A grateful year

Surprised by the fruit hanging on the tree covered with maroon leaves, I stopped to consider whether this tree has been there all along. I haven’t seen these cherry-like fruit before. I knew of course that the tree has been standing guard next to the entrance since I moved into this house some 5 years (!) ago. Now I can say I have a purple leaf sand cherry tree :-).

This little incident is much like 2020 – it takes something different and perhaps drastic to make us see what we’ve been blind to or missing.

This year has been a challenging year in many aspects, from adapting to different and often difficult work situations to increased demand in our homes and relationships.

Yet 2020 is also the year for which we can be grateful. This year helped us to

  • acknowledge the importance of stepping off the productivity wagon
  • embrace our capacity to live with uncertainty
  • rediscover the joys, great and small, our family and other relationships bring
  • appreciate the meaning of missing someone
  • reconnect with our passions and desires
  • realise the significance of our solitude and reflection
  • be aware of how little we actually need to be happy
  • reinforce the power of kind words and a smile.

Thank you for your community, the sharing of a common spirit and purpose.

You may wish to light a candle for the year passed and set an intention for the year ahead.

As we head to the final days of 2020 with hope that 2021 will be a better year, I ask myself this:

What does “better” mean? What does “a better year” look like?

Let us resolve to retain the positive changes 2021 has brought into our lives, and usher in a better 2021.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

What’s more than a book group?

I love books, and reading. I love where books take me.

In my psychotherapy work, books and poetry become my tools. 

Yet  sometimes with the responsibilities of home, parenting and work, reading for leisure takes a back seat. In fact, it can feel like a luxury dabbled with a little guilt, as we take time away from the “shoulds” of our lives.

I know (as you do) that self-development or personal growth or “dealing with my stuff” is helpful not just for myself but also to those with whom I come in contact. I cannot give when empty.

I need to give myself permission to grow, to work on being my best self. Only then can I be in  my best self with others.

No better time than now, as we are required to stay home and some of the “shoulds” have been taken from us. Maybe there’s a little time saved from our daily work commute. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to but can’t justify the time. This may not even be at the top of your leisure list but being restricted from the outside world, this is a pleasurable option. 

Come join me, (a psychotherapist trained in group facilitation and an avid book-reader) in an online book group which serves the purpose of leisure and personal development. 

Stories can shape your lives. Here, you may come upon your tribe. You may gather some new insights. You may experience a certain liberation. 

Ready to read books, have robust facilitated conversations, and share insights in a supportive space?  There will be a selection of books which I will curate for the group to explore aspects of living life, which will inspire and motivate you to be better versions of yourself. 

Interested to find out about More-than-a Book-Group? 

Complete this Expression Of Interest (obligation-free) form, and I will be in contact to explore further.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

Be who you are and empowered

What an incredible weekend!

Spending time with my sisters in Law at the Aust. Women Lawyers Conference reminds me of why I chose to be a lawyer. The stories these amazing women told also sadly reminds me of why I left the practice of law. Though I am never far… for I am inspired to create change. These familiar stories are not intended to reinforce “victimhood” rather to make our, and women’s stories in general, visible. They are told in the spirit of recognition, solidarity and support.

They and the many actions women lawyers have taken to stake their claim to their rightful inheritance in the law, and to better the lives of women add to my inspiration and motivation. There was much discussion, and provocative and innovative ideas.

Some key messages (taken from my Tweets as I live-tweeted the event):

Lawyers need to engage their curiosity, be adaptable to change, collaborate, be inclusive, develop business acumen, have great communication skills and to not lose sight of the humanity in law.

These are essential human skills, salvaged from the trench of the “soft skills” label.

I will not be defined by the many labels you may put on me. I am complex.

And knowing who we are and what we stand for, are precursors to being fulfilled in our personal and professional lives, to being successful.

Inclusion and diversity require – in the words of Aretha Franklin, RESPECT.

Respect is a conscious act. What does it look like in practice? How do we do it?

Investing in the future (as was the theme of the Conference) begins with investing in the now, in ourselves.

Do we value ourselves enough to proclaim through our words and actions, “I am worthy”, “I am enough” and thus, “I belong”, feeling comfortable in the space we inhabit.

Sounding much like the work I do in Transfigure to empower professionals. Perhaps this is the reason why I am now more energised than before, to create change by facilitating others

  • to engage with their human skills,
  • to own their true selves and stand tall,
  • to practice compassion and kindness on themselves and others, and
  • most importantly, to take time for themselves for personal and professional development.

Fuelled by the passion of these incredible women, and to quote the AGS AWL Award recipient, the estimable Fiona McLeod SC, I will “get to it”.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2018

To be a great leader, you have to be…

S . E . L . F . L . E . S . S .

According to best-selling author of “Servant Leadership in Action” Raj Sisodia, great leaders possess

  • Strength
  • Enthusiasm
  • Love
  • Flexibility
  • Long-term orientation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Systems intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence

Check out this article in Inc.com for what each means.

 

 

How to connect

 

Building relationship is a “thing” now, a mantra within the networking, management and leadership circles. And rightly so. Seeking to build relationships honors our humanity, we are more than conduits engaging in mere exchange of insights and information, time and money and the cost-benefit analysis of these currencies.

We cannot build relationships unless we learn how to connect.

And the essence of real connection which we find so appealing, supportive, enriching and rewarding is intimacy. Intimacy is the glue that binds people. Without it, any connection is barren, void of the positive meaning.

But what is intimacy? It is a close, familiar and affectionate personal relationship with another and it arrives in different ways. We may have cognitive or intellectual intimacy with another with the sharing of ideas, visions, viewpoints, dreams and hopes. We may have experiential intimacy as we do work, however defined, together. We may also have emotional intimacy where feelings are shared between two or more people and our emotional needs are met or affirmed. And we have sexual intimacy which involves the sharing of sensual expression. This would include for example, the person whom we share our epicurean or creative interests.

There are many ways through which we develop intimacy in our professional life and connect.

And which comes first? Do we connect to enable intimacy to grow? Or is intimacy a prerequisite to connection? Instead of a linear cause-and-effect correlation, the relationship between intimacy and connection is reflexive.

Intimacy and connection are deliberate and conscious processes.

We must be willing to explore, to be interested in another’s life, to be present and available to them. Most importantly, we must be real. And we have to give it time to develop.

Hold new interactions lightly, watch it and see where it will grow. Let go of preconceived notions of how, what and why. Not every interaction becomes positive connection.

So how do we connect?

Be open and sociable. This does not mean be naive and gullible. It does however mean you do not approach every person you meet as a threat. Keep your head, open your heart.

Be authentic. Show who you really are. Stop being so guarded. It may feel vulnerable but my experience has been that most people are happy to receive the real you. Few people are out to harm.

Maintain your values. People with whom you connect will be those who share a certain ‘thing’ with you; this ‘thing’ which calls to you are underpinned by your values. Be yourself. Be honest.

In this endeavour of building relationships especially as a leader, let us be gentle, kind and respectful.

Which of us would refuse a genuine connection? On this premise, building relationship need not feel like an unsurpassable challenge.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2018