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Archive for February, 2012

“Remember that nurturing yourself is as important (if not more so) as nurturing others.” –Mary Anne Radmacher

Guest post by Veronica Drake

Invite Simplicity Into Your Life and Your Relationship

Conference calls, carpools, drive-thru dinners and text-messaged I love you’s make up the life many of us know today. We hurry to get from one destination to another while constantly juggling thoughts of tomorrow and beyond. We spend more time in our cars and with our co-workers than we do with our families. That means spending less time with our partners. We ignore the fact that we see less and less of our significant other and become more and more confused as to why “we don’t communicate anymore”.

What happens when we can’t deny the disconnect any longer, and the effects of an overextended life have drained our relationship of all its life and vibrancy? We go to therapy, we take a pill, we have an affair, or we have a cocktail. As a relationship coach I have an alternative solution to the above.

If you are having difficulty getting back to the simplicity of your earlier days with each other think of a time when your relationship felt uncomplicated. Write down what you liked about that time. Was it your mental state, surroundings, responsibilities or physical stuff? Which feelings and situations would you like to recreate?

Before you can invite simplicity into your relationship you must first simplify yourself. What you are feeling/experiencing as your reality will manifest in your relationship. I suggest we focus on ourselves so that we can create deeper connection to those we love by providing a strong sense of purpose and self to our loved ones.

Some check points for you to acknowledge

1. Find Purposeful work. Do something you love

Do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning to another day of work? The sheer dread of lifting your head off the pillow is excruciating. To invite simplicity into your life, begin by examining your professional life. Find work that is fun and uses your natural gifts. Explore what you are naturally good at and then begin the process of finding a more suitable job. You may find the process alone creates serenity.

2. Give up the news

What you think about, you bring about. And what you focus on manifests in your life. Those can be scary thoughts when you apply them to what you are inviting into your life by reading or watching the daily news. Are you addicted to the drama? The violence and the tragedy do nothing to add to your inner peace. To simplify your life, spend the next seven days away from the news. Instead, read a book, make positive connections with family and friends or listen to soothing music.

3. Learn to say no

JUST SAY NO! Sounds simple, right? For a lot of people saying NO brings up a lot of stuff: Will I be liked? What if they talk about me, Will I go to hell?? Learning to focus on creating healthy boundaries makes our life easier, for example “When the head of the little league association asks you to work the concessions stand, tell her you can’t. Just say no. Spend the time on yourself instead.

When you use good judgment and integrity you will always be about love and acceptance. Saying no from a loving place is much different than saying no from a hateful, spiteful place. Practice developing boundaries and self love. Saying NO could truly save your life!

4. Embrace the outdoors

Nature is therapeutic. It reminds us of what life is really about, and connects us to the simple gifts that we all too often overlook. If you are stuck at the office feeling stressed and frustrated, imagine taking a walk through the woods. Envision a flowing brook. Capture the smell of wildflowers and honeysuckle in your mind. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. If you’re home, consider the therapeutic benefits of gardening. Even the simplest of gardens can release the stress accumulated in your head, neck and shoulders after a long day of meetings.

5. LOL (Laugh out loud)

Are you too busy to laugh and too serious to smile? Are you caught up in your own sense of importance? Many of us have tucked away the inner child who longs for attention and laughter. Laughing releases a mountain of tension. It’s a quick way to feel happy. When you let go and laugh, it’s infectious. Everyone around you feels it. A good belly laugh makes your belly muscles contract. It causes a chain reaction that works out the shoulders, and leaves muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart. Count how many opportunities you have to laugh today.

6. Be silent

Start a practice of sitting with your Higher Power and asking for a quiet mind. Start your day off with a ritual of reflection and praise. At the office, shut your door for 10 minutes, close your eyes and simply be still. It will be hard at first, but after a few days, you will find yourself feeling calmer and happier than you have felt in a long time. Take time to recharge during your day!

7. Experience Gratitude

Appreciate all the simple things in your life: the sunshine, the sky, the shoes on your feet and the heart beating in your chest. Being grateful creates an energy that flows through your body and shines through your eyes. It’s what makes happy happen. Create a gratitude calendar that is full of simple reason you’re grateful.

8. Create a simplicity statement

Write down your own personal declaration of what a simple life means to you.

A simple life means different things and is valued differently by each individual. For me, it means eliminating all the drama, all the unnecessary “stuff,” choosing peace over chaos, and spending my time doing what’s important to me.

For you it may mean spending quality time with people you love, and doing the things you love. It could mean getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only what really matters to you.

The Short List to Simplicity:

For those whose mantra is “I can’t,” here’s your list:

1. Identify what’s most important to you.
2. Eliminate everything else.

The key to anything in life is WILLINGNESS. Are you willing to incorporate some behavior and change some habits in your life? Are you willing to come out of the box and teach the world how to treat you simply? The good news is it all starts with you.

