Posts tagged ‘happiness’

April 24, 2011

From overwhelmed to calm

by Dandy

We are all powerful people.  But powerful people have their limits.  How is your power being weakened throughout the days, weeks, months as we lead our professional, home, and personal lives?  There are aspects of our lives that can be creative, happy, and engaging in the right setting, but all too frequently we find ourselves overwhelmed and doubting our abilities.

We certainly all know the feelings of being overwhelmed and over extended.  Of having to put our time and energy into the frustrations of life.  In a state of being over extended we may find that our personal relationships are suffering.  We may find ourselves uninspired to connect in meaningful ways with our loved ones.  For some of us may find our jobs have become our primary relationship and our job has become an unforgiving taskmaster.

Health can suffer.  We may find ourselves unable to fall asleep or stay asleep with the nagging worries we have.  Unhealthy eating or not eating enough, our bodies become lethargic and weakened.  Purposeful exercise feels like it would be a luxury.  We are in a state of overwhelm when…

*Our shoulders feel the weight of the world on them.

* We wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts of worry.

*  We don’t look forward to doing what once brought us great happiness.

*  We find ourselves thinking if we only worked harder or did better than we could make it all work out.

Different choices need to be made when we are overwhelmed.  The following strategy will be able to help identify and get out of the over extendedness and prevent it from happing again.

  Know Your Limits

We must be able to recognize when we are over extended.  So many of us have been fighting and pushing for so long that we see it as normal.  Everyone of us has signs that let us know we’ve hit our limit and those signs are present before we are overwhelmed.  This is the line between being happily busy and productive to being overwhelmed.  To discover our limits we need to think back to a time to when we were happily busy and productive…functioning, not stressed.  What were we doing?  How were we doing it?  Discovering our limits requires an inner journey to discover how we want the rhythm of our life to happen.  By knowing our limits we can avoid or notice it more quickly and be able to correct it sooner.

  Change Priorities

When in the state of overwhelm there is a different way of prioritizing  that supports us, it is a mindset of crisis intervention, so to speak.  Rather than looking at the most important items and plugging away, look to complete the easiest.  So the project that can be done the fastest and easiest.

  Focus On the Inner Journey

Being overwhelmed is a state of mind.  Thoughts such as, “how am I going to get all of this done?” and “I don’t have any time for me anymore.”  Feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fatigue are telling us that we are running on fumes.  We must be mindful of filling ourselves up, with creativity, positivity, joy, and vitality.  This is our fuel.  When we recognize that our positive emotions are depleting, we must give ourselves the time and attention necessary to bring balance back into our lives.

  Restful Days

Just as our bodies need recharging, so do our minds.  This requires rest on a regular basis.  This means taking a day out of every week where the focus is on rest.  The rest of our days are already filled up with work, school, laundry, and grocery shopping.  A day of rest requires a different sort of energy… one of calmness, recharging, relaxing, and fun.  By taking this one day a week for ourselves, we are supported in keeping our creativity high and the ability to meet whatever presents itself to us in a positive manner.

Make the choice to choose a strategy that will have you transforming feelings of being over extended into feelings of calmness.  Know that you deserve it.

April 11, 2011

Spring cleaning for the soul

by Dandy

“To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and the psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.”
~Anaïs Nin~

It’s Spring!  For most of the U.S. this has been a very long and snowy Winter.  People are in need of the warmth of the sun and the chirping of birds to awaken the soul.  Nature is stepping out from her slumber and into the abundance of budding trees and sun reaching flowers.    These cues from nature are beautiful invitations to help us in identifying, releasing, and letting go of the excess, of the things that are perhaps weighing us down in our lives.

On an inner level we must “clean house” every now and then and take inventory of what we are holding onto.

Sometimes we find ourselves holding onto habits, resentments, limiting beliefs, fears and certain ways of being, because they feel safe and comfortable since we’ve been holding onto them for so long.  Yet if we were to take a closer look, we can start to see that these things no longer serve us and in fact we are standing in our own way of moving forward.

Imagine the old tree metaphor – what would happen if a tree never lost its leaves?  It would never look bare.  It would always be full and abundant.  Yet if trees never shed itself of their leaves there would never be the space or opportunity to grow new leafs, new ideas, new ways of thinking, new opportunities.  So how do we begin to identify and let go of the things that we are ready to release?

First we must claim some special time for ourselves.  We’ll need to go outside to a place that is special to us, a river, a park, an old hiking trail, a place that feels safe and sacred.  Bring a notebook and pen.

Second, center ourselves.  Feel the ground, take in deep breaths of the Spring air and the energy of release and letting go.  Next, answer these questions…

1.  What is wasting your time and energy?

2.  What feels like a burden to you?

3.  What habits or patterns leave you feeling tired, overwhelmed, or bored?

4.  What are you most fearful right now?

Analyse your answers and compose a list of 5 things you are ready to let go of.  These things should be what we know in our hearts that no longer serve us, even though  they may feel comfortable.

Next take 5 stones.  Each one of these stones represents the one thing we need to release, surrender, and let go.  Make it clear what each stone represents.  Take a moment as you pick each stone from the ground, take a breath, feel it in your hand as you say aloud, “this stone represents my resentment of _________”.  Or “this stone represents my relationship with ________”.  Allow each stone to take on the energy of the thing you need to release.

Then take a walk with your stones.  Make a note of how these stones burden you and weigh you down.  Note how they’ve gotten in your way of peace and contentment.  Then as you are ready, drop them to the ground, one by one.  Feel the symbolism of letting each one go.  If you are near water, toss them into it, listen to the splash, visualize it sinking and disappearing.

