Compassion is not sympathy or pity. The opposite of compassion is judgment, anger, hate, revenge.

Example – you’re driving behind someone and they don’t turn on their indicator before turning left and you have to break suddenly to avoid hitting them – oh, you could scream …………!  But before you scream, consider:  you don’t know what’s going on for them at the moment, perhaps they have the weight of the world on their minds and they’re just about coping.  I’m not saying that their action is acceptable but maybe if I was walking in their shoes, I’d forget to turn on my indicator too!

Think of someone you’re angry with – who perhaps have done you an injustice.   Again I’m not condoning their behaviour or saying it’s acceptable.  But step into their shoes for a moment and consider what they’re going through at the moment and what they’ve gone through during their lives and how those experiences have shaped their perceptions?  Does that help make some sense of their behaviour?

Now think about how you decided to feel your hurt?  What made you react that way?  How you are responding? Is that response helping resolve the situation?

When someone’s behaviour hurts or frightens us, our instinct is to get defensive, which could mean fighting back or hiding/avoiding.  But if we stopped for a moment and really looked at the two people involved (you and him/her), who they have become as a result of their life experiences so far, then maybe with some compassion and consequently, communication, forgiveness could be reached and the hurt let go.

Have you ever reminisced with your siblings about a particular event and you all have different perceptions and memories of the same experience!  (What is reality anyway?)  Our perception is what creates our reality.  As we experience an event, we make decisions about ourselves and those decisions become our beliefs and create our values and consequently impact our emotions.

So if someone did or said something to me and in my perception of reality, that hurt me, maybe in their perception of reality, they didn’t do anything inaccurate.  Can you see how important honest communication and compassion is?  With it we can solve anything.

Are you ever angry at yourself?  Perhaps you repeat a destructive behaviour that upsets you but you don’t seem to be able to stop it.  The next time you feel compelled do that behaviour, as opposed to judging yourself and being hard on you, ask yourself, what triggered the compulsion to do that behaviour?  What are you trying to avoid?  How come that behaviour feels like your only option?  Could you identify any alternative action that could help you cope better with that trigger?

When you approach a situation with compassion, you’ll find a solution.

Always be compassionate.  Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Thérèse Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

When drastic change happens such as redundancy or business closing, we need to get back to basics and work with who we are as opposed to what we’ve got.  Change is a constant and is often outside of our control, how we adapt, though, is totally within our control.

If, like many people, you are considering starting your own business, where do you start? The following are some pointers:

  •  Take a little time to step back and assess your situation and options.
  • Identify what you learned from your last job/business that will be useful to you in your future.
  • Make a list all your achievements in your life so far.
  • In order to deliver those achievements, you used your talents, skills and resources.  List those. (A talent could be; calm under pressure, creativity, etc. Skills are learned; qualifications, great sales skills, etc.  Resources; contacts, your support network, a redundancy package, a premises, the internet etc.   The reason I suggest compiling these lists is to build your confidence and realise all you have achieved over the years.
  • From this list, identify:
  • What comes naturally to you?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What are you passionate about?  (While” necessity is the mother of invention”, it’s easier to do a job you love and are passionate about).

Imagine you are completely free to do whatever you want to do:

  • What would that be?
  • What would be your ideal lifestyle?
  • Would you work part-time or full-time?
  • Where would you be, Ireland or abroad?

Do you need training in order to achieve your ideal job?  Check out your local Enterprise Board, VEC, Colleges and see what training is available that would fit with your idea.

  •  Consider how your new idea impacts you and your family/lifestyle?  How might your family support you?
  •  Review some of the financial commitments you made when times were good, are they still realistic?
  • What are the essential financial outgoings and what aren’t?
  • What changes need to be implemented?

When you have some clarity consider meeting a business coach (I’m not just saying that because I am one – but a coach’s role is to help you tease out what works best for you and to identify short-term and long-term objectives, this process with save you time).  Friends and family are great to talk to but they can have a vested interest, a coach is completely impartial.

