Heart Sinking Mirror Moment - More of the Good Stuff PART 2

I've been away from home, running resilience and wellbeing sessions with clients, for 2 days this week. I usually Facetime my kids in the mornings.

So this week Day 1 and I’m Facetiming my kids while also brushing my teeth, packing my bag for the day, boiling the kettle for hot lemon, all while attempting to style my hair (some sympathy please you know this is no easy task!) I half-heard their stories while I multi-tasked and then hung up.

I checked in with myself and noticed I felt rushed, even frenzied, robbed and sad. I’d missed a moment to connect with my kids and to feel positive emotion in that connection.

DUH! Heart sinking mirror moment.

What would it take to give them 2 mins – even 30 seconds - of pure attention in my morning?

And, thankyou life, because I was running a client session on well-being that day, we’d of course be talking about the Positive Emotion Dial-Up Practice. Ha Ha! Here was my learning opportunity to show up and walk my own talk!? 

Of course I then have a choice, which you may recognise, to go into beat-myself-up rumination mode, a downward spiral and not good for mental, physical or emotional health. I noticed that temptation and chose to say ‘what can I learn from that experience? Tomorrow is another day, what can I do differently in those few moments with my kids tomorrow’.

So it’s the morning of Day 2 of my trip. I’m sitting down, with my phone balanced on the side of my bed, so I can see the full screen and my face is in full view. I Facetime my kids and we look into each others’ eyes. I listen to the stories and hold the silence afterwards. I say ‘I love you’.

I tune into the feelings of connection, of love, of appreciation, of joy. I hang up.

This took 2 mins. I felt amazing.

Coaching prompts

·       What positive emotion can you ‘dial up’ today? Even for a moment? What do you notice?

·       To whom can you give your full attention today? Even for a moment? What do you notice when you do this?

Call to Action:

·       Have a go at this Power Practice, try doing it every day for the next week, and tell me what you notice!

Extra resources:

1.       I mentioned rumination in this post– check out this piece from Centre for Creative Leadership on the difference between stress and pressure and the link between rumination and heart attacks – https://www.ccl.org/articles/white-papers/wake-up-the-surprising-truth-about-what-drives-stress-and-how-leaders-build-resilience-2/  it’s a must read.

2.       Find my pics and inspiration on Instagram @instakatycatalyst and using hashtags #positiveemotiondialup #noticethegoodstuff #feelthegoodstuff



More of the Good Stuff PART 1 - how a meadow helped me finish my race

Last Saturday it was #NationalMeadowsDay

Who knew?!

So it was a real delight to be at Park Run at Lake Windermere’s Fell Foot Park, where the route takes you through their Meadow. The flowers and grasses were high and wild, so the park rangers had recently mowed out our route. It was an absolute joy to run on the soft freshly cut grass in between the wild cornflowers, daisies, poppies (and others flowers and grasses that I do not have the specific knowledge to name!) 

My last Park Run was a month ago, thankyou Camberwell’s Burgess Park. Actually let’s be honest, my last Any Run was a month ago. So my expectations of myself were low for this event. The first half was tough and I found myself saying ‘I’m not going to make it’ and ‘I’m just going to stop half way’.

When I hit the meadow though, I found myself captivated by its beauty, and noticed a boost in my energy. I chose to stay present with the beauty of the meadow, and actively be thankful for the beauty of the meadow, rather than focussing on my tired legs/ entire body.

And I found myself completing the run 😊

I will write more about what I’ve learned about mindsets and results through running in a future Catalyst Notes.  

For today:

We know now from neuroscience that humans have a negativity bias. This helps us to survive and be efficient as humans. However this negativity bias also means that when we scan our day, or our week, or our month, we are more likely to remember the negative experiences.

We are likely to miss the good stuff.

Those small moments of joy, awe, mystery, excitement, humour are less easily imprinted on our brains and into our long term memories. 

Unless we are intentional about giving attention to the good stuff, it literally ‘slips our mind’. The research tells us that when we focus our attention for 12 seconds on something positive it drops into our long term memory. This is really good for our health and wellbeing – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

What does this mean? We need to savour the good stuff! 

