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Introducing a New Blog: Shades Of Crimson.

After six months, I’m moving to a self-hosted blog and changing the name to Shades of Crimson.

This has been an interesting transition. I have spent two months dealing with technical difficulties. During that time WordPress released three updates. I changed the tag line a half dozen times, spent hours sourcing images and got into a rather uncomfortable discussion in an online support forum.

I’m sure my face turned a few shades of crimson. I’m not always under the influence of a “loving pulse”.

But, as Lance from The Jungle of Life commented on my last post: “I think we all have a little dysfunction! I’m going to embrace that dysfunction this year.”

Taking the Personal out of Personal Development

It’s been said that dysfunction is an illusion designed by the inner critic, who takes things personally. It does a good job at holding a person in a place of judgment and causing them to react defensively. In my experience I’ve fallen into the trap of defining myself based on the inner critic’s direction.

We give too much credit to the inner critic. If it’s an illusion, how can it design anything? Think about that. Which makes me wonder about spirit too. In my humble opinion spirit exists, although I can’t see it any more clearly than I can see the inner critic. Both of these exist as beliefs for me because of experience, and how I have perceived that experience.

Anyway, when those nasty inner voices cloud our vision we are confused because it goes against what we are made of (whatever that is). Our natural instinct for truth and balance runs deep and the inner critic can be convincing. If a person is sensitive this can easily throw them off track.  An internal struggle ensues because their perception of how things are happening doesn’t resonate with their instincts.

This year, I’m inspired to practice experience without expectation. To notice. Some days I will succeed, some days I will fail – two sides of the same coin. But, getting up in the morning to focus on experience rather than accomplishment sheds new light on things. I feel lighter starting the day this way.

Life illustrates different shades of crimson for people. Whether we are enthusiastically inspired by our experience – resonance, or feeling resistant and judgmental – dissonance.

There is only one outcome we can count on in life. What lies between now and then is experience – the ultimate accomplishment.

I continue to be inspired by the blogs I read and the comments that are shared here. Thanks for a conversational 2008. I appreciate the time each and every one of you take to read and comment because the blogosphere is certainly a busy place.

These bloggers have stepped up to share advice and offer support over the last few months and I want to thank you here and now. I’m eternally grateful to all of you.

Catherine – Cath Lawson Blog

Robin – Let’s Live Forever

Vered – MomGrind

Evelyn – Attraction Mind Map

Stacey – Create A Balance

Monika – Freelance Writing

Sara – Sara Healy

Patricia – Patricia’s Wisdom

Kathy – Virtual Impax

And I must add Barbara to this list from Blogging Without A Blog. Six months ago I learned how to add a gravatar to Loving Pulse, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember how to do it for the new blog. I did a couple of quick searches online and didn’t get the fast information I wanted. So, it was over to her blog where I had it all figured out in 5 minutes. Thanks Barbara!

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Project Announcement — The Quote Effect: A Blogger’s Online Collection

What type of blogger are you? Inspirational? Sarcastic? Humourous? Professional? Let’s put our heads together and get ready for some creative fun!

Join me at Shades Of Crimson to find out more about this project. While Loving Pulse will stay put, comments are closed on this post.

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If this is your first time visiting Loving Pulse and you enjoyed the reading, please join me over at Shades Of Crimson. Subscribe to the feed and you won’t miss upcoming posts. All new comments will go into moderation.

And please, bear with me. I’m new to the whole world of self-hosted blogs and not a computer geek. There may be the odd glitch as I get things up and running and have a few design elements customized. If you have any problems commenting or navigating please let me know; visit the Contact page.

Image entitled Happiness, photographed by Branko Korelc; property of Dreamstime.com. Used here with permission. Illegal download and usage not allowed.

21578917_08ca661e47_mSomewhere, someone is having a perfect Christmas, filled with chestnuts roasting and sleigh bells ringing…

Screw ’em.

Most of us are having just the opposite: a nutcrackin’ nightmare of anger, hurt feelings, evil in-laws, and carbs beyond counting. A time when grudges grow and gasses pass. A time of maxed-out credit cards and a ham that the vegetarians are ready to hurl through the frosty window.

Evil little brothers, pregnant tattooed sisters, horny dogs, and cross-dressing dads – they’re all here, ready to spread their Christmas cheer.

So untangle the lights, spill some eggnog, and gather ’round the place where happier families would have a piano.

Let’s sing to the tune of  “O Come All Ye Faithful”…

O come meet the family, bad breeding triumphant;
O come meet the family dysfunctional.
Come and behold them. As they brag and fight and whine.
For it’s a celebration, of Christmas aggravation.
And if you’re no relation, just thank the Lord.

Ok, now I have to admit that I didn’t write this. I WISH I could take credit for it, because it makes a dysfunctional family sound a lot lighter. And it made me smile. How about you?

Will you still be smiling on Christmas Day when you are spending time with your family? I hope you are. But if you aren’t, here is something to consider.

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It’s only one day. Make the best of it. If memories of family holidays past are less than desirable, switch the channel.

That’s right. Choose a new program. Take a new perspective.

You can’t change these people, but you can change how you look at them.

If your mean aunt is lecturing you again about how you chose the wrong career, you might be annoyed and want to tell her what to do with her advice. Or, you might ask yourself, “What’s another way I could look at this?”

You could choose to see her in a more positive light; “She really cares about me and only means well.”

