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"Being Real" past issues

July/August 2012: Stopped in your tracks is a good place to be

Jenn Shallvey

Being Real

July/August 2012




Life happens

Of late I am feeling the pace of life accelerating. It is not obvious, just a noticing that lots is happening around me and others. Change is in the air.  Just when you think you it have all sorted out, something comes your way to challenge this assumption. I am OK with this. In fact I am embracing the fact that no matter what we do life stays interesting.  I do not deny the accompanying frustration and challenges, yet these help put matters in context.


To truly appreciate what is happening around me I do need to stop and pause. I am also being even more mindful of where I extend my energy. I ask myself questions like 'is this activity or direction in my highest good or that of others?  Is this really the best use of my time? Is it really worth it?" Perhaps you are doing the same. There seems to be a sorting out of what matters and what doesn't matter.


Some practical aspects of this observed experience are the number of people I am meeting or learning of who are pursuing their passion. It might be in response to a loss of job or a change in circumstances. Yet no matter what, people are claiming what makes them come alive and thrive. Very exciting.


And there are other changes that force us to get back to basics and consider what really matters. I certainly am having a dose of this myself.  Maybe some of these have occurred in your life or work. Maybe you are in that space of rethinking and refocusing.  It is healthy and normal and helpful in the long run, at least I tell myself that.


Overall the biggest learning that keeps coming up for me is that no matter what life throws you it is up to you how you choose to respond.  So how are you responding?





Stopped in your tracks is a good place to be

Do you ever feel like you are stuck?  I mean stopped in your tracks not knowing which way to go. The feeling and experience is one of uncertainty, perhaps fear, and definitely anxiousness if you are not used to such pauses.  In a world where we are rewarded and recognised for our efforts, achievements and contribution- to do the opposite can be perceived as negative. This may be why many of us don’t admit when we are stuck. Instead we come up with excuses, games, tricks of the mind and other self deluding manipulations.  I am writing today in support of the benefits of power of stopping in our tracks and to acknowledge this experience as a positive action, not one to be denied.

A starting place
So lets start with the assumption that you are in a place of ‘non-movement’.  How’s that for a twist.  You are not moving towards or away from anything. Simply in a place of not knowing therefore not acting.  Such a situation can occur in a myriad of ways. Let’s take for example your work.  You might be in a career path where the next step is not clear. You also have been happy working and thus not at all frustrated or disenchanted by where you have gone so far in your work.  You show up, do your job and get paid.  Simple formula, but one that lends itself to unconscious action of self denial.  You also develop a considerably padded comfort zone from within which to operate. Sound familiar? 

Then one day someone comes along and changes the world as you know it. Going with the work example, it might be a restructuring, new boss, change in procedures, shift in the market, industry regulation change. Whatever it is, you are no longer able to sit in your comfy place. Instead some response, some action is warranted. But what? This is where the stuck place gets interesting.  When external factors force you to shift.  You have no choice. Either you engage and participate in the change or the change will move you on or out.  You can be active or passive. It is your choice. The subsequent consequences are then yours as well.

Three magic lenses

Taking the above example in mind, along with others similar, you can make the most of your stuck place. How you might ask?  By consciously being aware of what is happening both to you and within you.  There are three basic lenses from which you can see your situation.

First lens. 
What is happening that is entirely beyond my control?
Second lens. 
What is happening that I can possibly influence and affect?
Third lens. 
What is happening that I can directly change and impact?

These three questions quickly help you sort out where and how to direct your energy. It seems wasteful to get all worked up about matters in which we have no control. Yet how many of us do this? I am sure all of you. I know I do on occasion! 


Awareness is key
The key here though is to catch yourself and then shift your focus away from the trigger.  For example, consider the announcement that the company your are working for is merging with another.  Initially such an announcement is a shock.  And yes as noted in psychological paradigms you are likely to go through some adjustment. Yet above the emotional response is an objective sorting out that you can do in this stuck place. You can stop and step back as observer to the situation and look at it for what it is. A fact that is non negotiable and not changing, at least at this point in time. (Of course it is possible that a deal could unwind). You have control over how you respond.

Self empowered choice

This is where you go to the next step. You consider your options before taking action. This is a privilege of being in the stuck place. In the absence of further information you make your best attempt to consider what you can do before you choose what you will do.  From this type of perspective you are taking back some of the power lost when circumstances are beyond your control. You are now choosing a course of action that is within your power.  You may or may not progress on what you identify. This is the beauty of staying in the stuck place. Until you take action it really is just a self dialogue and assessment. Not bad. You have control over where to focus your attention and action.

