Psychology Today: 5 Ways to Happiness

Heather Edwards Happiness Psychotherapist CoachTime to get inspired. 5 Ways to Happiness.

This Psychology Today piece is by guest blogger: Heather Edwards. It is meant as wind behind your sails. It’s poetry, an action plan and modeling.

And, yes, it’s time to get going.

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Throughout the years, people have asked me how I do the intensive work that I do. This question perplexes me. I wonder the opposite.

How could I not do what I do?

Power Of Inspiration:

I am inspired by the healing, wanting, dreaming, changing, and transforming that happens in the therapy and coaching room everyday.

The person who leaves my office is not the same person who entered it 45 minutes earlier. They have a new insight, idea, peace, or focus to carry with them into the world.

Yes, it is sometimes difficult work. And it is always challenging. It ebbs and flows. But when you meet someone where they are — whether it’s a high point or low one — it validates them. It invites them to go somewhere else – somewhere better with you.

The Art Of Listening:

Non-judgment. Open awareness. Empathy. Compassion. Belief. That’s what I bring to the room.

Sure, I have a toolkit of therapy and coaching techniques, but those are rendered useless without the former as a foundation. With Carl Rogers as my teacher, I learned how to listen. When you truly hear someone, you can help someone.

Manifest Positive Intentions:

My mother is a birdwatcher, wildlife painter, and lover of life, family, and friends. I consider myself to be very similar in my passions. I’m not in the woods with binoculars, or in my artist studio with a paintbrush, but I’m in my office with eager people ready to stretch their wings and fly. They want to create. They want freedom. They want joy, purpose, and relevance. So do I.

It’s exhilarating, unpredictable, and yet, grounding.

Stay Grounded:

Trust. Authenticity. Courage. Hope. Intention. Abundance. Expansion. That’s what happens in the therapy and coaching room. It’s moving. It’s life changing. It’s what keeps me there and invites me back.

Balance:

Two sides of the same coin… Frustration/Hope…  Sorrow/Love…  Fear/Safety… And so on…  Spin it however you want. Whichever side of that coin faces up when the spinning stops, remember its source. A positive place, a wanting of light.

Embrace what you want.

Go deep down inside your gut.

Live. Love. Glow. Give.

Gratitude. Abundance. Positivity.

Believe in it. Embody it. Make it your truth.

 

Photo Source: iStock

Audio Blog: Reclaim Your Life

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

 

Is ego, fear, or someone else’s vision keeping you stuck?

You are the expert, master, and keeper of your life.

What are your guiding philosophies?  Are you functioning from a place of blame, entitlement, lack, fear, and greed? Or from a position of responsibility, abundance, wealth, courage, and charity? And I’m not talking about money – but rather about strength, purpose and meaning.

Maybe your mind is scattered and unfocused, or it seems too late to change course now.

Maybe you forgot to ask questions and push back a little along the way. Perhaps what you want seems unobtainable. Maybe you’ve never been a lucky person, or there’s too much burdening you to see the possibilities.

Our perspective is much like a camera lens.

Sometimes we need to stop to adjust the filter, focus, or breadth of what we see. When the inner critic speaks louder than the voice of reason, self doubt sounds like the gospel truth. When hopelessness reigns as the Queen of your mental castle, it’s time to step back and adjust the lens.

1. Focus. Adjust. Zoom.Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Switch the lens.

If what you want is to be happy, focus your energy and attention on the people, places, and experiences that lead you to feeling happy.  Doing this for just 30 seconds, five times per day, can change your brain structure and chemistry so that it’s easier to see the bright side of things.

If what you want is to be free, adjust the expectations, to-do’s, and beliefs that imprison you. What can you take off your plate, delegate or reprioritize?

If it’s love you seek, look at the bigger picture. Reach for the wide lens. You could be missing something, or someone, who’s right in front of you.

2. When you hear your inner monologue sweetly sabotaging your dreams, question it and correct it.

Ask, “What evidence do I have to support the idea that I can’t do it?” Then, flip it around and ask, “What evidence do I have that I CAN do it?”.  And, “What information do I need to make that dream happen?”.

3. Start with a top ten list.

Name your top ten most enjoyable activities – where you get lost in the flow, 10 people who inspire you – who you’ve learned from or have felt something change in your life because of them, and 10 things you can do so naturally that you can complete them without even thinking about them.

