Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

clutter

Not too long ago I found myself feeling kind of low. I was in a funk. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and read novels with a cat on my lap.

This felt great for a couple days, but eventually I knew I needed to get moving. I was turning into a slug and I wasn’t sure how to become human again.

As I drove into my garage one day after running an errand I could feel my energy drop. My garage felt heavy, like something that weighed me down. While mostly neat, piled along the left wall were all the things I was saving for a garage sale. Over time that area had become, shall I say, messy.

When I realized how yucky the garage made me feel, I knew what my therapy would be. I started going through the cluttered piles of things and after a couple hours of sorting, organizing, throwing away, and generally tidying up, I felt good about what I had accomplished. Even now, pulling into my nice and tidy garage makes me smile.

When our car, house, or office look uncared for it can be a sign that we are: Continue reading

How to Reconnect with Your Happy, Playful Inner Child

happy lttle girl 600

I have a friend who everyone seems to love. She is of a mature age (trying to be polite here) and lives life in a responsible way. What makes her stand out, though is her penchant for wearing pink, sparkly high top sneakers. Everywhere. Even business meetings and church. She says they make her happy and remind her to sparkle. I’ve noticed that they also make the people around her smile.

My friend has tapped into her playful inner child.

I want what she has. She seems to feel lighter and happier than the rest of us. More care free. And, her sparkliness invites adventure, fun, and friendships into her life.

It’s easy to forget what it feels like to play. As an adult you have responsibilities and expectations to live up to. You are probably so busy doing what you think you have to do that you don’t even remember you have all that joy within. But, don’t worry. You inner child will never give up on you.

You can reconnect with her again through: Continue reading

Infobesity: 5 Ways to Prevent Information Overload

infobesity information overload computer phone and newspaper

The internet, email, and cell phones have enhanced our lives in many ways, but they have also filled our brains with more information than ever before, creating an epidemic of infobesity.

For many of us, the new tools of the information age have an addictive quality that can stress our brains and limit our success in other areas of our lives. We may not even realize that our lives are centered more on technology than participating in real life.

Whether you feel addicted or are just trying your best to keep up with the world, this mass of information coming into your brain can impact your life with: Continue reading

What Do Life Coaches Really Do?

 

life coach life coaching holding a flower

There is still a lot of confusion about what life coaches do.  Even coaches have trouble explaining it.  And, everyone seems to be a coach these days.  How confusing is that?

In general, a professionally qualified life coach will listen carefully and provide support, perspective, guidance, new skills and tools, motivation, accountability, and champion you along the way to your best life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Most clients work with a life coach because they: Continue reading

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

woman overcoming challenge obstacle

When something or someone challenges us it is easy to get stuck in the idea that things should be different. Really stuck.

You can tell when this happens because you will find yourself marinating in a yucky, heavy feeling. You might hear yourself complaining, comparing, blaming, or asking, Why? Why? Why?

This is your victim mentality showing up and it is the opposite of being empowered.

When you recognize that you have fallen into the victim trap, you can make a choice to face the situation in a more positive and effective way. Here is how: Continue reading

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

intuition

In those crazy moments when we don’t know what to do or even how to begin to make a decision, intuition is the answer.

Fear doesn’t understand positive risk and thinks we are still two years old.  It wants to keep us safe but is deeply misguided.  We can’t trust our minds because they spin between different answers, telling us yes in one moment and no in the next.

Learning to discern which voice is your intuitive inner knowing is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and you can start right here: Continue reading

Simple Ways to Make Life Better

garden angel make life better

Twitter is not usually my thing, but one of my clients told me about a hashtag stream of people offering their 3 word suggestions on how to make life better.  I found many of the posts inspiring and thought you might too.

Here is what they had to say:  Continue reading

When to Let Go of Trying To Figure Things Out

answers

Persistence comes in handy. Without it I never would have the success I have today or even have figured out what was wrong with my printer this morning.

I’ve used persistence to help find answers when they were elusive and often felt inspired by Marie Forleo’s message that “everything is figureoutable”.

But then, something happened that made me realize choosing not to try and figure things out can also be an empowering choice.  Here’s how it went down: Continue reading

How Wayne Dyer Saved My Life

Wayne Dyer

Yesterday, I watched Wayne Dyer with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and as usual felt inspired by what he had to say. Later in the day I learned he had passed on, or as he would say – left his human body behind.

