Friday, 24 July 2009

I assume you will want to read this

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Next week's Life Club is all about expanding your mind and getting clear on what assumptions you hold.

Last year I was on an 11-month Leadership course in California and one of the books we read as part of the course was
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is 1% Out There, about using Toltec Wisdom. When I started reading it, I assumed it was a little bit Airy Fairy. Boy, was I wrong. It was truly eye opening.

It is a bitty little book -- easy reading, and in it has 4 principles to live by -- and the third is Don't Make Assumptions. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Here's what I learned.

We humans are excellent at making assumptions. Especially about other people. We assume that we know how someone is going to react to us, what they are thinking, what their motives are, what kind of person they are based on a number of random factors. How do we really know? Well, we don't.

And we are great at assuming about ourselves. We assume that we are destined to fail, or succeed, or be liked, or not. It short-circuits lots of things we could do.

The issue with this assumption business is that our tendency is that we truly believe our assumption. We turn them into hard-core judgements and then make our life decisions about people, about ourselves, based upon them. Not only do we believe our assumptions about what other people are thinking, but then we end up taking those assumptions personally and even end up resenting the person. All of this over an assumption - a guess we MAKE UP.

That is a lot of work ... based upon things we are, um, guessing at!

Making assumptions isn’t just about interpreting other people, either. We often assume that they know what we’re thinking, as well.

This is classically seen in any romantic relationship.

  • "He hasn't called, so he doesn't like me"

  • "This birthday gift is so generic, she has no idea who I am"

  • "If he really loved me, he would know not to do that!"

One of the biggest assumptions we make is that everyone else sees the world the same way we do, and that creates a lot of un-necessary drama and chaos.

The best way to go about not making untrue assumptions is also really obvious: Ask. Once you have an answer to your question, it’s a good idea to go ahead and ask again to make sure that you really understand what has been said to you.

No one is saying this is easy stuff. Frankly, not making assumptions is just plain hard. The author points out that just learning about our tendency to make assumptions is a great first step in putting an end to it. Of course, it is only a first step.

Here's a test: What are you assuming about me since I wrote this? What are you assuming about yourself?

Am I right to assume you are now all chomping at the bit to get to next week's Life Club?

Assumptively yours-
Your American Glasgow Host

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Expand Your Mind

I love the way this forest reminds me of Sleeping Beauty, somehow you have to battle through the closed-offness to find the beauty within.

That's the way our minds work. We're closed off like a giant forest. We make assumptions about ourselves, our life, life, other people... and it's only when we get out our swords and chop through the forest that's imprisoning our mind that we find the beauty within - and without.

This week's workshop (week of 27th July) is all about assumptions and I'm waxing lyrical because I've almost finished the main part of my book (The Life Book) and the joy is sublime. I do hope you'll read it when it comes out. That would make it all worthwhile.

See you this week,
Love Nina
Founder Life Clubs
Author of The Big Book of Me

Friday, 17 July 2009


My clubbers like to tease me when I am announcing the next week's topic that I (apparently) always say "Oh this one is my FAVOURITE!" ("They are all your favourites, Carol!")

But this time I mean it. I love the Mirror, Mirror workshop. I remember doing it for the first time and feeling really connected and started to look at myself from a new place.

You get to recognise all the cool parts of yourself that are already there, and maybe just not so crystal clear to you. And turn it around to how you see other people and recognise yourself.

It is like adding a new dimension to your regular mirror that you see your same face in every day, and discovering a secret door with all sorts of goodies in it.

What you see in other people you have in yourself. It is the "You spot it/you got it" theory. There's a lotta lightbulb moments on this topic!

I remember owning up for the fist time to being brave, to being smart and to being a hard worker -- all things I didn't know I was! And I also learned how to channel the people who had the qualities I wanted!

Learning something cool that helps me be a better me is ALWAYS one of my favourite things!
Come find out yours!

Your Glasgow Host and Development Junkie

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Why do mirrors annoy?

Apart from the fact that it can be almost impossible to look in a mirror when you're (or should I say I'm) having one of those bad hair days, this mirroring workshop (week of 20th July) is about other people and the way they mirror you or you mirror them.