4. Identify your hidden values.

Notice overlapping activities, skills, or interests in your lists.  Cherish this crucial information as the foundation for beginning to reclaim your life. Now you are building, growing, grounding, and changing. Set one micro-goal for each day to get closer to your dream.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach5. Remind yourself you can do this.  Commit to staying THIS course.

When you commit to daily actionable steps toward your dream, you steadily move toward achieving them.  Envision your best self.  Embrace your unique strengths. Trust you have the drive and wherewithal to see them through. Clarify your intentions daily. Watch your life evolve.

“Your field of focus determines what you find in life.” T. Harv Eker

Turn Toward the Enemy – Mastering negative emotions

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Coaching EmotionsYou feel stuck. Trapped. Immobilized. When in the therapy and coaching room, conversations about fear, regret, disappointment, and frustration arise and take center stage. 

It’s easy to fall prey, be guided and controlled by negative emotions, even feel consumed by them. It’s an uncomfortable place. It’s dark, heavy, constricting. It can hold you hostage. And it can intensify before it dissipates.

Recognize negative emotions not as your enemy but as your informant. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Be open to them. Question them. Break them down. Look those unsavories in the eye. Release their grip.

Identify the building blocks of negativity. Uncover the hidden messages. Initiate a plan designed for empowerment.

When you turn toward your anger, fear, and sadness you validate the experience of the pain. You soothe and comfort, rather than avoid or deny the screaming, stomping, crying, demanding, desperate attempts of that negativity to grasp your attention. Now you are responding instead of reacting.

In turning toward those negative emotions you accept them as real. In that paradoxical open space, you relieve them of their power and control, and master them. You define them, rather than allowing them to define you.

Heather Edwards Oasis CoachingBreak them down into tangible parts. Clarify. Question. Seek answers. What is this fear about? Where is this anger stemming from? What does this sadness represent? From an open, enlightened place you can develop a plan for addressing what’s underlying those feelings.

That big amorphous blob of negative emotions is overwhelming, and stifling.  Make it tangible, definable, understandable, conquerable. Get professional support, if needed.

Dig deep. Do you need more knowledge, tools, information, time, or help? Do you need to let go of tired messages? Get to the root of it. How might your life change if you break through this? Identify what you need for success and move toward it.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Emotions CoachingStand up to the challenge. Embrace your unique strengths and power. Know that fear, anger, resentment, regret, sadness, disappointment and anxiety will at times be your companion. But they need not stifle you.

“Yield and you need not break:

Bent you can straighten,

Emptied you can hold,

Torn you can mend”. – Lao Tzu 300 B.C.

 

Grow. Evolve. Achieve. You are not stuck.  Feelings are your allies illuminating less obvious truths. Notice them, understand them, and respond proactively. From this point, real change can begin.

 

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by stockimages, nenetus.

Fear Sucks. Doubt Debilitates. Stress Kills.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist, Coach, FearFear sucks, doubt debilitates and stress kills. Loneliness isolates and worry permeates. Anger enrages and sorrow depletes. Yearning drives and hope transcends. Joy eases – all or most of the pain, at least for a moment.

Darkness and light. Greatness and shame. Brilliance and defeat. Ecstasy and despair. Two sides of the same coin, right?

They’re separated only by a the velocity of a spin or gravitational pull from our Mother Earth. Unavoidable. Unmanageable. Unimaginable. Or not?

These are the feelings you will inevitably experience as a living, loving, breathing, growing, evolving human being. They’re scary. They’re jarring. They’re life changing. They’re normal.

At times, they force you to look them in the eye and realize the limits of your comfort zone. They reveal the distinction between being passenger and being driver in this ride called life.

Take the wheel. It’s high time we get off our seats and do something to catapult change.

A revolutionary personal change. Hardship isn’t fair, negativity is a travesty, and staying down – well that’s just not an option.

Get up. Notice what lies between the extremes – calm, happy, relaxed, comfortable, satisfied, confident, belonging. Gratitude, appreciation, generosity, affection, sadness, hurt. Disappointment, rejection, insecurity, and confusion. The list goes on.

Welcome to the midrange of your emotional experience. Give those feelings your undivided attention. Place them center stage.

Extremes steal the show. But they’re only one act. Make room for other players. Open the stage door to a full accompaniment of roles. Ones that ground, balance, and compliment the full catastrophe.

