Posts Tagged ‘bliss’

Last week I talked about a little experiment that I was about to embark on. In fact I challenged you to join me. Some of you wrote here or on my facebook page that you would and that made me very, VERY happy.

In case you missed it, (click here for the full story) I decided to go without complaints and only talk to others about all the good..no strike that…fabulous things that were happening in and around my life.

I figured I’d annoy some people, surprise a few and at the same time keep myself in a positive place. It turns out my expectations were wrong. I don’t usually enjoy admitting I’m wrong but this time I’m loving it.

My favourite example is one I shared on facebook.

Here’s what I wrote

“Okay day 2 of my experiment was fun. I was in a number of offices and when asked “How are you?” I decided to reply either ‘super-fabulous” or “I’m amazing”. Yes, I got some strange looks but every single look was followed by a smile and something along the lines of ‘good for you’. There was definite surprise though..of the good sort.

When I replied in kind and asked How they were the responses were far more positive and heartfelt. Not the usual ‘fine’ either. I got whole and interesting replies. There may be more to this than I originally thought.”

In fact, there was far more than what I thought to this whole venture.

Some things I learned about life from this.

  • misery loves company, but so does happiness!
  • it’s sad that people are entertained by someone simply being happy and enjoying what is in their life.
  • it is wonderful that my outlook can change their outlook at the same time
  • I got much better service from everyone when I was excited about life
  • although a few times I had to really work at it, the fake it til you make it plan does work.
  • Responding that I was ‘super-fabulous” elicited smiles every single time
  • When you offer up the courage to share your happiness, others are more willing to do the same
  • Happiness is a freakin choice! No Fooling!

Not to say it was all a bed of roses and rainbows. I did have one person who shall remain nameless (but you know who you are) try to dampen my happy parade with a few comments like “what are you on?” Because clearly no one can be happy unless it’s chemically induced, right?

But the worst comment was “gah, you’re so annoying being all like this-what’s your problem?” That comment did kind of set me back a little. Ouch. It kind of stung to hear that. I really was deflated for a moment. However, I quickly realized that this was not my stuff. It was a sign of this person’s own discomfort with feeling blessed, grateful and happy.

Still, this was a BIG lesson for me. I was initially hurt and deflated, but then i rebounded. I however, was acutely aware of what was going on because of this little experiment. I wonder though – how often do we do this to each other? Is this one of the reasons we are so afraid to just be happy and show it?

I find it so very strange to think that we need to develop a thick skin in order to allow ourselves to embrace the joys if this life.

Please folks. Even if you are in the depths of despair and miserable; if you see someone who is celebrating life don’t destroy it for them.

Instead, embrace what it means – that you too can find joy again. Embrace and love them for bringing that spark into the world and nurturing it.

The emotion of joy is a wonderful thing. Like love, it is incredible in its ability to be shared and grow instead of being diminished. Take some of their joy and stretch it; wrap it around your misery and know that things do get better, there is joy in the world and you can feel it.

This is the meaning of the saying “If you want to be happy, Be“.

I plan to continue this joy-sharing. It’s a wonderful place to be and to drag people to with me! I’ll be enjoying my bliss, right here with my coffee and dog. Let me know what you think.


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Over the years I have had people treat me badly..I mean who hasn’t right?

Yup, there have been real jerks in my life.  I’m not talking about someone who says something out of turn or goofs up..I’m talking about the people who treat everyone poorly. 

We can go on and on about why they might do things like talk down, mean comments, manipulating, self involved…BUT that’s not the point of this blog.

It was only recently I had this conversation with someone once again. I mentioned that I was grateful for the jerks in my life and then had to explain why.  Let me tell you when you say something like that people look at you funny.  Okay they look at you like you’re nutty.  Which I am..but not about this.

Here’s the thing; I am grateful for what they taught me by being in my life…not so much for them treating me badly.  Making more sense now?

Early on the lessons were pretty simple.  Don’t fall for that, and don’t let people walk all over you. Have some self-respect and you’ll do fine.

The lesson in recent years I have been given has been a bit harder to take and far more important.

So what is the big lesson that I had to learn?  The most important thing, the one thing that let me release so much bitterness and hurt was this.

Their stuff is their stuff…not mine.

Sounds silly and simple but I promise you that it is incredibly powerful.

I am not responsible for other people’s reactions, enjoyment, hate or love.  I am only responsible for my own. 

If someone can’t connect with me, my journey or what I am doing, then they are just not in the same place as me for whatever reason.  That’s not for me to decide.

I am however, completely and utterly responsible for who I am, how I live my life and the legacy I leave behind.  How everyone else perceives it is not my issue. 