Real action, real results

Then there is the place of real action leading to real results.  Not only can you formulate a direction but you can take action in this direction that will be favourable to you.  In some way you are measuring the odds and going where the chance is greatest for success. Why would you want to do this? Well for one, the expenditure of energy will get you a far greater return. Having such impact and validation in your choice will also boost your self confidence and commitment to further action.  As you make decisions in this direction you also begin to move out of your stuck place. You may of course land in a new one but at least there is a conscious shift as opposed to an unconscious reaction.  You have control over what actions you decide to take.

A valuable skill

I believe that in our changing times where the world around us keeps shifting it is important to develop the skills to both be stuck and become un-stuck.  The irony is that to start you need to accept and embrace the place of being stuck.  This may be hard. It is tempting to distract ourselves through unnecessary conversation, blame games and pointless actions. Also being clear about being in your stuck place allows you to know with whom you wish to engage and not engage.  Relating to others becomes a healthier experience.  It is easy to get trapped in the downward spiral of denial and frustration of people who stay in the first category. Those who want to battle what they can not change will fire up with emotions yet also wear you out. You navigate through these encounters.

Trick one

So here’s the real trick.  When you are in a stuck place it is a time for personal regrouping. By this I mean gathering your thoughts, feelings, ideas and perspectives on the situation at hand. You get to do a mini audit of where you are at in your work or life depending on the situation. As you take stock you get to clear out what no longer serves you and focus on what does. Sounds selfish but it is not. For if you also keep in mind that by taking this initiative whilst not moving you will be setting up a better way of being with others. Your clarity and sense of direction will form a basis for more authentic choices, experiences and conversations.  Just watch.

Trick two

“But how do I do this?”,  you ask.  Another secret. You check with yourself. You don’t ask anyone else for their opinion, ideas or thoughts. You stay in your place of non movement and self dialogue. As you sort through what comes up for you it is then your choice how much attention you place on each.  At another level you also can apply a few more filters. It is one thing to think about it all. It is another to check in with how you feel. It is OK to feel! It is in fact more than OK. The feelings that come up will be like a measure for effect. From your own sense of what feels right and not, you gauge the situation, the action and the possible outcome for you.  A byproduct is that you feel better about what you do decide to do.  Others also see you as clearer and more direct in your interactions. This type of exchange will set you up for success far more than if you don’t know what you want to do or what matters. The source of your knowledge always is within you. It’s up to you to access it.  It is being in the stuck place of no movement that you get the opportunity to do so!


The only thing left to do is practice. If you need support then you at least are the one deciding what and who will help.


So here’s to getting stuck. And of course here’s to eventually getting un-stuck!




Intuition Starter© for Business
A one day workshop for business people seeking clarity and direction.

Do you want more happiness in your business?

Would you like to be a more empowered leader?

Is it time for you to be the best that you can be at work?

Clarity in business through intuition
As a business person, whether owning your own business, consulting, or working in a large company, being clear with your direction is essential.  Yes there are key leadership and management competencies to master. Yet underneath these behavioural based actions is a powerful source of knowledge and influence – your INTUITION. Yes, intuition is the unmentioned often unacknowledged secret ingredient that can turn on or off the success quotient for many people at work.  Intuition complements your other skills and enhances your ability.

No matter your role you are intuitive
Now step up a level from you to the business environment within which you work. You may be a consultant working externally with large corporations. You may be a small business owner struggling to get the balance right in a changing retail environment. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur with the next best idea but not sure you can believe in yourself.  No matter your situation the best business adviser for you is often yourself.

It’s time to listen to your intuition
Over the course of your career you hone the skills needed to operate effectively. You learn from others willing to share their experience, knowledge and wisdom.  At some point though you reach a point where listening to your own wisdom and insight serves you and others better.  Believing in yourself enough to trust your intuition is an empowering step to take. Now is better than never.

You are in good company with intuition
Many well known successful people will eventually cite intuition, gut feel, instinct or just ‘knowing’ as the means to which they made a final decision or went in a certain direction.  Consider the contribution of famous people such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Jonas Salk, Richard Branson, to name a few.  They all speak about the importance of intuition in their decision making and work.  Intuition is seen as a valuable resource and business partner in addition to the other tools.

