New Thinking - New Experience

  • By Moira McDougall
  • 24 Sep, 2015

  Have you recently changed your thinking about something, and noticed how your world opened up?

new thinking brings new experience - meet new people!
New Thinking brings New Experience
New Thinking results in New Experience.

Last weekend I was one of the many people promoting a service and health based product at our local Body Miind Spirit Festival, which is held every six months at a multi-storied venue in the city. Stalls or cubicles are set up on the first two floors, with talks and workshops taking place on the third floor.

Regulars to the Festival feel a sense of familiarity with the layout and recognise many of the stall holders as they return each time, often to their same ‘space’. For a newcomer, the experience can be totally overwhelming! Imagine how much new thinking is stimulated, which results in new experience.

First, there is the sense of excitement, the hub-bub of sounds – conversation, music, general activity. The visual stimulation is intense. Posters, wall hangings, tables laden with enticing objects, the vibrant clothing and jewellery people are wearing. Your sense of smell is awakened, by the aroma of foods in the food area, fragrances of massage oils, soaps and other products.

So much to see, so many services and products on offer, so many people searching for who knows what? If you came with a particular purpose in mind, it is easy to fulfill your mission and leave feeling satisfied. But what if you had no idea what you were ultimately looking for? A vague sense of wanting something, hoping you would know what it was once it was in front of you.

I met people for whom all of these situations were true.

On the first day I was stationed at our stall, waiting for people to pass by, hoping to interest them in what we had to offer. Many times, these people had a dazed look about them, not wanting to be ‘accosted again’ by a zealous stall holder determined to bend their ear about the “next best thing”. They looked harried, overstimulated, tired, in need of a reassuring hug and a still quiet place to recover their equilibrium. Perhaps new thinking was too active resulting in too many new experiences.

I did not particularly enjoy the hours ‘attached’ to the stall. I did not feel that I created enough opportunities to serve, to offer anything of value to these people who were obviously searching for ‘something’, yet trying to escape from feeling cornered.

Overnight, I realised that my experience would change when my attitude and actions changed . I welcomed new thinking and new experiences. I decided to ‘be the change’, and spent the following morning as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. I set out to meet each stall holder, to find out who they were, where they came from, what they were offering, and how I could meet any of their needs with what I was offering.

Guess what? I met so many interesting and lovely people! I handed out small samples as an energy exchange. I practiced the art of receiving too, accepting compliments and any snippets of advice or information. The experience was priceless.

Someone suggested to me that I could host my own stall next time – as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. It is a thought! Meanwhile, I shall keep practicing the technique: New Thinking leads to New Experiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, and if you have had similar experiences, please share and re-post, especially if re-posting is a new experience for you!


Self Manage Chronic Pain

By Moira McDougall 14 Feb, 2017

I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.

How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking programme we had started?

She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt, describing herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.

I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.

 I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?

She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.

In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.

I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.

When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!

Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?

I welcome your comments.

By Moira McDougall 12 Jan, 2017

You are going to win! With these words spurring me on, how could I not be a winner!

This morning I set out on my morning run, and it was hot already. Along the way, I passed and greeted a mum on her early morning walk, pushing her two small children in their stroller. The older child called out to me as I passed them, “you are going to win!”. How could I not honour that proclamation? How could I even consider feeling tired or discouraged with those beautiful words ringing in my ears?

This set me thinking about the many times I feel discouraged, as if I am wading through sludge. I have a strong work ethic, and set myself tasks and deadlines. This works for me when I have a good idea about a desired outcome, because it keeps me on track and I can measure my progress. But what happens when I am not sure about what I want to pursue or produce?

I am marooned in indecision, in not knowing, what my ‘next step’ is. Do you experience this too?

Business and personal coaching works wonders in helping one to define a pathway, helping to break down goals into manageable steps, in order to reach the defined outcome. This supposes that one already KNOWS or at least has an idea of the desired outcome.

One beautiful practice I was invited to participate in, invited us each to choose a Word to define a theme to focus on through the new year ahead, and to choose four Supporting Words to cushion or supplement the Word.

I have chosen SURRENDER.

Nothing works easily when I am pushing uphill, trying to do it all alone. I am not giving up, just practising being present in the moment, experimenting with ‘flowing’ rather than being rigid.

My supporting words are Grace, Gratitude, Courage and Insight – all qualities I will need to call on and include in my daily living.

Which brings me back to the proclamation “You are going to win!” We are all winners when we focus on what inspires us, what gives us meaning, and practice living in the present moment. And when we have others cheering us on!

“You are going to win!” – how does that make YOU feel?

By Moira McDougall 02 Jan, 2017

I have a heavy heart moving into this new year. Endings and more endings, because I am grieving the loss of two people dear to me.

My sister Anne has dementia and she is sliding further into the space between here and there. While she is still physically present, I miss her intellect, her sharp wit, her full presence. She is my older sister. I have known her my whole life. I never imagined that I would not be with her ‘fully’. She was the drawcard for my move to live in Christchurch.

She always looked after my younger brother and I; we looked up to her and trusted her guidance. As the eldest child, she copped the authority of our parents, and she fought hard for her independence. She is super intelligent, and my brother and I had a hard time following after her at school. She chose her own path, and with her husband travelled to places I have only ever dreamt of.

Now, I call on all my parenting and therapy skills as I navigate our relationship. She can’t remember what she ate two minutes ago, or whether she has eaten at all. She can’t dress herself. Her spatial awareness is impaired – steps are a challenge, and she doesn’t recognise familiar objects. Loud noises and busyness upset her, and her tolerance levels are reduced. Soon, she will need to be placed into full time care, which seems like a jail sentence. Excepting, there is no parole to look forwards to.

My heart is breaking. How did her Soul choose this challenge in this Lifetime?


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