Living Your Life Well

Optimizing Your Life Energy

 As the author of more than 30 books, including the bestselling series Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Dr. Richard Carlson helped millions of people create lives of greater peace, connection and caring by focusing on the more important things in life. The last chapter of one of his books is titled “Live This Day As If It Might Be Your Last. It Might Be!” Ironically and sadly, Carlson died unexpectedly at age 45 on a plane flight to New York.

 How better to drive home his point?

We really don’t know how long we have in this life. Yet, we spend so much of our life energy mulling over what’s in the past or worrying about what the future holds. We get caught up in the minutia of life, losing sight of the bigger picture of what’s actually important.

How much energy would we free up by living more in the now? How can we optimize the time we have? Here are some ideas:

Clarify your values and create a personal mission statement. The clearer you are about what’s deeply important to you (your values) and who you are at your core, the more likely you will succeed in living your life “on purpose.” Your mission statement is the guidepost for knowing if you’re going in the right direction and provides information to put you back on course if you’re not acting in alignment with your values and mission.

Let the past be in the past. How often do you spend living in the past? Do you re-live old memories over and over, or think of clever things you should have said? Do you wish things were like they were in the “good ol’ days?” Whether it’s letting go of your anger at the driver who cut you off just this morning, or regretting the loss of your first love, living in the past keeps you from fully experiencing your life right here, right now.

Release worrying about the future. Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” So much of what we worry about never happens, yet we spend countless hours and huge amounts of energy battling future problems. Notice how much time you spend in the future and gently remind yourself to return to the present. What action can you take right now that will move you forward?

Keep things in perspective. It’s usually our attachment to things being a certain way that leads to frustration. Practice accepting “what is” if you want to experience a greater sense of peace. Everything that happens is our teacher. We might not have chosen each of our lessons, and don’t necessarily have to enjoy them; however, if we choose the perspective that things happen “for us” and not “to us,” life will be a much more growth-filled, joyous ride!

Taking Responsibility

Recognizing Victimhood

Samantha doesn’t realize it, but there’s a victim lurking inside her. Though she wears a sunny disposition outside, inside, the perky 42-year-old mother is resigned to three ideas:

1. It’s too late in her life to go back to college like she always wanted to. She’d look ridiculous, and who has the time, anyway?

2. Her ex-husband is to blame for her financial problems and for her children’s disrespectful behavior.

3. No matter what she does—no matter how many self-help workshops she attends or how much inner work she does with herself—things are not really ever going to change for her.

Quite a life sentence she’s given herself: hopelessness and helplessness, twin offspring of the same poisonous parent known as “Victimhood.”

When we operate from a victim mentality, we give the power to create our own life to someone else, and then we moan about how controlling the other is. To avoid taking responsibility, we create (and protect at all costs!) the dangerous illusion that we are always right. We blame others for our circumstances and remain stuck in a silent “poor me” that keeps us small. 

This is not to say that we can always control what happens to us. Some people’s behavior is abusive. Hurricanes or other natural disasters occur. The company downsizes.

We can, however, always control how we respond. We can refuse to accept abusive behavior, leaving a relationship, if necessary. We can recognize that others can only have control if we let them. We can see the banquet of choices before us, and choose what appeals to us, even if that means going back to college at age 42. 

Here are some clues to help you recognize when you’re carrying around a victim mentality and robbing yourself of your personal power:

•  Your first response to a setback is to blame someone else for what has happened.

•  You often find yourself beginning thoughts with phrases like “I can’t…” or “I’m no good at…” or “I’ve never been able to.” You believe that nothing you do ever works out. 

•  Conversations with friends and family are often about how hard your life is.

•  When friends offer advice, you usually counter it with a “Yes, but…” since they can’t know how difficult your situation really is.

•  You’re always so busy with work and the things you need to do to survive that you just don’t have time to do things you want to do for yourself.

•  You think that other people usually cause you to feel the way you do, that you’d be more centered if it weren’t for them.

•  You’re convinced that if you weren’t tied down to all these obligations, or if only you had more support, you could really do some of the things you always think about doing.

•  When angry, you usually begin sentences with “You” instead of “I.”

You choose: small and powerless and perfect, or stepping up to meet your biggest self—warts and all—and live the life you want. Which will it be?

Note that the word responsibility has the root word, respond. It is all about how you respond. 

Choosing Your Happiness

Are you happy?

No really, I’m serious. Can you say with 100% certainty that you’re TRULY HAPPY? Or are you like most other people, just getting by? Are you waiting for the end of your day so you can slump home, veg in front of the t.v., and forget about work? Are you working toward some fuzzy, future goal in the hopes of one day finding fulfillment?
 
We’ve all been there. At some point or another, we’ve all hit a rhythm of trudging along, head down, getting through it. But some of us stay in that trench for far too long.