This big, beautiful, complex experience deserves your full attention. In doing so, you can become mindful of the moment to moment realities – good, bad, or neutral.

Catch your internal monologue and bring those extremes down a notch – or up. Practice using less inflammatory words to describe your experience and see what happens. Notice how that feels. It can improve your tolerance, modulate your emotions, and open you to a fuller, richer life. Stop wasting time idling and reacting. Put it in drive.

 

 Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by David Castillo Dominici.

10 Tips for Gaining Clarity on ANYTHING

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist CoachIf you’re anything like me you struggle with staying on task.  In this immediate-gratification-digital-world it’s a challenge to sustain focus on anything for any uninterrupted amount of time.

The average attention span is estimated to be about five minutes long for a two year old child, and up to 20 minutes in older children and adults.

Just guessing – but it will probably take you longer than 20 minutes of focused attention to achieve your dreams.  Try out these 10 tips for clearing and clarifying your mind..

  1. Establish a Morning Ritual:  What you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. Begin each day with 10 minutes of nurturing self care.  Stretch, breathe, meditate, or read a few pages of a self improvement book.  See how that “me” time can refocus your mind.
  2. Complete Any Unfinished Business: I LOVE this concept from David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, the art of stress-free productivity.  It applies to any area of your life.  The idea is that “open loops” running in your subconscious mind drain your energy.  Close them by completing unfinished tasks and increase your energy!
  3. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat.  Yes, you know it!  Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five days per week. Strengthen your body and mind.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  4. Create a Peaceful Place in Your Home or Office That Inspires You: When your space is organized and inspired, so is your mind.  Start reducing the clutter and clean up your space.
  5. Try Mind Mapping: This works especially well with creative types. Tony Buzan describes this in his book, The Mind Map Book – How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. Using a combination of words, colors, diagrams, and pictures you can capture more of what’s on your mind and link it to actionable steps.
  6. Practice Gratitude Everyday: It strengthens the neural pathways responsible for positive thinking and an empowered attitude. Take 30 seconds a day to notice what you’re grateful for. Even better – write it down!
  7. Listen to Music:  A study at Penn State University demonstrated that listening to music improved mood, no matter what type of music was heard. Others have shown that upbeat music calms the heart rate, increases happiness, and reduces depression. A positive mood is a clearer one.
  8. Aromatherapy: Smells reportedly meet over 50,000,000 neural receptors located in the upper part of the nasal septum when inhaled.  They send messages to the limbic system via the olfactory bulb. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, behavior, and basic thought processes. I use Lavender for relaxation and Wild Orange for feeling uplifted.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  9. Structure Your Day: Having a schedule in your calendar reduces the amount of things you’re trying to remember.  The more you rely on your memory, the more psychological stress you create.  Once information is out of your brain and on paper, you can forget it until you need to deal with it. Now you can move onto other things.
  10. Manage Your Actions: Time management is a farce.  You can’t change time, but you can change your actions. Practice one or all of these tips and notice your clarity and productivity rise.  Make a choice each moment to engage with your world in an organized, productive way.  Own your choices.  Be empowered.

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Stuart Miles, samuiblue, Stoonn

The Ripple Effect: Your Power Source

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachAmong the hundreds of people I’ve coached and counseled, there’s a striking and honorable theme. It’s one that prompts people to seek support in becoming their best self.  It’s one that guides behavior, values, and wants. It motivates their reflection, desire for improvement, and a genuine regard for having a positive impact on the greater good.

So let’s give credit where credit is due.  After all, that’s what keeps us going.

The theme I’m referring to is the ripple effect. Regardless of the particulars that bring people to coaching or counseling, clients share a common concern about the imprint they leave on society – their family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, clients.

This collective consciousness about their personal effect on what extends beyond their immediate reach impresses me.  So much so that it inspired my book.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachImagine throwing a stone into a pond.  The impact of that first splash dramatically changes the surface of the water.  The point of contact immediately erupts. The stone sinks. Then, emerging upward is a driving force that defies the laws of gravity.

At first it creates one large ripple which cascades into other smaller ripples, softening as they extend out from the source.  Eventually they subside, homeostasis is achieved, and still water resumes.

That stone effected a broader area than just its entry point.  And so do you. You are the source of a ripple effect. That’s your power.

Whether you swim in a metaphorical pond, puddle, or ocean your imprint reaches further than what you see. – click to tweet!