Since then memories have been coming forward of how his words have touched my life over the years. He is the one I credit with starting my journey toward healing and becoming who I am today.  Continue reading

How to Use Pen and Paper to Heal and Expand Your Life

pen journal paper candle woman journaling

Call me old fashioned, but I think there are some things best done with pen and paper.  Don’t get me wrong, I have hundreds of documents in my computer, but I’ve seen real magic happen through the act of writing the way it’s been done for years.  Continue reading

A Simple, Proven Way to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

negative thoughts smile balloon

Your brain is a great tool, but sometimes your mind can drive you crazy. It can get into repetitive loops with the kinds of thoughts that bring you down or hold you back. Or, it can just spin out of control. If you are like most human beings, you are experiencing both.

Here is a simple way to retrain your brain and let go of these negative patterns of thinking:  Continue reading

How a Little Yellow Lamborghini Taught Me to Stop Comparing Myself to Others

yellow Lamborghini

Someone in my neighborhood is driving a snazzy yellow Lamborghini. You can’t help but notice it, especially when they keep revving the engine when stopped at lights.

I may not be a big car person, but the sleek lines and deep rumble of that engine were calling out to me.  Continue reading

Suffering is Optional

suffering angel statue

Things happen in life that cause pain and are hard to understand.  This is true.

When they happen it is important to allow yourself to feel your feelings, which often include sadness, anger, or loss.  When you allow your feelings to process, you will be able to heal and eventually move forward.  Continue reading

How to Prevent Those Where Did I Put My Car Keys Moments

dementia, forgetful, woman losing glasses on her head

I lost my favorite pair of yoga pants. In my house. They have to be here somewhere, but I can’t find them. I’ve been looking for days.

And, I am not alone. My clients and friends talk about it often. One found her earrings in her underwear drawer and another opened her freezer the other day and discovered frozen car keys.  Continue reading

How I Let Go of Cable TV

woman cutting cable tv cord

A couple years back I got a great deal on cable TV. It was almost free when I bundled it with my other services.

When the special rate was over, I was astonished at how much the cost went up and decided to research other options. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford it, I just couldn’t rationalize paying so much when there were other possibilities.

And so, my TV research adventure began… Continue reading

Slow Down to Get More Done

sign that says Go Slow

My weekly schedule has it’s own little routine.  I generally have the same clients, meetings, and things to accomplish along with some time allotted for projects.  And yet, sometimes I struggle to get it all done, while other weeks flow with ease.  Why is that?  Continue reading

Try These Bedtime Practices for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

bedtime sleeping woman

 

Over the years, I have learned the value of having a bedtime ritual.  There is something very comforting and calming about doing similar things every night to close out the day.

Bedtime practices also support being able to fall asleep and have a peaceful night’s rest.  When I release the stress of the day my subconscious is free to work on my challenges and questions for me while I sleep, often bringing new answers with the morning.

Here are some bedtime ritual ideas you may want to try:  Continue reading

Fear and Anxiety – How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

fear and anxiety t-rex lizard brain
For some reason I have been hearing the term “lizard brain” a lot this week.  This is a nickname for the part of your brain that deals with survival and creates your fight or flight response.  You may think of it as your own personal freak out zone.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Rewire Your Brain and Feel More Positive

rewire brain be more positive smiley faces

It is easy to fall into the quicksand of negative thinking.  You only need to have two negative thoughts in a row to settle into old remembered patterns that trap and pull you under. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

It’s all about brain grooves.  The grooves are like default settings created by past negative thoughts.  For some of us those grooves are pretty deep.

According to brain scientists and experts in the field of positive psychology, we can reverse this process and rewire our brains by repeatedly feeding them positive input.  It is not easy and will take time, but the rewards are definitely worth it.  Besides, you will be thinking anyway. Why not choose thoughts that will make you feel better?

The following Positivity Practices have supported my clients and I in rewiring our brains.  I bet they can help you, too.