However, that’s just one story. You can choose to write a new one in which you’re bright-eyed, enthused about life and fulfilled by your endeavors.

Here are 3 easy ways you can leave the grey days behind and live a much happier life.
 

1.   Define Your Happiness

What brings you joy? Is it being in good physical condition? Does falling in love do it for you? How about beautiful adventures in exotic locations? Take time to reflect upon and determine what qualities or life experiences make a happy you.
 

2.Move Towards Your Chosen Life

Start creating the happy life you just defined. Take steps toward your bliss activities. Sign up for personal training, plan a vacation, or take a class to meet people and learn something new. You’ve got to keep moving.
 

3.Let Go

Once you’re moving toward the things and exchanges that make you feel happy,it will be easier to see what’s dragging you down. Let go of those things. It might be challenging, as people want to hold on to what they’ve known…but it’s okay.Let go, and create space for even more joy to show up.


Happiness is not a trait reserved only for select winners of the genetic lottery.It’s available for everyone…but you must choose it. Step out of the shadows, and choose to live in the light. You deserve it.
 

What will YOU do to choose happiness TODAY?

Do You Give It All Away?

Most of us have been taught that it is more noble to give than to receive. While giving can be a wonderful, heart-warming experience, giving too much of our time and energy can be detrimental to both our physical and emotional health, leading to anxiety, overwhelm and burnout. Take this quiz to see if you are giving it all away.
 
1. I force myself to do things even when I don’t have the energy to do them.
 
2. I ignore my body’s “no” signals when I think someone’s needs are greater than mine.
 
3. I hate conflict, so I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it, which often means doing something I don’t want to do.
 
4. I feel obligated to answer the phone when it rings even when I really don’t want to.
 
5. The amount of time I spend listening to others far exceeds the amount of time that others listen to me.
 
6. If I don’t answer all the emails I receive I feel guilty.
 
7. In order to provide luxuries for my family I work more hours than I want to.
 
8. I schedule my work time around my clients’ needs rather than around my own.
 
9. I can’t say no when people in need ask me for money.
 
10. When I’m out to dinner with people who have less money than I do, I feel obligated to pick up the check.
 
11. I volunteer for my place of worship or other organizations even if I don’t have the time.
 
12. People won’t like me if I say no.
 
13. I’m the person everyone calls when they need help: a babysitter, chauffeur, or someone to fill in at work.
 
14. My children’s happiness comes before mine. I’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy.
 
15. I have a hard time saying no to my partner because I want him/her to be happy, even if saying yes makes me unhappy.
 
16. I feel selfish if I don’t share what I have with others.
 
If you answered true more often than false, you may want to find ways to create more balance in your life by getting clear on your values and priorities and learning more about boundary setting. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further. Remember that you need to receive as well. 

https://mailchi.mp/0e74e02ed0b4/remember-to-receive-as-well-as-to-give

How Well Do You Handle Fear?

Quiz: How Well Do You Handle Fear?
 
At its best, fear is an instinctive, natural ability to help us survive. At its worst, it’s that nagging voice inside our heads that heralds doom and disaster even before we get started on something. Fear keeps us from taking risks that might enrich our life or holds us back from doing some things we need to do. Do we experience new and exciting vistas? Get involved with that person or group? Accomplish something really great? Fear says, “Not on your life.” To discover the role fear plays in your life, complete the following Thriving quiz.
 


True or False
 
1. My self-talk is filled with can’ts, shouldn’ts and ought-tos. 
 
2. I never talk about my fears. If I do, people will think I’m stupid or weak.
 
3. I often find myself thinking about bad things that might happen in the future.
 
4. I feel trapped in or avoid social situations where it might be difficult to escape if I wanted to, such as in a crowd or on the highway.
 
5. I tend to need approval from family or peers before going after dreams and goals.
 
6. Making mistakes publicly is horrendous; I just want to crawl away and hide.
 
7. I’d rather not get involved in a relationship because I’d have to surrender personal power and lose myself.
 
8. To avoid being rejected, I try to please people and take my own needs and desires out of the equation.
 
9. I often compromise in situations to avoid conflict.
 
10. A sure-fire way to end up disappointed is to want something too much.
 
11. When things seem to be going really well for me, I get uneasy that I’ll do something to ruin it.
 
12. I find it difficult to express undesirable emotions such as anger.
 
13. When confronted by others, I feel “spacey” or disconnected from my body.
 
14. I’m so nervous about approaching my boss for a raise, I’ve never asked for one.
 
14. I’d rather just stick to what I know, even if it’s not great, than risk change.
 
 Maybe some of these points have triggered the identification of some fears. Acknowledge the fear by sitting with it and then let it go. If needed, book an energy session or a coaching session to dig deeper to see what can change about the fears. Or book a Radionics session to get that much needed boost. Contact Wanda at wanda@wandadavis.ca or 2263749045 for details. 