Take a moment to imagine the ripple effect of any conversation you’ve had recently. Maybe you felt frustrated and annoyed when talking with a coworker. Your words were short and curt. That started a ripple.

You might not have seen it, but the receiver of those words felt it.  She may have carried it home to her daughter, husband, or cat who then passed the negative ripple onto others, random activities, and so on.

On the flip side, maybe you took a moment to take a deep breath, refocus, practice gratitude and instead expressed appreciation to your son, wife, or colleague.  That started a ripple.  What kind of cascade did that create?  That’s where you have immense power to create positive change.

When people feel positive vibes, support, and love they respond in kind.  They let their guard down.  They open up to conversation. They reciprocate the positivity.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachAs an example, what happened the last time you complimented someone on the style of their hair or shoes? You probably received a, “Thank you!” and then a compliment in return.  How nice!  Now everybody feels good. When we feel good we’re more motivated to work, love, and engage.

The ripple effect translates to all areas of your life.  If you’re a boss, what happened the last time you expressed appreciation to your team for their efforts?  You probably felt a renewed sense of ownership and productivity.  You may have noticed better cooperation and teamwork on projects and an overall lift in morale.  If you’re a parent, what happens when you compliment your child?

It’s way too easy to feel bogged down and become consumed by the endless demands of our 21st century lives.  So take a moment to create a positive ripple. Look for reasons to do it.  Observe what happens. You are more powerful than you realize.

 

 

Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by digidreamgrafix, Paul Brentnall, & aopsan

4 Steps to Bump Up Your Life

Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and CoachWhy is it so difficult, and so important, to know the difference between thoughts and feelings? Sometimes thoughts happen so fast that they go unnoticed.  

Instead, what we experience is a pit in the stomach, a racing heart and mind, or a sense of hopelessness that things will get better.

It’s true that negative emotions seem instantaneous. They’re automatic and natural consequences of events, right?

Wrong!  That’s just not the case!  

Although they can wash over us like a tidal wave, leaving us helplessly drowning in sorrow, fear, or numbnessthere is a choice you can make between stressful events and negative feelings.

Except for those real life fight or flight situations, where your safety or life is in actual danger, or in some post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, there is a thought process sandwiched in the middle. It comes before the overwhelming feelings, and can even be the cause of them!

1. Noticing that elusive thought pattern can change your life as you know it!

It requires slowing down, getting real about your feelings, and retracing the steps that got you where you are emotionally.  Here’s how…Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and Coach

When you’re feeling angry, identify the situation or event which prompted it.  Then, the belief system attached to that event.

Since events can’t directly cause our feelings, what did you tell yourself about the event that negatively impacted you?

2. Question it.

How well is that belief or thought pattern serving you?  Is it benefiting you? Is it hurting you? Is it energizing you? Or is it inhibiting and alienating you?

When you hold onto idealist views, “should” statements, or perfectionism you keep yourself prisoner of those beliefs. They’re often the source of negative emotions like guilt, regret, and resentment.

Unlock the door to emotional freedom with a careful evaluation of your limiting beliefs.

3. Let go of ego and expectations.

Embrace flexibility, openness, and non-judgement.  Be present now, in the only moment in time you can affect. Focus on letting go of ideas that no longer serve you.  Here, you will find the wiggle room to grow, love, and live.

When I change my thought from, “He shouldn’t have done that!” to “It would be better if he did it a different way.” Or, “I can’t believe that happened, it’s horrible!” to “It’s not what I wanted but I’ll figure this out.” It reduces my emotional reaction significantly.

It reduces my physiological response, too – from a state of alarm including increased heart rate, tightening muscles, and lightheadedness to a generalized feeling of disappointment. It’s much easier to cope with. It keeps my body and mind healthy, and strengthens relationships through more flexibility and less rigidity, more openness and less judgment.

Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and Coach4. And to boot – on the flip side of the emotional spectrum, when something rockin’ happens to you and you think, “It doesn’t really count ‘cuz I just got lucky.”, change it to “Whoa! I’m so psyched about that. How can I do it again?”.  Don’t rob yourself of positive experiences. Revel in them!

So what beliefs are you holding onto that are harming you? What would life be like without them? Open the door of possibilities and newness. Befriend your errors of judgement and let them go. Or reframe them into productive and supportive beliefs.

 

Notice. Question. Adjust. Reframe. Release. Rejoice.

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Artur84, Master isolated images, & imagerymajestic.

