giving and receiving

Giving and receiving: wrap-up session of “Feel Good With Jo”

This is the last of this current series of Feel Good With Jo, your Friday guide to leading a happy and healthy life. These are my thoughts on how to look after yourself and manage the busy stressful lives that we all seem to lead.

What I’d like to talk about is getting a balance between giving and receiving.

I’m a yoga teacher, meditation teacher, holistic therapist and life coach. I often tend to see more people giving more of the time and not actually taking enough time for themselves to receive.

One thing that is very important is time.

If you give people time, but you also allow yourself time, that will really increase your level of feeling happy and healthy.

Children, for example, want your time more than they want the latest X Box. The same is true for you, to some extent. Giving yourself time will actually nourish you more than buying anything that interests you.

A similar related point regards giving and receiving attention.

And this is about the quality of attention. When you are with somebody, you don’t have the phone out, don’t have the iPod out, don’t have the computer on. Just have your attention on them, give them your attention.

One of the things I’ve been studying recently is around eye contact in coaching or listening contexts. Maintaining eye contact encourages somebody to think as creatively as possible. For this reason, you need to have almost continual eye contact. Now, their eyes will be off in every other direction. That’s fine. That’s part of the thinking process, but you, as a listener giving really good quality attention, keep the eye contact, so you just keep looking at them softly. Not like a crazy person, just softly. Then, it will really increase their ability to think. The fantastic research on Thinking Environment® by Nancy Kline demonstrates that.

But also you need to receive attention.

If you’re not getting that from your significant other, from your friends, from your family, you need to ask for it. And this is where my message is about being soft and strong. You need to be able to assert that you need somebody’s attention. It is something you have the right to ask for.

The third most important element for me in giving and receiving is love.

Really, just understand that it is in infinite supply. There’s no end to how much love you can contain or you can receive. In fact, the more you give love, the more you get it. So, just don’t be afraid to show that you love people. And don’t be afraid to be loved.

Also, in terms of balance, I’d like to invite you to a balance between grounding and inspiration.

When we get stressed, one of the things that happen to our energy is that it rushes up out of the body. This leaves us in that sort of status that we tend to describe as “a headless chicken“.

One of the ways to deal with that is grounding.

You can do it by walking in nature, gardening, eating foods that literally grown on the earth, like potatoes and carrots. Also, don’t leave your electrics on in your house. Between the friends who are “grounding” and the ones who are “ennervating”, just spend now a bit more time with the people who are “grounding”.

My final point is this: the balance is in inspiration, too.

We’ve all had at some point in our life that time when we got locked into routine and life is boring because it’s just the same old, same old. If that’s something that you’re resonating with at the moment, even if it’s 5 to 10 minutes a day, I really encourage you to go back to something that sets you going. Whatever it is, whether it’s listening to music that you haven’t listened to for 20 years, whether it’s playing golf, painting or whatever you have felt in the past that has really lit you up, or that you discover now that lights you up, make time for it. People don’t seem to think it’s important. But in terms of well-being, it’s absolutely critical.

Listen to this recording

Getting the most out of your holiday

Recently I added my two pennies’ worth to the Hayes and Jarvis Expert Guide on The Four Pillars to Get the Most Out of Your Holiday. Take a look here ~ my tips are on the Communication page of the report.

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“what if abundance came first and deserving second?”

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When I was training as a coach, we were invited to see our clients as naturally being resourceful, creative and whole.

Whatever the client might feel, whatever evidence of stuckness, we were to regard the person as a whole; as capable of finding their own solution; as endlessly creative and able to generate new possibilities and thinking. Read more »

How to turn a pessimist into an optimist

It’s a golden oldie in the positive psychology world, but I still swear by Dr Martin Seligman’s process on how to turn a pessimist into an optimist (check out his book Learned Optimism).

Dr. Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism" teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

Dr. Martin Seligman’s “Learned Optimism” teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

The founding idea is that pessimism is escapable if you know how.

Dr Seligman points out a simple causal relationship between what we think and what we feel.

Our thoughts dictate how we feel. Our feelings influence how we act. Our actions have consequences. Those consequences create a new set of thoughts. The thoughts we have again and again over time become the beliefs or the mindset that create the lives we lead.

The good, in fact, the absolutely great news, is that we can learn how to turn a pessimist into an optimist.

By doing so we can improve a whole range of life, health and success outcomes!


  1. Think of a situation that is current but not drastic. Describe it in a few sentences.
  2. Is your description factually accurate? Re-write it until you have the most neutral possible description.
  3. Write a list of all the thoughts you have about this situation and yourself in this situation.
  4. Go through and highlight the most powerful negative thoughts. Making a list of evidence for and against these beliefs.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the effect of the negative beliefs in terms of how I feel, what I say and what I do?
  2. What would happen if I changed them to something more empowering? [You may also like to note the effects of positive beliefs you’ve identified in terms of what you feel, say and do.]

Check in with how you feel in your body, mind and spirit after this disputation.

Repeat this process with any subject matter where you want to change your mindset.

Notice when you’re making sweeping negative statements. In fact, that’s a hallmark of pessimistic thinking and won’t serve you.

Read more: What is a mindset?

What is a mindset?

Mindset is one of those terms that people bandy about but actually, what is a mindset and why should we care?

A mindset is an established set of attitudes. Or: A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. Read more »