Achieving simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and the joy IS in the journey, so remember to embrace it. You will always have the conference calls, and technology will only become more prevalent in our lives. But the way you choose to manage it is the key to living simply!

I promise you once you find peace and simplicity within you your relationships will naturally follow course.

To learn more about my relationship programs visit:

http://www.designyourrelationships.com

About the Author:

Veronica Drake is an International Relationship Coach and Intuitive. She specializes in working with women who are struggling to regain trust after the break up. She helps them access their inner wisdom so that they can create powerful personal relationships.

Veronica’s intuitive abilities are amazingly insightful and accurate. Her intuitive gifts empower her clients to journey deep into self-discovery … and create a deeper connection to their own intuitive voice.

She uses her witty, warm and sassy sense of humor to help clients relax, release and get in touch with what really matters to them.

Visit her at http://www.designyourrelationships.com

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Today we have a guest post by one of my blogging buddies, Jennifer Boykin, who also happens to be the creator of a new site called “Life After Tampons.”  Please show her some love and check out her site.


Three Choices Happy People Make

By Jennifer Boykin

Creator, Life After Tampons

Do you feel like Sisyphus?  Every morning you drag your sad old bag of bones out of bed and get to work pushing your boulder of responsibilities and challenges uphill, only to have it come rolling back to the ground every night on your way home from work?

Or do you wake up more like the Duncan Donuts guy.  Remember him?  It’s always dark when he gets up.  He shuffles around the house getting ready and muttering to himself, “Got to make the donuts.  Got to make the donuts.”  But then, he turns around at the counter of his shop and claps his hand with glee at all the donut buyers clamoring for his fresh Boston Creams!

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was certain I was doomed to a life of drudgery and unhappiness.  Truly.  If you had my problems, you’d be unhappy, too.

And then I would list my problems – my losses – for you.  So you would HAVE TO AGREE that lasting happiness was just not going to happen for me.  You might shake your head in sympathy, and then you’d get up and go about the business of enjoying your own life.

I wondered how you did it.  Really, life just wasn’t fair.  Of course I could be happy if I had your life.  If my dad hadn’t left me (47 years ago!), my baby hadn’t died (20 years ago!) and blah and blah and blah and blah.

Certainly, there were times of great joy, particularly with respect to my three sons.  But then something would happen and it would completely derail me and I would go all the way back to the beginning of the Loss List again, just like Sisyphus’ boulder.

But then, finally, MERCIFULLY, I figured it out.  Happiness is a choice!  Happiness is a DECISION!  And even better, it’s MY decision.  YOU get absolutely NO VOTE AT ALL in whether I get to be happy or not.  What you do or don’t do, what you decide or don’t decide, how you behave or don’t behave, what you say or don’t say – absolutely none of it has any bearing at all on my happiness.  (Further, since you get the same choice, I’m no longer for your happiness, either.  What a relief that is!)

BUT – there is a CATCH.

And here it is:

Although the CONCEPT of happiness as a choice is simple to grasp, its IMPLEMENTATION  is not.

In order to CHOOSE to be happy you MUST be willing to GIVE UP:

  1. YOUR STORY – This means that you no longer have permission to replay your unhappy memories over and over again.  You also don’t get to share your woes repeatedly with friends.  You might tell one or two friends about your CURRENT concerns, but then you move on.  Instead of repeating unhappy ideas and memories, you insist on shouting out your joys.
  1. “Bright Shiny Object” Syndrome – This means that you don’t use spending as a way to numb your pain.  Instead, you learn to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.”  You develop the maturity to sit with discomfort because you have learned that it passes more quickly that way.
  1. Selfishness, for a Life of Service – When you extend yourself to others you learn that you always have something to give.  When you help someone else, you forget about your troubles.  When you focus on others instead of yourself, your problems become “right-sized.”  You gain perspective and gratitude from helping others.

The sacrifice you make to be happy is your status as Chief Martyr of the Universe.  To “get happy” you have to give up the “sugar high” of attention you get from your misery.  Believe me, I’m the mother of a dead child – there are people in this world who would enable my unhappiness on this situation alone until I drew my last breath.

But my daughter’s story isn’t about loss.  It’s about triumph.  The miracle of Grace’s story is that ALL HEALING IS POSSIBLE.  That’s the message of her life.  That is her legacy.

And I have my own.

So, if you’re chronically unhappy see if you can’t make some better choices about what you focus on.  Decide to be the Duncan Donuts guy and leave Sisyphus aside.  Truly the world needs more donuts than martyrs anyway.

 

Jennifer Boykin’s vision is to “rebrand a gazillion crones.” She speaks, teaches, and writes as the Creative Visionary and Chief Rabble-Rouser of the MidLife Reinvention site, Life After Tampons. When you come and visit, don’t forget to sign up for your free/priceless home retreat, “21 Days. Reclaim the Sass!” Then, visit our Facebook and Twitter Wisdom Circles. We’d love to hear about your dream.

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