Courage Alert: How to Stop Fighting with Joy

Enough with the Fighting.

 

 

Respect the Joy.

Have you ever noticed when you have some exciting news and tell someone you numb it or dumb it down when it comes to its joy level? For instance, you got your dream job or dream lover, and someone congratulates you, and you say, “well, we’ll see if it lasts long…”

Or perhaps you are looking white hot fabulous and someone compliments you and you say, “Thanks, but maybe you should have your eyes checked.”

I have the awesome privilege of working with amazing human beings each day. Everyone is in search of love, peace, worthiness and joy. When we start working together on their path and they start to move toward joy… people FREAK OUT. They sabotage themselves. They lower their expectations so they can raise their certainty about their lives. “Oh, I knew this wouldn’t work out… it never does.”

Don’t settle for certainty. That’s not truth and not YOUR TRUTH.

The truth is Joy is FIERCE. Everyone wants it, but you have to OWN it.

Joy is a positive feeling, and it’s a feeling of POWER. Its power is gigantic, uncertain and unpredictable and sometimes wildly fantastic.

When it comes to joy and power and mingling with the people of our lives, we are always judging each moment to make sure that we don’t hit overkill with feelings of overjoy.

Because…

they will compare their lives with ours, and they won’t like us

they won’t get promoted that way

they don’t want to be too special

they don’t want to be too sexy

they don’t want to be too happy

 

Joy was meant to be yours. And yours alone. It’s your power. It’s your present moment. If other people handle can’t handle it, IT IS OKAY. You will live and so will they.

 

If I give you a present and you don’t want it, whose present is it? It’s still mine.

If people give you a box of crap and you don’t want it? Whose present is it? It’s theirs. 

Isn’t it cool how that works?

 

The moral lesson of the story is…Don’t take people’s crap in boxes or otherwise. But remember to keep your joy always.  It’s your superpower to the present moment. And with all power comes great responsibility. So use your joy for good. Now carry on joyfully and be FIERCE. Namaste

 

Courage Alert: How to Feng Shui Your Friends.

Springtime. It is that time of year when we are itching to Feng Shui our house, spring clean our closets, and get the weeds out of our gardens. Why stop there?

 

Think of the people you encounter every single day. Think of their energy. When you think of particular friends, coworkers, family or lovers, do you smile or secretly cringe? If you do the latter, then it’s probably time to Feng Shui your peeps. You will find that those whom you need to unclutter from your life fall into three main categories:

 

The Downer

The Toxic Terror

The Timeless One

 

Does any of these feel familiar?

 

The Downer/Victim is the one who comes in your space and nothing is ever right. They lost their job. They are sick. They have no friends, and they will tell you. They have no money. They have no self-esteem. Nothing ever works out for them. The downer has nothing to offer you, and they simply want your attention all the time. They feel that if they don’t have a sad story (the sadder, the better), then they have no significance. The upside for them is that if they can find a sap to listen to their story, then they get attention, sympathy, and significance. And if you hang around long enough you leave lower than you were when you first encountered them.

 

Next on the list is the Toxic Terror. They are similar the Downer, except they use injustice and rage to feel important. They are the ones who will tell you that they got “screwed” or how the world is “screwed up” or that there is “no justice.” They look for the bad in a situation so they can happily say, “I told you so,” or, “I knew it would happen.” They piss in your cornflakes. They mock your joy. They are afraid to be happy because they don’t want to appear weak, plus, it takes away from their identity and their certainty of being righteously wrong. Hang around them long enough and watch your cortisol levels rise and your cornflakes wilt.

 

Third, we have the Timeless One. You know this one. The one that says they will call and doesn’t. The one that says they will show up and doesn’t. The one who constantly forgets. They apologize profusely only to forget again at the next opportunity. The good news is they won’t pee in your cornflakes because they are the flakes.

 

So how do you Feng Shui these people from your life, or at least your breathing space?

 

You don’t have to chase these folks with a broom or a Dyson, although if you could, it would be a much quicker process. But if you have people that constantly lie, steal, or abuse you in any way, then it is imperative that you remove yourself from this type of energy, or at the very least minimize your exposure until you can.

 

The first step is to identify them. Easy. You know who they are.

 

Next, you truly have to clean up your own energy. Become mindful and practice self-care, taking action on what will serve you best. Is their energy helping or hurting?

