Tara Brach is one of my favorite teachers. Here she talks about loving ourselves into healing with the practice of RAIN: Radical Self-Compassion
If you’ve been searching for more happiness but have come up short, we have ideas to put a smile back on your face. Here are 50 ways to have a happier life: 50 Ways to Have A Happier Life »
With most of us constantly projecting our minds to the future, or re-living the dusty roads of the past, are we ever really able to experience complete joy in a moment – or authentic happiness – if our minds are constantly somewhere else?
In this 5-minute video, Sam Harris, author, philosopher and neuroscientist, takes you on a thought-provoking journey forcing you to consider how you’d feel about your life if this very moment was your last; making you realize how obsolete the events of the past or the future really are.
Live Life Quotes, Love Life Quotes, Live Life Happy
Practicing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives is how we cultivate worthiness. The key word is practice. Mary Daly, a theologian, writes, “Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” The same is true for compassion and connection. We invite compassion into our lives when we act compassionately toward ourselves and others, and we feel connected in our lives when we reach out and connect. Before I define these concepts and talk about how they work, I want to show you how they work together in real life—as practices. This is a personal story about the courage to reach out, the compassion that comes from saying, “I’ve been there,” and the connections that fuel our worthiness.
Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are (p. 7). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.
Here’s the TED Talk in case you haven’t seen it yet…
“We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices” Beyond Codependency
It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.
“You have rights,” we tell them. “And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt.”
Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can’t we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?
There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves – when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.
Some days, the lesson we’re to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we’re learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.
Sometimes, the lesson won’t stop until we do.
Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.
Live Life Quotes, Love Life Quotes, Live Life Happy
Craig Ballantyne writes:
The one thing I admire about people who have strong nutrition beliefs is their dogmatic behavior.
For example, a vegetarian, under no circumstances, will ever eat meat. There is no, “well, everyone else is having a burger, so just this once, I will too.”
That’s not how it works.
Not when a vegetarian has a strong personal philosophy that they never, ever, ever eat meat.
And that strong personal philosophy guides them to guilt-free behavior that is congruent with their goals.
I’ve also taught my fat loss clients to develop their own personal philosophy – essentially a set of rules that dictate decisions, and I’ve also created my own rules that determine how I live my life so that I reduce guilt, stress, and wasted emotional energy.
Now the purpose of this email is not to say that my personal philosophies are wrong or right.
Instead, they are simply here to encourage you to adopt your own rules for the sake of living a better, more productive stress free life. You may have your own rules in your head, but I encourage you to put them in writing. And you can adopt a set of rules for every aspect of your life, from health to financial to family and business.
Go to the source if you’d like to get the rest of Craig’s perspective: » 12 Rules to Live By :zenhabits
The Happiness Project
Full story at: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your New Year’s Resolutions..
I first heard about the ‘imposter complex’ from my thoroughly lovely friend and client @jackiedumaine. Tanya Geisler lays it out here:
For a TEDxWomen talk on Dec. 1st, I’ve decided to talk about – and take down – the Impostor Complex. You know, that beast that wants to shut you down, reminding you of allll the ways you are not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent.
Which is perfect, of course, because my own Impostor Complex has a TON to say about why I’m not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent enough to deliver this talk. So my material, at the very least, is pretty fresh.
Just recently, I was thrilled to attend Mastin’s Super Soul Sunday event in Toronto. Mastin was generously answering every last question his hungry audience had for him. I asked him how he felt when the call came about going on Oprah with Marie and Gabby. His response:
“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a mistake. I didn’t think it would actually happen. I assumed it would be canceled.”
Familiar? You are not alone.
Any time we think that something has happened because of luck, or timing, or because someone made a mistake, we are in the hold of our Impostor Complex.
Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that Mastin was supposed to be on that show? Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that he earned it?
No? Me neither.
From the 1000+ hours I’ve been coaching clients, I can tell you with great certainty that almost every single high-achiever has at one point or another felt the weight of the Impostor syndrome, and it sounds like:
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” – Maya Angelou
“You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?’” – Meryl Streep
And guess what else?
The Impostor and The Authority are are both Illusions
John Lennon said, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”
Can you see the illusions at both ends of that statement? Loser is an illusion. God Almighty is an illusion. The Impostor is an illusion. The Authority is an illusion.
You are never either. You know more than you think AND you will never know it all.
It’s the very nature of the ego: it wants to want more than it wants to get.
