Happiness

A college friend called me tonight to share her happiness. She had attended a workshop I created called “Balancing Boulders:  Strategies for Managing the Stressors in Your Life.” At the time of the class, not quite eighteen months ago, her business was challenging.  She reminded me tonight as she held two signed real estate offers — one in excess of $1.6 million.

A few months ago she applied advice from the class to manage her boulders, those entities ( people, circumstances, finances, relationships–any thing that blocks energy to move forward, to live her dreams).  Operating from her personal power zone, now  she can just think about the profile  the profile of the clients she wants, they appear. Her reputation at work is getting a makeover. Offers for partnering are frequent. Life is on high.

What is different?

My friend changed her point of view. She decided to remove her boulders and step into her business life with a positive attitude. She expected success. She let her energy flow in the direction of her dreams. She could the ride the waves of the real estate market  with an attitude of fun and adventure.

Her happiness was contagious. I had tears of joy in my eyes and in my voice.  I kept saying her name and shaking my head from side to side. Her happiness was the medicine I needed. I did not need to tell her of my recent good fortune of standing in the middle of a miracle–being affirmed that living on purpose is a gift from God. I needed to feel the best kind of happiness, the kind when you know that with a little support, someone else had tapped into her invisible power and felt the rush–the audacious rush of empowerment.

Happiness is a healing balm. It just feels so good.

 

 

Holding On to Self

We need to be intentional about holding on to Self. It is so easy to have an emotional hijacking where someone, intent on stealing your joy, can walk into your office, your classroom, your work space, your life–and tries to just walk off with all of your energy.  When we work hard to be positive, to see the glass as half full always, we have to protect our hearts–build a hedge around it to keep the bad stuff at bay.

I am surprised sometimes when I talk to someone and hear the victim’s voice: “I can’t believe she said that to me.”  “I can’t control what happens to me.” I don’t know what to do, how to respond.”

I offer this piece of advice.

  • First, take three deep breaths.
  • Count your blessings one by one more than twice.
  • Look inside to find your strength.
  • Lean on a power much greater than yourself.
  • Realize that you are unique and wonderfully made.
  • Smile so big on the inside until your body feels empowered.
  • Park your emotional baggage in the corner.
  • Frame your words carefully and with grace.
  • Speak from your heart and not from your emotions.
  • Seek clarity: “Are you understanding what I am saying?”
  • Pause.
  • Listen.
  • Commend yourself for standing up for yourself.

It’s important to hold on to your Self. It connects you to your Source.

Are You Awake Inside of Your Life?

I can’t act like this is a heavy question I have been pondering for weeks. It just jumped inside my head and demanded to be the blog post today as I resume/or start to really explore my thinking out loud on paper. The better question is more personal: “Am I Awake Inside of My Own Life?” Focusing on the laser-driven question reminds me to check  inside before going out into the world.  It matters that I am awake and fully present inside of my life.

I am committed to have my personal and professional missions be aligned.  This needs my alert and ready attention. I want to enjoy the riches from my life and career.  This means holding a sacred space for my husband, family and friends. Only I can orchestrate that the things I enjoy most on the professional side are congruent with what I enjoy most on the personal side. I don’t want to snooze through that song. At this stage of my life, I am really hearing the music of my soul.

I do feel awake inside of my own life. But I also know I can drift into cruise control: waking up each day without a plan or commitment to finishing something started. It doesn’t matter if it is knitting a scarf or finishing another chapter on my memoir.  What I know for sure is that being fully awake, accounted for my own dreams requires the energy to will it so and the power to believe.  I have energy to unleash to make my dreams come true. I have stories to tell that will help and heal. I have songs to write to rock the melody of my own life. Yeah! I am awake.

I am here now.

Investing in You

When is the last time you took a class, listened to a podcast, watched a You Tube video to learn something new.  Time passes quickly and before you know it, your career in on the down swing with dreams left on the table. Like crumbs, those dreams get swept away–along with your energy, your confidence, and your courage. Langston Hughes told us to hold fast to dreams.  Invest in yourself: hire a coach, seek a mentor, enroll in a class, start as Mastermind Group. Do something to invest in you because you are worth it.

Beginning Again

It seems I am always at the beginning…and that’s a good thing. Have you ever thought about how good it can feel to not know the answer, to not know what is ahead? For me, that is a feeling of anticipation, exhilaration, and mystery. This morning I thumbed through some of the journals I have kept over the years. In my coaching journal (yes! There are two from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program). This journal captures me in development, in the midst of being a beginner. The very first day of class, the professor instructed us to write in very big letters on the front pages of our journal: “I AM A GREAT COACH.” He then instructed us to turn the page and to also write in big letters: “IN THE DOMAIN OF COACHING, I AM A BEGINNER.”

I had not visited this journal in awhile. But now that I have engaged a writing coach, I honor beginning this part of my journey as a true beginner.

“September 13, 2009: At this stage of my development, I enter with a beginner’s mind and am open to the possibilities waiting for me. The Universe has opened a door to a new world of learning and developing. I am filled with grace and gratitude.”

I feel alive this morning for many reasons. Honoring the guidance of my writing coach, I woke up early–5:46 to be exact. I quietly went to my creative space that overlooks the backyard and set the timer for twenty minutes–five minutes more than the last instruction from last week. I responded to the prompt: “This life matters.” When the timer went off I set it for ten additional minutes twice. At the end, even I was surprised where my thoughts landed. In one minute I was in the present and soon transported under the Alabama house on stilts, laying on red clay at three years old. I now marvel at the power of memory when we really believe that our lives matter. Something happened under that house. Memory may serve me well if I trust the process of mining my thoughts and embrace the courage to go deeper.

The joy of beginning again. It helps the heart embrace us warts, roses and life that matters.

Dream Plan: Write the Vision!

Dreams are funny. Some of us spend time building the bridge to our dream. Some of us can see our dreams coming true. When we do, it is a feeling of exhilaration, of goosebumps, of satisfaction. Sadly, some of us have our dreams in lay-away. Those dreams are tucked so far inside the lay-away lanes of our hearts, that we feel as if we have lost the ticket to redeem the dream. Redemption is possible. Here are eleven ways to redeem your dreams, to dust them off, and give yourself a fresh start in the next chapter of your life’s journey:

  1. Write down your dreams
  2. Post them where you can see them
  3. Put a “time certain” for fruition
  4. Make a dream plan
  5. Assess your resources for making them come true
  6. Find a trusted guide to help you be accountable to you
  7. Carve out time for your dream building just as you carve out time for business appointments or doing for others
  8. Commit to making your dream fruition you number one priority
  9. Document your steps and milestones, even the setbacks
  10. Begin each day checking in with yourself and your dream plan
  11. Expect the blessing.