My Animal Teachers

Dora & Speckles, June 21, 2021

After I had written my previous two posts, a racoon attacked and killed one of our ducks: Dora, a little black female.

I was reminded that nature is neither good nor bad, nature just IS. The racoon needs to eat. The ducks don’t fight back. (And I failed to keep them safe, as our electric netting fence was not strong enough to keep the racoon out.)

We have been planning to get a dog in September. Too late for Dora, but hopefully the dog will deter any predators and keep our remaining ducks safe.

I am still sad about loosing that little bird. And I am contemplating what it means to be human, and to have the choice to be humane.

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What does it mean for you to be humane and in what situations do you see yourself be consciously humane?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

Animal Communication

For many people, animal communication is something that only the ‘gifted few’ can achieve. This of course is entirely untrue as we were all born with the ability to talk to and hear animals.

Holly Davis, Animal Communication With All Species

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Challenge: Communicate with the next animal you see. Then drop me a note! What have you learned?

“Starlings”, by Manuela Zeitlhofer, May 28, 2020

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

Animal Teachers

How frequently do you interact with animals in your daily life? – Chances are that those interactions are scarce, or limited to pets. Our societies might have separated humans from animals, seeing humans as superior to animals. Yet, we admire certain qualities in specific animals. What can we learn from animals?

How about patience, living in the Now, connectedness with the intricate web of life we are part of, responsibility, attentive listening, living in tune with the natural world, and sticking together.

(inspired by 10 Important Life Lessons we can Learn From Animals)

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Can you guess which animals possess then traits listed above? – This can be a rewarding activity to do with your child! Also, you might want to observe animals around you to see which traits they display!

“Master of Camouflage” by Manuela Zeitlhofer (July 28, 2022)

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

My Wealth

Do you associate wealth with money? I do struggle with the concept at times. Then I remind myself that I have enough. For me, it comes down to making the conscious decision to be happy in the Now. Because NOW is all we have. The past is a memory and the future is an imagination. Most of the time, I have all I NEED in the very moment I am in. It is often the WANTS that I want (!) to pursue.

To remain still and just be, let the moment be all I want – that is happiness for me. My wealth is my happiness, the feeling of being enough, and of having enough (or more than enough), right now.

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How about you? Where lies your wealth? And what are your thoughts about this week’s posts?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

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(photo by Anton Luzhkovsky, Unsplash)

What is Wealth?

Once there was a wealthy father who was concerned that a privileged upbringing might give his son a limited view of life. He decided his son needed to see how the other half lived. To do this, he asked his personal assistant to find a very poor family who would be willing to allow him and his son to visit and stay with them.

After weeks of searching she found a very poor farming family who lived in an impoverished country area and organized for her boss and his son to live with them for a couple of days and nights. At the end of the visit, as they were driving back to their expensive suburban mansion, the father asked his son, “What did you think of our stay on the farm?”

“It was great, thanks, Dad,” came the reply.

Keen to see if he had achieved the mission of his visit, the father asked, “Has it helped you to see how poor people live?”

“Sure has,” answered his son.

“Well, tell me about it. What did you learn?” enquired the father.

“I learnt,” his son responded, “that while we have a swimming pool fenced into our backyard, they have a creek with swimming holes, a Tarzan rope hanging from a tree, and rapids they ride on old car tubes.”

“We have one dog that lives in a kennel. They have four that live with them.”

“Our large house stretches almost to the borders of our small piece of land. They have a small house on open fields that stretch beyond sight.”

“Our patio looks out on a neatly mown lawn whereas they view their garden, fields, trees, and hills to the very horizon.”

“Spotlights turn our yard into day at night. They have nothing but thousands of twinkling stars to light their night.”

“We have to drive to the supermarket to buy our vegetables but they grow theirs right outside the back door.”

“We have servants to serve our meals and clean our house. They serve each other and clean up together.”

“Our property has walls that fence others out and us in. Their fences contain milking cows and woolly lambs.”

“We have security alarms, barred windows, and locks to protect us while they have family and friends to protect them.”

The father looked at his son in absolute amazement.

“Thanks Dad,” the boy added. “I never realized how poor we are.”