 

If you determine that they are bringing toxicity to your life, then decide to release them. When you “decide,” which means to “cut off,” you are consciously making the decision to control your energy field and exist in a space that supports nurtures, and brings you joy. The optimal word is joy.

 

When you are in joy, you resonate a higher vibrational energy. The Downer and the Terror don’t know what to do with that energy because it’s not aligned with them, and as a result, your resilience makes them feel uncomfortable. It will be a challenge for them to stay with you. As for the Timeless One, you can just choose to let them run on their own time and not yours. And this allows you to go on your joyful way.

 

Why should you even give a Feng Shui about the people around you and their energy? The answer is simple.

 

If you look at our time on Earth, every day counts. There isn’t a day to squander away in a dirty space with people that pollute your life. Living in Joy is your birthright as a human being in this amazing Universe. Elevate your energy and Feng Shui the people that don’t contribute to your life. And when you set them, and yourself, free, you can finally enjoy fresh air and fresh cornflakes. Namaste.

Courage Alert: Release the Unicorn. Do you.

You are amazing.

I love seeing the sayings, “Life is too complicated as a human. Time to be a Unicorn.” or “If you can’t be yourself, be a Unicorn.” My personal favorite is “I look into the mirror, and I see a unicorn. One bad-ass unicorn.”

 

I get it. There are days I wish I were a unicorn too.

 

But we have one job here while we are on this tiny marble. And that is to embrace who we are as a human being and evolve as a soul. It is our purpose to keep growing and nurture who we are becoming so that we can help others we encounter on our path. That’s it.

 

How much time do we spend wishing and wanting to be something or someone else?  The constant comparison to people both dead and alive, online or offline, famous or infamous is SIMPLY. EXHAUSTING. As we keep dreaming of someone else’s life, we are meticulously building our nightmare. Daily.

 

Also, the strain and unconscious tension of comparing only causes more suffering and creates more comparison. It’s a cycle. It’s an addiction. It’s madness.

 

So, how do we stop the daily comparison? Or at least slow down the unicorn?

 

We just breathe.

 

Then slowly we become mindful and look at one thing that we like about ourselves. And if you can’t think of anything, look at your hands. Look how much they serve you throughout the day?

 

Next, look at your feet. Can you walk? Do they not carry you and all your loads both physical and emotional all day long? Appreciate them.

 

Look in the mirror. Look at your eyes. Go beyond the circles or redness and just look at them. They are the same as when you were a little kid and were scared, when you just wanted someone to hold you and say, “You’re gonna be okay.” They are the same eyes you wanted someone to look deeply in and say, “I love you.”

 

Now, look at you IN THE MIRROR. And hold yourself without judgment. Be thankful for your beating heart at this moment. Look into your eyes and know that it’s going to be okay today.  In this very moment, look with kindness and say to yourself, the only you that you have, and say, “I love you.” And mean it.  Then, release the unicorn. Namaste.

Courage Alert: Please Leave the Waiting Room

It’s time to go. Now.

If you ever have had the great blessing of witnessing a kid waiting for something, it probably looked like a torture session straight out of a horror movie. Uncontrollable wincing, body contortion, crying, whining, and blood-curdling screams. And the simple truth could have been that they were waiting their turn to change the channel, to be “it,” or go to the bathroom.

If you ever had a chance to witness adults waiting… it doesn’t look too much different. Is this you? Is this you in traffic? Is this you when you are running and trying to beat your pace, and you run right behind someone that is creeping up the road? How do you feel when you only have one freaking thing to purchase and everyone, and I do mean everyone has at least 75 items in their basket and you contemplate stealing or chunking the one thing you have because of rage. Then, there is the copier at work. Again, you only have one copy. And an important one and lives depend on it. However, your co-worker is printing enough copies to wipe out an acre of rainforest. Then there is the Muzak version of Britney Spears’ Toxic you must listen to before you get to an operator to “assist you with your call.”

Is your blood boiling yet? Great.

Then this means that there is some truth in there for you to consider.

It’s funny how when we have mundane tasks to do or something important to do, we SIMPLY. CAN’T. WAIT.

