Posts tagged: Whole Life Coaching

The 3-Question Happiness Quiz

“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” ~ Woody Allen

“Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.” ~ Miguel Angel Ruiz

Many people say they are seeking answers but that’s like looking for love in all the wrong places. The power lies in the question. Answers can only be a reflection of the question you ask – much like the relationship of the moon to the sun. But the question has the energy to create space, connections and choice all of which are the stepping-stones to your happy place.

There are three types of questions that have the power to change your life. These power questions fall into 3 categories: The Perspective Shifter, The Clarifier and the Totally Absurd.

Here is a quick quiz to demonstrate how these questions can change everything for you.

The Perspective Shifter

This type of question is used when you are in a negative situation and you are looking for a quick shift. This question has the power of transformation by taking a “bad” situation and changing it into a happiness multiplier for you.

Quiz Question:

You have just been given a less that stellar job performance review.  Which of these questions are most like your inner dialogue:

  1. Why is it I always take the blame for everything? If I had only gotten my Masters Degree then I wouldn’t be in this stupid job. Man, I really blew it.
  2. My boss is such a jerk. He is totally unrealistic if he thinks I’m going to work harder when he treats us all like crap. Plus the pay stinks – he’s lucky I show up at all.
  3. What part of this feedback can I use to improve myself? What shifts do I need to put into place so I can expand my potential?

If you circled #1, you are a self-blamer.  If you circled #2 you are an other-blamer. Either way blame is like cement to misery. Blaming questions don’t create the space for growth or change but they can be very alluring because they are delicious to talk about to your friends and family. It feels really good when you can whip up a chorus of support from others. However you just continue to get more of the same old stress and misery.

If you circled #3 then you’ve asked some perspective shifting questions. These questions open up the space for growth, create a connection between the information you received and a positive outcome for you while creating the energy of choice and freedom. These questions lead you to new outcomes by inspiring action instead of complaints.

The Clarifier

These questions offer you the opportunity to clarify what outcomes you want rather than keeping your focus on what’s going wrong in your life.

Quiz Question:

You are on your way to work and you are totally frazzled. Your morning was another hectic mess. The kids were fighting at the breakfast table, your spouse forgot to make their lunches even though you asked 3 times and you are already exhausted and the day has just begun. Which of these is most like your inner dialogue?

  1. Why does this always happen to me? My life is miserable! When did I let it get so bad?
  2. For just one day can’t I have a smooth, peaceful start to the day? Is it really too much to ask? If they loved me they would act differently!
  3. What is it I really want? What would be more fun than the morning I just had? What can I do to move in that direction?

Again, #1 & #2 are blaming questions. They keep you laser focused on your problems until that’s all you can see. And from that point you can only create more of the same.

However, #3 is a clarifying question. It asks your conscious & subconscious mind to create something new. By opening up the space of looking toward what you’d like and creating a clear vision of it, you give yourself the connections needed to make new choices.

 

The Totally Absurd

This type of question is so different I will discuss its merits after you answer the quiz question.

Quiz Question:

You co-worker has just gotten something you think you want. Fill in the blank with a new job, gotten engaged, become pregnant, gotten divorced, lost weight or whatever you think is something that will make you happier than you are right now. Which of these is most like your inner dialogue?

  1. Why can’t I ever be happy? I never catch a break. My life is the pits!
  2. Great – like she needed that – her life is already a bed of roses. She’s got it so easy. I wish I had her life.
  3. Do you expect a toddler to be able to do high-level calculus?

Ok – so this was a bit of a trick but hear me out. Of course by now you see that questions #1 & #2 are blaming questions and they only serve to keep you in that whirlpool of stress, misery and unhappiness.

But what about #3? The totally absurd question is one used by professionals to jolt you out of a rut. We often get so ingrained in our stories we need something to dynamite us out of our groove. So, the answer to question #3 is probably not, but on occasion it could happen but would you really want it if it did?

So when we are comparing ourselves to someone else we never fully know the whole truth so the outcome is off-target. Our view of their life in comparison to ours is like expecting a toddler to do high-level calculus – the problem is not the toddler but with our expectation.

Of course a toddler can’t do calculus – but if we expect it we are the ones that are going to be disappointed over & over again. And, if we point to the one in a thousand who can actually pull off that feat as reinforcement then we are digging an even deeper hole.

Comparing your life to someone else’s always leads to disappointment because you only see the façade – you can never really know what is really going on so you are chasing an illusion. But if you hold your life up to someone who is in the one in a thousand category then you are going to be really disappointed – but ask yourself, would you want to be in that category?

Have you really thought through all the stressors of being famous, a genius, or whatever you think someone else has that you don’t? The trick to being happy is to be happy with what you have so you can create more things to be happy about.

The old adage garbage in garbage out is especially true when discussing the questions you ask yourself. You cannot get life-affirming, happiness producing answers from blaming and complaining questions.

So please go through your day asking yourself, “What would be more fun that this?” or “What would be the best outcome of this situation?” Play with asking yourself different questions and see what amazing answers pop into your life.

 

What are the questions that shift your perspective? Please let me know!

Blessings,

Donna

 
Here’s a funny happiness video showing how the magic of the unexpected can change everything!

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Are You Magnetizing Your Fears?

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” ~ Steve Jobs

“The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.” ~ Wayne Dyer

How much of your life is spent in fear? Do a quick scan – every time you are anxious about the future, get upset about something that might happen, expect the other shoe to drop, or ruminate about past events then you are spending lots of your precious time in fear. So what can you do to change this vicious spiral?