Intuition navigates uncertainty and change
Accessing intuition in business can help you better navigate the uncertainty and change so prevalent in the world today.  Practices of old are less relevant as you need more and more to trust your instincts.  As an Intuition Starter© you are someone who gets the message and acts on it.

About the workshop
The Intuition Starter© for Business workshop aims to enable you to establish a personally effective approach for accessing and applying your intuition at work.  The workshop will take you through a process to help you connect with your intuitive self, develop ways of working with this part of you and ultimately create practical steps for using intuition at work.


  • practical understanding of intuition
  • insight into your own intuitive style
  • knowing how to discern intuitive knowledge
  • application of intuition in real life
  • exploration of business issues using intuition
  • group level support for applying intuition
  • greater confidence in business intuition
  • inspiration to use your intuition daily

One Day Workshop Dates

3 September 2012

12 October 2012

More to be scheduled...


Please visit the workshop information page to find out more details, enquire and register.

Special offer for newsletter subscribers...$50 off both early bird and general admission price of workshop.  To receive your special discount link just email Jenn.






Nature. Beauty. Gratitude
I attended an event where this video was screened during the evening.  It inspired me to share with you.  Like me perhaps you will appreciate and admire the work of a passionate artist.  The work of Louie Schwartzberg is a gift to all, not just art.  Through his lens we are reminded to be aware and immersed in our life right now.  Wisdom for all no matter what you do for work or how you live your life. Enjoy this short 10 minute video.




As an amateur photographer I truly enjoy the work of other photographers whether professional or hobbyists.  What stands out for me are the unique ways in which each artist sees the world through their lens. Much like the cinematographer, the photographer is capturing a scene, a literal snapshot in a point in time. What this artist chooses to focus on, frame and then save for posterity tells you a lot about the person and the subject.  As an observer and witness, the photographer is also like a cultural historian.  Whether snapped away on a smartphone or an expensive digital camera, the image speaks to us.  One such photographer I enjoy is Michelle Clarke.  Michelle is one of the people I connected with in the early days of Twitter when it was really about conversation and less about marketing. I have stayed in touch and though we have yet to meet in person I admire her growing and evolving role as a photographer. Why? Because her day job is as a professional executive leadership coach.  


Here is the best place to enjoy her photography. Michelle keeps the gallery updated with new and interesting photos. Michelle also maintains a business Facebook page with nice sharing of articles. Being a professional coach I am sure Michelle welcomes your feeback on what speaks to you in her work.




Whilst on the subject of photography I just wanted send out a huge thank you to Julie Gianotis of Julie G Photography for her help over the years.  She has worked with me three times now to help me update my profile photo. I like the idea of a professional photo. I like even more one that captures you where you are at now.  It is always amusing to me when you meet someone and you find out that their photo is from 10 years ago. For me it is less about time more about change.  As I have gone through my transitions I have changed both on the inside and outside. New focus, new ideas. New hair, new shape. Working with Julie has been great because she is patient, works hard to get the right shot and goes beyond expectations in her pursuit of a perfect image. Julie also provides great tips on her website and offers photography coaching.




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So when we want to work on shifting into radical acceptance and simply being what does it take?  One word - LOVE.  Oh no, there’s that word. Well I might as well through in another - PEACE. Oh no, we are regressing to the sixties. Well yes we are going back in time. We are remembering that the wisdom of ages tells us when we live in peace and love that we get peace and love. Read more...


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This moment is here and will be gone. The next one will come and go.  As you think about it notice that each moment comes and goes and is no longer here. They become the past. The ones that come to you are in the future not yet here. Imagine a string in front of you like a necklace with beads attached to it. As you pass the beads through your hands each one is here for a moment and then gone.  You can hold onto the bead for as long as you want or pass it by quickly and move on.  What happens in the time that you hold that bead in your hand is that you focus on what you are doing right now in this moment. Read more...


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All writing in this newsletter is copyright Jenn Shallvey 2012.




To find out more please visit my website













How do you know when you are in your stuck place?



What happens for you when you can't control a situation?



How much do you trust your own instincts and knowing when making decisions at work?



How do you appreciate beauty in your every day?



What is your unique perspective on the world?



What values, principles, ideals do you live by?




















Intuition Starter for Business


3 September


12 October

























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