Often with my clients we’re working on e-x-p-a-n-ding those small moments of positive emotion.

It’s a Power Practice I call Positive Emotion Dial-up and I thought I’d share the Practice with you here:

During your day:

Start tuning in to the micro- moments of your day. Start noticing those even really small moments when you feel pleasure (or excitement or awe or humour or any other positive emotion). Just notice that moment and e-x-pa-n-d it in your awareness. 

That means FEEL the emotion, relish it, and enjoy that moment to yourself.


Coaching prompts

·       What beauty can you notice today ? even for a moment?

·       Have a go at this Power Practice, try doing it every day for the next week, and I’d love to hear how you get on!


Extra resources:

Find my pics and inspiration on Instagram @instakatycatalyst and using hashtags #positiveemotiondialup #noticethegoodstuff #feelthegoodstuff

Permission for Joy

Last week a close friend and I had a walking day.

A space to be together, walk in the hills, and eat a delicious lunch. And afterwards I felt energised, refreshed, inspired.

The two walking days we had on our birthdays last year were highlights of the year for me. Days of connection and laughter, deeper conversation, sharing ideas and experiences, time to disagree then find harmony again, appreciating nature, physical exercise and fresh air.

The cost is: no money, a day of holiday for my friend and for me some rescheduling of my work to make that space available.

And yet I realised I had a scarcity mindset here. ‘We can do that on our birthdays. Twice a year. For a treat. That’s enough’.

These days feel luxurious, cheeky even. ‘We should be working, busy, making stuff happen’.

There is huge resistance to booking these days ahead. ‘Well I’m not sure what else will be happening that week. I may not be available. It may not be convenient’.

As I set my intentions for the rest of 2017 I realise – I can choose to do this fun thing more often, it is ok to do that more.

So I choose an abundant mindset and give myself permission and freedom, and set the intention, to create space for these beautiful days throughout the rest of this year.

Coaching Prompts:

  • What does it look like to have more positive emotion (more joy – more fun – more beauty – more awe – more curiosity ) in your life? What are those moments that give you these feelings?
  • How can you clear space and create time for those activities or moments that enrich your life?
  • What does it look like for you to give yourself permission and freedom for more?

Call to Action:

What is your actionable insight? Share in the comments!


Progress not Perfection

Yesterday I was in a funk. How is it end of the month already. How is it half way through this year already. Why have I not done this, this and this.

Not enough progress, not enough momentum.

Not enough.

I’d allowed fear and overwhelm to build and stagnate in me unchecked for a few days and here was the hangover.

And then last night – mid funk – I reviewed my month.

What were my personal priorities for this last month. Tick them off. What were my work priorities this last month. Tick them off. What was working for me this month. What was not working. What contributed to my happiness. Write it down.

Then I looked ahead for this next month. What are my personal priorities. How do I want to feel this coming month. What are my work priorities. What small actions will help me move towards my bigger goals. For what will the Katy in a year’s time be thankful that I did this month. To what shall I give my attention. Break it down small. Write it down.

Funk gone. Energised. Clarity.

Celebrating all the small things that I have achieved this month. Remembering moments where I felt my desired feelings. Savouring those.

Funk turning to gratitude.

Feeling excited about the days ahead. Experiencing creative energy and momentum in my body. New ideas flowing again.

Gratitude turning into energy.

I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Marie Forleo these last few months and one of her repeat sayings is ‘Progress not Perfection’.

When we are starting something new, when we are on a steep learning curve, when we have a task or project that is looming huge in our mind, we can cling to perfectionism as a way to avoid making progress. Breaking the hugeness down into small steps and then doing something will help reduce the overwhelm. One small step at a time.  

Coaching Prompts:

  • What big task can you break down into smaller doable pieces today? What progress can you make when you let go of the ideal of perfection?
  • How do you review your month? How do you set intentions for the month ahead?

Further Resources:

www.marieforleo.com and Marie TV on YouTube

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, 2010

Call to Action:

What is your actionable insight? Share in the comments!