DINK #311 Putting Bounce Back Into Your Business

Posted on : 27-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business



Do you own your own business or do you work for a mid-to-small sized business which has undergone downsizing, reconnoitering, or other kinds of emergency rescue procedures to keep the company from hemorrhaging through lost profits and earnings?  You can read any number of blogs/articles at ALLTOP to learn the latest stats on the economy of the U.S. and the world, the latest technologies and advice from business experts about company strategies.

During the course of several conversations with people who either own their own business or work for a small business the last three years of a volatile economy has definitely wreaked havoc in many places of work. The over arching concerning for all is how to put the bounce back into the business when the fear of going under is looming and ever present.  In talking with a partner of a design firm which has provided design services in a niche industry for over 20 years, they have recently had to make the difficult decision to cut their staff (furloughing as many as possible) and cut the remaining staff salaries drastically due to the work that is dribbling in (instead of flowing).  Their niche industry is such that when the economy takes a hit, their clients tend to tighten up their belts and want to wait till money is flowing more freely.  It’s easy for many of their clients to believe that the kind of work that this design firm can do for them is more of frivolous than necessary.  However, if you talk with any of the partners of the design firm you will learn in a matter of minutes how their work actually can save their clients money and aggravation in the long run. There is definitely an opportunity to educate the community and new clients as to how their business goes much deeper than just being a pretty face.

So how does this design firm put the bounce back in their step?  Ideally, they’d hire a Coach (like, say, perhaps the author of this blog) to conduct thorough and investigative interviews of all the partners, designers and staff (who make the work happen!) in an expedient manner to understand what each person does and how they operate as part of the team.  This would be the ideal, but with a business suffering from anorexia, the next best thing is for the  Coach to meet with the person who brings the clients to the door.  In the case of my friend’s business, one of the senior partners has brilliantly brought in work on a regular basis which has dribbled down considerably over the last six months.  Then the crippling economy, prospective clients gripped by fear and the draining of the company’s coffers injected a state of paralysis into his footsteps braking them into a slow, but steady, walk.  Now the creative energy that used to inspire him to put together proposals for innovative, beautiful and functional work is stuck inside a loop of frenetic anxiety inside of his head which in turn is communicated to the remaining staff members spreading the paralysis throughout the company.

If I could, I would take this man for a walk in the park and get him to talking.  I’d acknowledge his fears of course, he needs to bleed that out of his system so that he can then focus on what is possible for his business. Then I would start asking him questions about his most favorite work that his company has done. Why?  What made that work so enjoyable?  How did he get the work?  I’d want to ask him historical questions about some of the lineages of clients that his firm has worked for to learn if similar lineages have been explored in other areas.   After more than 24 years of providing a very important kind of design service for many satisfied clients, this man and his business has a lot of wisdom that can be shared with many.  Perhaps there is a new kind of service that they can offer clients that marries what the wisdom of their past with what is needed now and in the future.  Because I know a few people connected with this business, I’m privy to the fact that their firm has a pool of genius brains with talent which is just waiting to be tapped for new ways of doing things.

The senior partner  has brought their company rich and satisfying work over the years and still has the energy and ability to create new business even in our anemic times he just needs someone to remind him where to find his the spark of ingenuity.  Unfortunately, this is a case of the fear trickling down from the top and pooling in the ranks which then creates more fear at the top and a deeper pool for everyone. I know that, in the case of this leader, when he discovers a way to suspend his daily dose of fear and anxiety  it will allow his windows of creativity to open up again into a world of possibility and new roads to success.

How have you discovered new ways to put the bounce back in your business?

DINK #310 When Someone Finally Stops To Listen To You, What Do You Do?

Posted on : 24-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

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You’ve just got to love us humans. We’re all running around using all kinds of tools and “geegads” (buttons, tools, technology, etc.) to communicate with each other but very rarely do we experience that wonderful moment when someone finally tops to listen to us.  When someone does finally stop to listen to you, what do you do?  As many of you know, for the past couple of months I’ve been talking with another coach four days a week for 20 minutes (sometimes creeping up to 30 minutes) a day.  We trade back and forth with what we’re working on but this all started as a way for my friend to jump start her coaching business after a hiatus while she helps me with mine.  Through our process we’re also taking notes about the passages we’re going through because, more than likely, we will have clients who will experience the same highs, lows, frustrations, coasting, flying and all the emotions and thoughts in between.