Can you feel the relief and the grief in that?
And while I may not be THE authority, my experience as the Impostor Complex – both mine and those of my brilliant clients – certainly makes me AN authority.
So, as you face your desires for stage, for mastery in the boardroom, for the book deal, for the TV show, for the new business or for the promotion, I want you to know this:
- You are not alone.
- Those belittling voices are not real or right.
- You’ve earned your right to be here.
- You’ve got this.
- You are ready.
When I’m on stage delivering my TEDx talk, I intend to own it. There has been no mistake made: I’ve earned my right to be there. Speaking truth imbued with experience and love, in spite of what my Impostor Complex wants me to believe. It is, after all, a mere illusion.
Your call’s coming too. Answer it with an effusive YES.
I was describing to Jackie my own desire to do a TEDTalk and the trouble I was having writing my book ‘Be Known’; mainly, that people would laugh. Understanding that this feeling is so common that it has a ‘syndrome’ attached to it helped me get beyond my fears. In my experience, if you can name it you can kill it, fix it, fight it, whatever you want to do with it. Watch out for the ‘imposter complex’ in your life!
- Psychology: Imposter Syndrome (clareminnies.wordpress.com)
- Imposter Syndrome: My life as a fraud. (momedy.blogspot.com)
- Day 5. Go Ahead, Murder Yourself. (heidiwriting.wordpress.com)
Is your relationship healthy?
Relationships take work. Hard work. But the rewards to having a fulfilling relationship are MANY. Are you doing the things necessary to keep your relationship strong? Could it be stronger? Look for ways to improve your relationship today and everyday.
Characteristics of Healthy Relationships
- You can be your true self with the other.
- Communication is spontaneous and open.
- There is a balance of closeness and separateness.
- You are able to take responsibility for your own behaviors without blaming your partner for your actions. (Get rid of “He/she made me do it.”)
- You discuss and negotiate rather than fight.
- You feel comfortable sharing your fears and insecurities.
- Rules and boundaries are clear, yet flexibility exists.
- You don’t lie, but you also refrain from using hurtful language in the name of being brutally honest. (Don’t say something just to be mean.)
- You enjoy doing things for yourself, as well as for the other.
- Personal growth is encouraged.
- You make it through rough times without splitting up or threatening divorce.
- You treat each other the way you would like to be treated.
- You have a strong sense of interdependence rather than dependency or co-dependency. (Equality within the relationship)
- There is play and humor in the relationship. You have fun together.
- You enjoy being together, but are able to spend time alone.
- You do not attempt to control each other.
- Each is trustful of the other.
- Privacy is respected.
- You both refrain from passive-aggressive behavior. (Silent treatment, hanging up phone, being late when the other is waiting)
- You forgive each other for mistakes.
- You actively listen to the other. (Really hear what the other is saying)
- You both are able to apologize. (Even when you do not think you are at fault, you can be sorry that your partner is feeling hurt.)
- You avoid mind reading and making assumptions. When upset you both seek clarity.
- You are able to validate each other- even when you disagree. (You recognize that the opinions and feelings of the other are important.)
- There is a balance in giving and receiving.
- Conflict is faced and resolved. Avoid allowing resentment to take hold.
- Negotiations are fair and compromise is present. Create win-win resolutions.
- Mistakes are accepted and lessons are learned.
- You NEVER bring up the intimate disclosures of the other when angry or arguing. Intimate disclosures are off-limits.
- Humility is present. You are able to give up always being “right.” Don’t let your ego get in the way.
- You are willing to make sacrifices for the other.
- You speak each other’s love language even when it differs from your own.
- You share mutual activities and interests.
- You NEVER call each other names or physically assault one another.
- You have strong friendship.
- You encourage and support each other. (“I have got your back.”)
- In conflict, you respect your partner’s need for a time out. (Time to calm down and think rationally before resolving an issue.)
- You do not expect your partner to complete you. You are secure in your own worth and want to share your life with them.
- Physical contact is mutually enjoyed.
- Appreciate each other’s strengths and overlook each other’s idiosyncrasies.
- Both are open to constructive feedback.
- Other meaningful relationships and interests are present.
- You have similar values, but do not demand that the other have the same values as you. (Mutual respect exists)
- You are willing to take risks and be vulnerable.
- You avoid intentionally hurting the other because you have been hurt. No tit for tat. No keeping score of grievances.
