Category: Inner child

Travel Notes – Snow Kitty!

By , December 1, 2010 2:26 pm

Knowing When to STOP!

By , October 9, 2010 7:26 pm

“Just five more minutes..!”

Elaine J Bailey, Budding Author, aged 11.

At the age of eleven I’d already written four full sized novels. My ‘Auntie Mabel’ (who lived a few houses away) always took an interest in my writing and would ask me about the latest one. She’d then buy the only copy when it was finished.

I was so thrilled that I had a dedicated following! I’d write for her.

My dedication was such that when the letter ‘m’ fell off my typewriter (yes it was in the dark ages before computers!) I painstakingly wrote every ‘m’ in the book by hand!

I’d get lost in the flow of writing, stepping into the story and becoming all the characters as they were typed onto the page. I was no longer sitting at the dining room table. I was immersed in the story and didn’t want it to end. I was hooked!

‘It’s bed time now. You have to stop for today!’ …Brought me back to my dining room reality and every evening I’d begin my negotiations with my parents. I’d ask for ‘Just five more minutes,’ and try to extend my writing time as long as I could. Even though I was tired I WANTED to continue writing.

Fast forward to 2010…

As an entrepreneur and coach, I am still blessed with the same passion for writing I used to have as an eleven year old girl. Little Elaine still lives  in my head and shows up when I’m in the flow of something or if  I have loads of deadlines to meet. She pushes me hard to get things done.

Little Elaine is destructive because she doesn’t know when to stop. She takes over and before I know it the clocks are chiming midnight even though I have to be up at 5.30 am the following day!

The next morning I’m tired and I annoyed that I allowed Little Elaine to stay up late to have ‘Just five more minutes’ more!

Little Elaine doesn’t have a healthy approach to workloads, she creates an environment of busy-ness, overwhelm and burn-out.

Here’s how I make Little Elaine to bed when she shows up:

1. Are YOU Tired? Are YOU Hungry? – Listen to your body – it is VERY wise. My coach taught me this… Eating and sleeping are usually the first things to suffer when we are working long hours. We go without proper meals and the right amount of sleep. Our well-being is reduced to a low priority on that huge list of things we already have to do. We ignore the signals from our body as we drive on with more effort to get stuff done. In the short term this is usually okay, providing we allow a period of recovery time afterwards. But how often do we remember to do this? If it is sustained busy-ness will get a tighter grip because we are physically and mentally weaker. The perfect recipe for overwhelm and burnout.

2. Show Up, Start, and Stop! Don’t overdo it! – Become your own parent! This not about trying to get everything done today. Set yourself a start and finish time in your schedule and stick to it. If you can’t trust yourself to stop, set a timer and put it across the room, so you have to get up to turn it off. This breaks the circuit of sitting there and working. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the flow and not know when to stop.

3. Continue Tomorrow – It’s okay…really to set time to show up the next day to continue. Follow #2 to ensure that you don’t lose yourself in long hours of over working. Remember… You can ALWAYS carry on from where you left off. You will be much more productive after a break too!

        I still use this technique today when I’m locked into the workaholic tendency of ‘keep’ going and Little Elaine is trying to take me over to get it all done NOW!

        ‘Swallows and Amazons’ – Freedom Friday

        By , July 17, 2010 12:46 pm

        You know… adults don’t have enough fun!

        What happens to us as we grow up?

        Our daily roles and responsibilities make us forget that life is also meant to be fun. We go about our daily duties, settling and surviving from one week to the next. Our inner child stays locked up inside us. Our adult runs the show and life can become a little dull. Things are expected of us and we learn how to behave to be successful in those many roles.

        On this journey we can forget to take time to use our imagination and have some fun. After all having fun is for kids right?!

        Here’s another way to look at this…

        It’s great to take time away from all those responsibilities and roles that we have to play in our lives and re-awaken that kid inside us. That kid is still there waiting for an opportunity to ‘play out.’ We just don’t allow it very often.

        Yesterday was ‘Freedom Friday’…

        This is exactly what we did on a canal boat day out. We let out 17 inner kids to play with water and REAL boats!

        You can’t MAKE someone have fun or tell them to have fun. All you can do is to create some space and add a few ingredients and then allow it to just unfold organically.

        This is exactly what happened on our two little boats yesterday!

        Here’s our recipe for re-awakening the child within:

        1. Hire two 12 seater narrow boats

        2. Add 17 proessional training consultants and support staff – who are usually 100% committed to working hard for their clients and ready for a day off!

        3. Buy water pistols and Super Soaker pump action water guns – Place them all in one boat!

        4. Add a sprinkling of pirate hats, captain hats and eye patches! – Plus optional pirate accent!

        5. Moor up for a pub lunch!

        Mix together and allow the day to unfold…

        Think about it for a moment…

        What happens when you give someone a Super Soaker pump action water gun?

        They’re going to use it – out comes the inner child!

        Our adult team of professional people turned into an amazing fun loving group of kids. Me, for sure, I returned to a 12 year old tom boy and was jumping from boat to boat trying to grab water pistols and avoid getting completely soaked (I was pretty poor at both).

        I was no longer a 40+ year old, I was my inner kid again playing out with my friends!

        It reminded me of the children’s books by Arthur Ransome and especially Swallows and Amazons where children had loads of adventures sailing in the summer holidays! I unashamedly was actually ‘playing out’ with my friends!

        It wasn’t our business team day – It REALLY was Swallows and Amazons! Something shifted for me – we weren’t just colleagues anymore we’re all friends.

        …Just for a few hours…

        A few hours later we all got back into our company cars and drove back to our adult lives.

        It was wonderful…

        Take time out to just have some fun.

        Even if just for a few hours!

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