The past is past, where are you now?

How often do you linger in the past, worrying about what has been done to you, putting meaning to everything and everyone, believing it’s all happening to you somehow and responding without you being responsible for anything? Do you ever wonder what might have happened if YOU stepped into a new possibility?

It’s time to get off that hamster wheel and notice what is gloriously possible for you right NOW.

I have thought that I spent much of my life in the present moment, often in my workshops I have been heard to say ‘this is the only moment that is important’. When years ago I was working more focused on image work and showing men and women how great they could look, women especially would say how much they liked the look yet would save it for a special day. My response was ‘surely everyday is special; this is the only moment so always be your best and choose to love yourself?’

And so if we don’t, we might then go on our way, not making every moment special, not making our selves be the extraordinary person we are born to be. Why is that? What responsibility can we take for being our best in the now and spreading that into everyday in our presence, our words and actions and so our responses, whatever occur.

Although of a generally positive mind and manner, I too have realized that I still have allowed the past to linger in my meaning of people and situations. What actually happens and the meaning I place on it are two totally separate factors. I allowed the meaning to linger and allowed it to influence my ‘doing’, the patterns of behaviour that I deliver. I have believed that what is my view ‘is real’, and yet it occurs to me now that that is my view of life and not what is reality. In fact there is no reality only my interpretation of what is happening and the meaning I place on it.

Today I choose to be in the now because I choose to be in the now.

And when I relate that to the wider context of my work and the world I seek to notice the collective meanings we place on what happens around us and in the groups and communities in which we live.

So take the collective meaning of what is happening in our society, the recessional impact on meaning in people’s lives, the meaning of austerity and the contra call for ‘happiness’. We all place different meanings on this broader picture and each coming from our own history and experiences and the enormous pile of meanings we have stored up since we were born. If we take a look at collective and personal ‘meanings’ about money, wealth, family, society, community, collaboration, rights and wrongs, personal interests and professional status most are stale and of no value. The past is past and as we gather to talk in the NOW about happiness, we need to complete on the meanings that may hinder or even derail the possibility of it before we even start.

The launch of Action for Happiness is tomorrow. Let’s make the conversation magical!

So some personal tips for those of you who wish to let go of their past baggage about the possibility of happiness:

To dissolve the barriers and limitations, you need to be freed from your stock pile of meanings related to unhappy happenings in your past life. These are not real in your current NOW.

Watch and log what occurs for you rather then what “is”?

It’s always your view not the world view.

The collective view is the collective view not what is happening.

Try this simple shift in language … “Happiness is unattainable. Happiness occurs to me as unattainable.”

The ‘occurs‘ statement enables every human being to own his/her view as it occurs and opens up a conversation about what occurs for each rather than talking about what’s gone before and jumping to solutions too quickly based on the past.

Try this in your own life. If there is someone whose actions causes you unhappiness, transform your words ‘person X is an angry person’ into ‘person X occurs to be to behave in an angry manner’. Stand into the responsibility of observing their behaviour and how you respond to it. They may merely be in pain, irritated by their day, a loud personality, and/or unaware of the impact they make. Wars are started on no less than this basic mis-understanding when a ‘meaning’ grows into a belief from opposing faction – the ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ argument emerges. If laid down for years without mutual understanding, wars becomes seemingly unsolvable apart from with force.

Our past is past, it is nothing in the NOW. If we are to create the possibility of collective happiness in our society and across the world, I believe we need to put the past in the past, and notice when we look forward from NOW the only light shining is at the end of the tunnel and as we allow it to come brighter we exit the tunnel in the space of infinite possibility that everything is possible.

The Jungle of Relationships

Preview Interview with Bond Magazine To be published October 2010

Pauline Crawford, behavioural consultant and innovative thinker, looks at relationships with new eyes, and wonders about the current confusion over ‘who’s in charge’ – women or men? After working with people at the top of business for over 20 years, she sees a new light in the jungle of relationships. Her passion is to engage leaders in an emerging conversation that helps both men and women co-create a successful future.

What influenced you in your early life?

Born a tom-boy, I was much happier climbing trees with my brothers while my sister attended dancing classes. I dreamed of adventures at sea and found it easy to solve puzzles. As a mathematician and artist, I loved simultaneous equations and innovating multiple possibilities! Conversation with friends and laughter was paramount in my upbringing. Yet I found being ‘feminine’ a daunting task.

I left University with a Sociology and Statistics degree, my formative work career in the 70s was in travel. I loved using my left and right brain and naturally applied myself to the practicalities of business alongside the emotional flow of relationships. I learned all about gender politics early on in my career and the balancing act that kept everyone happy to get the job done.

What changed your life as a woman in business?

After motherhood, I desired action. I applied my masculine logical brain to business and my female energy to help others to realise their natural potential.