The Secret to Applying Them
Focus on what you can change about yourself rather than concentrating on what your partner needs to change. Instead of approaching your partner with a “This is what you need to work on” approach- approach them with a “this is what we need to work on approach.” Then work on yourself regardless of the actions of your partner. You may be surprised to see what teaching by example can do for you and your relationship.
The more of these things you are doing- the healthier the relationship. Use this list to guide your growth rather than to judge your relationship. Just as no person is perfect, no relationship is perfect. Rather than demanding that you or your partner be perfect, look for areas of needed growth. See what you can do to improve the relationship with the one that you love.
Gretchen Rubin has some valuable insight for those who struggle with the holidays for one reason or another:
Holidays can be tough. Some people love them; some people dread them.
I thought a lot about the holidays as I was writing Happier at Home, because the holiday season tends to be a time when we focus on home. Maybe you’re going “home” the way I go home to Kansas City for Christmas–which may be fun for you, or not. Maybe you’re deciding how to decorate your home. Maybe you’re making an effort to arrange the holidays the way you experienced them as a child–or the opposite. Maybe you’re feeling sad, or happy, about whom you will or won’t be seeing.
From talking to people, it seems that one of the biggest happiness challenges of the holidays is dealing with difficult relatives. You want to have a nice dinner, but Uncle Bobby makes you crazy. What to do?” Get the answer here: 8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holiday Season. « The Happiness Project.
Where are you looking for happiness?
Studies show that our personal happiness is…
- 50% Predisposition/The way we were born.
- 10% Circumstances: You got it. Only around 10% of our happiness has to do with our situation and circumstances.
- 40% Our intentional activities. This is what we can change.
Lyubomirsky, S. (2008) The How of Happiness. New York: Penguin.
Get the rest here: How to Become a Happier Person – Let Life in Practices
- Choosing to be happy: 7 steps to becoming a happier person (onbeingmindful.wordpress.com)
- Looking for Happiness? Don’t Go Far. (gizzicedd004.wordpress.com)
- Review and giveaway: Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier At Home” (parenthacks.com)
- 10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Make Yourself Happier (businessinsider.com)
- Positive Psychology …and how it can help us to be a happier person (madeleinemaya.wordpress.com)
- Free your mind! Part one (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)
- The Work of Happiness (shakabukunow.wordpress.com)
Royale Scuderi has a post that I thought was so good I curated the whole thing for you:
Some things you can feel free to stop caring about
Other people’s expectations for your life
This is your life. You are the one who has to live it. You have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make and the actions you take, so you should make them according to what you want for and from your life, not what someone else thinks you “should” do with your life. We care way too much about what other people think about us and far too little about what we think about ourselves.
How much you weigh
It’s just a number people! We live in such a weight-obsessed culture that our weight is often a measure by which we are judged and worse by which we judge ourselves. I’m not saying to stop caring about being healthy, that’s a completely different thing, and one definitely worth worrying about. Just don’t fixate on the number on the scale. Care about healthier food choices, care about how strong you are, how much exercise you’re getting, just stop attaching your value, your success, your confidence, your attractiveness and your health to this one single number.
How other people live
Let other people live their own lives, just as you’d like to be able to live yours. Stop judging what other people do and how they live. That’s their business. If it doesn’t affect you, stop caring about it. Stop comparing what you have, how you look, the money, the status, the possessions, the beauty to what you “think” others have. Don’t measure yourself against other people, measure yourself against your own yardstick.
How many Facebook friends you have
Same goes for Twitter followers. The number of social connections you have is not a good indicator of either the strength of your network or your true popularity. True connections are measured by the quality of interactions and the people you who actually care about you and what you have to say. How people respond to you and share with you is a far better indicator or your social status.
We suffer so much anguish caring about being perfect. Perfection is nearly unattainable and our striving for it, costs us so much. Perfect is a waste of time, perfect is unreasonable, perfect is a recipe for stress. Pretty darn good is a better goal. It’s usually more than good enough and far less stressful. (Note: If you’re a brain surgeon or a pilot, please try for close to perfect, but as long as you leave my gray matter in place and get me on the ground safely, I’m good.)
You can’t stop the clock. It’s a fact, no matter how much you worry about it or how much money you spend trying to hide it, time is going to keep right on ticking and taking you along with it. Stop caring about how old you are. It’s not a good measure of the quality of life anyway. Or maybe it is…Studies have shown that people are actually happier as they age. So stop caring about your biological age and wrinkles (whether you have them or worry about getting them,) and start caring about what how you want to live the years you have left.
