Myth Busting and the Key to Happiness

 

“The key to happiness and health (and to all their auspicious by-products) is not how intensely happy we feel, but how often we feel positive or happy.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky

The Myths of Happiness, book cover

You know those times in life that rock your foundation?

In her book The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky calls them crisis points.

They’re the kind of events that leave you feeling like things will never be the same. And love them or hate them, they happen to everyone.

These crisis points can be times of renewal and growth, but let’s keep it real – we rarely seem to view them as such when we’re going through them.

Therein lies the key – how do you deal with them.

Myths is about identifying the steps that will work for you, and as in any area of life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

I recently asked,

If happiness is a choice, why don’t we always choose it?

I wasn’t surprised to find that most people believe it is a choice, but the question remains,

Why don’t we always choose it? 

That’s the question I had in mind as I began reading the book.

Continue reading

What It Takes to Nourish the Soul

 

“Amidst life’s busyness, we need ways to slow down, turn our attention within, and reconnect with ourselves.” – Karen Horneffer-Ginter

Self-care, for almost everyone I’ve worked with in over a decade, is an ongoing challenge. For the purpose of this post I use the term self-care to refer to the care of mind, body and spirit.

For many, the challenge is obvious, showing up in the physical: do they get enough sleep, does their diet nourish them, etc.

For others, the majority it often seems, the challenge reveals itself in the emotional or spiritual realms, which is not as easily seen or remedied.

Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is a book that speaks directly to this challenge.

book cover Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Written by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, it touches on the most personal and challenging aspects of self-care in a world that often has us running like a hamster on a wheel.

“We live in a world of constant movement, and our day-to-day lives seem to get busier by the hour. Our days are full of information, full of obligations, full of friends and family, full of everything…except fulfillment.”

This statement is true for far too many people. The busyness and stressors of daily life can easily become overwhelming, and self-care is usually the first thing to go when faced with a time or energy crunch.

So, how do you deal with this challenge?

Continue reading

From Someday to One Day (how shifting your focus brings a dream alive)

 

Someday you will die.

And that’s really the only someday thought you can count on.

The rest of your someday thoughts are like the numbered balls in an old school bingo basket. . .bouncing around, one idea on top of the other. Your dreams tumbling about willy nilly.

Bingo Balls: photo credit - bridges&balloons

And therein lies the problem.

You don’t think of your dreams as possible, and you don’t give them the attention they deserve.

You mostly think of them wistfully, with a tender ‘someday, maybe’ longing.

Someday I’ll travel the world.

Someday I’ll sing on stage.

Someday I’ll be my own boss.

Each one tossed about, spinning endlessly in the basket of your mind.

Whatever your someday desire is, it’s time to get real about the fact that right now – today – it’s neglected, cushioned by the unknown and surrounded by the thousands of negative thoughts you think every single day.

From the book Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff:

“Our minds—made up of our thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk—are always ‘on.’ According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. . . And what’s even more startling is that of those 60,000 thoughts, 95 percent are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Your mind is like a record player playing the same record over and over again.

Still, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the next statistic: for the average person, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. That means that every day most people have more than 45,000 negative thoughts. Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, calls them automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs.”

Basically, your someday thoughts (aka the dreams and desires you’re neglecting) are being trashed by an army of ANTs.

So, how do you stop your dream from being sidetracked by this army of negative Nellies?

Continue reading

Courage and Overcoming Fear with Debbie Ford

 

Years ago I read Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford, and I remember my surprise at realizing that someone was actually shining light on the parts of ourselves we try so hard to hide.

In her latest book Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self Confidence, she goes deeper right from the start as she asks,  Courage, book cover

“How many times have you felt yourself shrink?”

“How many times have you kept your mouth shut when you wanted to scream loudly, or handed over your power to someone who didn’t have your best interests at heart?”  

“How many times have you told yourself, ‘I can’t. I’m not strong enough. I”m not courageous or confident enough to be all that I desire to be?”

Because truth is, every day you’re confronted with situations that trigger thoughts like these, and the accompanying self-doubt.

Confronted too by opportunities and choices, hundreds of them, that can make you feel confident and strong or weak as a shrinking violet. Every one, a choice.

Are you owning that responsibility or living as a victim to it?

She writes that, “when we lack confidence, we feel unworthy of having what we want, of speaking the truth, of making decisions that improve our lives. When we feel weak, helpless, or powerless, we lack the strength to ward off the thoughts of defeat, negativity and fear that fill our minds and prevent us from moving forward and living in harmony with our deepest desires. ”

Courage provides steps to increasing confidence, and the possibility of living to our fullest potential.

“True courage comes not just from feeling confident and strong, but from being the honest, authentic expression of yourself.”

Debbie shares her personal journey with cancer, the wake-up call she needed to help her see where she herself had become stuck in life. Her raw honesty and vulnerability as she shares her story are rare traits, and make for a compelling read. Using the metaphor of a warrior, she digs deep to share the wisdom gained from confronting her own dark side while igniting the warrior long suppressed inside.

Continue reading