Notice how it feels in your body.  Where do you feel it the most?  Is it in your throat, your chest, your head, your shoulders?  Breathe.

The last step is for us to write down an action step for each of the items.  What will you do in replacement of what you have released?  Keep this list where you will always see it.

What do you need to let go of?  What beliefs have been holding you back?

February 14, 2011

How to be a couple extraordinaire

by Dandy

In honor of Valentine’s Day I wrote a list on how to be a great couple all year round.  Being in a relationship is one thing, but being in a healthy, happy relationship is another.  I’ve been with my sweetheart for over 7 years.  We’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t.  We are still learning actually.  People grow and change over the years.  It’s important to grow together, to support each other, to be friends as well as lovers. 

  1. Reminisce about happy times.
  2. Accept one another.
  3. Have time with each other that doesn’t involve the tv, phone, internet, etc;
  4. Make future plans together whether it’s a camping trip, or trying out a new coffee shop.
  5. Watch comedies and laugh together.
  6. Be courteous – always.
  7. Always kiss goodnight and good morning.
  8. Read books, poetry, or bible verses to each other.
  9. Act silly together.
  10. Never, ever speak badly about your partner behind their backs, ever.
  11. Everyday tell someone one nice thing about your partner.
  12. Tell them about your day.  Did something make you think of them?
  13. Don’t compare them to anyone.
  14. Give them your full attention when talking.
  15. Lavish them with praise.
  16. Ask about their thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
  17. Take pride in them and show it.
  18. Say you’re sorry.
  19. Do nothing together.
  20. Pray or meditate together.
  21. Give each other space.
  22. Encourage their interests.  If something feeds their soul, it should be held sacred by you.
  23. Learn something new together.
  24. Make each other cookies.
  25. Forgive them.
  26. Let go of pettiness.
  27. Leave love notes.
  28. Keep promises.
  29. Give them a deep, wet kiss that lingers forever.
  30. Whisper I love you, in their ear.  It sounds so nice that way. 

A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude”    -Rilke

What have you found that promotes growth and happiness in a relationship?

January 31, 2011

The tragedy of self-deception and the gift of honesty

by Dandy

One of the biggest challenges to obtaining happiness is by living in denial and by telling ourselves lies and half-truths.  This self-deception enables us to live in negativity and invest in people who help us to create illusions.  This means we are resistant to acceptance, truth, and change.  If we didn’t resist, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we would have to see things in reality and possibly have to make big change and most importantly of all – take action.

When we deny and lie to ourselves, we:

*  Focus on somebody elses problems to distract from looking at ourselves.

*  Act happier than we feel, that we eventually lose touch with who we are, how we feel, and what our values are.  Bad behavior is seen as normal.

*  Become defensive or even aggressive when people say what we don’t want to hear.  This can result in us isolating ourselves, because we’re not ready to hear the truth.

*  Claim we want to make others happy, because it’s easier to do this rather than put the work into ourselves.  We think our happiness will be a by-product, but we end up often trying to make the wrong types of people happy.

*  Hold onto anger, frustration, and indignation for a long time.  We replay and analyse the situation.  Brood over the woulda, shoulda, coulda, and basically holding on “it” or “them” as a security blanket.

*  Create obstacles to why we can’t change or improve, and use these as reasons to remain fearful, and spend more time worrying than experiencing the reality of these fears.

*  Claim that the reasons we continue to engage with someone or something is for reasons that it’s not. 

*  Say it’s them not us.

*  Become so distanced from our true selves, that we become inauthentic, acting out of sync with our values, doing one thing and saying another.

Denial and lies let us keep telling ourselves the “story” that rolls around in our mind about what we believe to be true about ourselves, about other people, life, love, etc.

If we really want improvement and change in our lives that results in happiness, self-love, loving relationships, we have to minimise the lies and have an honest inner dialogue with ourselves so that we can get back to our real self.

This gives us boundaries, lets us know what feels right, wrong, good, bad, and basically treats us with respect, trust, kindness, and love.

We have all seen people participate in relationships where there are obvious red flags, but they were so wrapped up in all the illusions that they just didn’t see ir, or denied it.  They decided there were no problems, or that the problem was less than what it really was.  That if they love enough the problems will go away.  They think the good in the person outweighs or cancels out the bad.

To put an end to these deceptive illusions means minimising the amount of dishonesty in our lives, especially what we have total control over – ourselves.  No deceptions, no rose-colored glasses, no normalizing bad behavior.  No pretending to be or feel things that we don’t.  We will then stop being participants in unhealthy relationships and situations.  We will be able to catch ourselves and say, “no that isn’t the truth.”  There will be no excuses.  We will be accountable and we won’t shy away from the responsibility that we have to ourselves.

By stopping the denial and lying and start being truly honest, we will be more likely to take action and do something about a problem and actually find a solution.  But we must acknowledge the reality of the problem in the first place.

We will get over relationships if we stop trying to deny who the person is, their issues, and the holes in the relationship.  We will get over the lost love when we stop lying to ourselves about who they are, the truth of the situation, and our own feeling and learn to accept even the uncomfortable truth instead of trying to control people and situations through denial.

If we allow positivity to take up our lives, we will make positive decisions, find ourselves in positive situations, and we’ll become authentic. 

In what ways have you been in denial?  How have you been lying to yourself?  Have you made the decision to be honest with yourself?

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