Understanding

Is “Constructive Criticism” really Constructive ?

One of the most common human behaviours I am privy to not only where others are concerned but within myself over the years and still even now it slips in at times despite my best conscious efforts not to go there, is that of being critical.

It’s SO easy to be critical because that is our conditioning. It astounds me that we actually have an economic industry of “critics” who get paid to go and see, listen to, or experience others creative endeavours and “critique” them which they then feel it necessary to publish. If the creative persons interpretation of something they have gone to experience isn’t in line with the critics perception – too bad so sad they receive a “bad” review that ripples out to others and has a domino effect which can limit severely the amount of folk who go and see or experience it for themselves and decide whether they enjoy it or not, based purely on what someone else says. It is also often the case that many who are standing in the wings and not even involving themselves in something or aren’t even aware of what is REALLY going on, on the stage, take it upon themselves to be critical of what the ones on the stage are doing, in all areas of life. Yet we all perceive and do things differently.

Just watch any group of people for e.g. in an art class – all can be looking at the same tree which they are to paint and yet every single painting each creates will be totally different not only to the tree given as an example, but to each others trees. How truly miraculous is that?! Yet so often in so many situations another will say no that’s not how you do it, you “NEED” to do it this way. How so and who says so?

Everything we do is an act of unique creation so how can it be that we have fallen into this trap of being so critical and judgmental? We seem to live in a society that is full of competition and judgement which starts not long after birth. It’s rampant in our schools, in politics, in sports, in workplaces, it’s persistent in those “Women’s” magazines where celebrities are criticised for just about everything from wearing a pair of track pants out to the local shop to having their hair done a certain way. In more recent times on television screens and other media it is also rampant by way of “reality” shows where folk compete against each other to reach a temporary status of “winner” and being labelled “the best”. The label being given to them by “judges” who are really only just sharing their perception of another’s “performance” in a given moment. Yet that perception in that moment of being “judged” can absolutely crush another’s dream and devastate the person who isn’t given the label of “the winner.”

It’s so often the case that if folk don’t do things the way we think they should be done or how we ourselves would do them rarely do we stop to ask questions. Instead, out of our heads and mouths, usually automatically, will come all sorts of “stuff” that is judgmental and critical which perhaps whilst not consciously meaning to do harm, does – just like the critic who published their opinion.

This has been disguised to make it more palatable in recent times by being labelled “constructive criticism”. I personally don’t understand how any criticism is “constructive” – giving and receiving honest and respectful feedback however is a totally different ball game. Words float around all the time about not judging others, about “loving” and accepting yourself and others as they are and hey if those others are rattling your cage with a big stick no worries just shrug it off and walk away – not always that easy though is it?

Phrases have long been within the minds of humanity along the lines of – Don’t judge another lest you be judged; Don’t be so busy pulling the splinter out of someone else’s eye that you can’t see the lump of wood in your own; People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; Let he who is without sin cast the first stone; He who points a finger at another will find three pointing back at him, and on it goes.

When people bring forth their best endeavours, ideas and passions to create a more peaceful, love filled, tolerant and respectful world for all, they have often landed up being persecuted, imprisoned, harshly criticised or dead for their efforts for what they are doing or saying. Why? Have we all really become so arrogant as to think that there is only one way to see or do something, our way? Further down the track when it is often way too late, others begin to see what the person was doing and saying with more clarity and then those who were working solidly to create change are treated as heroes, legends or saints.

Sadly they are often no longer even alive by the time the rest of society catches up. It’s often the case that a person or people with “vision” will see much that others clearly do not yet see and due to their passion to manifest that “vision” they run with it whole heartedly, only to be continually met by others trying to pick to pieces what they are doing. What exactly does that achieve I wonder, besides perhaps maybe making the picker feel good about themselves in some bizarre way, like they are “better” than the one who has gotten off their butt, stopped whinging about a situation, and is actually doing something to change that situation for the better, not just for themselves but more importantly for others.