But when it comes things the big things we need to do or desire to do, we gladly sit our rumpus on the waiting room couch. Sometimes forever out of fear.We may wait for the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect opportunity, the perfect choice and it either takes a very long time or never comes.

Why? Because while we don’t realize that while we are waiting, we are knitting ourselves a giant fear frock or sweater. In the waiting room, we can always project the future and imagine it will be better. Or better yet, we can drag our fannies and drama to the past and say, “I know this is true because it happened to me in the past.”

But here’s the thing. Even in the waiting room, you are neither in the past or future. Only right here. So what to do?

Make peace with the present right here and now.

Start with appreciating the fact that you can breathe 16-20 times in a minute. Trust me, if you couldn’t, then you would appreciate this even more.

Next, if you notice yourself having an aversion to this moment, ask yourself, what is causing you this discomfort? It could be a conversation, a co-worker, or just that you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Whatever answer you get, be kind to yourself. Non-judgment is required.

Finally, ask yourself what do you need right now that YOU CAN CONTROL to give you peace in this moment.

This may take some time at first, but while listening to your breathing and doing regular check-ins with yourself and taking action YOU CAN CONTROL, you can leave the waiting room anytime you desire and get to the business of living and loving your life. Namaste.

Happiness Alert: Facing Fear Fearlessly

Be bigger. Be brave. Be love.

 

We all have it that feeling. The feeling of catastrophe. Whether it’s an impending sense of doom, that gnawing uneasy feeling that sits in the back of our mind, or mad panic, it’s relentless. If we don’t give it our undivided attention, it simply mocks us… every second of every day.

 

So how do we move through the uneasiness? It’s a part of life, so how can we work with it to transform into our better version of ourselves? Is it possible? Yes. Is it easy? It depends on your effort, attention and being mindful of the moment that you are in.

 

Try these three actions today when you feel that creeping sensation of fear. And go slow and focus on it for a moment. Yes, look that sucker in the eye. When you are ready to sit down with your fear, here are some next steps to try.

 

  1. BREATHE AND ACKNOWLEDGE

Breathe and know we all are the same and we all have fears. You are special in your path and talents but having fears doesn’t make you different or separate.

 

  1. FIND SMALL STEPS AND ENLIST REINFORCEMENTS

You don’t have to overcome a particular fear in one fell swoop. It may be a gradual process, and it may work out even better than you suspected. By going slow and taking “baby steps,” you may reap more of the benefits from overcoming your fear. Enlist a friend, a buddy, outside help if need be to help you. We don’t move through this world in a vacuum. By seeking and receiving help, you will be able to heal and evolve into your bigger self so that you can help others like you.

 

  1. UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF FEARS AND UNLOCK THE BENEFITS

No matter how uncomfortable fear is, it’s designed is to help us grow and find our spiritual path (however you define it). Ask yourself, “why am I am fearful of _______?” Next, ask yourself, “How will my life be if I don’t move through this fear?” Finally, ask yourself, “What could be the greatest benefit if I could overcome this fear?” Stop and listen to what you hear in your mind or body.

 

By spending time evaluating your fear from a higher viewpoint, you lessen the emotional grip fear has on you. And you can provide yourself with a glimpse of what life could be like without it.

 

If at first, you do not see a benefit from overcoming this fear, then ask again when you are in a different state, or ask the question, “If I overcome this fear, who could I also help who is going through the same experience?” You will be amazed at what answers pop up. Listen to them.

 

In its essence, our fear is a call to action to move through it and grow so that we can help others. So don’t leave fear behind. Sit with it. Face it. Friend it and then accept all the lessons, benefits and surprises it has in store for your bigger you and your bigger life. Be brave. Be big. Be love. Namaste.

Happiness Alert: How to Ease On Down the Road to Happiness

Here it is. Your Path to Happiness!

 

Happiness. Who wants it? We all do. What does it look like? In the world of social media, it can take on all forms like: A new book. Kittens playing in boxes. Graduation. Minions. A wedding. A divorce. A new mate. A new car. A margarita. Farmville. Vacation. A million dollars in donations. A million dollars from Publisher’s Clearing House. Chubby babies. Chubby puppies. Anything chubby… well, almost.