You can’t imagine how much of  a shift in my life this has created.  I am no longer willing to feel shame when others judgements fall on me.  Instead, I give that back to the person it comes from and realize that this judgment is theirs to own…not mine.   I remind myself that if someone remarks on my life path, on my journey that this is coming from their soul and issues..not mine. 

When we allow opinions and demands put upon us to direct our life we live small, we limit our light.  We can’t be who we really are.  And this goes for the good and bad.  

I had this issue when I first started coaching.   A number of people let me know how great I was at helping them with their business start-up.  Oh sure, I had loads of info from all the experience, research and classes I took in order to do it myself.  I was feeling like I ‘should’ head into business coaching.  I was good at it.  Problem was I wasn’t feeling it in my heart of hearts.  I loved the part where I helped people find their passion in business, to find direction and problem solve but beyond that I wasn’t all that ‘into’ it.  

People who cared about me mentioned how much easier it would be to find clients and make more money.  Perhaps I ‘should’ I thought.  It took a lot of soul-searching and strength to stand in my truth and say this isn’t where I am meant to go.  I have something else in mind; this was made even harder to do because I was still searching out my own plan. I just knew that business start-ups weren’t quite ‘it’.  Gotta watch out for those ‘shoulds’.  

Allowing other people’s stuff to hold us hostage in our own lives only holds us back and holds us down.  Gently refuse to allow this type of energy into your life, let them own it for themselves and keep on being you…you know..fabulous!

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I have become a Seeker.  It’s strange, the realization and how it arrived. 

I was looking for the spelling of a word for a completely different article and was flipping through my well-worn dictionary. (Yes I  love my books…dictionary included).  To be honest I lost track of the word I was actually looking for.  FOUR times my page flipped open and/or flipped page to the page with the word ‘seeker’ on it.

It was underlined.  Not that I remember doing that.  Still, it was an old book, second-hand no less. 

Now I’ll be completely honest with you here.  I have one of those big old library dictionary (circa 1969 –>it’s older than me!) where the origin of the word, synonyms and such are all included.  I love it.   And I’m really, REALLY easily distracted when I start looking around in there.  I love language.  It’s powerful. 

So, when the book kept pointing out the word I stopped to look.  Seek or Seeker. 

  • to try to discover, to endeavor
  • to move to or go to
  • to try
  • to explore, make a search or investigation
  • to inquire for; request

A sudden realization struck me. THIS is ME.  This is what I have been doing for the last 6 years in a purposeful way. 

I’m not exactly sure how it happened.  Looking  backwards of course is always easiest isn’t it?  I look on my past and see that I always had the inclination.  I wasn’t, and still am not, comfortable conforming as I’ve mentioned before.  I crave being different.  I have always looked for ‘more’; for what else is out there. I can’t really say that I pursued it on a spiritual level very strongly however.  Fear…it kept me somewhat in my ‘place’ as I knew it to be.

My, times have changed. 

At some point, I guess I just became sick and tired of holding myself back.  I was discontented, spiritless and tuned out.  My spirit felt caged by expectations and doubt.

When I did try to live the life I had, I wasn’t happy and my relationships were, for the most part, what I call ‘surface relationships’.  Not the deep connections I craved.   The whispers from the universe, that there was something more than this, were too strong to ignore.  My heart ached to find what that was. 

At some point, I almost unwittingly, set out and begin my own journey; before I really even understood I was on one.

And I emerged a Seeker.  A seeker of my own truth, a seeker of light and connection. 

In doing so, I realized I could help others along the way. 

These realizations have made my struggles with all that has, and is, changing, so much lighter.  It excites me to have understood this.  I do not have to have all the answers because I am in a place where my purpose is seeking them. 

I will continue to explore, inquire and seek; and this will be enough.   I have begun to understand the purpose of this journey. 

Some people look for fame and fortune, some seek God or spirituality, or understanding; some only want to exist in contentment and familiarity of the life they are given.  

For some, like me, there comes a time when we can no longer be content to accept what is.  It can begin after a traumatic event that opens a wound we need healed.  Or like me it can be something that has always been there. We feel called deeply in our core to find the ‘what else’ that there is, we seek our own truth that will feed our soul and spirit.  It feels almost like a home coming to realize this is my path and what it means.  Peaceful.  I know what I am about.

I am a Seeker.

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In the post Do This Instead I mentioned 5 things to consider when you think about how to improve your life, mindset and disposition.

“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”
~Samuel Johnson

The five things discussed were;

  1. Metacognition
  2. Be curious
  3. Living from Wonder
  4. Persist
  5. Laugh from your belly

A pretty good list if you ask me.  In fact I think a number of the comments agreed.  Good news! I have a few more to share with you.