On the flipside to this we have all this information and push occurring about not bullying, teamwork, collaboration etc., and yet many of the so-called political “leaders” in this world are still coming out of the mental and emotional framework of Ego, criticism, one upmanship, bullying tactics, abuse and judgement even though we are given examples time and time again of what actually happens when we ALL work together to achieve something. Is that I wonder part of the reason why “natural disasters” occur, so that we can more consciously become aware of the part of our nature that is supportive, kind, empathetic, loving and compassionate? Collaboration NOT competition will get us ALL wherever we are wanting to go way faster than if we spend our time and energy constantly being judgemental and critical of what others in this world are doing and bickering amongst ourselves about whatever.

Someone close to me has a beautiful expression they often use which I love – The world would be a better place if everyone minded their own business. This person does not mean that we should not care about each other or support each other, they mean that each and every person (unless they are incapacitated in some way) is fully capable of doing whatever it is they need to do for themselves and that we would all live in a better world if we were ALL working together and supporting each other, not wasting our precious time and lives in these temporary physical bodies, trying to tear others down whilst our Egos climb whatever ladder to success they decide to climb, ripping people off or ripping them to shreds, gossiping, judging, undermining and criticising them, telling them they are “wrong” or giving them “advice” when it hasn’t even been asked for.

This person is also referring to those situations where we are doing something and another comes along and takes over because in the other’s eyes we are not doing “it” right. They are of the opinion that this unintentionally diminishes the person who was doing it their own way and shows disrespect. Quite simply humanity has created the present mess in this world, no-one else, and no-one is coming to “save” us, or the planet. The Politicians don’t give a hoot for they cannot see what many of us can clearly see and we are ALL simply just going to have to pull our big girl and boy knickers up clear out our own muck and heal our wounds, so we stop projecting it all onto others if we want anything at all to change.

The time of separation – of you, me, us, them, right, wrong, greed, slavery to jobs that just create nothing but stress and sickness to all life on this planet is coming to an end. Honestly can you actually even begin to imagine how much more we would ALL achieve in this world if the amount of time, money and energy we spent on sticking our noses into other folks business, being critical and judgemental, bickering or gossiping about this, that and the other was actually spent on creating the type of world we not only want to live in but pass on to our children and grandchildren?

It has always been said that our children are our future and whilst I was a child I really didn’t have a say in the future I would be living in. I was often told by my Grandfather though you can achieve anything you want to in this world and so far all I have set out to achieve I have accomplished but there is still more, so much more I want to achieve. Now that I am living in the future I was told about as a child, as a mature aged woman, it is not at all the future I envisioned it could be but I can have a say now and I am so very passionate and driven about doing everything in my power, by collaborating, not competing with others, via The Wellness Universe, other initiatives and with folk who are near and dear to me, to assist in creating the future I did envision as a child that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. A world where there is full collaboration, peace, love, understanding, respect for all life, compassion, gratitude, joy, beauty and creative vision and as John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a Dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will BE as one”.

I may never get to see a world like the one I envision but that doesn’t mean for a second I can’t and won’t do whatever I can to help create it. We are ALL in this world together regardless of our social status, gender, sexual preferences, financial situation, religion or religious beliefs, varying skin colours, ages etc., It doesn’t matter diddly squat what job we do that we label with a name or how well known or not known we are in the world, and for the sake of all the children, grandchildren and generations yet to come into this world, I truly do hope and yes I even pray (even though I am not for once second “religious”) that we ALL start spending way more time collaborating and supporting each other to create a better world than the one we have been left with by those who came before us, than we have been and often do spend criticising and judging each other.
Cheers, C.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.

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#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

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MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

One of the most powerful words any of us can ever learn to use when we are communicating with others, besides no, is I.

For some folk that may seem an odd thing to say as it could be read that I am referring to being selfish – far from it.  There is a massive difference between being selfish and being self-centred and self-empowered.

What I have noticed consistently in my life, as I have observed interactions occurring between myself and others and between others, is that whenever “you” statements occur in a conversation as in “you have”, “you do”, “you do not”, “you are”, “you need to”, “you should” or “you must” etc., we are not coming from a space of Self-centred response, empowerment, love, peace or balance.