(101 Stories for Enhancing Happiness and Well-Being Using Metaphors, p.208)

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Question: How does this metaphor compare to your perception of wealth?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

(photo by Guilherme Stecanella, Unsplash)

In My Own Way

Have you battled internal obstacles – problems that were entirely created by your way of approaching the world in your thinking and actions? – I have!

For more than a year I had been bothered by a digestive issue: There was a knot in my intestines, always in the same spot. It never went away. The intensity of the discomfort varied. I consulted my family doctor. I consulted an Ayurvedic doctor. Nothing. I researched online. – A partial breakthrough was achieved when I found a useful video how to alleviate the symptoms temporarily. But no solution appeared. I started to despair.

Then, we went on vacation and I did not drink my tap water. The discomfort was gone.

I had stumbled upon the solution. The problem – or obstacle – had been too close to me to be visible.

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Question: What is an obstacle you have come to live with, because you do not perceive there to be a way around or over it?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

(photo by Ethan Dow, Unsplash)

Changing Course Fluidly

Flexibility is the key to common sense and success

A battleship had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. The captain, who was concerned about the deteriorating conditions, stayed on the bridge so that he could keep an eye on all activities. One night, shortly after dark, [the fog was getting even thicker] the lookout on the bridge suddenly shouted, ‘A light, captain, bearing on the starboard bow.’
‘Is it steady or moving astern?’ the captain asked.
The lookout confirmed that it was steady, which meant that the battleship was apparently on a dangerous collision course with the other ship.
The captain then called to the signalman, ‘Signal that ship: “We are on a collision course. Advise you change course 20 degrees north.”’
Back came the response from the other ship: ‘You change course 20 degrees south.’
Annoyed at the arrogance of the response, the captain said, ‘Send: “I am a captain, change course 20 degrees north.”’
‘I am a seaman second class,’ came the reply, ‘you had still better change course 20 degrees south.’
By this time, the captain was furious. He shouted, ‘Send: “I am a battleship. Change course 20 degrees north.”’
Back came the flashing light: ‘I am a lighthouse.’
The captain changed course. (Tales for Coaching, 133)

(photo by Ethan Dow, Unsplash)

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Questions:

What cannot be moved? What CAN be moved?Answer (?)

What represents the ‘fog’ for you? How could you lift this fog?Answer (?)

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

Doing Little Things That Matter

Do you remember the story “The Star Thrower”? Here is a story from my life:

I believe in minimizing my footprint and taking care of nature. I own a little piece of land – 4 acres – and I feel that I am the steward of this land. I am responsible for, but I am not entitled to do any damage to this land. I have the right to live here, to grow my plants, to live in my house, to be who I am.

I see this stewardship as our calling as humans. We have the power to destroy, but we also have to power to manage what we were entrusted with responsibly and sustainably. It may – and it does – feel daunting at times to do my little part in taking care of the world.

What I do includes: growing my own garden, buying organic food, buying what’s locally in season, buying fewer things that are packed in plastic, and more that are not packed, or packed in paper, consuming less, buying second hand, passing on things I no longer need to someone else who can use them, seeking happiness where I am and not where a car or a plane can take me.

It might feel hypocritical at times, when I do drive my car, or when I do buy things that are disposable or wrapped in plastic (or both). Then I try to forgive myself – because as the little boy said “It makes a difference to this one”.

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Question: What are your thoughts about this topic?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Change – Perspective – growth … Obvious?

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. – Max De Pree

Do you remember the metaphor about the two caterpillars looking at a butterfly I shared a few days ago? – It can be found at: https://creeksideinspirations.ca/two-caterpillars/

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Question: What change are you resisting and what might become obvious if you change your perspective?

(photo by Jeffrey Dungen, Unsplash)

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

Two Caterpillars

Two caterpillars were sitting on a cabbage leaf having a chat. Suddenly, they heard a loud swishing noise, and looking up, saw a beautiful butterfly flying overhead. The first caterpillar looked to the other, shook his head and said, ‘You’ll never get me up in one of those things.’

(by Scott Simmerman)

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Question: What represents the butterfly (or change) for you?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Authenticity & Mental Fitness Coach

Judgement or compassion

“Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
Wayne Dyer

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“What you see is evidence of what you believe.”
– Wayne Dyer

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Ask yourself:

-Is your opinion the truth (or is it a hypothesis)?

-Does what the other person is doing really matter to anyone but them? Does your opinion really matter to anyone but you?