Our call today helped me to remember why I’m grateful for all the therapy, coaching, workshops, sessions and treatments I’ve had in my life up until now because when I spoke for a good ten minutes without interruptions I was able to get  to the truth of the matter of what was going on regarding how I want to be using my skills/talents/wisdom in the world.  My friend did a magnificent job of holding the space for me to vent out my thoughts and feelings til I got to the nugget.  I knew I’d gotten to the what was really going on with me when I felt like throwing up.  The real fear and feelings were all around it.  We’ve all known people who we have witnessed venting/processing who make us want to run for the exit as fast as we can. Sometimes we react that way because their strong feelings scare us and we don’t know what to do with their emotions much less our own.  Other times these people are energy suckers who just want our attention and energy as they go over the same story/racket/territory again and again and again. For cases like that, I realize that there are those who believe people who get stuck in a rut like that just need to keep venting until they get unstuck—but I’m sure not one of them!

What I got out of the experience of my friend generously giving me the space and room to verbally process what was in my head and heart, was the feeling of gratitude that someone had finally stopped to listen to me.  The only thing about being thoroughly listened to is that now I know I need to keep moving forward and I’ve exposed just a little bit more of myself with this friend by my honest sharing and by her listening so that my denial blanket has become less of a comfortable choice for avoiding action.  Additionally, I want to give this experience of stopping and really listening to someone, to another person.  It’s really a huge gift for both the receiver as well as the sender.

If there is any point of wisdom that I would like for you to take away from today’s blog it is for you to really think about what it is that you want to say, write, sing, dance, art, express to others and to keep fine tuning it and getting more precise and getting more focused until who you are stops other people in their tracks to listen to what you have to say.

DINK #309 Weathering The New Communication Storm

Posted on : 22-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

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What changes in the way you communicate with  friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances have you noticed lately?  In this morning’s conversation with a fellow Coach, we were comparing notes on what people seemed to want and need lately (at least in terms of coaching) and we agreed that there seems to be less of an interest in acquiring/learning information and more of a need to be heard and walked through a process.  Most of us realize that what we really need and want is to be seen and heard; however, in this techn0freeky world we all seem to be clamoring to the top louder than ever with everyone ripping frenzy (similar to tearing one’s shirt off as they are running) to see the “next great thing, person or idea” before “everyone” else.  For many of us, what that means is a whole lot of us get left behind in the echoes thereby amplifying our frustration even deeper.

I’ve noticed that friends, family and colleagues are moving through their lives at a much faster clip—-I’ve been known to check my Facebook account while stopped at a traffic light!  In many of the blogs and newsletters that I follow, the authors have been talking about the great changes in humanity that are taking place now from a spiritual perspective (that we are also seeing take place in our physical reality such as the uproar in the Middle East).  The good news is that in addition to noticing the faster pace that we’re all moving, I am also aware that there are more people who are willing to stand up and say what they believe in and ask for what they need, in work, in relationships, as well as friendships, than ever before.  As Seth Godin said in his book, “Tribes”, “Many people are starting to realize that they work a lot and that working on stuff they believe in (and making things happen) is much more satisfying than just getting a paycheck and waiting to get fired (or die).”

So how do we navigate through the rough waters of career/job instability,  political unrest, market changes, etc.?  We have to first realize that “change is inevitable and that suffering is an option” (Al-Anon “Courage to Change”).  Change has always been happening from the first Eukaryotic Cell (http://bit.ly/hYeKgr) to the wide variety of species that inhabit planet Earth.  And no matter how old you are right now,  you have gone through many evolution and changes to get to where you are and who you are now.  As Human Beings, we’ve been given the tools that we need to not only weather change but thrive in change.  And for any tools that we don’t have in our cache already, there are all kinds of avenues available for us to explore to find what we need.  Changes in the world of business are no exception.  Maybe each generation has this same feeling of unbelievable change from “how it was and how it is supposed to be to what it is now” and I believe that the way that we communicate with each other is only heightening the breadth of the chasm between how we understand our world and what it is becoming.

Whether you are an information age geek who enjoys all the tweets and fijasms (a sexy way of saying technology) available for communication or you have either chosen or been forced to slide off the grid—there are ways that we can weather this new communication storm and come out on top of the wave as it morphs.  Three ideas that I try to keep in mind that have helped me in not only communicating with others, but also connecting are:

1.) There’s a human being at the other end of the line.   Whatever tool I’m using to communicate with and however broad the reach—it’s good for me to remember that there is a human (or a bunch of humans) at the other end of my line.  Visualizing a face and hearing their response helps me to remember to respond well and not react.