Close your eyes and visualize yourself holding two magnets; one is labeled FEAR and the other is labeled HAPPINESS.  The magnets turn on when you look at them.  So the more you look at the FEAR magnet the more it pulls what you don’t want into your life. So, if all you have to do is to avert your eyes from the FEAR magnet and lock onto the HAPPINESS magnet then why don’t we? Here’s the big secret:

Fear has a hypnotic effect on us because it is so primal!

Fear has served us well throughout our ancestry. We needed to know when to run and when it was safe to put our kids down for the night. Over the centuries we have entwined fear and intuition and believe they are connected.  They are easy to tell apart – fear screams and intuition whispers. But fear’s primal nature is so hypnotic because of the delicious sense of adrenaline it provides.

Underneath all fear is an undercurrent of adrenaline that keeps us on the hook. This combo makes fear feel alive and exciting in our lives, even though the subject matter is not what we want to bring in to our life.

This adrenaline makes our fears seem alive in our lives even before the actual event comes to pass. It is this quick flash of immediate adrenaline that keeps our eyes locked on our FEAR magnet.

Case Study

I have a client who was magnetizing her fears with her boyfriend. She would have fear dreams where he would cheat on her. Then she would tell him about the dreams and get overly anxious when he was friendly to other women and female co-workers. She was feeding her fears and creating what she didn’t want by dousing him in her anxieties. Her boyfriend was totally committed to her, and wanted them to move in together. So in reality he was not pulling away in any manner, but her fear prevented her from moving forward.

Fears are False Illusions Appearing Real so her reality was very positive with this man; she was just unable to see it because she was mesmerized by what she didn’t want. Her fear had a stronger emotional hold on her than her happiness.

Looking at our HAPPINESS magnet just doesn’t feel as immediately exciting, so it doesn’t hold our attention as well. We tend to rein in our excitement until we are sure a good event will come to pass. Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?” The trick to turning this cycle around is to move the powerful, good feelings linked to your HAPPINESS magnet into your today, even before the event has happened.

It will take some reprogramming, but start by revving up your imagination so you feel the rush of good feelings surrounding an event long before it happens. This is crucial because we will gravitate to the strongest feeling, regardless if it is good or bad. That’s the magnetic aspect.

So in this example, instead of being so attracted to the fear scenario, my client needs to shift her attention and feelings to a happiness scenario. So, it would look like this as an option:

Instead of worrying about things that might go bad with her boyfriend, she could focus on the all the things that she is grateful for about him and their relationship. But to make this very present in her day she must write down 3 things she’s grateful for every day. And then she must feel the gratitude. She can keep this going by looking at her list 3-4 times a day.

This re-patterning might take some time before it feels natural, but it is essential to making your shift.

Replace your deep fried platter of fear with an even better dish – the delicious anticipation of happiness. You just need to re-train your brain to feel your good emotions prior to the events; this will override the adrenaline addiction of fear. Since practice makes it easier, look for all the opportunities your day brings you to practice this technique.

[This article is a reprint of my September 2012 Living Well column in Natural Triad.]

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Summer Fun-O-Meter Quiz

Are you having fun yet? Take this quiz to see how your summer fun is shaping up. Also below this post there is my Top 10 List of fun things you can do this summer if you’re stumped. Enjoy!

Summer Fun-O-Meter Quiz

By: Donna Burick

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it ~ Russell Baker

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” ~ John Keats

Here we are in midsummer and I have to ask – are we having fun yet? We love the energy of summer because it’s ripe with so many opportunities to have a great time. So let’s greet the heat with as much enthusiasm as we can muster and revert to treating this summer like we are back at camp.

What were your favorite summer memories? Was it eating hot dogs at a baseball game? Did you know that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.

Or maybe it was sitting on the porch waiting with great anticipation as your family cranked out homemade ice cream. While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much! There is something special about sharing ice cream outdoors with someone you love and you will be glad to know that scientists have discovered that it takes about 50 licks to eat a single scoop ice cream cone. Maybe it’s not as calorie negative as celery, but at least there is some effort expended – so eat a scoop guilt free.

What summer activities that you so loved as a child can you bring back into your daily life? Make sure you are intentionally having some fun this summer. Recapture that carefree summer attitude.

To help get your mindset pointed in the right direction, I created this Summer Fun-O-Meter Quiz. Each answer is weighted with fun-meter points so you can see where you are on the fun scale.

1. It’s 8pm on a Wednesday night and still light outside. Are you thinking about:

  1. Going to bed early, pulling the shades and catching up on those episodes of Grey’s Anatomy you TiVo’d?
  2. Sitting down at your computer to play Farmville on Facebook?
  3. Pouring a second glass of wine and sitting on your back deck to watch the sunset?
  4. Breaking out some sidewalk chalk and spending some creative time outside.

If you answered A or B then you are not taking advantage of all the summer fun available to you. By staying inside and not doing something different than any other day you are not maxing out your fun-meter.  Now C is a good answer but there is no activity or creativity involved. Plus, that second glass of wine might disrupt your sleep, making you less likely to have the energy to make the most out the next day. C is the answer that maxes out your summer fun possibilities. When is the last time you drew on a sidewalk? You are getting some vitamin D in your system and being creative all at the same time!

2. It’s 7am on Saturday morning. Are you:

  1. Shutting off your alarm so you can roll over for a few more hours of sleep?
  2. Dragging yourself out of bed, dreading your mile long to do list?
  3. Waking up with no plans?
  4. On your way downtown to go to the Farmer’s Market.