Are You your own Leader?

Everyday Leadership: It’s An Inside Job
 
David sparked a fruitful conversation around waste when he gently asked the cafeteria manager at his workplace whether food might be served without unnecessary containers or wrapping, unless requested. 
 
Susan worked a whole year to bring a group of high school students from New Zealand to the United States to train other students in an effective form of peer mediation. 
 
William began a weekly meeting for men at his church to fill the need for fellowship and support beyond the annual men’s retreat.
 
Nobody is likely to write a book about David, Susan or William. But these everyday leaders are creating just as much impact in their workplace, family and community as the captains of industry and politics described in the pages of New York Times bestsellers.
 
Indeed, the challenges and opportunities of today’s marketplace—of today’s world!—require that we all step forward and lead every day, become our own captains and find more of our own personal best to give to the world.

Leadership as a Way of Life

Too often, we believe that leadership is the domain of those with recognized authority, and the title to go with it: CEOs, association presidents, conductors, mayors. 

“In a world that is changing as rapidly as this one, we need to think differently about leadership,” says Susan Collins, author of Our Children Are Watching: Ten Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success. “Leading is not done by those few in high places, but by parents and teachers and managers and those governing—all working together to create the world that we want.”

When we dare to stand up for our beliefs or to follow through on our big dreams and ideas, when we act as though what we say and do in the world matters—matters greatly—we are leading.

In other words, leadership is a way of life, an expression of our fullest and best nature, our unique gifts. And it starts on the inside.  

“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” writes John C. Maxwell, in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. “If you can become the leader you ought to be on theinside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside.”

Qualities of Leadership

Because leadership is inextricably connected to who we are deep down, every leader has a different style. Some lead with their eccentric, charismatic selves on full, charming display. Other leaders bear no banners and sound no trumpets. But the inner qualities that make for effective leadership remain constant among all types of leaders:Positive attitude. Leaders know they can alter their lives by altering their minds. Self-discipline, a sense of security and confidence blossom in the presence of a positive attitude.

A drive for learning—from others, from opportunities, from mistakes. Those who stop learning, stop growing.

Unwavering commitment. No great leader has ever lacked commitment. True commitment requires and inspires courage, passion, focus, initiative and responsibility.

Communication. Sharing knowledge is essential; even more important is listening. As President Woodrow Wilson said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

Interest in others. The best leaders thrive on helping others achieve their personal best; they are motivated by a desire for the highest good for all rather than personal glory.

Imagine a world full of everyday leaders.

How Happy Are You?

How to Support Your Own Happiness

When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!”

At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. But with the economy rolling downhill, the vision of our own prosperity can seem like a tiny, inflatable raft in an ocean of fear. In such unstable times, the pursuit of happiness can feel like a taunt rather than an inalienable right.

Still, it’s worth the effort. Emerging research shows that while trauma has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn to be happier. In fact, the most popular class at Harvard University is one in which students learn to train their brains to cultivate what instructor Tal Ben-Shahar calls the ultimate currency: happiness.

Why Happiness Matters
Medical evidence suggests being unhappy affects our memory and our capacity to learn, while increasing the risk of illness.

On the flip side, happier people are more likely to:
•  be more creative, confident and productive.
•  have a stronger network of allies and friends.
•  be sick less often and get well faster.

How to Support Your Own Happiness
If you would like to train your brain for happiness, consider some of these ideas:

Decide that you want to be happier. When you make that decision, you start to notice choices for happiness that you may have missed before. Those choices may be small, such as lying down for 10 minutes when you’re tired rather than powering through a task, but you start to create a habit of seeking happiness that grows.

Acknowledge your feelings. When you feel distressed, don’t make it worse by beating yourself up for being upset. Do your best to accept your feelings. When you give your feelings respect and attention, they usually begin to shift on their own, and you start to feel better.

Work with your thoughts. If you’re having thoughts that are hurtful to you, try reaching for a better thought or scenario that you can actually believe. For instance, if you’re worried about losing your job, recall something stable in your life, whether it’s your partner’s income or your healthy savings account. When your mind returns to the worry, bring it back to the better-feeling thought.

Celebrate success. Whether it’s the achievement of a major goal or a week when your children got along, take in the accomplishment, and give yourself and your children a pat on the back.

Seek meaning. Happiness comes from doing something that gives us pleasure and meaning. If your job doesn’t provide that, find something that does. It could be a hobby, volunteering, taking a course, or allowing time to read a book or cook something tasty.

Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything that makes your day better, from a colleague’s smile to your morning latte.

As you practice happiness and make it a habit, you’ll find yourself in a lovely upward spiral that will support you through challenging times

Change Your Actions, Change Your Mood

While we wish we could be happy, joyful, and enthusiastic about life all the time, inevitably at times we are going to encounter challenges, stresses, conflicts or health issues that put us in a slump.