It's a majorly complex subject, always does my head in just thinking about it, but I was talking to one of my mentors, a wonderful about to be 80-year old lady called Jane Whistler, and she gave me a interesting thought about mirroring which I wanted to pass on to you.

Imagine someone is driving you crazy because they're always late. You look at them and you don't see a mirror there because you're never late. How can they possibly remind you of you - you have nothing in common.

But what the mirror is showing you is how horrible a person you're becoming by being so intolerant about their lateness. By looking at them critically, reflecting back at you is what a sour, petty person you're becoming.

So, having now understood that, I am never ever going to have a nasty thought about anyone ever again - because it will just reflect badly on me.

You are all wonderful as you are.
See you at Life Clubs admiring my reflection,
Founder Life Clubs
Author Big Book of Me and Big Book of Us and two/thirds through writing The Life Book.

Friday, 10 July 2009

saying yes

I'm the host of our Glasgow Life Clubs and am thrilled to be adding my 2 cents to our blog.

I have been thinking a lot about what I am saying to no ... I am just over 6 months pregnant with my first baby!

It seems there are a lot of things I have had to say no to ...
  • all my favourite runny and unpasteurised cheeses (Oh goat and Blue, how I miss you!)
  • my many cuppa comforts every morning
  • wearing my wedding ring (too tight!)
  • a slim summer
  • my margaritas and glasses of wine
  • staying out past 10! (I go mute and fall into a drooling slumber!)
And while this felt a little like a hardship the first few months, I am slowly realising that all those "nos" are adding up to LOTS of "yes-es".

I am saying yes to:
  • growing a healthy baby and really taking care of myself (which feels lovely!)
  • really surrendering to my expanding belly
  • napping at whim
  • excitement of becoming a momma
  • something bigger *and more important* than just me!
And I know this is just the beginning. I am CERTAIN that once baby boy comes, I'll also be saying no to sleep, normalcy, freedom, control and spontaneity!

And in return I'll be saying yes to embracing chaos, going with the flow and sweet, simple time with my new family.

It is so easy to get caught up in what we are not getting/doing/being. Flipping the switch to the yes is such an excellent way to turn it all on its head. After all, it is our choice.

Can't wait for next week's workshop when you will all get the chance to say no to things you really really don't want and find your magic Yeses.

It is a giant relief.

Oh yeah ...

Your American Glasgow Life Clubs Host

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Yes or No?

Although this stop sign represents our saying 'No' workshop (running week of 13th July) and I'd love to tell you how brilliant our workshop is so you all come, actually I said 'Yes' this week.

I said 'Yes' to going on a two-day course when I am meant to be writing my new book (The Life Book) and should not have left my sofa. So, I feel bad about that and, if truth be told, slightly oppressed and heavy in my head about not having got on with my book for two days.

But, I have come back feeling happy and refreshed from a course all about change and inspiration and clarity. The course was arranged by Talent Innovations and was very good, but what was especially good was meeting fellow participants who were all open and friendly and learning. I feel I've returned with renewed energy and a bulging address book.

So I said 'No' to my publisher and all those thoughts that went 'You won't finish the book if you take two days off' and enjoyed myself. Who or what do you have to say 'No' to to come to Life Clubs?

Let me know (pardon the pun).

See you soon,
Founder Life Clubs

Friday, 3 July 2009

Telling it like it is

Now this may just look like a blank piece of paper, but on it is anything and everything you want to say to anyone - you choose and imagine.

Is it for that person who was so kind to you who you'd like to say 'thank you' to? Or that person who almost ran you over the other day who you'd want to say 'please pay more attention to zebra crossings' to? Or to your mum who you'd like to say 'I'm sorry' to? And on and on.

We so rarely say what we want to say to other people because we're afraid to. We might get over-emotional and start crying. We might get angry or we might get embarrassed. For whatever reason, we hide away from saying lovely things to people and we hide away from giving constructive feedback.

Last time we ran this club, the following week everyone returned with a smile on their face. During the week they'd opened up and actually said some really nice things they'd been wanting to say for ages. A few had had some difficult situations resolved too.

Go on, say it... I know you want to... You LOVE Life Clubs!
I love you too.
See you next week and thanks for reading this,
Founder Life Clubs