Now, sleep is a precious gift but studies have shown that by upsetting your sleep routine on weekends you make it harder to be alert the first few days of the week. It is better to stay within the same bedtime & waking time to keep your body in a rhythm. Also, that’s the thing you do in Winter. Summer is begging you to get up and out. As for B, it’s good that you have things you want to accomplish but all work and no play is really dull!! Make sure you plan some fun into each day so the things you have to do are sandwiched between things you want to do. As for C, spontaneity is great but less gets done when it is not planned. You don’t have to have your weekend scheduled down to the minute but without a guide it is easy to get lost. So D has the most fun-meter juice. Get out of bed and start your day with a fun summer activity. Buy some local fruits & vegetables, see old friends and jump start your day.

3. It’s 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Are you:

  1. Dozing off in front of the TV or on Facebook?
  2. Grocery Shopping?
  3. Walking in the park?
  4. On the lawn with some friends having a picnic at a Sunday Music in the Park concert?

At the risk of repeating myself, summer is all about getting up, out and going. This is the time to do creative, active, fun things. So, cross A off your list. As for B, I know we all have to shop sometime, but the point is to make sure you intentionally structure your time to maximize all the fun things available to you this summer. Shop in an off time so that you really make the most of your day. So, B needs to be rescheduled. Answer C is a great one, but it is solitary. It’s fantastic to get outside an commune with nature, but just not all the time. Balance is the key here. So D has all the most fun-meter points. You are outside, doing a special summer thing, listening to great free music & enjoying the company of friends. An all-round splendid rejuvenating activity.

I know it’s hot, and the kids are probably starting to get bored and underfoot, but we are only half-way through the summer! Therefore, you can keep doing the same thing or you can reorganize your thinking and make this summer the best one ever! Be intentional about your time and energy.

Plan fun activities, go fun places and just really enjoy the special gifts this time of year brings. There are many fun, free things going on so seek them out. Reach back into your memory and recapture some of those things that made you smile when you were younger. Just get up, out and going.

[The article above is a reprint of my July 2012 Living Well column in Natural Triad.]

Top 10 Summer Fun Activities

  1. Blow Bubbles – there is just something really playful about this activity!
  2. Pick Berries and then make something fun with them.
  3. Stargaze.
  4. Watch a fireworks display.
  5. Lie on your back and pick out interesting cloud shapes.
  6. Build a fire and roast marshmallows.
  7. Create cupcake planters. http://www.whimsy-love.com/2009/04/cupcake-planter-tutorial.html
  8. Play tourist in your hometown.
  9. Grab a friend and a camera and get silly. For example, take a picture of yourself lounging in from of a fountain like a Greek goddess.
  10. Make stepping-stones for your garden or yard.

Bonus: Tie-dye shirts, create fun summer drinks, or plan a scavenger hunt for your friends.

Most of all just get out there and have some fun – the kind that includes lots of laughter and maybe a sprinkler.

Please leave me a comment about your favorite summer activity or favorite summer childhood memory.

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The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short

IMG_2501As my son crossed the stage to receive his diploma I was reminded of this very true adage about parenting: some of the days really can be long but all of the years are most certainly short!

It is so important to keep this perspective. It’s so easy to slip into the frustrations of today or to overlook the gift each year of childhood brings.

Remember when they were learning to walk? Or the first time they experienced snow? Remember potty training? Or that art project they so proudly brought home for Mother’s Day? How about that year of learning to drive? That was a tricky time.

But how did this day arrive so quickly – the day my son is done with high school, and a few short weeks away from leaving for college?

We have traveled together from a baby, to a boy, to a teenager and now he’s a man. I wouldn’t trade one minute of the journey for anything – the good, the bad and the ugly are all precious to me because it has brought us here, together.

Here is a great video telling one woman’s discovery of this principle. What’s your perspective? Does this resonate with you?

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The Art of Telling a New Story

[ This is a reprint of my June 2012 article in the Natural Triad Magazine. Please take a few minutes and watch the most amazing video, at the bottom of this post, showing the transformative power of telling yourself a new story of who you are.]

The Art of Telling a New Story

By: Donna Burick

Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.  – Marianne Williamson

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. —Salman Rushdie

If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life. —Jean Houston

Many people don’t realize the extent to which stories influence our behavior and even shape our culture. Think about how Bible stories teach the fundamentals of religion and rules of conduct. Think of the fables and parables that molded your values. Think of how stories about your national, cultural or family history have shaped your attitudes about yourself and others. —Lawrence Shapiro, in How to Raise a Child with a High EQ: A Parents’ Guide to Emotional Intelligence

Imagine yourself as an old peasant, walking down the road with a very heavy bag slung over your shoulder. As you go down the dusty road this bag causes you to stoop over as you perch it on your back. Although this bag is heavy and awkward you cling to it because it contains all your life stories. The thought of leaving it behind is terrifying. What if you come to a point in the road and you need to make a choice? How would you navigate it without pulling out an old story? What if you are traveling alongside a partner? Could you interact with them without the aid of these heavy memories as your guide?

Not only can you navigate your life more easily without clinging to this old bag of tales but the only way to go through life with ease is to let it go. However, you need to replace it with something else – nature abhors a vacuum. Therefore, it is time you learn the art of telling new stories.