During those times that you find yourself in a temporary negative mood and you need a little boost, you can shift your biochemistry through your thoughts and behaviors. 

Here are 10 ways to deal with negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors when you want or need to be more positive. Taking any of these steps can shift your outlook.

  1. Acknowledge that you are feeling down and examine what’s been going on to see if there is a specific reason. When you do, your thinking changes from “I’m angry, grumpy (or whatever the feeling)” to “Oh, this is why I’m feeling the way I do.”
  2. Give yourself a time period to “wallow” in your emotion – but try to keep it short, less than a ½ day.
  3. Call an emotionally intelligent friend and ask to talk. Many times we can talk our way out of negative thoughts.
  4. Get up and move. Take a walk, force yourself to exercise – if only for 5 minutes, dance, do some sit-up, or take your dog for a walk.
  5. Make a list of the things in life you are grateful for.
  6. Write or draw picture of your feelings – even if you’re not a writer or an artist. Try doodling and see what emerges.
  7. Think of something to look forward to — if you don’t have anything, then get out your calendar and plan something.
  8. Immerse yourself into something that distract you – a good book, movie or magazine. A craft project.
  9. Smile at yourself in the mirror – even if you don’t feel like it.
  10.  Reach out to someone who appreciates your attention – even a phone call will do.

During the next few days, be aware of how your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors relate to each other. And if you want to change your mood, try the tips above and watch the magic happen.

Choose Happiness

Your Life, Your Design
Have you ever read a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book?
 
If you have, then you will remember that at various points in the story, you are presented with two or three options. “To follow the man into the cave, turn to page 43. To return to the village, turn to page 57.”
It’s a really cool concept that turns a story into a game. You passively enjoy the plot for a while, then you get to dive in and make your move.
 
These books are like training wheels for your life. The only difference is, in your “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, you are the audience and the author.
 
Every day in your real life you are presented with choices. If you don’t like them, you can create a new one. Sure, it may seem that your options are limited by finances, family, employment or education, but remember this…
 
YOU are a powerful, intelligent, creative human being
with ample, unseen resources.
Your life is your choice, your design.
 
And the really fun part is this…you aren’t doing it alone. You are writing your story with the help of everyone around you. Your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers give you fresh choices and story prompts every day. 
 
When you activate your inner author, other people’s choices become inspirations for your own. Obstacles become hurdles to leap over and bounce points to send your adventure in exciting new directions. Opportunities create new paths to explore.  Every moment is a chance to make your next move and design your story and craft the adventures you want to live.
 
Ask yourself, who are the characters in your story, and what role or influence do they play in your life? Who do you spend your time with? How do you spend your time?  Where do live?  What is your lifestyle?  What do you do that brings you ultimate fulfillment in your life? 
 
It’s your story, you get to design it.  And the sky is the limit.
And we all want to create more happiness in our lives.


3 Simple Habits To a Happier You
We all want a happy life. Happiness brings with it better health, more satisfying relationships, it makes us more creative, and attracts happy people into our lives. But being happy can be a challenge. It’s easy to set our focus on the bad things in life while ignoring the good.
Here three proven habits to help shift the spotlight back onto the good things and create more happiness in your life:
Practice gratitude. People who express gratitude on a consistent basis are more optimistic, less materialistic, and more forgiving. Here’s one method of harnessing the positive power of gratitude:

  • On a piece of paper rank your happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being ‘never’ and 10 being ‘all the time’. Seal your answer in an envelope and set it aside. At the end of each day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It can be ordinary (clean running water) or uplifting (watching your child graduate). After two weeks, rank your happiness again and compare it with your original score. Chances are you’re significantly happier.

Perform acts of kindness. Giving not only benefits the receiver, it contributes to the givers’ health, happiness, and sense of social connection. Try this simple exercise to get started:

  • Chose one day this week and perform 5 acts of kindness. They can be big or small, random or planned, for a stranger or someone you know. Dropping a quarter in a stranger’s parking meter, donating blood, or, at work try cleaning the communal kitchen area, or pitching in on a colleague’s project. At the end of the day write down what you did, how the person responded, and notice the difference you feel.

Offer forgiveness. Keeping grudges means holding onto anger, resentment, and hurt. Practicing forgiveness releases the pain and allows us to move on.

  • Think of a grudge you’re holding. Acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, and sensations around the experience then ask yourself, what areas in my life is this grudge negatively affecting? How is it impacting those around meWhat positive change would occur if I let it go and moved on? Forgiveness isn’t about minimizing feelings or condoning transgressions. It’s about letting go and setting yourself free.

We all experience life’s ups and downs. By implementing these habits into your daily life you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever challenge life throws at you and experience more happiness. You deserve a happy life!