Therese Hackett, Ciunas, 086 819 3005

Tips on: Motivation; Perseverance

Author: admin, February 7, 2012

The Oxford Thesaurus:  “Insistence, dedication, tenacity, dogged determination, resolve, commitment, patience, diligence, purposefulness”  “perseveres in spite of discouraging setbacks”.  I could go on and on.

What knocks perseverance out of us?  For me, it’s worry, fear, dread, feeling “I can’t do this”, self-doubt, listening to negativity and applying it to my goals and objectives.

Worry/fear and creativity can’t operate at the same time.  Although when you think about it, we’re quite creative at designing the ‘worry/fear pictures’ we imagine!!  Worry/fear drains energy, it leads to tiredness, hopelessness and inactivity.  It is completely useless.  And what’s worse, you respond to those ‘imaginings’ and adjust your actions accordingly.  Worry/fear pictures are always future orientated – they aren’t real, they aren’t happening!!!  However, if you focus on them long enough you will make them real.

If you really believe in what you’re doing (your goal), it’s really important to you and it’s of benefit, then with creativity and perseverance, you’ll find your way.

As I said before, we create our lives through our choices, decisions and actions.  When we really accept this, we become the power in our lives.  Really successful people persevere!  They have ‘tunnel vision’ and they believe they will achieve despite challenges.

So for today, let’s apply perseverance to what you’re trying to create.  First get into “the present, the now, today”.  A good technique for getting “into the now” is to:

  • look around you and see every detail in your current environment
  • listen to every sound around you
  • feel your environment, the general atmosphere, the ground beneath your feet or if you’re sitting, the chair around you
  • take a deep breath and imagine you’re connecting to the centre of the earth and become aware of being in your body.

Imagine connecting to your creativity – ideas, possibilities, invention.

  • Do a stock-take of all your talents and resources, list them
  • Remember a time when you were using those talents and resources and notice how good it feels
  • Appreciate those talents and resources
  • Brainstorm new ways you could use those talents and resources, write everything down
  • Focus on your goal, whether it’s a personal goal or a work goal.  What can you do right now, today?
  • What longer term actions can you implement?
  • Start those actions today.

Personally, I consciously ‘get present’ every morning.  When I do that, I develop a positive perspective and consequently have a very productive, focused day.

Always be compassionate.  Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Thérèse Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

Some people think creativity is only applicable to artists and musicians but everyone is creative.  It’s that aspect of us that finds a new way to solve a problem or has an idea.

We create our lives through our choices, decisions and actions.  When we really accept this, we become the power in our lives.  Yes events happen that are outside our control, but we create our response to those events and those responses create an impact.

The definition of crazy is; doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome”.  How can you use your creativity to design the change that makes your project succeed?

Think of a time when you were creative; perhaps when you implemented a great idea or you solved a problem.  As you relive that experience, ask yourself:

  •  What was the motivator of your creativity?
  • Before you even came up with the idea or solution, what did you believe about you?  What did you believe was possible?  How much time did you give yourself?  Did you ask for help?  If so, what was the response and what did you do with that?
  • When you got the idea or the solution, what did that feel like?
  • What did you do next?
  • Did it work immediately or require further honing?
  • When the idea/solution was fully operational, how good did that feel?  How did it change things for you?

Now review your project, is there anything in the above answers that you can use to keep you motivated and focused?

Does your project need any adjustment to accommodate your discoveries?

What could you do differently?

What have you achieved so far that warrants acknowledgment?

NOTE:  Over the years I set myself many goals, some happened quickly, some took years, and others haven’t materialized yet!  Often I doubted myself and the entire “goal setting strategy”.  This is what I’ve learned:

  • Some goals I thought I wanted wouldn’t have been good for me, e.g. remember some of those relationships you thought you couldn’t live without!
  • Some goals “failed” but once I accepted this outcome as “feedback” and I learnt what I needed to learn, the goal was modified accordingly and I achieved that goal.
  • Some goals take time – a lot of time!  Why – because we aren’t ready for them yet!  This was my most important learning.  Divine timing not my timing!