The first step in learning to tell a new story is to realize that the stories you’ve carried for so long as “Truth” are not. They are memories, stories you’ve told yourself & others and as such they are altered each time you recall or retell them. This is a natural process that the mind goes through every time we pull things from one time point into another time point. The act of placing it in the present now alters it. As Dr. Nate Kornell explains in Psychology Today:

“Police have to be very careful when questioning witnesses. They basically treat a witness’s memory like a crime scene: once you go over it a single time, it’s irreversibly disturbed. For example, asking a biased question, even unintentionally, can make a witness tell their story a little differently. Doing so doesn’t just change the story; it changes the witness’s memory, permanently and irreversibly. And this isn’t just true of witnesses. The more we tell stories, the more our memories change.”

Let this thought really marinate with you. What possibilities open up if the very things we look to as life shaping events can be viewed as inaccurate? Well, if they are not empowering, life affirming stories then you are free to discard them as fiction. And if you are dealing with fiction why not write your own?

If you were given the opportunity to re-write your childhood or your divorce how would you reframe it? Can you write a funny or affirming account of these life events? Play at this game for a while and see what the effects are on your psyche.

For example, if you grew up in a poor family who struggled with the burden of having not enough of anything, revisit your childhood through the eyes of a princess growing up in an opulent castle surrounded by many beautiful things. Then shift into today and see how this new story affects your feelings toward money.

Or perhaps you are carrying many scars from a bitter divorce. What if you closed you eyes and saw yourself sitting with your ex-partner at an outdoor café and heard your voice say, “Thanks for the many wonderful memories. We had some really good times but I now release us both to go forth and see what other wonderful adventures await us as we interact with new partners.” And then hear them say, “You are so right. I really appreciate the time we spent together. I bless you and release you to create a new and wonderful leg of your life journey.”

By re-scripting your last scene you rewire your emotional state. This is so important because we create what is in our present experience from the vantage point of our emotions. For example, on days you wake up excited everything seems to flow but on the days you wake up frustrated then everything and everyone annoys you. Your outer world has not dramatically changed, only your inner interpretation of the events or story has shifted.

You may have resistance to this exercise because you believe you have proof that these bad memories occurred. However, this exercise is not asking you to not trust yourself. The purpose of re-writing your stories is to allow in the possibilities of personal growth by removing the painful aspects of your stories so their lessons can shine through. But what if you bump up against resistance or can’t seem to re-write these events? Reach out and ask for help. There are many professional techniques that can disengage the painful active memories in your life.

So in the spirit of summer, unleash your inner child and play with this idea. Recreate your memories as fairy tales or maybe sci-fi thrillers with you having all kinds of cool super powers. Your reality is all within your control. Since you experience your past in the now, by changing your past you shift your present and redirect the course of your future. These new positive thoughts magnetize your vibrations to bring in other good thoughts and outcomes, thus creating a snowball effect of better and better stories that will play out in your future.

Please watch this amazing video and see the transformative power of telling yourself a new story:

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Are Your Positive Thoughts Making You Feel Bad?

[This is a reprint of my article in the May 2012 Natural Triad magazine.]

Are Your Positive Thoughts Making You Feel Bad?

By: Donna Burick

One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life. Napoleon Hill

Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. Brian Tracy

Our minds are like a vast universe fueled by the dark matter that are our thoughts. They are tricky, sticky, funny, uplifting, inspirational, devastating and crippling. We give our thoughts too much credit. We believe they are our guides but in reality, our feelings are our true guides.

How We “Head” Into Trouble

Anytime we are led by our head we are “headed” for trouble. You see it is our ideas & beliefs that create our problems. You know that on some level – your gut level. Let me explain.  Our thoughts are so tricky that even the “good” ones like, “I want to accomplish something important in my life time” or “I want to discover my life purpose” can be very self-destructive. I would even say they can be as damaging, if not more, than the ones we acknowledge are damaging like “I’m so stupid” or “I can’t believe I did it again”. The way you know these are the same is by the way you feel.

Your feelings are your true guidance system. If thoughts are making you feel “bad” in any way then they are damaging. Don’t be fooled by their false positiveness like those referenced above. It doesn’t matter what the thought is, just how it makes you feel. So, if the thought that you want to do something important in your lifetime excites & motives you then it’s a good thought. However, I’ve seen that very thought paralyze and degrade otherwise bright, talented people. Same thought two different feelings.

My Personal Challenge

Here is an example from my own life. My youngest son has developed a new habit of leaving his shirt on his bathroom floor every morning. He is a teenager so he’s very tired in the morning and after his shower he just can’t seem to remember to pick it up when he leaves the bathroom.

This new habit of his was very stressful for me. I was annoyed that every week there would be 5 or 6 “invisible” shirts on the floor. I assumed that as they built up they would be more noticeable or maybe perhaps when he went in the bathroom in the afternoon or evening then he might notice them then and pick them up. Sadly, no. None of these things took place. They seemed reasonable assumptions on my part but they are apparently utterly foreign to my beloved offspring.

As this trend continued and I made repeated attempts at correcting this behavior to no avail, my anger & frustration grew.  This small issue was growing and consuming my energy and attention. Every time I walked past his bathroom and saw another infraction, I had a negative emotional reaction. What irked me most of all is my son’s unwillingness to understand how monumental this issue really was. To my utter amazement, to him this was just no big deal. Which of course set me off on another tirade all by itself.

