What’s Love Got to Do With It?

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

LOve

What If – We let more love into our lives? First by loving ourselves and then by letting others love flow in. Our capacity for love is so much greater when we start from within. (more on that next week)

 

Research shows  – People who have love in their lives are not only happier but healthier too. Human beings are inherently tribe or community based. We all long for a sense of belonging and connection.

 

On Valentines Day we tend to look toward expressions of romantic love. Love has so many facets, with romantic love being just part of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a long slow kiss, some red roses, and a glass of champagne (and all that follows) but moving past the blush of romance to love in all it’s forms is where I want to venture today.

Life is infinitely richer when love is woven into the fabric of it. Open hearted, soul nourishing, expansive, affirming – in its full spectrum love can show up in numerous ways.

 

Here’s a list to get you started:

Love for: rp_heart-trees-300x297.jpg

yourself

a connection to a higher power

a child

a sibling

a friend

a parent

a pet

nature

an experience

 

Instead of plucking the daisy petals with ‘he loves me, he loves me not‘ how about I experience love by……..How much love do you let into your life?

 

Integration – Today stop and pause for a moment to honor and acknowledge the full spectrum of love in your life. Play the daisy game above real or imagined to help bring it all into focus

 

If you want to open to more love here is a meditation to open the heart chakra

http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WJVc58H4

 

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Here’s a Twist on Feeling Great

I had a chat with my niece Sam this week about life and being happy. We got on to the topic of gratitude. It is such a simple thing that has big impact. Looking at life through the lens of gratitude offers a whole new perspective.

How often do you stop and recognize all the things in your life that are right? Most of us spend far more time focused on what’s wrong. That’s a recipe for attracting more of the same

rose colored glassesBy consciously stopping to acknowledge, appreciate and focus on positive aspects of life you feel better, almost instantly. If you need more reason than that; energetically you become a match to the good stuff and  make space for it to come into your life. The key is you can’t fake it, the feeling has to be real. Simple things like the beauty of a flower, a childs giggle, a smile from a stranger can shift your whole outlook.

Have you ever had a day that starts lousy, you get up late, the dog runs away, your car acts up, by the time you get to work you’ve reviewed all the things that aren’t what you would like them to be and you’ve decided your life stinks. Then you open your purse and you find a love note your 6 year old left you, the day is instantly better.

That’s what gratitude does for you, it shifts your energy. There are many methods to help you adapt an attitude of gratitude.

if you like the written word a gratitude list, where at least once a day you add 5 things to a running list, or a gratitude journal would do the trick.

if your more the verbal type, try saying 3 things your grateful for at the dinner table or  add naming 3 new things your grateful for that day to your bedtime routine.

  if tactile thing are more your style try a gratitude stone, find a small stone and put it in your pocket, each time you touch it think of the things your grateful for. This usually results in at least twice a day focusing on gratitude. Women may find it easier to use a key chain.

The more you express gratitude the easier it becomes and before you know it you will be grinning just because the sun is setting or because your son actually put the orange juice away. Personally I think it’s much more fun to do that than scowl at what isn’t ‘perfect’….yet. And I’m pretty sure you get fewer wrinkles!

I would love to hear what your gratitude practice is, leave a comment below

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Are You Living Life by Default?

      A friend and I were talking about growth and change recently. I was recalling the discomfort of the limbo state I was in before deciding to move to California. It was a difficult time for me. The pull to move forward clashed with the fear of the unknown. When I got overwhelmed I often I shifted into default mode, relying on the old tried and true to slide along.

Default is defined as the failure to act, inaction, or neglect.

stepping stone pathThere’s no shortage of clichés to lean into when you want to operate in default mode:

The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Go along to get along.

All of these sayings allude to the uncertainty of change. When you avoid making that decision – you know the one you’ve been flirting with for oh so long- yeah that one; or putting off until next week, next month, next year taking the time to really look at the cause of your discontent; or ignoring that idea that keeps popping into your head begging for attention, these are all ways of living by default.

Somehow we convince ourselves to play small; that what we have is ‘good enough’, it’s too hard, or it’s selfish to reach for the best version of who we are.

I remember at one point questioning my decision to leave my marriage because he had a good heart, he didn’t hit me, and he didn’t cheat. That was actually a really big wake up wake up call for me, my expectations of life had shrunk so small that my needs and desires weren’t even anywhere in the equation.

As humans we are wired for connection, growth, and expansion. The way in which we go about doing that is highly individual. The story we tell ourselves through our beliefs, self talk, and expectation of what we ‘should’ do shapes how we experience life.

Choosing where you want to go, how you want to feel, and what you want to experience is a critical step in actually getting there. If you don’t claim what you’re wanting it’s easy to slip into living by default. The illusion with this is that you’re in control when in reality the outside world and outdated beliefs are in the drivers seat. My bet is that that is not the way you intended to live your life.

mapIf you got into your car and just started driving until you ran out of gas on some random road in the middle of no where would you wonder how you got there? Choosing a destination and getting a map is a much more efficient way of getting where you want to go.

We all have times when where we are going is as clear as mud. It is actually at that point when everything is at it’s murkiest that it’s most important to focus on how you want to feel. Then do things to support feeling that way.

 

It’s the small shifts that build a strong foundation to support the bigger changes.

If you want to feel more peaceful try skipping the evening news and opting for some soothing music or inspirational reading.

If you’re yearning for deeper purpose maybe it’s time to look at your values and strengths to begin weaving them into everyday life.

If you want to feel happier do one small thing that brings a smile to your face.

Today is the perfect day to start.

What is one small thing you can do to shift out of default?

Share your one small thing below

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Here’s an Easy Way to Boost Your Happiness Set Point

According to Wikipedia happiness is a mental or emotional state of well being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. The circumstances of it are different for everyone but the core of it remains.

It’s an interesting thing, this pursuit of happiness. In the searching, it’s not often named, but there it is beneath the surface of the new shoes, the dream job, the relationship, and the great vacation.

rose colored glasses

If you really think about it pretty much everything we do is because we think we’ll feel better in the having or doing of it. The having or achieving though is short lived and it’s on to the next thing. I hear people talk about happiness a lot.

What strikes me is so often the almost whisper that they want to be happier as if it were a frivolous or unworthy desire. I’ll save the myriad of health, well-being, and financial benefits of happiness for another post but in a nutshell happiness is a very worthy pursuit.

Happiness is a state of being. It’s not slippery or out of reach or insignificant. It is at its core vibrational. It affects all aspects of your life. And you get to choose it.

There are little things everyday that have huge impact on your happiness. They are the things we often overlook. Many people think you’re either a pessimist or an optimist end of story.

Not true, your happiness consists of the following three segments:

Your Set Point, 50% genetically/society determined happiness level.

Intentional Activities You Engage in, 40% how you act, your thoughts, and the goals you set for yourself.

Your Circumstances, 10% Your life circumstances or situations – things like health, finances, and relationships.

You can have the most impact in the intentional activity segment. Doing things like practicing gratitude, looking for the positive, eating healthy and exercise all boost your happy. That 40% has big impact on your life satisfaction and happiness level.

 New research is showing that you can also impact your set point. Increasing it directly by engaging in acts of kindness towards others. The theory is that helping someone increases your self-esteem, which boosts your happiness set point. This boost does not occur if you’re helping someone out of obligation rather than kindness.

 

Integration: Look for opportunities to practice random acts of kindness (include yourself too!) Things that would make you smile if someone did them for you are always a good place to start.

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