This article is one of a three-part series on Transactional Analysis. It is followed by the articles “Transactional Analysis – Part II (The Games we Play)” and Transactional Analysis - Part III (The Scripts we Follow).
Transactional Analysis (or TA as it is often called) is an interpersonal relations approach developed during the 1960s by Dr Eric Berne. It is underpinned by the philosophy that:
Transactional Analysis is based on two notions: That we have three sides or 'ego-states' to our 'personality (Parent, Adult and Child), and that these ego states converse with one another in 'transactions' both internally and externally with other people (hence the name).
While working in Keystone Ski Resort in the Rocky Mountains, I would on occasion visit Denver, Colorado for the day. I would always enjoy my time in the big city, shopping, seeing the sights and so on, but one of the novelties that really made me stop and look was the squirrels in the parks. I would watch them for long periods of time, enjoying the antics of these little creatures and of course appreciating the parks too. These little forays into nature in the big city gave me much pleasure.
I observed that the local people in Denver would rush by seeming not to even notice the squirrels. Although I was aware that they were not a novelty to them, it occurred to me how much we can miss when we take for granted the beautiful nature around us as we rush by.
The lesson here is to take notice of the world – observe it. No matter what you're doing, notice the moments that surround you – the beauty of nature, the outline of a bridge, or a view of the sunrise behind the city buildings. Look at the way the light reflects off the buildings, the tree line, and the birds that manage to nest in the branches and the animals that live in the parks. The simple act of tilting your chin can give you a whole new perspective on the place you live.
The concept of ‘living in the now’ or ‘being in the present’ has its roots in Eastern philosophies, but has gained popularity in mainstream western thinking in recent years because of the writings of people such as Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-zinn and many others.
The increasing popularity of the concept – also referred to as ‘mindfulness’ – has quickly promoted its status from an esoteric concept to an abundantly used ‘power-phrase’ in the area of ‘self-help’. Many people are still confused by the concept and don’t fully understand it. So what does ‘living in the now’ actually mean and why and how should introduce it into our lives?
Article as it appeared in Weigh-Less magazine. By Natasha Liviero
Be more beautiful by being mindful of your body image.
Many of us are familiar with Michelangelo’s statue of David, an iconic symbol of Italy, and so of course, when the opportunity presented itself while visiting Florence, I made sure that I went to the Accademia Gallery where the famous statue is housed. The 5.17-metre (17.0 ft) statue, weighing more than 6-tons is magnificent and I spent a long time walking around and around the statue just admiring its beauty. The thing that struck me when I did this was that it was the first time I had actually seen the back view of David. Every image I had ever seen previously had been from the front. I was entranced with the way the sling fell down the length of David’s muscular back, the impressive gluteus maximus muscle and the hamstrings as well as the cleverly designed tree stump support. The statue came alive for me for the very first time when I was able to view it in its entirety.
How often do we only pay attention to part of a picture or story? The lesson I learnt is that it is vital to consider the whole issue to get the best perspective. Taking all the angles into account can bring a whole new dimension to your understanding.
Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the most important presidents in American history. He was well known for his energy and productivity. Abe Lincoln's productivity secret was to use sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently.
He said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Article as it appeared in Weigh-Less Magazine. By Natasha Liviero
Are you in the habit of starting projects without completing them? We offer up some solid solutions for seeing things through to the end.
A surprisingly large number of people do not know how to accept a compliment. They have a mind-set that says something like, “I cannot possibly deserve positive feedback - anyone who pays me a compliment must be misguided, lying or feeling sorry for me”. But, is this really true? Of course not! You not only have the right to accept compliments and feel good about yourself, but also the responsibility to accept a compliment that someone is giving you, graciously.
Before attending a conference for the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa, I took the opportunity to visit the Kruger National Park with many of the international guests who had come to South Africa for the conference. Like so many foreign tourists, all they wanted to do was see big cats – leopard, lion and cheetah. I too, have rarely seen leopard in the wild, so was as eager as they were. As luck would have it, however, we saw everything except cats! Our disappointment was compounded by a conversation I had with a young German doctor, who was with me on a walk one morning. He had seen almost nothing but cats! Three leopards, as well as lion and cheetah. But then later, when I thought about it, I realised that while my group may not have seen what we were hoping to, we had still had a wonderful time, and had seen many other magnificent animals.
The lesson here is that it’s not about having what you want, but wanting what you have. If we are always looking for something else, we may easily fail to notice and appreciate what we already have. Celebrate the here and now!
While I was working on luxury yachts in the Mediterranean, I had the opportunity to visit the town of Pisa, in Italy, with the American captain of a neighbouring yacht. One of the main tourist attractions in this town is the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. While we were there, the tower was being renovated, restored and repaired – architects and engineers were working hard to stop the tower from falling over completely. What was interesting to me is that they weren’t trying to straighten it to its original, vertical stance. They were keeping its “lean” because it is that very “flaw” that makes it so iconic, and so popular with visitors.
The life lesson here is that things don’t have to be perfect to be interesting. In fact, perfection is often a little boring! Instead, it is the flaws that make things worth a second look, and which make them stand out from the rest.