In my early return to work, my ‘tipping point’ was studying Image – here physicality was the key. I studied people, their minds, their bodies and their perceptions. Through this I realized the key was in the body. I discovered and observed the link between straight bodies and masculine minds. My tom-boy straight boned skeleton was linked to my masculine brain, yet I was totally female in a biological sense.

My core nurturing female side was attributed to my biology. My masculine-mind (for mapping things together) came from my natural brain preferences for logic and spatial skills. I also discovered not all women were like me! The more gently curved woman was naturally more intuitive, more ‘feminine’.

Men also follow this pattern. The straight sharp featured male is more masculine by nature and brain preference, and the gentler shaped man is also gentler in style – one might say more ‘feminine’ in making relationships work.

How did you discover about relationships between men and women?

Being an innovative thinker, with Edward de Bono as a second cousin, and my mind-mapping brain, I logically designed a Gender Dynamics Map. The map has six perspectives, and uses biological patterns and learned behaviour as empirical evidence. The map helped me to solve my personal dilemma as to why my female body housed a masculine-mind – perfectly normal! The Gender Dynamics Map defines the main differential from our biology with secondary variables of mind-preferences from masculine to feminine in all genders. Working with this map, relationships became easier. Emerging conversations started to occur even in serious business environments.

Over the years I have become an expert in behaviour, emotions, personality and conversations. Gender dynamics is my special focus area and is hugely successful in the boardroom.

I have worked with many thousands of clients and their true gender dynamic helps them to successfully communicate and interact on a personal and professional level to create best outcomes, especially now as we live in a world where client relationships are the key to market success worldwide.

How does your work help women to succeed in today’s world?

I have worked with women in many amazing companies across the UK and Europe, from PLCs to major public sector organizations. I have researched cultures, developed people, worked with leaders to create best performance, and gained an insight and passion to eradicate negative behaviour. What I have noticed is that ‘people are people’ whatever the business sector and failure comes through the breakdown of relationships rather than the business operation itself.

I feel that business, worldwide, expects women to be more male oriented rather than understanding that their own female potential to use masculine energy combined with their natural relationship expertise is the key to success.

My research proves that my natural tom-boy persona was perfectly normal but the social expectation to be more feminine had a definite impact on my confidence level. It was hugely liberating to discover that I was a totally desirable female with a masculine brain – understanding this is the key to relationship success for women like me.

I have met business women from all walks of life who are ‘strangled’ by the male criteria that goes with business success. To be tough enough to get to the top, without losing your female attributes is challenging and often unrewarding.

How can we shift perspectives and become more aware?

For example; a female CEO client of mine had a classic situation to deal with…the male alpha expert Doctor and the sensitive male Professor. Attempts to create business conversations with them failed miserably. We worked together on this problem using the Gender Dynamics Map – SUCCESS! My client succeeded in meeting the different needs of these men by delivering her message in two entirely different ways; directly in bullet points to the alpha Doctor and softer tones to the Professor. Both parties were delighted to be understood, the deal was successful and beneficial for all.

This shift of perspective can solve many problems. I am totally convinced that for men and women to co-create successful relationships they need to understand the six male/female gender dynamic perspectives and which may even help to solve the global economic crisis The majority of consumers are women, like me, who want a different world, a world of inclusion, abundance, harmony – yes wealth – and success for all.

How do you work with leaders of today’s business world?

Corporate Heart has its own team of experts that bring together a mix of gender dynamic types to serve our clients. “We walk our talk”. The core of our philosophy is adding value both personally and professionally, not just to our clients but to our own lives. Our understanding of who we are as men and women is vital to success and happiness in the boardroom. We value the basic tenet of life “to be uniquely our natural best and value others as we do ourselves”.

Currently working one-to-one, with top teams, or leaders of huge corporate cultures, I know there is a thirst for change and wisdom to share. Yet I see major blockages in both men and women who don’t see beyond their jungle niche. I do believe that women can lead on the ‘gender’ agenda but this will only come together when we truly celebrate the female species in full. If the jungle is our habitat, it’s the inhabitants that need to recognize their worth! I want women to celebrate the value of their variations of femaleness, and to value men for their maleness. Our dilemma is to know how to make the jungle safe for all.

What will your legacy be?

My work energizes my life, entwined intricately into my very being because my personal philosophy for living is what I teach others. My other passion is to create a better healthier, more caring world for my grandchildren.

I believe if we understand the jungle of relationships, with mutual respect and genuine smiling, we can create any future we desire both individually and collectively. They say the longest journey is from our heads to our hearts, and that is where relationships begin and flourish. My vision is a world which honours and respects women and hears their voices on the world stage, with men being proud to stand beside us.

Pauline Crawford
CEO Corporate Heart
Pauline hosts emerging conversations for male and female leaders to share viewpoints, possibilities and visions for the jungle. She works internationally with this activity to help influential leaders evolve a new corporate blueprint for business and life that embraces men and women.