Observe and Record Positive Moments – there are wonderful things happening around us every day that we just don’t pay attention to.  Open your eyes and heart to become more aware and then ground in these moments by recording them in some way.  Once you open to them, you will start finding them everywhere.  Here are some ideas my clients enjoy:

  • Writing daily about what opened your heart or magical moments you experienced
  • Creating a gratitude journal
  • Photographing things you find beautiful or that warm your heart
  • Looking for heart shapes around you as you go through your day

Embrace Positive Input – take a break from news, books, movies, and people that bring you down or feed a negative mindset.  Choose things that lift you up instead:

  • Books or movies that inspire you or make you laugh
  • Happy people
  • Beautiful or fun music – you might enjoy the Grateful song
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Positive visualizations
  • Sign up for daily inspirational emails or fun videos – I enjoy ones from Martha Beck
  • Try affirmations – if you sign up at Mind Movies they will send you 6 affirmation videos that are about 3 minutes long.  They are nicely done and free.

Reverse Your Psychology – when you have a negative mind loop around a specific subject, you can shift it by building evidence that it is not true.  Write at least 3 things daily that are going well in that area.  Don’t just list them.  Anchor them more deeply by writing at least a couple sentences.

  • If you are concerned about money – write three ways money came to you or that you felt abundant
  • If you are worried about health – write about three ways you are healthy or your health is improving
  • If you don’t like your body – write about three ways it serves you or three parts of it you can appreciate

You get the idea …

Shifting out of negative thinking is one of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself and playing with these ideas will help your brain start to create new happier grooves.  Soon you will find yourself walking around the quicksand of negative thinking without getting stuck in it.

Your turn:  What positive thinking practices do you want to bring into your life?  You can respond by commenting below …

 

The Art of Waiting In Line – How I Survived My Visit to the Post Office

people waiting in line

There I was at the post office waiting in line.  I had just walked a few miles up and down hills in my neighborhood and I was covered with a sheen of sweat.  According to my reflection in the window, my hair was standing up on end.  It was one of those lay low times when I was hoping not to be seen and instead I ended up stuck in a long, very slow line, with a lot of angry people.

There were conversations up and down the line full of complaints against the post office, government, and the world in general.  The worst offender was in front of me.  He had a big voice and used it quite effectively.  I knew I didn’t want to listen to negativity while I waited, so I engaged him in a conversation.  When I mentioned that it sounded like he didn’t like being there and I was wondering if he was going to choose to leave, I think I might have upset him.  It was probably my calm and gentle nature that saved me.

I shared with him that when I walked in and saw the line I knew I had a choice and mailing my granddaughter’s birthday gift felt worth staying.  And then, I asked him about his family and shifted the conversation to something more positive.  I did throw in a few coachy moments, though, hoping something might stick and help him feel more positive in the future.

Waiting in line is a choice.  What you do while waiting is also a choice.  It’s really quite simple, but also an art.

Here is how you can up level your waiting experiences.

Evaluate the situation impartially.  What are the facts here?  How long are you likely to wait? How important is the end result to you?  Can you change the situation for the better?

Make a choice.  Either you choose to get in the line or you don’t.  Once the decision is made, stop thinking about it unless you get new information to re-evaluate.

Find ways to make the best of the situation.  Avoid joining in with the complainers.  It will only make you feel bad and lower your energy.

Choose something to do while in line.  The ideas I came up with at the post office included:

  • People watch
  • Sing the national anthem
  • Give my mind an assignment to work on
  • Let it roam
  • Make farting noises
  • Practice mindful meditation
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Engage others in conversation

(It seems I chose the higher road.)

It is easy to resist these moments of inconvenience, yet that very resistance that entices you is the real source of your discomfort. You can actually have fun in line.  Meet great people.  Get things done.  Fantasize.  Or, according to this Huffington Post article, even make it a joyful experience.

The next time you find yourself one of many in a long line, don’t forget that it is a choice you felt had value.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, see it as an adventure and find a way to use the time to your advantage.  Who knows?  Maybe there is someone in that line you are meant to meet or being there is preventing a car accident you might have been in.

What I do know for sure is that developing the art of waiting in line and recognizing it as a choice, feels more peaceful and empowering than any of the other alternatives.

I’m curious.  What are your favorite things to do when while you wait?  You can share in the comments below …