Category Archives: Happiness

5 Keys for Living the Life of Your Dreams

DEAR-DynamicIf you’ve been with me for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about the BAR Theory where your beliefs shape your actions and your actions highly influence the results you attain in life.
This ‘new’ model reflects more recent things I’ve been studying about how life works: how to accomplish what you want without having to ‘force’ it or ‘make it happen’ through direct activity and hard work.

It all starts with your desire which is fueled by your emotion. But not the emotion you experience today about not yet having your heart’s desire (like frustration, disappointment, worry, etc.). But rather bringing into your experience TODAY, the emotion EXPECT to feel once you HAVE your heart’s desire. The key is feeling that joy NOW even without the presence of the thing you’re longing for. It’s a far more graceful (literally, full of grace) process that still gets the job done.

Here are 5 keys to living the life of your dreams:

1. Allow yourself to dream
It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced world in which we live, rushing from meeting to meeting, from job to family, from cooking, cleaning, and producing to bill paying, from driving to more driving and sometimes, from emergency to emergency. It feels like power and energy arise from some outside phenomena.

It’s critical though to carve out time to just be and be present: to relax, reflect, day dream,  meditate, pray, journal. Just feel yourself and the power within you. When we lead dramatically busy lives, it’s hard to find that quiet, knowing yourself sometimes.

Schedule it. Do it daily.

2. Listen to your heart (or your intuition or your inner voice or the VOG)
As soon as I heard the words, “feel the earth under my feet” this morning, I was ‘rewarded’ with a cash prize. OK, it was a small prize (a quarter), but how often to you find quarters on the ground, far away from any retail establishment where they may have been in motion?

You may have heard me share about another time I heard the VOG (voice of God) several years ago when I was sitting in a confernce room participating in a guided meditation, when the VOG told me, “You should make jewelry.” It was such a clear message, I immediately went out and started telling people I was starting a jewelry design business even though I had only ever made one pair of earrings in high school art class.

That turned out to be my first entrepreneurial venture and was so successful, it funded nearly a month in Africa (Tanzania and Zanzibar), exploring, safari-ing and living in “the bush” with the Maasai.

3. Be grateful for ‘what is’
When you feel frustrated because things aren’t going as planned, and you linger in that frustration, it just keeps the object of your desire at bay. The key is to appreciate the things that are already working in your life (even if you have to really hunt for them) and focus on them. You’ve probably heard, ‘What gets measured, gets managed”.

Here is an interesting quote, “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”  Jose Ortega y Gasset

Read more quotes on attention here. www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/pay_attention.html#6SWlWXb1hgGyKGRQ.99

4. Do good in the world.
Make it a practice to do everything you can to make the world a better place. Be kind. Recycle. Do no harm. Pay it forward. Help someone else. Live purposefully and conscientiously. Recognize you’re in a community and collaborate with those around you for the good of the community and its individual members. Stive to help people get their authentic needs met. Be a positive energy and voice in the the world. Be a part of the solution rather than harping on all the problems.

5. Expect things to turn out well.
Just last week, a dear friend shared this thought: “God responds to expectations, not prayers”. Not to knock prayers. I do pray, often. But there’s something about the certainty and knowingness of expectations that energizes you from the inside that warrants consideration. It’s the BAR Theory. If you expect things to turn out poorly, they likely will.

On a related note, Art Linkletter (am I dating myself here?) said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

And I’ve always said, “We have more options than we generally see, and more control than we tend to take.”

5 Top Tips for Getting What You Want

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-large570At the beginning of the year, many people make New Year’s resolutions, vowing to bring some new quality into their lives.

Progress is always a good thing. And the DECISION to make progress is the first step.

Unfortunately, if not done properly, setting goals doesn’t always get you to your destination. Whether it’s a promise made at the stroke of midnight or a commitment made at some other time, there are important aspects to those desires that help ensure they will be made manifest.
Here are my 5 tips for getting what you want:

1. Be clear
Know what you want. When you know where you’re heading, the path to get there becomes more apparent. Desire is one of the key secret ingredients to a better live. Avoid focusing on where you DON’T want to be and keep your attention on your desired outcome.

