No Filters.

Yes, I’m talking about the power of honesty in work, relationships and play. Relationships being the key. Or I recently started to think of this type of honesty as No Filters.

‘No Filters’ means saying what’s in your mind without thinking how it will be received.

Not many people do this. Not many people are completely themselves. It’s rare, so it’s powerful. It’s rare, because it can be hard.

There are loads of training courses, books, blogs, videos out there that can help everyone be who they are. Sounds weird in a way, as why would you need a training course to be yourself. However, especially in the UK, we are trained from our early years to have a socialised presence in the world and that makes adults behave unnaturally, having a layer of pretence if you like. One simple question asked every day, shows this:

How are you?” You’ve had an awful day so far, woke late, rushed to work after dealing with a grumpy child at home, arrived to find someone’s added a high pressure meeting at the last minute, forgot your lunch, more importantly forgot your child’s lunch… anyhow you get the gist of the situation.

I’m fine thanks, how are you?” leaves your mouth without a second thought. Moving swiftly off the subject of you, onto something safer… and never admitting how you really feel.

So here are the things that I’ve found to move back towards the ‘no filters’ toddler you once were, albeit with a level of adulthood these days (clearly in some situations no filters is not appropriate, but…):

1. Mindfulness and Meditation

Many of you may have come across the dreaded raisin. You eat it really slowly, feeling the texture, tasting every flavour, chewing slowly… etc. The idea is to be mindful, really watching and engaging in every moment, making yourself more aware of your surroundings and immediate experience. As a result you live in the now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday.

Mindfulness kind of works for me but I have to concentrate hard. Quite alot. And I have a tendency to feel a bit bored, if I’m honest.

Meditation, I prefer. Especially walking meditation. Essentially, it’s breathing and walking, focussing on what’s around you, maybe reflecting on a particular problem, but gently. I was introduced to the idea by a lovely Swedish, ex-naval marine and subsequently a hypnotherapist, unfortunately now deceased, who helped me in a time of need. Try it, it helps!

2. ‘The Happiness Project‘ by Gretchen Rubin

This project is very simple. Do what makes you happy every day for a year. After this, Gretchen wrote a book and shares her thoughts now in an email every day. They are short, insightful and spark a thought for the day! Inspiring.

3. Tiny Buddha

The founder who runs Tiny Buddha is Lori Deschene. She’s young, but wise and emails inspirational and thoughtful, sometimes really helpful, timely blogs to your inbox every day. Some are written by herself, some by invited contributors. They are always interesting and have given me insight into how to deal with everyday problems, as well as tricky longer term ones.

4. The Landmark Forum

This is a full on, nearly three day course and not for the faint hearted or those currently struggling with mental health issues. It’s about the power of authenticity and possibility. I can’t tell you more as I promised not to. No spoilers here.

The Landmark organisation has received mixed feelings in the press, accused of being a cult for example. I don’t believe that, but please Google it and make up your own mind! I’m just letting you know what’s out there and what’s possible…

5. Dale Carnegie

An author and businessman, best known for his book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’; Dale Carnegie was a brilliant man. He reflected on his experience in the 1930s and distilled his advice for those who struggle to harness their emotional intelligence and those who just want to improve their interactions with other people. He came up with practical, understandable steps to take which help you live, work and build friendships with others.

My main learning point was to be always kind and open to others, as you just don’t know where it will lead at the beginning of a relationship.

I have done their course in Human Relations three times! Once as a participant, twice as a helper. Amazing. Learnt and retained more every time.

6. Hypnotherapy

Its a powerful tool, brilliant for a uncovering hidden and possibly uncomfortable truths and guiding future decisions. Just find a good practitioner! It needs to be done carefully, with love, empathy and compassion in order to be successful. The National Hypnotherapy Society can help you with your search. Good luck!

I hope this blog leads you to think about being yourself. Remember, No Filters. It was inspired by a close friend.

Photo by Sam Operchuck on Unsplash

Please let me know of any other courses, blogs, books you’re aware of and have found useful that I may have missed.

Love Ruth x

Header image is a photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash.

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