3 Ways to Make the Law of Attraction Work for You

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach


Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachYou got the inside scoop on The Secret.

You know that horrible dream where you’re in class and its exam day but you forgot to attend school all semester? You’re in a panic because you’re not prepared!  Well, you might feel panic now as you realize The Secret, on its own, doesn’t work. The universe isn’t manifesting your dreams without a little kick.

The Law of Attraction isn’t enough.

Hello, universe! You practice the Law of Attraction everyday – wishing, meditating, praying.  But you’re intentions haven’t manifested!  Well, it’s not surprising. What the experts didn’t tell you is that the Law of Attraction is only part of the better-life-equation.

There is power in positive thinking.

That’s been proven. It helps to restructure our brain and trigger the flow of feel-good hormones. No one can argue that! A positive mindset helps everything you do.

Neuroscience studies show that it prompts your body to function in ways that keep you healthy. Positive Psychology shows that being engaged in positive ways creates a sense of well-being and happiness. Both are necessary for success.

Awesome, right? But – where is your Corvette, book deal, or beach house??  Why isn’t  the universe delivering your intentions? You have clarity.  You called in very specific requests. But no one’s answering!

1. It takes more than belief – The Law of Attraction requires your engagement.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Realistic anticipation. Planning. Action. Flexibility. There will be obstacles and pitfalls. Be ready for them. Troubleshoot. Problem solve. Adapt. Consider what could go wrong. Explore those possibilities and prepare.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward.

2. Stress keeps you moving forward.

Healthy stress keeps us motivated.  When we visualize our future selves with our goals attained, it feels good but it reduces the drive we need to persevere.  It’s necessary to know the details of exactly what you want and how you’ll feel when it’s manifested – but don’t get too comfortable in your future-self-perfect-life-fantasy. Use that uncomfortable edge to keep focused and choose an action everyday to inch closer to your dream.

“A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Hunter S. Thompson

3. The feeling is the reward.

Instead of focusing on the desired material, focus on the desired feeling. That thing you want might not bring you the feeling you want.

If you want happiness, focus on experiences and ideas that make you feel good. If love is what you want, focus your energy on gratitude for the loving people in your life and in the world. If freedom is what you want, notice when and with whom you can let your guard down and be yourself, completely. Brainstorm ways to manifest those situations and experiences.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.” – Buddha

You have to believe to achieve.

The song, “When you wish upon a star” was written for Pinocchio.  Here are a few lyrics, “Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, Will come to you…Like a bolt out of the blue. Suddenly, it comes to you. When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true…”

The sentiment is genuinely heart-warming.  But few can say they’ve received their heart’s desire by simply wishing.  Even Pinocchio earned his dream through acts of bravery, truth, and selflessness.

Now, back to class and the universe.  You’re not going to pass that exam, make Dean’s list, or get into grad school without preparation. That Corvette won’t manifest without realistic planning and actionable steps.  So get ready to actualize your dreams with the power of intention, persistence, and massive action. Go!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Space by Stuart Miles, Choices by Renjith Krishnan, Countryside by Dan.

Feelings are Your Deeper Truth

Heather Edwards CoachDon’t you hate it when you’re having a good day then you’re T-boned by loneliness, fear, or guilt? Pump the brakes! What just happened?

In the intersection of a pretty decent life, you’re suddenly reeling with negativity.

If you are a living, breathing, wanting, moving, evolving human being – negative emotions will be part of the fully-wakeful-ever-expanding-consciousness-raising-life-experience-package. They can stop you in your tracks, or at least slow you down a bit.  But you can choose to take a closer look and use them as fuel to motivate and inspire you.

Emotions are cues from your soul to make necessary changes in your life.

When you pause to acknowledge them, back up and say hello to them, you can see them as such. They are internal informants that something is awry.

Avoid the urge to minimize, distract, or ignore your feelings.

Listen to their message.  Allow them to guide you to a better place.  Know that they evolve and change, just as you do. Trust that they are temporary and a valuable source of information that can serve as a catalyst for something new. The longer you avoid them and push them away, the stronger and more persistent they become.

Take a closer look.

Perhaps you wish something was different in your reality. Maybe there’s old stuff lingering in the nooks and crannies of your subconscious mind that you’ve decidedly avoided. Or your hopes and expectations were sadly off course. Perhaps an adjustment in your thinking is overdue.

Emotions are a fortunate truth when confronted with courage and acceptance.