Or use this strategy. Accentuate her rottenness; “She doesn’t have a life poor thing and that is why she has so much energy to spend on criticizing other people.” You might end up feeling something different for that aunt of yours.

And if you do react badly you can still switch your channel. Don’t feel badly about how you may have acted. Tell yourself that you will do better next time and don’t hold on to the feelings. Don’t beat yourself up. Your aunt can do that better right? Ask yourself what you have learned.

Usually when someone is criticizing you, if you feel a reaction there is some learning there for you. If there is no learning, then it will fly right past you.

If this does change things for you, then you will be stronger than the day before. Stronger for the next time.

And if none of this works at least you will have kept yourself busy and before you know, it will be time to go home.

This quote from Joubert Joseph is what inspired this post.

“He who has not the weakness of friendship has not the strength.”

I wish all of you the best Christmas that you can SEE for yourself. And take the best of that into the new year.

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Introduction and revised lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful was taken from The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook, written by John Boswell and Leonore Skenazy.

Photo credits: Kittenagogo’s photostream from Flickr.com

So, oh come all ye faithful and share your comments. Maybe myself or my readers can help you shed some light on a rotten relative!

If this is your first time visiting Loving Pulse and you enjoyed the reading, don’t forget to subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss upcoming posts. Click on Subscribe to Feed on the home page and follow the prompts.

This is a video of myself doing a presentation on my day of graduation from a self-employment course.

(It’s 2.5 minutes long. You can save time if you start the video and hit pause so it can download while you read.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” What this means is that a good portion of human communication takes place non-verbally. It’s not only about the words, but how you deliver them.

I am not an experienced public speaker. During the few times I have given a speech nothing influenced me more than the good mental attitude that came from being well prepared.

My first speech was at Toastmasters; The Icebreaker. I practiced until I had it memorized, pacing around my apartment in circles reading the speech out loud and timing myself. The icebreaker had to run between 4 to 6 minutes. I was a nervous wreck the entire day leading up to that moment. It was hellish!

I had a plan though!

Even though I had memorized the speech I brought two copies of it to the podium. I stood in front of the audience, my heart pounding in my throat. I looked down at the piece of paper I was holding and started reading.

Then I stopped, looked at the audience, waited and then said, “Oh what’s the use. I can’t do this!” I crumpled up the speech and tossed it over my shoulder. They looked stunned and I was extremely pleased. That impact helped me take the focus off myself and focus on the audience and their response.

My evaluation was positive: sincere, good gestures and pacing, excellent opening. One suggestion for improvement was to vary the tone of my voice. Hard to do when you’re choking on your own breath! I did appreciate their support. They wanted me to succeed and that made a difference.

In this video, again I was so nervous I could hardly breathe. What amazes me is that I didn’t look too nervous. I’d imagined I looked like an idiot, but when I watch the video I don’t think I did as bad as I thought I had.

First, a bit of background. In 2003 I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, a condition similar to celiac disease.

In my case there was no damage to the intestinal wall, but the absorption of minerals had been affected. A bone density scan at age 40 showed that I had the bone density of a 60-year-old. After two years on the gluten-free diet, a follow-up bone density scan revealed an increase of 11%.

I decided to start a nutrition consulting business combining my credentials as a nutritionist and experience with the gluten-free diet. And so, GlutenfreeMe was born.

I also completed training as a life coach with the Coaches Training Institute because I wanted to offer coaching to support my clients with their new diets. The nutrition business was not successful. My business focus transitioned from consulting to coaching when I saw how powerful this process was.

In this video I am preparing a recipe called Chocolate Recovery Pudding, created by Brendan Brazier from North Vancouver.

This is the second half of the presentation. For the opening I playfully showed the audience the difference between how big my belly was before going gluten free and how flat it looked that day. This was not part of the planned speech but turned out to be a powerful ad lib. Again, it was an opening with an impact that helped me ease into the speech.

I don’t know how I managed to speak. I could hardly breathe and this is obvious by the lack of variation in vocal tone. My throat was dry and I was shaking. You will hear me say that I was shaking so much that I didn’t have to plug the blender in. All I had to do was hold it. Another successful ad lib. A good sense of humour is my saving grace.

I learned from both speeches that being well prepared supported me the most. I knew the topic well and had rehearsed.

Because I was well connected with the speech I could go with the flow and ad lib. It was easier to be spontaneous and natural. Knowing I was well prepared gave me more self confidence than if I was unsure of what to say or do.

Both speeches had a lot in common.

I was well prepared with a good opening and closing. I used humour, ad libbed, made good use of props and scanned the room to make eye contact.

Even though I had memorized and rehearsed the speech, I had notes nearby.

My vocal tone still needs work, but what I find interesting is that despite feeling paralyzed with fear, I managed good posture and use of gestures. This is the result of being well prepared, so well prepared that the speech became more a part of me than the fear.

The audience was rooting for me; they weren’t strangers. A suggestion in the Toastmasters Member Kit is to know your audience. Plan to be there early to greet the guests as they arrive. It is much easier than speaking to complete strangers.

And on that note, don’t be a stranger. Watch this short video and take your moment in the comment section below.

Tell me about your time in the spotlight or share about a time you faced your fear.

Do tell! Don’t be shy.

If this is your first time visiting Loving Pulse and you enjoyed the reading, don’t forget to subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss upcoming posts. Click on Subscribe to Feed on the home page and follow the prompts.

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