2. Be explicit
In addition to being clear, be explicit, meaning make that picture crystal clear. If you can put a number with it (15 pounds), all the better. Articulate in as much detail as you can muster. The Universe may reward you with something slightly different, but the process of you getting so clear that you CAN be explicit will help you ferret out what’s really important to you.

3. Be expressive
Expressiveness has two aspects. One reflects a deep emotion related to the object of your desire like joy, accomplishment, security. It’s important to FEEL the way you’ll feel once the goal is in hand BEFORE it’s in your hand. That feeling attracts the thing to you.

The second aspect is an outward expression of your desire. Go public with your goal. It’s amazing how much more likely you’ll be to take action if the world knows what you’re up to than if you’re dealing with it in secrecy. Ask for support and help. Tell people why it’s important to you and even how it’s realization will benefit THEM. That What’s-in-it-for-me? aspect will really get them in your corner.

4. Be persistent
While the goal may get reached quickly, it’s likely to take some time. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble or lack of progress. Persist. Believe in yourself. Belief in your goal. If you need the help of others, believe in them. If they seem to have lost interest, re-engage them. It’s YOUR goal, not theirs necessarily. They may have forgotten. Remind them why it’s important. Be polite but relentlessly persistent.

5. Be-lieve
The number one factor that makes the prior four possible is to believe. When you believe, you can be clear, explicit, expressive and persistent. Goals do not always get completely quickly. Sometimes when goals/dreams are first born, the circumstances surrounding the beholder might make the goal seem completely unrealistic. Never look to your circumstances to validate your dreams. Clearly, you need to be aware of your circumstances and the point from which you are starting. But belief has overcome many a hurdle while lack of it has stopped many dead in their tracks.

See it. Say it. Believe it. Be it!

 

5 More Facets of Being Extraordinary

extraordinary2My last article on being extraordinary received such rave reviews, I thought I would continue with a few more simple ideas.

1. Bring people together. Don’t separate them.
The world is filled with real and potential conflict. Conflict is a way of life. It won’t be avoided so long as people have different values, motivations, wants, goals, thought patterns and desires (the list goes on).

Conflict is inevitable. However, an extraordinary person seeks not just to fan the flames but to bring resolution to the issue. (As the ‘revolutionaries’ of the 70s used to say, ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’)

Complaining and protesting have their place but true progress is made with people collaborate and create solutions that meet the needs of the parties in conflict. Positions are hard to meld. Interests, on the other hand, once thoroughly uncovered can be addressed. When groups or individuals are at odds over something, strive to discover their underlying interests and needs. Focus on them, not the ‘solution’ each of them is arguing for.

2. Respect people’s partners.
The last article spoke about the importance of respecting people’s property and not taking what isn’t yours. This idea builds on that one. While people aren’t property, respecting existing relationships will deter a whole lot of ‘mess’ and drama.

A colleague of mine found herself on the verge of a triangle – 2 triangles really. She and her attraction were both married, neither happily. But before they ‘jumped in’, they both ended their relationships so they could start with a clean slate. It was still hard, but at least they didn’t muddy their existing relationships with an extra person. Realizing how unhappy they individually were, they courageous decisions, untangled their commitments and then moved forward together.

3. Don’t waste other people’s time.
One of the bullets in the last article had to do with making the world a better place. It seems that the way some people feel empowered is by usurping the energy and time of those around them. If you ask people for things you don’t need or create processes that are unnecessary, just because you can, you’re doing damage. You’re wasting valuable resources, time and energy just to build yourself up. Don’t do that.

4. Avoid fascination with other people’s problems.
Unfortunately, an entire genre of ‘reality’ shows are dedicated to telecasting people’s troubled lives. People who watch have said that seeing the issues others face make them feel better about their own lives. I know that’s possible, but here’s another alternative.