 

The great thing about happiness is that we can access it anytime we want to. To be more specific, we can access it anytime we are intentional and choose to. But here is the fork in the road, sometimes it easier to be unhappy. We know this state of being. It’s not a great feeling, but it’s a familiar one. We have certainty with it. The real truth is sometimes we are afraid to be happy. We are afraid to be judged. We are afraid if we are happy something terrible is going to happen to balance out the universe because deep down we don’t think we deserve it.

 

So, let’s play pretend.

 

Think of someone you know or have seen that was utterly happy. Did you Judge Judy them? Did you secretly think thoughts such as…

 

Boy, he’s an idiot.

She must be on meds.

He must be off his meds.

Of course, she’s happy. She doesn’t have to work.

He’s happy because he never gets caught.

They are young, stupid, and have no responsibilities.

They don’t care about anyone except themselves.

Yeah, but just wait until they…

Selfish.

 

As an imperfect human being, I have had these thoughts and spent non-productive days with them. We all do at one time or another. These beliefs come from a place of scarcity and fear. And when we chose to engage in the negativity of what we perceive as someone else’s happiness, we unconsciously block the path to our own happiness. Also, if we do this as a daily defense mechanism, we reinforce our patterns and start to speed down the one-way road to Suckville. Who wants this? No one. Not chubby babies or puppies. So what to do?

 

Let’s map it out.

 

The first step is not to judge other’s happiness. Start with not rolling you eyes over the previous statement. Truly, we will never know the depths of a person’s life, much less their soul’s journey. No one’s life is ever easy. No one. We all have our inner and our outer demons to battle.

 

For example, it’s funny because when I was in high school, people thought my life was easy-peasy. I did well in school. I was a baton twirler, and I wore rhinestones. I had friends, I had a boyfriend, and I was Senior Class Favorite. What people didn’t know was I lived in a chaotic horderesque household. My father drank to ease stress. There were six kids, and there were times where the money wouldn’t last for food and utilities.

 

Also at that time, I didn’t know what to do with my strong intuitive feelings, and sometimes I would have glimpses of unhappy future events to come and had no control over. So, I became a cutter. Who wants to ease down that road of happiness? “Pick me,” said no chubby baby ever.

 

But back to our path. The second step to ease down the road to happiness is to be easily pleased. This doesn’t mean to pretend that the challenges and hardships we face in life do not exist. It means as things come our way, we can develop a sense of gratitude for the smallest things and not take anything for granted. If you hate your car, take public transportation at 5 AM in the morning of a thunderstorm. You will have a new appreciation for your old clunker. Hate your apartment or home? Sleep on a bench or sidewalk during a sticky summer night while mosquitoes feast on your blood. You will return to love your cracker box of a residence. Hate your body? Spend a day on the hospice side of a hospital. In a heartbeat, namely yours, you will learn to love all the bumps and lumps of you.

 

Once you intend to begin your day to mindfully appreciate all that you are and have, your entire being will feel lighter. You will resonate in happiness. This will act as a magnet for attraction, and good things will come your way. You will smile more. Happiness is your birthright as a human being in this Universe. Every moment is an opportunity for intentional and potential happiness. Who wouldn’t want to travel this path? It opens up right before you.

 

And yes, some people may judge you because they aren’t used to your new ways – be kind to them. They have yet to walk down the road that you are on. In time, with non-judgement and gratitude, they will also be able to join you in your happy journey through life. Remember to watch out for the chubby puppies. Namaste.

Happiness Alert: How to be Complete in Your Eyes

 

You are complete.

Do you remember the song In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel? If you’re like me, you can hear every single word in head and karaoke it in your sleep. It’s one of those songs that once you know it, it will stay with you for a long time, like an unwanted houseguest.

 

And speaking of people who can annoy you, think of all the people who irk you to no end. The one that drives slow. Or the one that drives too fast. Think of your coworker or client who talks incessantly or brags all the time. Or the one that expects you to take over their workload, like right now. How about the friend who drops plans every time at the very last second? Or the relative who only shows up when there is free food or needs money? And then there is the person who chews with their mouth open. And the person who can’t look you in the eye without texting someone else…and… and…

 

Are a few people coming to mind? Are you feeling a little hot and itchy? Is your scowl so intense that you know exactly where you would inject your botox? This is wonderful.

 

We are becoming awareness.