Ten times out of ten we are actually in the midst of a totally non thought about re-action (re-acting out an old subconscious behavioural pattern) as we busily, rudely, loudly and usually quite angrily fly off the handle and into another, not at all aware that we are projecting our own shadow and that which we do not see, or perhaps don’t want to see, hear or take responsibility for, within ourselves or about ourselves, onto another.

Whenever I hear “you” this or that, either from another or coming out of my own mouth or head in an attacking way my warning system rings a very loud alarm that screams like the robot from Lost in Space – Warning, Warning, Warning, Danger Will Robinson, Danger and the word “projection” blasts into my awareness. (Yes I know I am showing my age.)

One of the greatest challenges I personally face every single day are my own reality checks I feel compelled to make in relation to what I put out for others to read or not read, their choice, in terms of posters or articles.  If I personally am not living the truth of what I am putting out in my interactions behind the scenes – I want to know about it because often the folk closest to me in my life see me clearer than I can see myself.

I therefore have several folk who help me keep a check on that because I have specifically asked them to point that kind of thing out to me as it is so very easy to create words that others can resonate with, relate to, be motivated or inspired by but if my interactions with others behind the scenes of those posters or articles are not congruent with the words I am putting out, they hold no value to me, or you, the reader, whatsoever.

They would just be hollow meaningless hypocritical jibber jabber at the core. They would have no depth, truth or substance and would not be coming from a space of integrity, they would just be nothing but noise created to add to an already often very noisy world wide web full of information, opinions, stories, perceptions, re-actions and responses.

When we become self-aware enough to stop using “you” and come instead from a space of Self-centred peace, a desire to understand, response and love, in a balanced way and therefore state instead “I think”, “I feel”, “it appears to me”, “I am”, “from my perception”, “for me” etc., we ARE taking full responsibility for whatever is going on for us, within us, emotionally or cognitively. We are NOT projecting our own “stuff” onto anyone else, nor are we are blaming others for our own experience.   We are also not coming from a space of attack or defence, but a state of Self-aware empowered response.

Often when folk attack, for whatever reasons they are justifying in their own heads with whatever story they have created for themselves and fully believe, it is not only hurtful, it can sometimes be downright spiteful or misleading and it can often get very ugly very quickly, for the one attacked, quite rightly, feels a need to defend, explain, justify, attack back etc., and the result then often is a situation where more misunderstanding occurs due to intensifying energy building up and going back and forth in defence/attack/attack/defence style a bit like a tennis volley that just gets louder, more re-active and quicker as it gains momentum.

If we automatically re-act and attack or re-act to an attack and put ourselves in a situation upon being attacked where we do defend, justify and attack back we are just feeding a fire – yet when we remain silent that fire has no oxygen as such to keep it burning. It usually just dies down, for it runs out of the fuel (energy) needed to feed it and keep it burning and in the dying down you or I, or the person who was coming from the space of “you”, can, if they choose to, take a look at themselves in the mirror they were projecting themselves onto that is now non-responsive and just reflecting themselves back to themselves fully for them to clearly see and hear themselves.   This then becomes a huge gift for the attacking or blaming person to take a long hard look at their own projections, insecurities, justifications, stories, fears and emotional re-actions should they choose to do so.

A very useful thing I work on keeping in mind, which I have been working on for years and no it doesn’t always happen in all situations, is to NOT respond automatically to anything at all when I am feeling a strong emotional re-action to what has been projected with a “you” attack or via an emotional re-action I myself may have that I am projecting. I’ve found it is far more revealing when I stop and ask myself – What is this REALLY about? Why am I feeling this way? With every answer that comes to me I question it further and further until I find the gift in it for me to learn from.  I have also often found that those answers will come by way of a sleeping dream.

I always find there is a nugget of truth and a gift I am able to see in the mirror hanging on the wall in front of me who, from my perception, has been attacking me or who I have subconsciously been projecting my own stuff onto. Sometimes that nugget of truth has been an article such as this one, a poster I have created or that I have realised I needed to create better boundaries, respect my Self more, see clearer the wounds another is carrying, or the truth about another their projections are revealing.  Sometimes I need to take a closer look at my own wounds, distance myself from folk until they do look at their stuff and come back later or work through my own stuff alone, see how my words or actions have impacted on another or if need be walk totally away from another for this life time so they can deal with their own stuff that I no longer have the time, patience or energy to deal with if I am constantly met with rudeness and barriers when trying to sort an issue out.

