Latest from the Blog
Many people I work with have either just had an awakening, or are about to. I have the honor of being a witness to these awakenings. Awakenings are not like in the movies.You know, where the protagonist experiences their quantum shift with elegance and grace, leading us, the audience, into a wonderful montage (complete with awesome music) of all the ways their life will now improve.Read More
Confronting difficult emotions like anger, sadness, and disappointment can be painful. It’s even harder to address those emotions in our relationships with others.
Passive aggression allows people to subtly vocalize their negative emotions without directly addressing the source of the discomfort. While passive-aggressive behavior can feel good and even righteous, it slowly erodes relationships, eliminating any chance of fixing the underlying problem.Read More
“There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so don’t expect yourself to do so either.” ~Unknown
There have been time where I’ve felt spread incredibly thin and, at times, I’ve felt stressed to the max.
I realized that my best days all have certain things in common—little things I choose to do for my well-being, and a number of unhelpful habits I resist the urge to indulge.Read More
We all know that rejection hurts, but neuroscience has concluded that it does in fact, literally, hurt.Read More
Maybe your partner doesn’t hit you. Maybe their violence doesn’t leave visible scars.Read More
We all want to be loved. In these days of self-help books, life coaches, and personal development, it’s tempting to think that the only way to be loved is to change ourselves.
We apologize for being who we are. We beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. We feel like we’re selfish when we have needs of our own, so we don’t give them priority. We dwell on our flaws instead of our strengths and make choices that say we don’t respect ourselves.Read More
Whenever you’re stressed, sad or hurt or simply need some soothing, it helps to have a collection of comforting — and healthy — tools to turn to.
But some helpful activities don’t work for everyone.
For example, some people are allergic smells, drinks or foods. Pedicures and massages are wonderful but they can also be expensive when done regularly. And most of us are pressed for time.Read More
Philosophers and theologians have been speaking and writing about the search for meaning in life for thousands of years. And most of us reach a point where we want more than to go through the motions of living. That means identifying our values so we can live a value-oriented life.Read More
I’m keeping it real today folks. Let’s talk about what really creates happiness, and what doesn’t. Kris Cage, writer for Medium, an online publishing platform, wrote an article about what we need to do away with in order to create happiness in our lives. Her thoughts were spot on. They are simple, yet we often allow them to creep in our lives and wreak havoc on us. I’ll share them here.
- Making our happiness dependent on other people
And anything they say, do, feel or think — rather than ourselves.
Cage is not suggesting that other people’s feelings or behaviors don’t matter — they do. Like she, I too care deeply about what my partner or friends think and feel. For example their happiness adds to mine; their unhappiness detracts from it.
But my happiness is not dependent on anything that they say or do. And there’s a huge difference.
The point is: what other people think of us is never more important than what we think of us. Other people’s measure of our lives is never more important than our own. And if we go through life living it for everyone else, it’s not going to end up going well.
Stop basing love of yourself on first getting love from others.
Happy people like themselves. The happiest people love themselves.
And it’s not that they like or love themselves because they’re happy — they create their own happiness by dumping emotional energy into self-care and self-respect and self-love.
Rather than looking to others to fill their bucket, they’re constantly and quietly filling it themselves — and then keeping it full. They never have to scramble or feel anxious about “getting love.” They know they will — they truly and wholly love themselves.
Stop getting nosy about everyone else’s lives.
Happy people don’t care who went on vacation and where. They don’t care whose boyfriend bought flowers, or who drives what car, or who was the first in their friend group to get married or buy a house.
It makes no difference to them — apart from a sincere happiness for the other person, without comparison or jealousy.
When we’re secure in ourselves and content in our own mission, we don’t get any kind of thrill — or jolt of envy — from comparing it to others.
The happiest people in the world don’t look at other people’s happiness (any more than they show people that they are happy.) They simply live their happy lives. They find validation within themselves, not through notifications.
Stop gossiping and doing other crappy interpersonal things.
Unhappy people constantly need to reassess: who’s doing what, who’s better, who’s worse, who’s making progress, who’s messing up.
Happy people don’t enjoy dragging people down or watching others being dragged through the mud. They don’t need to hear the dirty details — good or bad. They’re too busy living their own lives.
Stop blaming anything or anyone outside ourselves.
You may have experienced a lot of pain in your life. Maybe you’ve grown up in a home where you got a really bad deal, or you were bullied in school or harrassed at work. That is worth acknowledging, recognizing how it affected you and what you want to do about it.
It’s not our partner’s job to make us feel more loved than we love ourselves. It’s not our boss’s job to make us feel motivated and engaged at work. It’s not anyone else’s job to make us happy — except ours.
- Not taking responsibility for our own lives
Want to be happy? Then take responsibility for it. Recognize that the only thing we control in life is our own responses — and, in turn, we are the only ones who control them.
And that includes happiness. If we want to feel happy, it’s our job to see to it.
Stop making excuses.
Excuses are what we come up with when we don’t want something badly enough.
As Brene Brown says, ” Speak truth to bullshit” – to others, and definitely to yourself.
Stop hanging on the past — and holding on to baggage.
Don’t water dead flowers. Don’t weigh yourself down.
Let go of things when they no longer serve you or make you better.
Author Marie Kondo, who wrote the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing writes, “discard everything that does not spark joy”. She was referring to material items in your home, but de-cluttering your mind of competitive or jealous thoughts sparks freedom and joy, and makes room for your passions.