 

Think about this. There have been hundreds of stories of kindness, patience, and forgiveness. We see it on the news. We see it daily in social media. I have experienced it myself about 20 years ago when my dog ran out and a woman who was driving hit him and killed him instantly. She was kind enough to stop. She was patience enough to cry with me. She apologized repeatedly. Her pain was just as great as mine and in that moment, I could feel compassion and forgiveness for her. It helped me with my own sense of  overwhelming loss. And I can remember that moment like it was yesterday.

 

Now, back to all those people who annoy us today. How do we handle those people? Here’s the beauty. We don’t. We simply let them in.

 

Reflect on this. You have nothing to lose. Just do it.

 

-Think of someone you don’t quite get or understand.

 

-Take a deep breath and see them with compassion. They are just like you, trying to figure it out in this lifetime. They are doing the best they can in this moment.

 

-Take another breath and notice your heartbeat. Allow your heart to see from their eyes, their point of view. We are all simply human. We aren’t long for the world. We are all in this together. Feel the tension lower or vanish.

 

-Take another breath and see yourself with your own eyes and know that in this moment, you too, are doing the best that you can. It is enough. You are complete.

 

I see you. Namaste.

 

 

Happiness Alert: How to Use the Beauty of Anger

 

 

Don’t fly off the handle. Just fly

 

The rain comes down. The power goes off. Sometimes things don’t work. The money runs out. The love fades away. Things don’t happen according to plan.

In a world where happiness is the primary focus and goal, where do negative emotions fit in? And how do we deal with them?

Many of us are experts on the way we interact with negative emotion. Some of us suppress them, but they emerge like an unwanted zit. Angry and unexpected. Some of us bask, flailing and wailing in our ocean of despair. However, this doesn’t create any better options.

Some of us even try to compete with others, our negative feelings flying around like a butterfly with a broken wing lamenting and reinforcing, “Do you want to hear EPIC FAIL? I got it worse…look at my Facebook page…”

There is, on the other hand, a unique thing we can get from uncomfortable feelings like anger – an understanding that all emotions are designed to serve you. Call it an emotional text or a call to action.

For example, if you are frustrated or angry in any relationship, that anger is a message telling your higher self that something isn’t working and you know that the situation could be changed for the better. The anger is also a signal that you must be the one to transform the situation.

By doing the inner work of recognizing the feeling, and understanding that you are creating it as a response, you can start to put in motion the action and energy of your desired outcome.

Is it easy to do this at first? Heck no.

But being aware and mindful of this process will help you take the more enlightened step of transforming situations and relationships with solutions that serve you. Not just by burying them. Think of emotions as the catalysts for you to emerge from your self-imposed cocoon. And in the end, by practicing this process, you will be able to use your emotions, and not be ruled by them, to connect effectively with the people and the situations that matter the most in this lifetime. Fly, butterfly, fly. Namaste.

Happiness Alert: 5 Ways to Build Up from Life’s Major Breakdowns

You can always build up from your breakdown.

The baby didn’t make it. He “stepped out” of the marriage again. Bankruptcy beckons. She didn’t stop at the light, and now your car is wrapped around a tree. He dumped you. The business failed. Insomnia insists itself and depression persists. Your only option meds aren’t working.   Sometimes life simply sucks. And it does especially when it’s your life.

Over the long holiday weekend, I have counseled people who have encountered the above events. Nobody wants to suffer. But with the flow of life comes the ups and downs and here are five ways to build up back the breaking waves have brought you down. Way down.

 

1. Kick, scream, yell, break the dishes… and then ACCEPT THE CHANGE. No one in his right mind ever said change was easy. Especially if someone is changing you out for another. You may need a release so give yourself one. This may come in the physical form of running ten miles, dancing with strangers, shaking your fist at the sky or screaming into your pillow. That’s okay if you need to do it. Just do it. Then, when your adrenaline levels have dropped back down to somewhat normal levels, take a few breaths and remember you’re still here. And this new event or feeling will be a very important catalyst in your life. Just hang on for a moment.

 

2. BE VULNERABLE and BE MINDFUL By not running away from emotional discomfort such as feeling helpless or out of control, you are giving yourself permission to respond to whatever events or emotions you didn’t want. By acknowledging them, it will be easier to move past them down the road than by trying to stuff them.