Do proactive, positive things in your own life and feel good about that rather than measuring yourself as ‘superior’ to people who can’t get it together. Shape your life the way you want. Set the bar high and get to work. Living vicariously while judging others poorly isn’t a good way to move forward.

5.  When someone else is happy or successful, celebrate and enjoy it.
The ‘cheap’ approach is to be envious and diminish their success. It’s the counterpoint to the bullet above. If they’re ‘all that’, they must have cheated or they must be bad humans.

When people accomplish great things, especially things you’d like to have, you must appreciate it, even if you don’t like the person. Doing otherwise tells the Universe you don’t like success, you don’t value having a lot of money, you don’t want to get promoted.  Don’t be a hater! Celebrate the success of others and keep doing what it takes to create that success for yourself.

I heard this great line at my conference last week, “If you’re not getting recognized as fast as you believe you should, make sure you’re doing everything you can to be WORTHY of recognition.”

7 Principles for Extracting the Extraordinary in You

extraordinaryWhat does it take to live an extraordinary life? What would that mean for you on a day-to-day basis?

I was recently reminded of some simple (yet not necessarily easy-to-do) concepts that if installed in your life would place you squarely on the higher road, the road less traveled.

I’m still working on some aspect of each of these myself. It’s a lifelong discipline. Not for the faint of heart, but surely well worth the effort.

1. Be truthful.
Being truthful is about honesty and accuracy. The accuracy aspect is about re-conveying an experience such that your words evoke the thoughts and emotions you experienced in the person you’re sharing with. While each of us has our own perspective of life and interpretation  of events, if your intention is to have them experience what you did, you’re on the right track. No shading of the truth to make yourself look better.

Additionally, the honesty aspect will likely cause you so alter your behavior. You may have heard the phrase, ‘Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.’ Living your commitment to transparency encourages good behavior and lack of deception at work and home.

2. Give more than you take.
Give freely of your time, love and money. Give generously and not with the expectation that your gifts will be repaid. Purposeful giving fulfills you. It’s almost like you’re not giving for the benefit of the recipient. Make life easier for yourself and others. Don’t forget yourself. The problem some over-givers encounter is that they deplete themselves in the process and end up feeling resentful.

3. Don’t take what isn’t yours.
This is more than just ‘don’t steal’. It’s about not benefiting from ‘mistakes’. Now I’m all for serendipity and miracles and to be honest, I don’t know that I can tell you how to distinguish between those incidents and the ones that are to be avoided. I think the barometer here may be how you feel internally although the internal barometers of habitual ‘takers’ are probably flawed.

Here’s an example…My husband and I were shopping in a store last week. We bought something together and each paid for half in cash. The cashier gave us both our change back, but it seemed like too much. I didn’t say anything, not sure there was a problem, but the more I thought about it, the more I was pretty sure we got too much change. My mind tried to justify it by telling me ‘It’s a big store. They won’t notice it.’ But my heart felt something else. So I went back to the store, found the clerk and reminded him of the transaction. He couldn’t really validate the error with their sales system and ended up telling me to keep the $5 for my honesty.

I left feeling happier, but I still feel like giving that $5 to someone who needs it more will make me even happier. Think “Pay it forward.”

4. Make the world a better place
Do your actions make life easier for those around you? Is the world a better place because of what you think, do and say each day?

Or do you make people jump through hoops to get your favor? Do you consistently ‘block’ other people’s progress?

How would you behave differently if you knew your purpose was to leave the world in a better place because you lived here? Be constructive. Be helpful.

5. Honor life.
All living beings have the right to their lives. Respect them. This applies to not only to humans (even the ones you don’t like) but to non-human creatures as well. Last summer, I accidentally severed a praying mantis while pruning some plants. I was heartsick as he stared at me mournfully it seemed, with half of his abdominal cavity missing.