Before I do that however, I want to mention that in no way do I suggest you should or could go ahead and simply change all of these to perfect your life over night.  Goodness..that’s just crazy talk!  What I suggest is you take a look at these and imagine where you could open up to possibilities of change or growth in your life.  Pick one to focus on and go from there.

You can make goals (yup even SMART goals) around each of these to give yourself some focus and purpose.  You spent a life time establishing habits, you can’t expect to simply exchange them for new ones in one fell swoop.  If you need some help there…let me know at info@rivendllcoaching.com !

With no further ado:

1. Learn to listen.  Yes, yes I know. Most of us have perfectly decent ears that work but in all truth most of us suck as good listeners.  Being a good listener takes focus and practice. We should strive first to understand before we worry about being understood.  It takes a fair bit of mental energy devoted to another person’s thoughts and ideas to be a good and empathetic listener. 

2. Take Responsible Risks.   Remember when I told you for one month I was going to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came my way..even if it was a bit scary?  Well in that yes month I did take some personal risks and it really paid off.  However, they were responsible risks.  I mean let’s face facts; if you had suggested I jump off a bridge I’d probably have said no anyway. It wouldn’t be a responsible risk.  There is a difference.  Being adventuresome doesn’t mean being stupid.  Take the level of comfort and competence you already have to the edge and see what awaits you.

3. Think about it upside down.  Now if you can stand on your head and think about things go ahead; please enjoy the view. I, however, will simply use this expression to mean that you need to be flexible in your thinking and practice seeing things from a different perspective.  Innovation comes from trying a novel idea.  When you generate options and alternatives you let go of your obsession with a specific outcome and might just end up with something pretty freakin amazing.   So, practice asking yourself  “what else is possible here?”

4. Live from Compassion.  Seriously, if you didn’t know I’d put this on in the list you haven’t followed me very long.  When you  make choices and decisions with compassion as the base for them life is kinder, gentler, more peaceful and much more loving.  Keep in mind that having compassion in mind in the way you treat yourself is also important.  You are, after all, setting a precedent for how others act towards you.  You want to get rid of a lot of crap and negativity in your life…this is a perfect place to start.

5. Remain open to Continuous Learning.  There is no time in the human condition that we should be done with learning.  There is so much to understand, explore and be thrilled by.  When you stop learning and entertaining new ideas and ways of seeing things…it is there that you cease to live and simply exist.  Accept that there is much we don’t know, much we can learn and go out to find it.  Throw your pride and need to be ‘right’ out the window and become open and aware that ‘you do not know’ and this is perfectly okay.  This will stop you from fighting  life’s lessons and instead bring peaceful acceptance of all that life offers you.

6. Choose to have found your bliss.  Right here, right now is all we really have.  Yesterday is the past and is gone, tomorrow is an unfulfilled promise.  Today is it, this very moment.  Please lovelies…don’t waste it. There is happiness, joy and love to be found even in the worst of circumstance;  if only you will open your eyes and heart to it.  You have to choose to see it.  The more bliss you choose to focus on, the more you will find.  It’s the Law of Attraction lovelies..and it works.

Let me know what you think of these six habits and the first five. 
Which ones jump out at you?  Made you think?  Disagree with me on any?
What are you going to work  on…and how?

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Acceptance of yourself is not always easy. A higher awareness of self makes this both easier and more difficult at times.

It starts from becoming aware of things that are outside the daily grind of brushing your teeth, going to work, making dinner and hitting the pillow only to do it all over again without much thought.

Many people are living in a state of low-awareness. They rarely ask why and just sort of muddle along through life without many questions. It really is as if the mind is only partially awakened and only a small interest in life is being taken.

The problem is without questions you never look for the answers. Without asking questions you never live a deeper life with real truth and depth. Superficial lives can only be superficially happy.

Living consciously is a choice that must be made. It needs practice and often isn’t as easy as you begin to delve into your personal purpose.

After watching and supporting many people in beginning their journey into self awareness, I can see where some of the resistance lies. It’s scary at times to push through what doesn’t truly belong and find the courage to emerge into yourself. We sometimes have to put aside things we have pretended to believe or even thought we did at one time. Things that are not from our core but from society’s teaching. We fear being judged. Not an easy journey.

I can tell you that at some point most people want to stop. They hit a wall of fear, confusion and change that is a tough place but when they push through they are so much stronger and at peace with who they really are. Life takes on new and real meaning. You find even more important questions that in turn can lead to an even higher awareness.

