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Archive for May, 2010

Habit of Happiness

Habit of Happiness

In my coaching practice, conversations are frequently centered around a client’s desire to be happy. You have probably heard yourself say, “I just want to be happy and content with my life.” My question to you and my clients is, “Are you chasing happiness or ‘being happy’?”

As a student of the Law of Attraction, I have come to understand that chasing happiness makes no sense, that to find happiness on the outside, one must find it within first. In other words, you must be happy to attract happiness. All that being said, this may not be as easy as it sounds however, there certain habits that you can embrace which will help you to ‘be happy’.

Habit One: See where happiness already exists in your life

When you are searching for the illusive something that you want in your life, your focus is on the absence of it. In contrast if you can turn your attention to where in your life happiness already exists, you begin to build on this and attract more of it. So often we focus on what is not versus what is. Shift your attention to those aspects of your life where you are now or have been in the past, happy. Notice how this shifts your energy.

Habit Two: Gratitude

Following on Habit One, once you see the happiness that already exists in your life, express gratitude for it. In the emerging field of Positive Psychology, the study of happiness, those who have a daily practice of gratitude test as being much more positive/happy in their approach to life. It is as simple as taking a few minutes everyday to notice and appreciate the positive aspects of your life.

Habit Three: Intentions

Set a daily intention which simply states: “I am happy. I spread happiness wherever I go. I am an agent of happiness.’ When you set an intention, you actually send out a ripple effect, or an energy field around you. Others will experience this in you and respond in kind. You have a choice everyday to enter the waterline of life as a positive force or not.

Habit Four: Tame the Inner Critic

Most of you have a voice that whispers things in your ear. This voice is rooted in fear and your ego; it is usually negative in that it diminishes you and pulls the plug on your personal power. Choose to re-program the voice. Listen in on the voice for the purpose of understanding what it is feeding you, become clear regarding what you would rather hear. Turn down the volume on the critic’s voice and raise the volume on your ‘heart voice’, the voice which believes in you and builds you up.

Habit Five: Acknowledgement

Learn to acknowledge yourself for your accomplishments and achievements. In the same vein, learn to accept complements from others. It is important to see your gifts, strengths and talents. Acknowledgment is simply an expression of gratitude for you God-given gifts.

Habit Six: Create time for You

It is difficult to be happy if you are always spinning. Everyone needs time each day, if only for a few minutes for what I refer to as selfness. Selfness is the practice of serving yourself first so that you can leverage your capacity to continue to serve others. It does not take a lot of time, in fact my recommendation is 1% of your day, 14.4 minutes; time dedicated to breathing, introspection and forming your intentions.

Habit Seven: Create your perfect relationship with You

Hold yourself in unconditional love and high regard. The way to attract both happiness and respect is to offer both to yourself first. I suggest that you write a contract with yourself whereby you stipulate what the qualities and characteristics are of your perfect relationship with you. Of course, one of these qualities would be the choice to be happy.

My challenge to you is to test out the habits of happiness and to notice what begins to shift in your life. Notice what happens to your HQ – your Happiness Quotient.

Until next time…

Betty

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I was gifted a photo shoot by my friend Jacquie Milner as a 60th birthday gift. No, I didn’t hesitate to accept it. I felt it was far better to see myself as a goddess than a crone. Goddess conjures up a different kind of image. Both in my view  are about wisdom and celebrating the accumulation of knowledge. Goddess also speaks to me of seeing the Divine Feminine within me, embracing it, and stepping fully into my own power. If not now, when.

On the actual date of my 60th, I stood naked before the mirror and said aloud, this is what 60 looks like. I refused to allow the self-critic to express any dismay at the image, and to simply take in the beauty of a body that has housed my spirit for six decades and served me very well. This is the gift of gratitude.

And my Goddess shots, how did they turn out? Judge for yourself:

My Favorite Goddess Pic

My Favorite Goddess Pic

 Moving on from here, life has been very engaging and I am preparing for a two-week road trip for one of my clients. How fortunate I am to be this age and have work that I love to deliver.

Calling all Goddesses – this is our time!

See you on the road,

Betty

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It’s happening already. I was signing up for an opportuntiy to win $6000 at an Exhibitor’s booth. As part of the draw you had to provide specific information. There it was, the box for 60+. OMG I have to check off a new box! Yikes. Note: I did not win!

Yesterday the bank contacted me. Mrs. Healey, you now qualify for our 60PLUS account – this means no more monthly fees! WOW – there’s a perk. And friends are telling me about all the discounts I can get when I travel by train, shop at Shopper’s Drug Mart and go to the movies. Now all I have to do is travel by train, shop in a drugstore and go to the movies to save the money I would not normally spend. Regardless, I still qualify for the discount and I am sure there are more perks on there way.

I also qualify to collect my CPP but I need some financial information from my last employer which was 13 years ago. I have left 4 messages at the hospital now trying to rouse a response – I guess turning 60 doesn’t matter much to them! That;s okay – I am not in a rush.

What bonuses will appear around the next corner?

My question – what will they do as I keep ‘younging’ – will the perks go away?

Sixty and glowing…

Betty

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Moving on from turning sixty, it’s time to simply continuing living fully and being in the world as I love to be. The week started with a trip to Toronto to attend the Your Workplace Conference on the theme of creating the Engaged Workplace. Here are my reflections:

Is it time to start painting outside the lines in your ‘paint by number’ routine? I ask myself this question whenever I feel myself succombing to some unwritten rule that seems to be forcasting my decisions or life choices. These rules, have been defined by the ‘shoulds, have to’s and must do’s’ I have acquired through the years. What about you, do you suffer from the same self-imposed limitations?

