“It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the lemons are rotten, take out the seeds and plant them in order to grow new lemons.” – Louise Hay


I had fun finding the right quote for this newsletter - and was not surprised when it was attributed to Louise Hay!

Most of the quotes were unpleasant i.e. what you could do with the lemons (!) - but only a couple highlighted the positive challenge that I will be writing about. ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ does sound a bit simplistic but I will be outlining in this issue exactly how we really can do this. 

In the last issue of my newsletter, I wrote about our inner critic or Judge and today, I will take you further into Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence® work and what we term The Sage Perspective.

Put simply, he says that every challenge can be turned into a gift or opportunity.

Shirzad and Positive Intelligence® have had a huge impact on my life and work - and I’m always happy to share the good news! Along with thousands of others (many of whom are my own clients), I have a daily practice which involves a series of mindful exercises that build up my mental muscles and helps keep my Judge and Saboteurs at bay! It definitely works!

What do you want from the remainder of 2023?

Isn't it Time to Believe™ life can be easier & better? Be sure to check out my invitation below!

All the best!

P.S. Want to talk more about how you can build up your mental muscles too? 

Click here to schedule a Chat to Start! 


The Sage Perspective

Timing is always interesting, isn’t it? I had this topic planned for a while but didn’t foresee not having WiFi for the past 10 days 🥺. Like most people, I find it easy to practice optimism when things are going well, but it certainly is more challenging when life’s ‘lemons’ come our way. Not having WiFi was definitely a lemon!! I’ll share how I made ‘lemonade’ in just a bit! 😊

As mentioned above, The Sage Perspective is that EVERY outcome or circumstance can be turned into a gift and opportunity.

My Building Positive Practices: Positive Intelligence® program 

In my program, the question is posed in relation to a challenging event: “Is it BAD or is it a GIFT?"

  • Our Judge (inner critic) and our other saboteurs (Avoider, Pleaser etc) say “Of course, it’s bad!”
  • Our Sage or Executive mind says “This is a gift."

Which is true? 🤔 You’re probably expecting this - the answer is whichever you believe becomes true!

Psychologists have long spoken of the Self Fulfilling Prophecy and this is an example. Our thoughts strongly influence our reality.

The 3 Gifts of the Sage Perspective

The founder of Positive Intelligence®, Shirzad Chamine, suggests that we can draw on three ‘gifts’ of the sage perspective: Knowledge, Power and Inspiration as we respond to life's challenges.

🎁 Gift 1 - Knowledge: What do I need to know or learn so that the payoff in the future could be much greater than what ’this' is costing me now?

🎁 Gift 2 - Power:  Do I need to grow these ‘powers’: empathy, clear focus, curiosity, perspective, or creativity to handle this challenge? What might the gift be in any of these ‘powers’ growing?

🎁 Gift 3 - Inspiration: Is there an action I might commit to that wouldn’t have happened had this ‘bad’ thing not happened? We know people in our lives who have who transformed a loss by honoring that person in a lasting way that benefitted many.

Reflection Exercise

How do we cultivate a wise and compassionate inner voice that counteracts the negative chatter of the Saboteurs?

  1. I invite you to think about a ‘bad’ thing that happened to you that turned out to be a gift.
  2. Is there a ‘bad’ thing in your current work or life that you’d like to convert into a gift?

NB: We sometimes see the gift quickly and other times it may take days or even years to get over hurt or loss and see the positive that has come out of even that.

The Sage Perspective allows us to respond to life’s challenges in a more balanced and beneficial way.

Here are some exercises to practice and strengthen your Sage Perspective: 

  1. Mindful Breathing: Practice mindfulness meditation to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. As you breathe in and out, observe your thoughts without judgment and notice any negative self-talk. Let them pass like clouds in the sky, allowing your Sage Perspective to emerge naturally.

  2. Reframing Negative Thoughts: Whenever you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk or self-doubt, pause and reframe those thoughts in a more positive and constructive manner. Ask yourself, "What would my Sage say in this situation?"

  3. Gratitude Journaling: Maintain a gratitude journal to focus on positive aspects of your life. Each day, write down three things you are grateful for. This practice encourages your Sage Perspective to highlight the positive aspects of your experiences.

  4. Empathetic Listening: Engage in empathetic listening with others. Try to genuinely understand their perspectives and challenges without judgment or criticism. This fosters a compassionate and understanding attitude, in line with the Sage Perspective.

  5. Visualize Your Sage: Imagine your inner Sage as a wise and compassionate mentor or guide. When faced with a difficult decision or situation, visualize your Sage offering you advice and support.

  6. Loving-Kindness Meditation: Practice loving-kindness meditation to cultivate compassion for yourself and others. Send positive and caring thoughts to yourself, loved ones, acquaintances, and even those you find challenging.

  7. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences: Interact with people who uplift and inspire you. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Positive environments can enhance your Sage Perspective.

  8. Mindful Decision Making: Practice making decisions mindfully. Pause before acting impulsively or under the influence of your Saboteurs. Reflect on the situation from a more balanced and wise perspective before taking action.

Remember that building a strong Sage Perspective takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. The more you practice, the more natural and accessible your Sage Perspective will become in various aspects of your life.

What do you want from the remainder of 2023?
Isn't it Time to Believe™ life can be easier & better?

Would you like to take the leading role in your own life and start making decisions from your best, most wise part of your brain?

If you answered "YES!"... Why not build up Positive Practices to build your Mental Fitness and make the most of the opportunities that come your way?

It’s time to build up your positive strengths (Sage) and shrink your critical voice (AKA Judge) and Saboteurs! Don’t let another year go by with your Perfectionist (Stickler), Avoider or the other Saboteurs leading the way.

Find out more and join me on my next Building Positive Practices: Positive Intelligence® program

PS!  I promised to tell you how I used the Sage Perspective with my WiFi challenge! Simply put - I realised quickly that shouting to the heavens wouldn’t bring the internet back, so I chose to see it as an opportunity to have more time to relax and enjoy the summer days. I did need to do extra PQ reps / Mindfulness exercises to stay calm though!

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Kathleen Fanning
Kathleen Fanning Coaching