My Ah-Ha Moment

I was talking about this struggle I was having (and it is important to note only I was having it – the only struggle my son was having was with me & my ever increasing reactions) and a close friend of mine said to me, “Maybe that’s just his personality. Perhaps you should just let it go and not make such a big deal about it.” I just stood there with my mouth open. I was stunned. If it had been a movie there would have been a quelling of music in the background. I started laughing. She of course was right. I had become a prisoner of my thoughts. Thoughts I was sure were positive, good & right but were making me feel bad. I believed that I was helping my son by training him to not leave his clothes in the bathroom. I did the natural thing and had played it all the way out, reassuring myself that I was saving him from eminent disaster in later life by keeping him from divorce because he was totally incapable of picking up his dirty clothes off the floor. He’s only 14. Perhaps he might just grow out of it – even without my “help”.

I got so wrapped up in my thoughts I forgot to use my guidance system to check in with myself. My feelings of anger & irritation were my flags that something was off, yet I overrode them by reassuring myself that I was right. But I heeded the old adage, “You can be right or happy, chose one.” I changed course and went with happy.

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family. Virginia Satir

Change Your Mind & Everything Changes

His clothes still adorn the bathroom floor and I still walk past and shake my head, but now I do it with a little smile. Nothing has changed except the way I think about the situation. My new mantra is “Isn’t he so cute.” I now focus my thoughts on the things I adore about my son and I notice I am getting more of those things from him instead of the resistance and struggle brought out by my last stance.

The Universe is made up of wonderful checks and balances and your Mind/Body connection is one of those miracles. Our lives have become full of distractions & disconnects. But the more you can open that channel the more grounded and magical your daily life can become.

The first step is to consciously begin tying the two together. When you are feeling discomfort in your body ask yourself, “What is the thought I was just thinking?” In turn, as you listen to your mind chatter, pause for a moment, drop into your body and ask yourself, “How does this make me feel?” These exercises will help unblock your Mind/Body connection.

Be Wary of the Serpent in Designer Clothing

Overtly negative thoughts are easy to spot, but be on the lookout for the ones that seem positive but elicit “bad” feelings. It is very easy to ignore the guidance of these feelings and overwrite them with the intellectual idea that our Mind knows best. This is where the insidiously tricky, stickiness of our thoughts get us. It’s like having the President fire the Congress and the Supreme Court and appoint himself to be his own set of checks & balances. We would be all up in arms if that happened; yet we let our thoughts convince us that they know what’s best. If you listen very closely you might even catch the slight hissing sound that rolls off the serpent’s tongue when you hear that inner voice whisper, “Trust me, you are in the right.”

You Already Have the Answer

So for those of you who are struggling with the idea that you want to find your life purpose and/or want to accomplish something important here’s your answer. You are already fulfilling your life’s purpose every time you laugh, or connect with someone or love or feel good. Just as you are already accomplishing something important just by adding your unique imprint on the Universe.

Your purpose is to be in love with you. There is no greater gift you can give to the world because only you can give it. That’s why it is also your biggest, most important accomplishment. Your uniqueness is the accomplishment – it is an accomplishment of being not doing. So be the most wonderful version of yourself possible and feel your emotional guidance system give your new way of thinking a standing ovation.

Here is a very interesting video from Mooji discussing this topic:

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The Power of Signs

hawkI am a big believer in signs. Whenever I have something on my mind or I need to make a decision, I know there will be signs to help me. But the trick is knowing what to look for and then knowing what to do once you find them.

The thing about signs is they can come from anywhere. They can be small and subtle or very dramatic! It can be as simple as a song on the radio, a comment from a friend or an event that you witness.

Recently I was having an interaction with my 14 year old son. I wanted him to use his time over the long MLK weekend one way and he had a totally different agenda. He had some homework that was due on Tuesday and I wanted him to get it done early on and then have the rest of the weekend free. He wanted to plan out his whole time, decide how much time he needed to do the assignments and then work them in during blocks of time when there was no football on TV and/or no other friends to hang out with.

Needless to say, our different ideas about how he should spend his time created some very charged interactions. So early on in the weekend I was thinking about our relationship and wondering if my approach of wanting to micro-manage him was in fact the correct choice. It made me feel better but was it really the correct thing for him?

So I put it out to the Universe to help me understand which way to go with this situation and that I needed a sign to give me clarity. Not too long after that I did what I usally do when I need clarity and went for a walk. As I was walking through some wooded areas in my neighborhood I spotted a hawk at the top of a very tall tree. I noticed the hawk and went on, thinking nothing about it.

About 30 minutes later I looked up from my desk and saw that the hawk was right outside my back door, perched on my deck railing. There sat this big, beautiful bird right outside my window just looking at me. Once it had my attention it jumped down to the ground and allowed me to get within a few feet from it and then it soared away. It didn’t even hardly flap its powerful wings. It just glided away almost effortlessly.

Well, I was pretty sure that was the sign I’d asked for since I have never in my life seen a hawk up close and personal. And of course it did come right up to my back door just so I wouldn’t miss that the sign was meant for me.

So the question became, now what? What does this all mean for my dilemma? Well, the first thing I did was go to my signs book and look up the meaning of a hawk. Hawks are messengers, symbolizing the ability to take a big picture view. So, I had to ask myself, I am really serving us both with my decision to micro-manage my son’s time? If I take a big picture view what would that look like in this situation? If I step back and allow him the freedom to manage his own time, what’s the worst that could happen?

This self-reflection helped me take a different, more empowering tact for both of us. I gave him the list of what needed to be accomplished, the deadline it all had to be done by and the consequences of not meeting the deadline. Beyond that I told him he had complete control over how he spent his time and that I trusted in his success.