 Always be compassionate.  Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Thérèse Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

Tips on: Motivation

Author: admin, January 23, 2012

Projects happen when; we feel positive about ourselves, have the desire, self-belief and focus, we notice our successes, we have positive expectation, we’re creative and we take action.

It doesn’t matter what our project is; lose weight, get a job, develop a new business strategy, get healthy or restart a halted project, the above remains true.

How do you get positive when you’re negative or you’ve been challenged?

If you’ve been challenged, identify; is the challenge of your own making or is it outside your control?  If you created the challenge then:

  • Accept that you created it. STOP beating yourself up, be compassionate, this is an opportunity to learn something new about yourself.
  • Review the decisions you made that created this challenge
  • Identify what motivated those decisions?
  • If you had the choice again, what new decisions would you make?
  • How can you use this information to move forward?

If the challenge is outside your control, let it go.  Trying to control that which we have no control over leads to powerlessness.

Always ask yourself, what can I do right now/today?  Sometimes you can’t think of anything, then leave it for a while, do something different and see what pops into your head later.

Remember:  there’s no such thing as failure, it’s just feedback to learn from.

Get positive:

Take time to look at your life and notice all the really good stuff in it and the part you played in creating that stuff.

Notice what aspects of your life works really well – appreciate your success.

Identify what you really enjoy doing and how good you are at it.

  • How do you do that, identify the steps involved?
  • What skills do you employ when doing it?
  • What do you believe about you as you do it?
  • What motivates you to keep doing it?

Now review your project, is there anything in the above answers that you can use to keep you motivated and focused?

Does your project need any adjustment to accommodate your discoveries?

What could you do differently?

What have you achieved so far that warrants acknowledgment?

 (Next week, I discuss creativity in terms of delivering our projects.)

 Always be compassionate.  Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Thérèse Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

Tips on: Motivation……… Self Esteem.

Author: admin, January 16, 2012

The Lonely Planet reckons “The Irish lack self-esteem”.  Kieran Behan (22), who was told “you’re never going to walk again let alone do gymnastics” qualified for the Olympics.  Why have I connected these two seemingly unrelated stories?

From my experience, people who lack self-esteem tend to say things like “Why bother”, “What’s the point”, “I can’t”, “I’m not able”, “It won’t work anyway”, “I’ll fail”, “I don’t deserve that”.    They don’t notice their daily successes and expect to fail.  Sometimes lack of self-esteem becomes an excuse for not even trying.

People like Kieran say “I want to”, “I deserve it”, “I’m worth the effort” “I believe I can”, “I can”, “I will”.  They work at their goal consistently and expect to achieve it eventually.  When challenged, they use that as feedback and learn from it.  They notice the daily successes and build on those.

To achieve results or deliver a project, you need Desire, Self-Belief, Focus, Positive Expectation and the “I can and I will Determination”.

How do people develop low self-esteem?  From my experience listening to people’s stories, one of the causes is consistent criticism that they eventually believe.  Note; two people involved, the criticizer and the person who believed it.

The kind of criticism that starts the process tends to be from people who we perceive as in authority and knowledgeable, for example, parents, teachers, managers.  It often starts in childhood but it can happen in adulthood too.

Have you ever said anything, when you’ve been frustrated or stressed, that you didn’t really mean?  How would you feel if the adult or child you said it too  believed it?

Much of the criticism that creates low self-esteem was said in frustration, stress, pressure or impatience.  Don’t let something said on a “bad day”, that you believed, be what stops you creating the life you desire.