Stop doing things you don’t even like — or actually makes you feel worse
Kirsten Corley wrote, “If something isn’t making you happy, you are robbing yourself of the change to pursue something that does. When you find that thing give it your all. Happiness will follow doing what you love. And doing what you love with lead to success.”
If it’s not making you happy, move on.
Get out of your comfort zone
You want something? Go out there and get it. Try something new, do something different.
Unhappy people sit in their sameness — same house, same city, same car, same job, same partner — and expect happiness to just magically come to them.
Happy people get off their rears and go get it. They push. They try.
Stop waiting for life to start happening.
Waiting for that person to text you. Waiting to lose weight. Waiting to get married, or have babies. Waiting for a big break. Waiting for life to happen.
Stop hanging happiness on the future — and thinking you’ll be happy when… (fill in the blank). Don’t tie your happiness up in the future.
Have goals, sure, but make them independent of happiness. Make happiness about the pursuit — not the acquisition. Your life is happening right now and you don’t know how many days you have. It’s your job to learn how to make the most of average days.
If the opportunity you want isn’t coming to you, go get it or create your own if you have to.
Glennon Doyle Melton, one of my personal heroes, says, “Pain is just a sign that a lesson is coming. Discomfort is purposeful. It is there to teach you what you need to know so you can become who you were meant to be. Pain is just a traveling professor. When pain knocks on the door, wise ones breathe deep and say: “Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.”
We are responsible for ourselves —and that includes our happiness. It’s our job and our job alone to make things happen, to nurture our well being, to feel loved, and to feel happy.
Want happiness? Stop making it about anything else outside of you — other people, partners, jobs, illness, wealth, time, etc. Instead, embrace the incredible opportunity that is: it’s 100% within our control and you deserve it just because you exist.
Are you feeling stuck in unhappiness? Let’s make a plan for you to feel empowered and have some direction. Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.
Have you ever said yes when you really wanted to say no?
Do you feel that fate has more influence on whether or not you find success?
If you’re like many people who struggle with being passive, you may be looking for ways to increase assertiveness.Read More
Understanding your own needs, habits, and failings is impossible without improving self-awareness. Also called self-knowledge, self-awareness is the basis for self-improvement. The theory is, if you collect data about yourself you can improve based on that data.Read More
Overnight your sweet, considerate, cooperative child changes into a surly, rude, self-absorbed monster. What happened? Puberty, hormones, neurological and physical changes all affect your teen’s moods and behavior. But when does so-called normal teen moodiness cross the line into more fearsome territories like anxiety, depression, or a mood disorder? When is it right to worry?Read More
Did you know that all emotions are important, and all of them have a purpose. Human emotions have four general categories. They are sadness, happiness, fear and anger. All too frequently in our society the messaging that people get is that it’s not normal or healthy to be experiencing unpleasant emotions. We live in a society that is very happy-driven. So we tend to discount the importance of sadness and feel uncomfortable with it.Read More
Have you ever found yourself dreading a family gathering? Your aunt and the crazy stuff she says. The inevitable squabbles with your sister. Walking in the door and instantly feeling like you’re 12 years old again.
When your family causes anxiety, a wide range of interactions can trigger old feelings of anger, anxiety, and stress.Read More
It’s hard to look within ourselves for answers. It takes a lot of courage and trust to turn inward. What does outsourcing our power look like? It looks like turning to people or experiences outside of ourselves for comfort and security. Sometimes that can be helpful but many times the answer is already within us.Read More
We can develop anxiety from how we are talked to and how we are treated by others. We tend to minimize the role that verbal abuse plays in anxiety, but it’s a big one.
I’m not sure how that old saying of “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you” came to be, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Verbal abuse is demeaning, condescending, hurtful, and can have life-long consequences. Verbal is a form of trauma.Read More
Before we touch on why self compassion is so important, I’d like to give a quick reminder about what self-compassion is not from my previous blog. I have enjoyed reading a good amount of Ph. D. Kristen Neff’s work, who is an expert on self-compassion. Based on her research she tells us that self-compassion is not about pitying yourself, it’s not about being self-indulgent and it’s not about developing self-esteem.Read More
We often hear about the need to develop self-esteem. It has almost become a reality in our culture that we need to have high self-esteem in order to be happy and healthy. But as research actually shows that that’s not quite right. The need to continually evaluate ourselves positively comes at a high price.Read More
Have you ever been going about your day and then suddenly remembered something from your childhood that, only now as an adult, you realize wasn’t quite right?
Sometimes it can be something innocent like your father joking that eating a seed would make a tree grow in your stomach. But other times, it’s a case of emotional manipulation or childhood abuse that continues to affect you even today.Read More
Why do some people recoil when offered a hug?
If you hate being hugged, the world can be a challenging place. You never know when someone you’re meeting for a quick coffee will approach you, arms open wide, coming in for an embrace.
Your options are limited: you can awkwardly dodge the gesture, stick out your hand for a handshake, or submit to the unwanted bear hug.
So why is it that some people love a good hug, while others abhor them? According to experts, it may have something to do with how you were raised.Read More
You want and know you need help. You long to feel more freedom to be your true self and want to feel more capable in all areas of your life. There is no shame in seeking help, and you are ready to get it. You’ll be armed with better skills and a knowing sense to handle what life throws at you. You’ll feel more like yourself, with clarity and peace.
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