He rose to the occasion and had everything completed with 2 hours to spare. He worked out what he needed to do and what he wanted to do and figured out how to balance the two. My new stance took the pressure off me because I was using my mental energy to keep him on task and then when we were together I was directing his activities instead of enjoying his company.

Thanks to my hawk friend I know we both learned some valuable lessons. My son learned that I am able to trust him to be responsible and I learned that I need to be watchful for more opportunities that allow him to spread his wings and soar.

So look for signs in your life. They are there to help you find your way. The Universe is always lining everything up in your favor, you just need to be open to the messages.

Blessings,
Donna

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New Year New You

New Year New You

5 Easy Ways to Make Lasting Change

tn_new year photo 2012With the New Year upon us it is time again to make those resolutions. However, why don’t you do it differently in 2012? Instead of resolutions, just decide on some SHIFTS you’d like to make in your life.

Here is an easy 5 step process for creating SHIFTS that move you toward what you are wanting.

S – Start small. Create baby steps toward you ultimate goal. Smaller bites are easier to chew and with small successes, you are more likely to keep these changes in place. Reward yourself for the actions you take rather than using progress as your barometer.

H – Help is not a bad thing. No one said you need to do it all by yourself for it to count. Seek out a support system, enlist a coach or grab a buddy. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself in alignment with what you want.

I – Intention is a powerful motivator. Uncover the powerful reason why you are making these changes. Keep a daily journal of your “Why’s” to help keep you motivated.

F – Forget your “shoulds”. It should be happening faster, you should be doing it better, etc. If you stumble or stray from your new path, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on track. No judgment, just keep going forward.

T – Think in terms of what you’d like to add to your life rather than what you’d like to take away. Focusing on your positive outcomes is a much more powerful motivator.

S – Self-Celebrate. The reason you want to make changes is because you want your life to be better. However, enjoy your life as it is today while working forward to a new you. This way the journey is pleasurable and you aren’t just waiting for the destination.

If you’d like some additional information about making new lifestyle changes this year, please see my article in the Natural Triad online magazine, 12 Lifestyle Changes for 2012.

Happy New Year!

Many Blessings,
Donna

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Welcome to Our Feast of Love

Recently I was at a wedding reception and one of my 8-year-old nephews decided to give a toast. He saw that the adults were all standing up and saying things so he thought he’d join in. So, he stood right up, paused a minute and said, “Welcome family and friends to our feast of love”.

I thought this was probably the best wedding reception toast I’d ever heard. But aren’t all family gathering supposed to be a feast of love?

As you are busy these next few days either preparing for company or traveling, pause for a moment and connect with the idea that you are sharing in a love feast.  Make this Thanksgiving one filled with gratitude for the love that is so abundant in your life.

Here is a gratitude poem I came across and wanted to share it with you. I’m using it as my mantra this holiday season.

Blessings to you and your loved ones,

Donna

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

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Your Wish is Your Command: How to Uncork the Genie in the Bottle

If a Genie suddenly appeared and asked you, “What is it that you really want?” would you be able to answer? Really answer, not just with the list of things you always have at the ready – bigger house, new car, more money, etc. etc. – but the feelings and state of mind that you think these things will bring you if you somehow could possess them.

Maybe you do have a clear vision of what you really want; like a chronic pain you want to release. Or perhaps when faced with that question you only have a vague sense that there is something you want, but you just can’t bring it into clear focus.

What if that Genie really exists and it lives in your energy field that is the “Higher You”? Wouldn’t you love to be able to communicate with it? Well, the answers you seek are closer than you think.

Here is a fun way to “channel” your inner guidance:

  1. Set aside 30-60 minutes of quiet time. Bring a notebook and a pen.
  2. Write on the top of the paper your question. For example, “What is it I really want at this time in my life?”
  3. Close your eyes and go inward for a few minutes. When you feel ready open your eyes and begin writing. If nothing comes flowing out immediately then begin writing by rephrasing the question. For example, “I want at this point in my life…”
  4. Just write whatever comes – do not edit. Also know that it will feel made up at first – you are not “faking” it – that’s just how it feels until you move into place of more trust. Consider the information “imagined” instead of “faked” – it’s much more playful that way!
  5. Keep asking additional questions that stem from the first one. Questions like, “What’s my first step in making that happen” or “Why do I want that right now” or “Who do I need to ask for help with this”.
  6. Go until you run out of steam and then look over what you’ve written.

This exercise is a great way to tap into the guidance that is always with you. That’s what’s so great about Energy Therapy – it allows us to get guidance from your “Higher Self” so you are able to move forward.

As Summer becomes Fall and the energy shifts, it is time to re-focus on your questions. And as always I am here, ready to help you ask, answer and manifest your heart’s desire.

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Lose 10 Pounds of Emotional Baggage Fast

Life Coaching with Energy Therapy Breaks Your Past Chains

Would you like to feel 10 pounds lighter? Do you want a quick, easy way to stop carrying around all that past baggage that has built up in your life?

If so then here’s your answer.

By fusing Energy Therapy modalities with Life Coaching techniques a reaction is created that clears away past subconscious programing and baggage so you can move forward with ease.

We are all a product of our past experiences, thoughts and actions. But if you are looking to improve your outcomes then Life Coaching with Energy Therapy is your best bet.

Life Coaching is very different than regular talk therapy because it is focused on where you are and where you want to go rather than on past events. But, what if past events are affecting where you are and where you want to go? That’s why adding Energy Therapy is the answer.