Beliefs can be changed.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.   (Eleanor Roosevelt)

 If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing – you are right.   (Henry Ford)

Technique to challenge negative beliefs created as a result of criticism:

Find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths and either with your eyes opened or closed;

  • Imagine watching a movie of your childhood and in particular a time when you were criticized.  Who is the person and what did he/she say?
  • What age were you?  What was happening in your life at the time? What didn’t you understand?  What were you unable to express?
  • What were you trying to do for you?  What decision did you make about yourself?
  • As you watch this movie as an adult now, notice what was happening in that adult’s life at the time?  What was their pressure?  What was he / she trying to do for himself/herself?   How was the young you affecting him/her achieve that?
  • If that younger you was in the room with you now, what would you say to help that younger you?  What would you do?
  • How would that help the younger you in the movie?  What would the younger you now believe about himself/herself?
  • How would that information help you in the present?
  • What have you learned about you?  How can you use that information now to help you achieve your desire?

 Always be compassionate.

Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Thérèse Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

What’s the solution?

Review your day.  Acknowledge all you achieved today.

Identify the challenge that triggered the “bad day” feeling. If it was an interaction with someone try the following steps:

Find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths and either with your eyes opened or closed;

  1. Imagine there is a movie screen in front of you.  On the screen watch the challenging interaction between you and the other person as if it was a movie.
  2. Imagine stepping into the you in the movie and experience what it’s like interacting with this person?  What is your intention?  What is your perception of yourself and what does that make you feel about yourself?
  3. Now, imagine stepping into the other person in the movie and experience what it’s like interaction with you?  What is the person’s intention?  What is the person’s perception and what does that make the person feel?
  4. Step out of the movie and be an independent observer of the movie.  What observations do you have and what advice do you have for the you in the movie?
  5. Step back into the you in the movie, bringing all the observations and advice with you.  What is it like now being with this person?
  6. Step into the other person and feel what it’s like to interact with the you now?
  7. Step out of the movie and consider what you have learned and how you can apply that learning in future.

Remember the project you were working on – can you use this learning as you continue with your project?

Give thanks for your learning and all that you achieved today.

Therese Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

What is motivation?

It is consistent focus over time, determination, effort, devotion, drive, working through challenges, being creative, noticing results and feeling inspired to keep going to achieve the desired outcome.

What motivates us?

We are motivated by our values.  Values are things that are very important to us, e.g. family, career, health, happiness, relaxation, body image, etc.  Values determine how we spend our time and we measure our failure or success against our values.

If losing weight is very important, why do people start and then give up? 

We are motivated by values in 2 ways; towards or away from.  For example, “I am motivated towards being healthy and I can see the many benefits of that, one of which is being slim”; this is a positive commitment that I’m prepared to work towards. Or “I’m motivated away from being/feeling fat, i.e. I want to avoid/stop feeling fat”; negatively focused and generally when we don’t get instant results, the bad feeling persists and we give up.  Notice how different those two statements feel?

I’ve heard people say “fat people have no motivation” – NOT TRUE.  It takes a lot of effort and devotion to get fat – two ingredients of motivation!  When we give up the diet, we’re still motivated; e.g. “I’ve had a bad day, I need a treat to relieve the stress” – relief becomes more important, etc.

What do you use food for? 

If we just used food for nourishment, then we’d know when we had enough.  Many of us, however, use food for other values, i.e. comfort, relief, reward, relaxation, love.  If you are someone who uses food for comfort and you’ve had a very bad day, what do you do?  How do you treat yourself then?
If you were compassionate to you, an alternative could be to engage with your “bad day feeling” to understand what happened to upset you and identify
how you could manage that “situation” in the future, and start the diet again tomorrow.

Solution Suggestions?

  1. Identify what for you; is the opposite of being fat/overweight?  How might it feel if you were that?  How would your life change? Would you enjoy the changes?  Is there a part of you that feels safer as you are?  If necessary change the outcome to something you would be happy with.
  2. Identify how you use food. If you use it for emotional support, then think about how you could honour that need in a different way.  Everyone      deserves love, appreciation and acceptance but it starts with you doing it for yourself.
  3. From the above answers, identify your objective.  Ensure your desire is to “achieve” something realistic, that you can commit to and devote your efforts to deliver.