-Do you have compassion?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Mental Fitness: Lifelong Applications

Positive Intelligence® is an operating system with many applications. In the first six weeks you develop your 3 core mental muscles. In subsequent weeks, modules in the app then enable you to use those muscles for a variety of work and life applications. You continue to grow.

As a professional coach expanding into Mental Fitness Coaching I am authorized to offer special deals on the Positive Intelligence® Mental Fitness Program. Please contact me for details!

© 2022Positive Intelligence, LLC.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction, in any form, printed or electronic, is permitted without prior written permission from Positive Intelligence, LLC.  POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE and PQ COACH are trademarks of Positive Intelligence, LLC.

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More about this topic:
Mental Fitness: Meeting Life’s Challenges Without Negative Emotions

Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Identity

“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman [editorial comment: …or man] finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself.” ― Betty Friedan

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What makes you unique? What does the voice inside tell you?

Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Canada Day Gift

Canadians are celebrating Canada Day on July 1.

For 10+3 days (starting today), I am giving some of my time, expertise and devotion back: 🎁 My gift to 10+3 people (in honor of the 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories) is a 45-minute coaching-call each. 🎁

Book your free coaching-call here:

Please feel free to share this link with people you think might enjoy this gift: a safe space to gain perspective, and work toward their goals. Thank you!

Why? I feel very fortunate and grateful to call this country my home. Canada has given me freedom, adventures, love, a place to live, a wonderful child, incredible friends, and the liberty to develop and maintain a positive mindset.

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Edison and the Light Bulb

Failure is a natural part of the creative process!

Thomas Edison, the American inventor, is thought of as being one of the most creative and intelligent men in history – and yet, the history books tell us that he attended his school in Michigan for only three months before being expelled at the age of 12 because his teachers thought he was ‘educationally subnormal’. In later years, Edison was to become famous for his saying ‘genius is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration’.

This was certainly true for him in his attempts to convert electricity into light, one of his most famous endeavours. He was reputed to have tried and failed over 1,000 times to perfect the incandescent electric light bulb, and when advised by his colleagues and friends to give up the whole project because it was doomed to failure, replied with total conviction and some surprise: ‘Why, I haven’t failed; I’ve just found a thousand ways in which my formula doesn’t work!’

It was as much Edison’s positive and tenacious attitude to endeavour and problem solving as his obvious intelligence and creativity that, in the end, were his most powerful allies.

(Source: Tales for Coaching, p.109)

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Moral: There is no failure – only feedback!

Questions:

  • What represents the ‘light bulb’ that you are currently trying to invent?
  • What projects have you given up because you thought you had failed? Could they be rekindled?

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Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

The Star Thrower

Do you see your mission and your goals clearly? And how do you feel about small steps – do you give yourself credit for them, do you celebrate your small accomplishments?

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Story: A man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young boy apparently picking something off the ground and throwing it out into the sea. As the man got closer to the boy he saw that the objects were starfish. And the boy was surrounded by them. For miles and miles all along the shore, there seemed to be millions of them.

„Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water”, he asked the boy as he approached.

„If these starfish are on the beach tomorrow morning when the tide goes out they will die”, replied the boy, continuing with his work.

„But that’s ridiculous”, cried the man. „Look around you. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. How can you believe that what you’re doing could possibly make a difference”? The young boy picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully, and remarked as he tossed it out into the waves, „It makes a difference to this one”. (by Loren Eisley)

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Moral: What is never attempted will never be accomplished; even the smallest of efforts defeats apathy.

Question: Who or what are the ‘starfish’ that you want to save?

Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness Coach

Coaching Boosts Your Success

I think it’s not just how good you are now,
I think it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters. …
(Great coaches) are your external eyes and ears,
providing a more accurate picture of your reality

Atul Gawande

Coaching can be beneficial at any stage of life. Coaching can greatly increase our awareness of the status quo. It can boost us into and support us in making the necessary changes, so we achieve goals (both short and long-term) with more ease and integrity.

In my personal and professional life, I am striving to increase my awareness and intercept my self-critical thinking patterns. A person who is trained to assist me in becoming aware of my blind spots and move past them has made all the difference for me.

What can become more tangible for you by means of coaching?

Contact me now for a free discovery call!