 

3. REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT ALONE Sometimes when we are at our lowest, we just want to crawl up in a hole and die. Why? Because it feels so cozier and safer than by showing off our “bad selves” to others. As humans, we were designed to be social and to evolve by growing to help the tribe. Are you missing your tribe? Then send out a signal, a text, a phone call, or a letter. Let someone know how you are feeling and if they want to help you, let them. Also if you don’t feel comfortable speaking with friends, then reach out to a counselor, a doctor or anyone to assist you. Do it. Your life is depending on you.

 

4. YOU CAN ADAPT AND TRANSFORM With most of life’s events you can adapt and with enough patience and hindsight, you can transform into the next level of you based on what lessons you have acquired in this process. You may walk away from this life event with more appreciation, gratitude, and patience. And if you can’t right now, it’s okay. Hold on.

 

5. HARNESS HOPE You may think it is overly simplistic and sappy. But the truth is that hope can be very potent, and it can go a long way. As you are transforming your new landscape of reality, entertain the concept that as the tide came down, it will go back up again. It is the flow of life. Things will get better, but you have to do the work and lean into that direction.   When your breaking bad comes in, remember to be kind to yourself and to take it step by step, minute by minute, and in time with mindfulness and hope you will be able to build yourself back up to a new and transformed being.   What do you need to do to build yourself up today? Now, do it. Ring-Ring. Your life is calling you. Namaste.

Happiness Alert: How to Handle Life when a Push becomes a Shove

No pushing. No shoving. Start loving.

 

How are you feeling right now?

 

Pause for a moment and reflect. How do you feel when you think of unfinished work? Chores? Your to-do list? Does your body or mouth tighten? Do feel the twinge? Does your mind always push you faster and remind you loudly of all the things you are not doing? Do your thoughts lead you to believe there isn’t enough time? Go faster. Hurry. It’s taking too long!

 

If this feels like you, you may want to take a breath and notice:

 

  1. Is it hard for you to see all the productive things you have done as of this moment or do you mull over all the unfinished tasks?

 

  1. Do you put everything and everyone else first at the cost of you? And do you rationalize that you don’t take care of yourself because you don’t have enough time?

 

  1. Do you break dates and plans with others because it makes you too anxious to go out and maybe it feels better to be with yourself and your stress? Is it that comfortable-uncomfortable feeling that you’re accustomed to? Everyday?

 

If this is you, perhaps it’s time to stop pushing. If you say you can’t, then look behind you? Is anyone behind you that’s causing this sensation? Hulk-like? I would guess no. Pushing yourself is like the other things in your life. It’s a pattern just like putting up the fork in the fork drawer. Getting gas when your car is empty, brushing your teeth, or changing your underwear.

 

In other words, it’s up to you to stop the exertion. Now, I’m not encouraging you to stop putting all your focus and energy in your goals or dreams. I am urging you to stop and dip into the present moment to notice if the sensation of stress is coming from you, and if it’s taking away from the zest and happiness of your day or your life moment by precious moment.

 

Once you realize you are the creator of this “pushing” sensation, ask yourself, “What is the one thing I need at this moment to bring me peace?” Asking sarcastically will not serve you, so watch that your tone (even in your head). Make sure you and your tone are aligned to your intentions! Listen to what voice or feeling comes up in your body or mind.

 

Next, ask what you do need to be peacefully productive toward your goals. Listen again. You may get the sense that you need to slow down or notice the details of your work or your conversations with others. If you don’t feel or sense anything, try again a little later. Your mind will seek to help you out in any way it can.

 

Lastly, remind yourself that what you get done today is enough and make peace with that. Beating yourself up for what you haven’t done in the past will only beget more worry. And to frantically worry about the future all the time isn’t optimal either. By being kind to yourself, knowing that you are doing the best you can at this moment, you lift up the heavy residue of stress. This frees you up to experience the opportunities that may come in the form of coincidences or perfect timing. You just have to be ready for them in the present moment.

 

Staying present is also like working a muscle. You have to do it on a daily basis and be kind to yourself when you notice you’re freaking out again about the past or future. When you notice yourself being swept away with fear and emotions, take a breath and be thrilled. The fact that you are seeing that this sensation is also happening shows how much awareness you have. This awareness will help you stop the pushing and shoving away of your potential, productive and peaceful life right now. Now, go rest those arms. Peace.