We place too much value on conformity. If you like to listen to jazz and wear purple shoes, go for it. If you are the sculptor in a family of accountants, good for you. No make-up, big jewelry, cowboy boots, bow tie, thrift store clothes, dinner on cushions, no TV…it’s all fine. You’re not hurting anyone, and though they may judge you, that’s their problem, not yours.
Why are we so obsessed with celebrities? From reality shows to magazines, entertainment news shows to paparazzi photos, clothing lines to hairstyles, we are so infatuated with the lives of the rich and famous. Why? Are we so unhappy in our own lives that we have to get our excitement and pleasure by watching public figures live theirs? Stop wasting your time caring about what famous people do, good, bad, crazy, sad or fabulous. It has nothing to do with you. It’s only a distraction from your own life.
We all want to be right. It must be intrinsically bred into our DNA, but more times than not, it’s very destructive. When we’re striving to be right, we’re focused on proving other people wrong. We’re grasping for power by trying to prove our infallibility. Care about finding solutions, collaborating with others to find the best answers, and cultivating relationships. Care about the result, not who is right or wrong.
Anything you can’t control
Stop caring about things you can’t control. If there’s nothing you can do to impact the person or the situation, then don’t waste your energy. There are so many important things in your life, in this world that you can affect. Focus on what you can change, where you can have the most impact, make a difference, and let the rest go.
Thanks for your excellent thoughts, Royale – hope you don’t mind that I promoted your content here…
The FinerMinds team shares this:
There’s nothing quite like the comfort and security you get from your family and friends when they love you for exactly who you are – quirks and all.
However, when it extends to your romantic partner, you know you’ve found something really special.
In this song, The Way I Am, by Ingrid Michaelson, it talks about the unconditional love she feels for her partner, which even quite sweetly includes her buying him hair growth cream when he starts to lose his hair, because like him, she loves him for exactly the way he is.” via TGIF: The Heart-Warming Voice Of Unconditional Love (video) | FinerMinds.
Gretchen Rubin shares this today:
Of all the changes in my daily routine wrought by my happiness project, one of the most fundamental is that I get up at 6:00 a.m., every day. And I get up at 6:00 a.m. every day, even on weekends and vacation, because I love it. I get an hour to myself, at my computer, before my family wakes up for the day. It’s quiet, the light is dim, and the world feels very serene.
I love this time so much that I would get up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., but that would mean that I’d have to go to bed at 8:00 p.m., and I just can’t live life that way. I’m fuddy-duddy enough as it is.
From what I hear, one of the most common happiness challenges is lack of time for something important.
People want to exercise, work on a novel, meditate, or read for pleasure, and they just can’t fit it into their day. I absolutely know the feeling.
But here’s what I’ve noticed. For many people, the end of the day is a pleasant interlude of free time, when work is done, the office isn’t e-mailing, the kids are in bed, and the TV or internet is at hand. It’s pleasant, so it’s easy to stay up late to watch one more episode of The Wire or to read the most recent article about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s break-up or to do back-to-school shopping or to research the works of J. M. Barrie. And then it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning.” Get the rest here: How to Actually Create the Time for Something Important to You « Positively Positive.
I didn’t realize how lazy I had gotten over the summer until last week when school started again. Because I could be so flexible I was scheduling my bike rides for before dinner but when school started again my schedule was shot. Last week I struggled with moving my bike ride to early morning because a big part of me would rather drink coffee and read news to wake up that get on the bike. Today I decided the right comes first; no ride no coffee. Now THAT’S serious!!! I got tell you though, I really enjoyed it! If you’re struggling with setting the important things into your life read the rest of Gretchen’s article and get intentional about your life. You might also find wisdom in the story of ‘The Mayonnaise Jar‘…
I am so loving ‘Little Wing’ this morning. Download Spotify [it’s free and you can thank me later] and treat yourself to a little Stevie Ray…
By the way, on one level, there’s nothing that separates this image from any of the hundreds of other happy thoughts I curate. On another, this one is very different; it was curated from my normal workflow executed from a tablet, not a computer. Thanks to Jeff Benjamin at the iDownloadBlog, I learned how to use the ‘Press This’ bookmarklet in the Chrome browser on my Galaxy Tab. I’m finding more and more reasons to use it these days and this is a big one! Comment or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how this applies to you and your blogging workflow…