Go for it, you are worth the effort!  And Good Luck!

Let me know how you get on.

Therese Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005

Christmas Survival Tips

Author: admin, December 16, 2011

Topics:   Grief, Gift ideas, Get Grateful, Get in the Present, Get Compassion, Get Happy.

Christmas is a time of extremes – extreme excitement and celebration or extreme sadness and disappointment.  We are reminded of those who aren’t with us anymore or we are disappointed because we feel sad or can’t afford all the things we think we need to make Christmas great.

I’ve realised; that enjoying this time isn’t about buying or receiving presents and having loads to eat and drink, the joy of Christmas comes from within.  May apologies if that sounds like a cliché – what do I mean?

When I miss family members who left this world too early for me to accept, instead of focusing on the “why” and “if only” and “it’s not fair” and “why is God so harsh”, I remember the person and the fun times, the things I learnt from them, their laughs, their achievements, how they inspired me in my life and I thank them for those gifts.  Spiritually I believe that it was their time to leave and they were done here.  They are happier now and at peace.  I know they help me still.  I don’t think God is harsh to take them from me, I believe that their souls journey was done and my job is to let them go to experience what is theirs to experience.

When I fret about not having lots of presents for those I love, instead of getting angry or disappointed, I think, what could l create?  Time is a gift.  We rush around a lot doing …… I don’t know what……. but I really like the idea of pledging a day to someone, so for that time, I’ll do whatever they want me to do that day.

I bake spelt bread so could I bake a cake for someone?  These are just examples but for me, giving my time or making my cake requires more effort than to buy something. Everyone has time and is creative so what could you make?

What have I to be thankful for – I’m not financially rich but I have so much……..  I’m loved, I have talents (sometimes I forget that) I’m warm, I have food, I’m healthy and so are my family and the list goes on  ………………  Maybe you have a list too…………….

Have you noticed that when you worry you’re worrying in “future tense”, so you’re imagining a bad thing that hasn’t happened but you respond as if it has!  What’s happening right now?  What have you right now?  What can you do right now?  Now is all we have!

I know people are depressed and feeling very low.  In my experience of working with depressed people, it seems to me that while they are high achievers, there is an aspect of themselves that they hate.  Something happened in their youth that they blame themselves for (usually unfairly) and as life goes on, when something they don’t like happens – they “top up” that hate.  They treat this aspect of themselves like a dirty old handbag or rucksack that they can’t get rid off and that makes them hate themselves even more.  Nothing heals hate only love (sorry again, for the cliché).  What do I mean?

When your child does something wrong, you don’t hate them for it, you explain what’s wrong with it, you try to encourage them to change, you still love them. Why do you not judge other people’s mistakes like you judge your own?  Why are you kind to others and not to yourself?  Why couldn’t you love your “old handbag/rucksack” in the same way?  Why do we have more compassion for others than for ourselves?  Where does our tolerance go?  I hear people say “I’m so mad with myself”.  Trust me, that heals nothing!  Understanding, tolerance and compassion are the cure.  Every aspect of ourselves serves a purpose, hating that aspect will stop us ever knowing what that aspect has to teach us.  You are not alone.  Remember if you don’t love you, someone else does- notice that!  How does that person love you?  What do they see that you can’t and even refuse to see?  Could you try having COMPASSION FOR YOU THIS CHRISTMAS?

Have a wonderful Christmas, may it be joyful and peaceful.  I hope 2012 brings you and yours; health, happiness and abundance.

Therese Hackett


Miracles & Expectations

Author: admin, March 23, 2010

“A miracle to one person is an expectation to another” – this quote came to me one day when I was texting someone – what do I mean?

People manifest their desires because they expect their desires to happen.  They realise they are the power in their own lives.  When we expect our desires, we keep the faith, we figure out what we need to do to assist the manifestation – we get creative!  We know it’s just a matter of time before we get our desires.