, almost like an addiction, without being aware of it.

In situations like I’m describing are conscious, we know where the “problem” came from, however, there are also unconscious thoughts and beliefs that we have built up over the years that we are repeating. It’s like we are in a circle or whirlpool that can be difficult to get out of without a new way of looking or thinking about the problem. Sometimes these “circles” can last for a long time, a lifetime, dragging the negative energy of the past into your present moment. In my breath work, I see this all the time. Energy that is stuck from old issues, literally stored in the body, even though the “mind” thought it has cleared the problem. The breath is just one tool that can help move this.

Another simple one, is to focus on solutions. Forget the past (easier said than done with our egos), and just focus on what you need to do NOW………..I am not saying to suppress or not feel emotions. Expressing emotions are healthy, getting stuck in those, in my opinion, is not. My view is, let your emotions move and complete and move on. I believe that can start by just the focusing and thinking about the solution over and over. Solution, solution, solution……Just that shift in awareness alone is so powerful. Maybe it will take some small steps to get started towards an eventual solution. I believe ANY small step can get progress flowing in the right direction.

I have a friend that had some health issues in the past and I always admired how she refused to see herself as “sick”. She focused on the solutions to her “issues” even when it was and sometimes is challenging for her when solutions were foggy. Among other things, she is just repeating to herself, “I am healthy”, over and over, again and again. She continues to improve to this day even though doctors do not really know what’s “wrong” with her. Our thoughts and actions are so powerful!

Like anything else its a practice and my clients and myself find we just feel better when we focus on the solution.

 

 

 

Is mountain biking like life?

A friend of mine came out for a visit last week.  We both enjoyed the “guy time” that two long time friends have together. We have a lot of history together, which started all the way back in nursery school! He has remained one of my closest friends over the years despite 1,000 miles in between us. We work in the same industry so we talk a lot, however we also just make the effort to spend face-to-face time together and be there for each other during the “ups” and “downs” of life.  With busy lives it can be hard to create time together, but so worth the “effort”. We spent a lot of time mountain biking while he was here and the video below is a fast snapshot of our biking time together.

I sometimes think about Mountain biking and it’s similarities to the ups and downs of life. Okay, I know, it maybe a stretch. But give me a little leeway. Biking has the challenge of the climbs, lot’s of effort, sweat and exertion, the time when we literally break down old muscles to build new, stronger ones.  Then the trail inevitably must turn downhill and the often effortless coasting, joy (or relief, after the challenge) and exhilaration. Like in life, our challenges make us stronger and certainly it’s easy to appreciate those times when we take a break from “growing” and life is like a sunny day.

On one ride we took, the uphill was steep enough that we got off and pushed our bikes up. We probably could have pedaled through some of what we walked, but we felt the extra exertion would have drained to much energy for the trail ahead. We dropped our egos and walked and talked.  A good life lesson……….when we might be expending too much energy and draining ourselves too much for the moment to “get off” and catch our breaths, slow things down a bit or build our energy up.  And know that everything that is meant to get done will and the “trail” or life will still be there.