While I carefully carry spiders out of my home, I still intentionally kill crickets and scorpions when I find them inside. I guess now, I’ll work on finding some non-lethal way to rid them from my home when I encounter them.

6. Do no harm.
Intentionally ending the life of another (even an ant), when living rigorously, is an extreme measure. But what about the ‘little’ harms we do during the course of life?

Have you ever tried to get someone in trouble at home or work without first discussing the situation with them with the intent to resolve it? Do you gossip?  Do you have nasty, judgmental thoughts about others?

Once I took this discipline on, I had to confront the judgments I made of others. Casting frequent silent aspersions seemed automatic at times. I’ve taken on the practice now of blessing people, especially those my internal judge initially denounces.

7. Recognize that you are the source of everything.
It’s easy to blame others for the status of the world and even for your experience of your own personal life. In the training and coaching I do, I often share the concept of “Those idiots over there…”. When you place blame on your co-workers, spouse, children, parents, siblings, neighbors, strangers, political opponents, you rob yourself of power. You pine for changes in them. You want to ‘fix’ them.

You can’t change them. You’ll never change them. And if you wait for that, you’ll be in misery forever.

The only person you can change is you. The only person who can change the experience of the life you are living is you.

When you shift your thinking, emotional responses and actions, you will start having a new experience of life. Additionally, your new perspective, behavior and words will eventually impact the people around you and their response to you will likely change as well. The dynamic of your relationship will be different.

So stop trying to fix them. Work on improving yourself.

One of my favorite sayings is, “We all have more options that we generally see and more control than we tend to take”. So I challenge you to implement the ideas mentioned here. Open your eyes to options that are currently hidden from your view and take control of the way you live your life.

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Find More Focus, Make More Money, Enjoy Life More

Focus is defined as “a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity.

I love that the first ‘focus’ is ‘attraction’! That connotes a purposeful flow of energy that arises when one is focused. When our attention is focused, I believe the Universe lines up to support our intention.

I’ll never forget all of the things that came to me when I started my first business, Laibon: Charms for the Soul™. It was a jewelry

design and retail company.

I won’t go into the entire creation of it, but here’s the short version. In a guided meditation, a voice said to me, in a very matter-of-fact tone, “You should make jewelry.”

I love jewelry and ALWAYS stopped by jewelry booths at art & wine festivals. So, even though I had only made one pair of earrings in high school art class, I said “OK” to the command in my head.

I left the session and immediately began telling people I was going to start a jewelry company and as a result, amazing things began to happen.

One person told me about a great place I could go near where I lived to take a class on how to make jewelry.

Another told me about a fabulous bead store, also close to my home.

A different person told me how to get started selling at the art and wine festivals.

An author shared with me his publications that rated the shows from the artists perspective and said which ones were retail sales winners and which to stay away from.

A hypnotherapist offered to put my first batch of creations on display at her kick-off-the-new-year workshop.

An attendee said “I LOVE your work. I’d pay more than that for these!”

A bead store sales person said “When you collect sales tax, immediately transfer it to a different account so you don’t spend all your earnings and then have nothing left to pay the quarterly taxes” (Great advice)

So, why is focus so important?

1. When you focus, you get excited.
Nothing robs your energy like not sitting around doing ‘whatever’. Once I got clear about my new venture, I was on a mission. Even though I knew next to nothing about making jewelry, I new I was on to something I loved and I was like an eager little child, all wild-eyed and bushy-tailed (where did that expression come from anyway?)

2. When you focus, it’s easier to make decisions
Procrastination often arises from confusion. So when the confusion is swept away, taking action is easy. Any other thing you could do becomes less desirable and drops to the bottom of the to-do list (if one even exists).

3. When you focus, the world lines up to support you
I recall the quote attributed to Goethe (that apparently may not have been truly his

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back–
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth
that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

That jewelry company birthed my entrepreneurial spirit and paid for a 3 1/2- week trip for a safari in Tanzania and a week in Zanzibar.

So, take heed. Take a stand. Take action. Grab life and move forward.

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