Life Coaching boosted with Energy Therapy modalities can access your subconscious blocks and move aside those things that are holding you back. The real gift is these are things that you can not access in regular conscious therapy or coaching.

So if you’ve ever felt like you’ve hashed and rehashed your past and yet you still have not moved forward to the extent that you’d like then this is your answer.

A good analogy of how your subconscious mind works is the studies done on babies and the visual cliff. Babies who are just crawling are placed on a plexiglass table where one side looks shallow and the other seems to drop off. The parent is on the “deep” side coaxing the baby across.

Psychologists have found out two very important things from this test.

One, that the expressions of the trusted parent directly affects the babies performance. If the parent shows a fear face as the baby starts toward the deep end the baby stops crawling. In like manner, if the parent is smiling and nodding yes, the baby scampers across.

Secondly, psychologists have found that babies who are first crawling do not seem to show an inherent fear of the deep side because they have very little experience with falling. However, babies a few months older, and who have experienced falling, have a much stronger avoidance reaction to the deep end, even when their parent is coaxing them to cross.

This is how your subconscious mind develops. There are negative events that have happened to you that have encoded in your subconscious. These patterns or messages run in your subconscious background in an effort to protect you from harm.

Perhaps they served you when they were formed, but they are no longer the patterns you want running twenty years later. Energy Therapy enables us to go in and turn off those messages and re-encode new messages that are more productive.

So, if you’ve ever felt like that you bump in to an invisible wall when you try to move forward, see what a powerful difference Life Coaching infused with Energy Therapy can do for you.

Here are some of my Life Coaching success stories from other clients. You can also get more information about the power of Energy Therapy at my Life Coaching website.

 

Here are two videos on the Visual Cliff experiment:

 

Here is some additonal information for you:

What is BodyTalk?

What is Complementary or Alternative Medicine?

How Do We Heal Past Emotional Experiences?

Energy Healing

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What’s Your Dream?

There’s an old Nick Nolte movie in which a homeless man goes around asking people “What’s your dream?” Finding your life’s passion is sometimes harder than it would seem. One way I have my clients assess passion level is by the way tasks and ideas make them feel.

Does thinking about taking on a new career path fill you with energy or dread? Do you feel better or worse after spending the weekend with that new person in your life??

Listening to your own body is the quickest way to tap into your intuition. Your senses are full of information that is reliable – you just need to know what you’re listening for and make sure it’s coming from the right place. Often the voice in our head is not our own and the things that seem to be draining us are not even real.

I came across this great blog called Life in Pencil. Anne, one of the blog’s writer’s, wrote an excellent post about this topic. It’s called “Where’s Your Energy?

Please let me know what some of your experiences are with making decisions and finding your passion.

I look forward to hearing about your journey.

Blessings,

Donna

 

Here’s a great video by Dr. Wayne Dyer about finding your passion:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl-cbXrMGP4&feature=PlayList&p=B4AF02883248AF93&playnext_from=PL&index=1&playnext=2

 

Here are some other blog posts about Finding your passion:

 

5 Simple Ways to Find Your Passion and Take Your Blog from Zero to Hero

How to Find Your Passion for Anything

How to Find Your Passion

100 Useful Web Tools to Help You Find Your Passion, Calling or Career

How to Find Your Passion (And What You Should be Blogging About)

55 Seconds to…Finding Your Passion

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Be Kind: Wisdom From A Child

I had a very nice interaction with a bank customer service representative yesterday. She really went out of her way to help me solve a problem I was having and I walked away really feeling taken care of. So because of that I was focused on kindness and ways we can be kind to one another and I came across this video.

It’s a really cute video from this little girl giving advice about being kind. I thought you might like it. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Kindness can not be overrated. The kinder you are to others the more you blossom. It’s as essential as rain is to a flower.

 

Here’s the video – enjoy!

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxm5ol6GE48

 

Here are some other articles on kindness from the web:

USA Today’s Kindness Stories

Kindness Happens

A Week of Kindness Blog

One Million Moments of Kindness

Generate Kindness

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How to Approach Your Work/Life Situations with B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

Your work/life situation is totally unique but one thing that’s universal is the fact that they often get out of balance. Here is a simple 7 step B.A.L.A.N.C.E. plan for gaining the work/life balance you’re looking for.

1. B – Begin. By deciding to self reflect and observe your life you open up the possibilities for change.

2. A – Asses where you are right now. Really look at where your time and energy goes and asses the priorities you have instituted. Make a note of which actions and priorities make you feel better and which make you feel worse. Also, note which ones are missing.

3. L- Love what is. Many people can not move forward because they are too stuck in judging their situation. They spend all their energy on struggling with it instead of accepting where they are right now and channeling their energy into making new choices.

4. A – Activate new patterns. Once you’ve looked over your activities and priorities and have stopped resisting where you are right now then you have the perfect opportunity to start some new patterns. Maybe you now have a clear idea what you want to say no to. Maybe you are ready to substitute a good feeling activity for one that has been draining you.

5. N – Notice your thoughts. Much of what throws us off balance is mental. Stress is like mud wrestling – there is no way to participate in it and come out clean. Negative thought patterns like worry, overwhelm, anxiety and judgments drain you of the peace and balance you are looking for. These negative thoughts are like stacks of junk mail that build up until they spill over and cover up the good thoughts that make us feel light, happy, and rejuvenated.

6. C – Course correct. As you begin new activities and new thought patterns you will naturally get “off course”. There are only two things you need to do to solve this: fix upon a destination and gently course correct as you go along. Use your emotions as guides to tell you when you are beginning to get off course and then gently correct until you are back into a more positive feeling place.