It all comes back to paying attention and asking those questions. Start by looking for things to question and then search for answers. They may not come quickly or easily but when you find one that resonates with you, you have taken one big step into living with a higher awareness.

So I ask you what is your ‘why’ today?

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A couple of days ago I sent out a tweet (yup you can keep up with me on twitter too!) that said

“Today could be a really fantastic day! Of course..it’s up to you”

A pretty straightforward, inoffensive tweet you’d think right?  Apparently not.

I had someone who was kind of offended by this tweet.  They took the time to go to my website, find my contact info and send me an email about it.  While they were as polite as could be they did tell me that I was naive and irresponsible to say something like this.  This person felt that I needed to be made aware that life sometime gives us situations that are beyond our control and in no way our doing.

Honestly I was taken aback by this.  However, after some thought I realized where the disconnect lies. 

First, I want to state for the record that I am fully aware that life does throw out some fun curve balls.  I have very personal awareness in this department.  However, I want to point out that these events and situations do not define us. 

What does define us is how we react to the events that we encounter.  It is within these walls that we create our lives.

Need an example? Okay.  Here’s a very personal one.  Due to some circumstances beyond my control (my event was a car accident) I was unable to work for some time.  As you can imagine my financial situation was difficult.  I could have let this define my life. My reaction could have stayed stuck in how hard that was.  I chose differently.  Well, okay..most days I chose differently. It wasnt’ always easy but you know I didn’t want to  stay stuck in those low days.  On occasion I let myself work through some of those emotions but came out stronger for it. I struggled, I had to limit much of what I did, I had to change a lot of my way of doing things and at times get creative. 

I put that struggle in its place.  Instead of being angry at my situation, I would shift my attitude to one of being grateful for what I did have.  I had a warm place to live, food and plenty of other things to be happy about.  More than once people mentioned that they were surprised at how relaxed and happy I was considering.  Although, it wasn’t always the case,  at one point I knew that I had to choose my path.  It would be easy to let the bad stuff take over but I chose to follow the route of gratitude, blessing and happiness.  I’ve had my forays into the darker path of frustration and anger but I didn’t like the person who met me there.

I chose to create my life around peace and purpose.  I chose to learn from my struggles and use that to help others.

Please don’t think that your problems are given to you to wreck your life.  They can be opportunities to find out just how strong you really are. 

So yes, I stand by my tweet.  You do have the power to make it a great day. It’s all about the choices you make in your heart and mind.

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It seems that I have noticed an interesting turn of events in my self these days.  When I was younger..say teens or so, I was as open as they come.  I had little in the way of preferences and was excited about experiencing all that life had to offer.  I rarely looked to see what the Jones were doing except to see if it looked like fun..keeping up wasn’t even in the picture.  I was very content with who I was, what I had and where I was.

Later on I went through a phase of being very comparative.  I wouldn’t say I was overly dramatic about it but I wondered why I wasn’t on the same path as others who seemed so happy.  I would compare where I was to people I knew.  Sometimes I was fine, other times I started to think I should hurry up and ..well I never quite knew what came next.  Keeping up with the Jones seemed smart, but didn’t fit.  I was often very conflicted.

These days I’m a little more selective about the things I put my energy into.  Perhaps I’m getting older and I hope a little wiser.

What I’ve discovered is layered.  First, I realized now that outward appearances of happiness are not always the truth.  Comparing your life with a facade is pointless.  Most of the time you feel like you lose out in that one. 

I also realized that another’s truth and happiness can be exactly replicated but will not necessarily provide the same results for me.  Not an easy lesson to learn, but one that was hard-won.  I still struggle with this one at times.

I’ve also finally been able to accept that I am not meant for a life of putting down roots; at least not just yet.  My sisters have families, children and the house with a yard.  At times I envy them.  They seem so content and sure of what they’ve chosen.  They appear to know where they are headed and what comes next.  Still, I get restless just picturing myself there!  Not that I wouldn’t love a home with a yard…someday.

My mother once told me just before I got in my car for yet another adventure, that I must have inherited some gypsy blood.  I took that as a compliment.  I suppose I’m still trying to ‘find’ myself or perhaps simply find my place in this world.  I just see a wide open landscape ready to be explored.  That is what draws me in.

Not following the norm has become not only okay, but something I learned to take some pride in.  I’ve realized that it is part of my life’s journey. I am not fighting that any longer and I think I’ve stopped comparing (for the most part anyway) my life to others.

It’s often a bit of a hard thing to explain, especially to family who don’t understand, but I have learned I should follow my own heart and path.  I have faith it’s leading me somewhere wonderful. Of course a memo or something on where we’re headed wouldn’t hurt either lol.

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