Recently, my husband Jim and I participated in the annual Your Workplace Conference. Held in Toronto, the conference theme this year was ‘creating an engaging workplaces’. With that theme in mind, we as exhibitors were asked to engage conference participants when they came to visit our booth. The first task for us, attract a creative idea which would do just that. We decided to engage the artist within each person, knowing that within every individual there lurks a creative soul. Unfortunately that creativity may have been laying dormant for a few years. Our challenge was to invite it out to play.

To create our engraging booth, we purchased a three by four foot canvas, and installed this on an easle at the corner of our venue. We placed boxes of high quality markers around the easle offering everyone the tools they required to be creative. Our invitation was to ‘Paint us a Masterpiece’, simply choose your colors and add to the canvas.

As conference attendees drifted by our booth we pulled them in, asking them to dip their hand into the box of colors, add an element of their choice to the painting and make their contribution. You can imagine the responses. We heard the usual litany of ‘I can’t draw. The artist in me died in Kindergarden. There isn’t a creative bone in my body!”

Your Workplace Conference ParticipantsFinal Painting ~ YWP Conference

  The interesting thing we noticed, is that we did not ask people specifically to draw, only to add to the canvas. This could have been a line, a blob, a curly-cue, whatever. The choice was theirs to make.

So how does this experience relate to life and painting outside the paint-by number lines? With the same hesitance as our exhibitor booth visitors demonstrated, I noticed the extent to which we do not allow ourselves to fully engage in life, the hesitation to pick up a pen or brush and add new strokes to the canvas of  life. Notice how you are holding yourself back in ways you do not even recognize.

Each of us is an artist. Art comes in different forms, shapes and sizes; it might be a drawing, a simple line or a bold new color; it might appear as a painting, a novel, or a creation of some other form. Whatever it is, I encourage each of you to pick up a crayon, a marker or a paint brush and add something new to the canvas of your life.

As Gordon Mac Kenzie wrote in Orbiting the Giant Hairballbegin wielding a wider brush – pure ox-bristle. Swoop it through the sensuous goo of Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, or Ultramarine Blue (not nos. 4, 8, 13) to create the biggest, brightest, funniest, fiercest damn dragon that you can. Because that has more to do with what’s inside of you than some prescribed plagiarism of somebody else’s tour de force.

You have a masterpiece inside you, too, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. And remember: If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you. 

Our conference visitors did, in the end, create a masterpiece filled with doodles and swirls, suns and rainbows, stick people and animals, whatever inspired them. The result was impressive (bids for the painting are now being accepted!). Now it’s your turn to stretch a little, step outside your ‘shoulds, have to’s and must do’s’. You might be surprized at what appears – there may even be a dragon lurking there.

The Final Masterpiece

Remember this is not about perfection, imperfection is better. It is what cracks you open. As a yoga instructor said to me recently, the poses don’t have to be perfect. Lack of perfection creates cracks and it is the cracks that allow the light to come in. Let the light in. Step up- start painting your masterpiece, stretch a little, crack your life open!

Until next time…

Betty

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Party On!

And so it is, I am now officially 60 years old! It is an age, a number, a descriptor – is it me? I guess so – that’s what the calendar says.

I woke up the morning of my birthday and stood naked , looking in the mirror, checking out the physical form that is me. “This is what 60 looks like,” I said, speaking to the mirror. Not so bad, a few noticeable changes for sure, yet all considered pretty darn cute! I am not meaning to be ego-centric – I just believe that making light of this landmark is much more important than taking it seriously. Age is, after all, a state of mind. I have told all my soon to be 60 friends, that I am the trailblazer and that I dare them to follow and to remain young of heart.

Young of heart, wise of spirit- this is where I want to play. I have decided that I want to participate in ‘younging’ versus aging. I have also declared the following intentions:

Things I want in the next decade:

–         to live large, from my sense of calling and what makes me tick

–         to be as healthy at 70 as I am at 60

–         to be fully joyfully engaged in life, living and what has become my/our work

–         to grow and expand our business, enabling me to play a greater role in influencing the world of work

–         to knock off the items on my bucket list beginning with sky diving

–         to love and be loved

–         to live abundantly, attracting new possibilities and potentialities to our business

–         to be be surprised

–         to continue to expand and grow the Tigh Shee Retreat Center and Gardens

–         to integrate ME FIRST fully in all work we attract

–         to continue to listen, to hear and to write about the ME FIRST journey

–         to attract all of this or something better

My May 1st birthday celebration unfolded in a most magical way with 40 or so guests joining us for a labyrinth walk, potluck and drumming. It is these moments in life that I find very humbling, as I gratefully greet each person, acknowledge them, appreciate them and consider how fortunate I am that each spirit has crossed my path. As I study the participants, they are a reflection of me, a cross section of my life. Some have known me since high school, a few from my life in Montreal, most in the decade since we have moved to Glengarry County. A couple of visitors I met 2 weeks ago. One person came because the invitation was forwarded to her. And so it is, each labyrinth event has its own unique texture, and this one, was no different.

 

Labyrinth Walk

Illiana, Betty, Doreen

I am in gratitude for my life, my family, my best friend and partner – Jim, my community, my home, and finally for myself. Does that seem strange to add myself to the list? No, I acknowledge myself as well, for as I do that I say thank you to spirit, who created me and supports me, and who allows me to be who I am. No more hesitating! It is the time to embrace everyday.

Until next time….

Betty

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