They direct you to a deeper truth that something is out of alignment.  They make you stronger and more attuned.  They represent the yogi, swami, and guru of your unconscious mind. It’s the secret service of your regrets, wants, dreams, and so much more….

Lonely. Sad. Hopeless. Guilty. Stuck. Do you allow these feelings or distract and avoid them?

Are your emotions managing you? Or are you managing your emotions?

You found a temporary sense of relief.  But in the long run, that nagging feeling simmers below the surface of your consciousness, rearing its head at potentially inopportune moments, or during quiet times.

How do you want to feel?

What information is the unwanted feeling providing?  Notice what you need to change, acknowledge, or accept. This is critical and motivating. The largest pitfall of coping with negative emotions is the belief that, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”

What does this feeling say about you?

Perhaps you wish you had done things differently – in that case it’s a learning experience, now you’re wiser.  Perhaps you are a sensitive, caring person easily affected by others – in that case embrace your loving self and set better boundaries next time.  Perhaps there were events out of your control that hurt you – trust that you did the best you could at the time with the information and resources available to you – and release the rest.

All emotions are valuable. Embrace them. Release them. Empower yourself.Heather Edwards Coaching

If it’s true that that light cannot exist without dark, good cannot exist with evil, black (all colors) cannot exist without white (the absence of colors).  Then the same is true of feelings.  Without hate, grief, and fear – love, joy, and orgasmic ecstasy cannot exist.  Or worse, they would only seem mundane.

Back to that intersection of life – hit cruise control. Allow your reality to exist. Make gentle or dramatic adjustments where you see fit.  Everything is fluid and dynamic. One decision today can alter your course infinitely. Hear your feelings as confidants of your deeper truth. Feel. Observe. Trust. Believe. Breathe. Release. Empower yourself.

An Abundant Life – Embrace 2015 with a Ninja’s Focus

An Abundant LifeWhether you kicked metaphorical a** and took down names in 2014, or languished in distraction and misdirection, a fresh start for an abundant life is on the horizon.  In fact, that new opportunity is two days away!  Get ready for new beginnings and a new year.  Let go of the frustrations, pitfalls, or unexpected road blocks that occurred 2014.  If it was a good year, use your accomplishments – no matter how small or seemingly mundane – as fuel for a BREAKTHROUGH year in 2015.

EMBRACE intention.  BELIEVE that you can and will make steady gains toward a more fulfilled life.  Let go of anger, fear, and regret.  CHOOSE to focus on the good. Take your POWER back. CHANGE one thing today that will make tomorrow and next year better. START small but consistently.  Just start.  Use your ENERGY wisely.  Define WHO AND HOW you want to be.  DETERMINE your path.  ENJOY the journey.  If what Buddha said is true, “What you think, you become.”, then start thinking more positive and inspiring thoughts.

Here are a few thoughts that inspire me…

  1. Infuse life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope.  Make your own love. – Bradley Whitford
  2. Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.  – Og Mandino
  3. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.  – Theodore Roosevelt
  4. Set your goals, write them down. Now you’re one step closer to achieving them.  – Richard Branson
  5. A jug fills drop by drop.  – Buddha
  6. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.  – Thomas A. Edison
  7. It’s more fun to experience things when you don’t know what’s going to happen.  – Louis C. K.
  8. Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.  Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.  – Tony Robbins
  9. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.  – C.S. Lewis
  10. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

What now?  Start imagining a life that feels exciting, peaceful, and inspiring.  Grab a pen and jot down your ideas.  Uncensored.  Free associate all the things in life that you love. What do you notice?  What themes emerge?  Those are the people, things, and activities that bring you the most joy.  Make 2015 about that.  What one step can you take today to spark the forward trajectory? 

Welcome wonder, accomplishment, and uncertainty into your life.  Seek novelty.  It demands your attention and seemingly slows down time. It requires use of all five senses which result in a here and now experience.  This mindful attention influences your being. It develops a grounded and inspired baseline – you choose whether positive or negative. That experience sews the fabric of awareness and satisfaction. Use it to discover and actualize your best self.  You and your brain are more powerful than you realize.

In case you want more tips on how to live an abundant life, and set goals and see them through, you can find some here, and more here… If that’s not enough, here’s another one. Sign up for my FREE newsletter to receive a steady stream into your inbox here.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of StockImages at freedigitalphotos.net.