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LMI Leadership For Women ~ Blog by a Participant

  

April 2, 2015
 
Strong, decisive or encouraging women can have a tremendous effect on our development and it is important to consider the success of women. For that reason we started out the session with a reflection of the women who influenced us. Qualities and strengths of older neighbours, former bosses, cancer victims, teachers, great grandmothers and people who pulled themselves up after disappointment in their lives were all mentioned by participants.
For me it was my two sisters-in-laws. They celebrate each milestone in an exuberant way; they accept no nonsense; they have strong personal and professional goals and, achieving them, set new ones; they work hard, keep educating themselves and training and are now at the top of their fields. They also tackled a weight problem, and once they made the decision, they lost all the kilos they planned to and look beautiful.

 
I remember an incident. I had been complaining for years that I had no privacy in my house because there was no door on my bedroom. Their solution was simple; ‘just get one’. I had been looking at the negative; making up excuses such as not having enough money, the difficulty of finding a good workman or the lack of time to arrange it. There statement “just get it done” was a prod to wake me up. I got a small loan at the bank, I found a good carpenter, I decided on a design and in no time there was a door to the bedroom I shared with my husband. It made such an improvement in our lives. I could not understand how easily the obstacles were overcome once I had made the decision to go ahead.
In the LMI course we reflected on the role of powerful women in the community and in the Miramichi. As mentioned in a previous session, it has been noted that Miramichi women are at present moving things forward.  Back here after living more than twenty-five years in Europe, I notice such a strong force of women. Whereas in my mother's and grandmother's days, many women were proactive in charity work and with their families, now they are in business, are up-to-date in fashion and new trends besides being compassionate, informed and knowledgeable. I am generalizing of course but am so impressed by the many that have no fear of starting their own businesses and are successful in them. They constantly network and support each other.
Experiencing all this activity, we can still talk about how good it feels cleaning out a closet, something perhaps men would not understand. Facilitator Kathy Watt said the topic of clearing is not inappropriate to what we are doing in the course; that it helps us organize our lives.  “When your house is cluttered, your life can feel cluttered. Straighten it out and feel the difference.”
I remember when I was preparing to leave Ireland to come to Canada. While still working there I took a year to get the house ready for rental and to clear out accumulation of 25 years. I used a website called Freecycle to give away what I had cleared each week. Every time I handed something over to a new owner, I felt lighter and freer.
Take the attitude, “Hire people if you have to.” That is true at work as well as at home. At the moment I don't have time to Spring Clean and it's hanging over my head. I know I will feel so much better if it is done. So I will look for someone to help me.
The LMI process uses 'spaced repetition' to reinforce ideas designed to change our behaviour for the better. That's why the chapters repeat a topic and at a later time, take it to a deeper level. So again we looked at the significance of step-by-step goal-setting which leads to clarity, mastery and influence. We also looked at alterations in our attitude and learned how intentionally practising gratitude influences it.
To articulate what and why something is important is vital for clarity. Therefore, the Success Planner is an essential. Writing down goals never goes to waste. Kathy says that goal planning does become second nature after awhile, helping your decision process to improve. When we put goals down we obtain clarity, which will affect how others perceive us. This is vital in our role as leaders.
Continuing on the topic of leadership, we discussed how planning is important as to how you show up as a person. You have to lead up. Through this process we’ve moved up in our level of consciousness. We have experienced a shift. It is a leader’s job to: 1) to have clarity 2) to communicate goals 3) to recognise that you have heard others' views and follow up 4) to be fair and consistent.
Meetings are a big part of our role as leaders. Kathy stated that every meeting has a goal and she gave us some advice for keeping out negativity. We must set boundaries (enforce the ‘hard stop’ associated with managing the length of meetings), expectations and act in alignment with strategy and our values.  She warned us to keep focused and not go down a rabbit hole; state what we want to say. “Protect yourself, protect the team.” One way to keep ourselves from negativity at a meeting is to put two hands on our Solar Plexis. Other than that Kathy says that we are what we think. “Change negativity to positivity. Create or destroy.”
As the course is soon to come to an end, some participants are concerned that they may miss the tremendous support of the other women on the course, not to mention Kathy. That is why affirmations are crucial to the whole process. They are a reminder of who we are and what want.
Kathy repeated the idea that people are responsible for their own lives, even the elderly. We must blend compassion, love and kindness with clarity. We are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness.
As we are always reminded, this is a process and it takes a while for us to own it, to make it ours. We can always slip back. Kathy tells us to remember “the eyebrow” (Kathy’s particular questioning expression) at the end of the table; to use this as a subtle reminder to get on track.
Neither is everything going to be a bed of roses. We will have to be realistic about challenges and disappointments. However, we can approach these areas with a strong, positive attitude. We can choose to learn from those situations and not let them bring us down.
Several books were brought up as recommended reading:
Full Catastrophe Living by John Kaba Zira – a book on quantum physics which outlines how the articulation intentions works; how thought affects attitude; why it has power.
Power Vs Force by David R. Hawkins – a book reviewed on Amazon which states: “It's packed with advice on how to stay in good physical, mental and spiritual shape. It's like a toolkit with all sorts of good advice on how to live your life.”
The long winter has taken its toll on us all but the snow is melting, the robins singing and the ice flowing quickly out to sea.