7. E – Enjoy. You’ve been told a thousand times that life is a journey, not a destination so just enjoy yourself along the way. Know you are going to get off course and that life will bring you unforeseeable detours, but make a conscious choice to enjoy the scenery along the way and then even the time you spend “lost” will be pleasurable.

Your work/life balancing act is unique to your situation. If you would like to create a specialized plan that incorporates a holistic approach please consider getting the assistance of a Whole Life Coach to speed up your progress.

Here are some other articles on this general topic you might like:

Here are some additional articles for you:

  • Energy Therapy Healing:Does It Have Physical Benefits … – Few people think about it, but energy is everywhere. At all times energy is a part of us and is flowing all around us. Everything we see including our own bodies and the earth itself is full of energy.
  • Wholelife Coaching: Lifestyle Entrepreneur Coaching – Whatever you are good at, whatever you enjoy, whatever you have an avid interest in, whatever you love therein lies your talent your Calling. If you are ready to enjoy the freedom of working for yourself, consider what it takes to succeed. It takes vision, planning and follow through, assessing risk and reality, developing relationships, and most importantly it’s a process that takes focus over time.
  • Whole Life Coaching – Margie Gordillo – Something in you wants to step up bigger. Whatever the leap is the only fall is in the choice not to climb.
  • Life Coaching For Your Whole Life — My Whole Life – Alignment : Live your life with integrity; honor your purpose, values, and beliefs. Balance : Create personalized strategies to balance your life and focus on what you define as important. Clarity :  Define success on your own terms.
  • Good Life Coaching | Sharon Good | Career, Life Purpose … – “Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation. Whole Life Coaching addresses your life in a holistic way, in which each part affects the whole. T he program begins with a one-and-one-quarter-hour Discovery session, in which we explore and assess your level of satisfaction with each of these areas.
  • Whole Life Coaching that creates a standard of Excellence at Work … – Your employees are the heart of your organization. When employees have personal problems making them unable to focus and be effective in their work. When there is a mutual lack of appreciation and communication between middle management and employees.
  • Life Coaching, Whole Life Coaching By Liza Patchen Short … – If I try to be like you,
    who will be me. provides life coaching as a whole life coach, business coach, and as a life coach for people and families whose lives have been afflicted by cancer. Whole Life Coaching helps move you toward your goals by providing focus, accountability and support.
  • Stephanie Yost Mentzell :: The Whole Life Coach – Put your ear down next to your soul and listen hard. Connect you, unselfishly, to your unique expression in life. Give you the tools to wake up each day excited about the life you have created.
  • Spirituality, Inc. – We will send you an email with instructions on how to continue. … who “applies whole life-coaching techniques to her work with people and with businesses. …
  • Whole Life Coaching – Your Number 1 Priority For Weight Loss … – I have put several programs on this site that have helped me create this online business. Have a look at the product and link pages. You may just find the items that will get your site up and running.
  • Life Pro Coaching » Are You Living La Vida Healthy? – Especially those of you who were so diligently tapping away negative emotions in relationship matters, in matters of business and growth, in matters of pain and dealing with OCD, in many other matters such as weight loss and emotional eating, as well as feeling like you’re blocked on all levels. process and dealt with lots of hidden layers of energetic blockages. I know you have made real progress, and that’s commendable.
  • Whole Life Coaching How to Finally Get What You Want | Engage Today – Whole Life Coaching might be a new term to you but the concept is 4000 years old. It’s a way of looking at your life in a holistic manner.
  • Managing Change in Your Life – The only constant in life is change, how many time have you heard that? No longer do we live in a predictable society; just look at recent world events from a global perspective and you’ll know this to be true. …
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Do You Want to Harness Spring’s Powerful Energy for Your Life?

Spring Transformation

Spring Transformation by Joan Compton

One of the main gifts of Spring is it causes us to be hyper aware of our surroundings. Our senses have been somewhat dormant throughout the Winter and then Spring bursts forth with vibrant colors, fragrances, new life and light.

This hyper awareness is a gift because it brings the contrasts of our life into sharp focus. For example, as new flowers begin to bloom in your flower bed you can not notice them without also noticing the weeding that needs to be done and the fact that the bed needs more mulch.

Spring is about Liver Energy, which is all about planning, organizing and carrying out. However, Spring is so powerful it is easy to get overwhelmed with the sensory overload and have your Liver Energy flip into its pathological state of anger, anxiety and stuckness.

How you take advantage of the gifts of Spring is up to you. If you’ve had projects or ideas that you’ve been avoiding now is the time to harness and channel the abundant energy the Universe is supplying you toward getting going forward in your life.

One of the things I suggest to clients is to consciously focus on one thing at a time to minimize overwhelm. For example, as you are outside enjoying the beauty that surrounds you, focus only on the color green. See how many different shades of green you can discern. Notice the different vibrations each shade emanates and how they each make you feel.

Your situation is as totally unique as a field of wildflowers. Whatever tasks or decisions you want to harness the creative powers of Spring for need a specialized plan. Right now is the time to co-create your personal Spring Intention, so give me a call.

You can experience the exhilarating power of new growth as it runs through your life’s field. Setting up your Spring Intention is the quickest way to become in sync with the electric energy flowing through the Universe right now and be able to channel it into your own unique purpose.

Here are some other articles which deal with healing and change:

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. Please post a comment and continue this discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Blessings,

Donna

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