This non-reactive business and learning to come from a space of response rather than automatic re-action has taken me a LOT of years’ work to get more of a handle on as up until not so long ago the not so peaceful warrior in me would come to the fore if warranted with a sword and shred an attacker to pieces verbally in one form or another.  That part of me has been known to be quite lethal and often folk have not known what’s hit them when I do allow that part of me to emerge and take flight when I feel I have been pushed too far or another has pushed someone else too far who I care about.

Perhaps as I am getting older I am actually getting wiser and whilst I have known for a long time how very much I enjoy peace and quiet without all the drama of youth and re-active projections coming from myself or at me from people of all ages, I am seeing another dimension to that old phrase – Silence is golden.  In so many situations I am seeing silence holds way more power, peace, learning and gifts than bringing out my warrior’s sword via an emotionally re-active tongue or mind,  expressed in person or via a keyboard.

My grandmother, bless her, in her attempts to get me to see this truth over the years I was growing up whilst she was still alive, when I would be ranting and raving about something or the other would often say to me – You’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar Cheryl.   Funny thing about that was she wasn’t always known for her diplomacy and tact and vinegar was often her unconsciously chosen medicine to dish out to others if she felt it was warranted.

I think though, whilst I have and never will qualify for the role of a diplomat, for a spade is a spade to me, not a bloodied pitch fork wrapped up in a bow, and I have an inbuilt tendency to just say it how I see it,  I finally understand exactly what she was saying.

For me at the moment vinegar has its place in my pantry and may still at times be necessary to use but I am finding more and more that honey experienced in Self-Centred, Self Aware and Self Empowered silence and peace is far sweeter, more fruitful and makes life way more enjoyable, palatable and digestible.
Cheers, Cheryl.  

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.

*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

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GRATITUDE

We often give thanks to those who have been kind, loving, and supportive and who have helped us when we have needed help. It is the most natural thing for us to be and to feel in such circumstances.

For myself and I don’t doubt others, there have been many in my life who have been there to help me pick up the pieces when the shit has literally hit the fan.

So many people I have met along the way whose nature it is to help others. These types of people warm our hearts and restore our faith in the good we know exists in humanity and we have every reason to be grateful for their presence in our lives and in the world.

For all the wonderful people I have shared parts of my journey with there have been just as many people who caused me pain, tore me down, abused me, hit me, yelled at me, hassled me, bullied me, made me ill, made me feel small, scared me, broke my heart, ignored me, told me I wasn’t good enough, told me I was wrong, stupid, pathetic, crazy, an idiot, criticised me, gossiped about me, broke my heart, caused me trauma and distress, caused things I had spent a huge amount of time, effort and energy creating to be destroyed and bla bla bla.

Many in this world seem to think that success is about having “things”, the more they have the happier they think they will be. Many see success in terms of how much money one accumulates or how high up the corporate ladder they climb or even how well known they become. Success in this world is often portrayed as being linked with money – the more you have the more successful you are.

Personally I don’t see any of that and never have done for I see success as being the ability to feel just as much love and gratitude for those who have treated us badly as we have for those who have, without a second thought, gone out of their way to assist us whenever we have needed whatever we have needed.

For it seems to me it is a combination of both types of people who show us what we truly need to know about ourselves, who give us strength, teach us love and forgiveness and who help us become our full potential.

When we feel total love and gratitude for all that has been, is and is yet to be, and can truly see the gifts of love given by those who we feel have treated us badly – we have peace and well personally I don’t know of any greater success than that.

Cheers, Cheryl.
Copyright. C. O’Connor 2014.

•*´☾☆☽`*•

‪#‎Cheryl‬ O’Connor.
‪#‎Holistic‬ ‪#‎Counsellor‬, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in ‪#‎Dream‬ ‪#‎Analysis‬/‪#‎Conscious‬ ‪#‎Dreaming‬ & ‪#‎Shamanic‬ Journeying.
* ‪#‎Reiki‬/‪#‎Seichim‬ Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis ‪#‎Meditation‬.

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