2.) No matter how hard my day is going (or been) your day has probably been much worse.  In the heat of the moment, nobody really cares what is going on in my world–not yet—not really.  When we care about each other is when we remember to slow down, step back and acknowledge the other person and give them a little bit of time to be heard. Just a little bit is usually all it takes for someone to relax into feeling connected and wanting to connect with you…….when it becomes something lengthier, then there is usually something else going on that needs to be addressed that won’t get handled in one tweet, FB, LI, Chat, email or phone call.

3.) You can never take back the spoken or written word.  Sure, you can make amends for them but once that harsh word has left your lips and made it to the ears of the other person or those bitter written words have lifted off into the ethers and made it to the other side….then you are left with the consequences of your choice to vent and react rather than take a few deep breaths and think about why you need to say what you think you need to say and how you’re going to say it.

These are just a few of the basic lessons that I’ve learned while surfing along in the high waves of communication change.  There are many good things that are coming down the pike from the huge massive onslaught of mega-mass communication least of which is that many of us breaking off into smaller groups which allow us to find more of the kinds of people who we want to interact with then ever before. The trick is for us to remember how to treat other people like we would want to be treated along the way.

What impact have you witnessed in your own life because of the change in how you communicate with others?

DINK #308 What Do You Not Know That You Don’t Know?

Posted on : 15-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

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Remember Bill Withers’ song, “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone“? When I was a little kid, the very ending drove me crazy….okay! okay! we know that you know that we know that you know that there definitely ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone!!  Well fast forward several decades and that seemingly redundant ending has a whole new meaning for me (still reminds me of my brother and I trying to sing the ending in one long breath so that we could mimic Bill but almost passing out in the process…but I digress!)

We’re starting to explore Epistemology in Philosophy Class, which is the “nature of knowledge’.  Three basic questions of Epistemology are:  What is knowledge?  What can I know? and How do I know it?  You’re probably wondering what this can possibly have to do with you, but understanding what we know and what we don’t know much less what we don’t even know that we don’t know….are some of the most important questions we can ask ourselves in regards to how we relate to the world around us.

One of my long-time coaching friends shared with me recently how much she appreciated the gift I have to just “know” what to say, when to say it and when not to say anything.  Believe me, this has been a long time coming for me—I used to be so obnoxious with all my ‘knowing” and would “know” all over anyone who would allow me the room.  Today, I’ve learned that although I do know quite a lot (in spite of my sieve-like brain) a.) there is quite a lot I don’t know and b.) when it comes to really “being there” for another person–it really doesn’t matter what you know.  What is more important is your knowing how to use what you know in a way that can help the other person to recognize what they know.

Some of my favorite teachers in life (both the academic as well as the non-academic variety) have been those people who seem to really know who I am by the way that they ask me questions about what I know, think, believe, need and/or want.  Some in particular, have had a very elegant way of responding to who I was in a very understated manner which allowed me to save face and feel almost brilliant at the same time, without taking any credit for it.  Sometimes days, weeks, months even years later I would replay the scenario in my head only to be able to see the scaffolding behind the scenes of their actions with me and appreciate them even more for allowing me the room to grow and explore.

Such a simple thing really, to ask another person what they need, or what they are thinking or even to clarify what they have said…even if we know in our gut of guts all of the answers and beyond to any of the questions we are asking.  The knowing is about going deeper into the understanding of what we  know so that we can go deeper in order to help another person in their knowing.

That’s a whole lot of special vitamin K for your brain but I believe understanding about our knowing can then lead us into further explorations of  empathy….but then that’s a whole other blog for us…know what I mean?

DINK #307 Remembering Joy In Your Life

Posted on : 12-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Have you ever seen the metaphysical movie, “The Secret” which was released in 2006 as a movie-web sensation?  The very first cuts of the movie included Esther Hicks/Abraham (Law of Attraction) and for many of us, this was the first time to really have a beautiful visual as well as auditory lesson about attracting what we want into our lives.  For those of us who are into such things, groups sprung up all over the world to discuss and explore the qualities of attracting and manifesting what we wanted into our lives.  I even interviewed one of the speakers of “The Secret”, James Ray, during my first live radio interview show on KOOP 91.7 FM back in 2006.

For those of you who may not know the basic premise of manifesting and attracting what you want in your life, I’ll take a quote from Esther and Jerry Hicks’ “Teachings of Abraham in their book, “The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent” which sums it down to this:

“When you ask, it is given. It is always given. It is given every time. No exceptions…When you or anyone or anything asks, it is given.”

I have had the experience in my life of people, places or things that I have had a strong desire for appearing out of seemingly thin air.  Before I met my husband, I had very few long-term relationships and my definition of long-term had been nine months tops!  When I met him he had just moved to Austin from New York and we just happened to have the same friend who just happened to work at the same place that I did.  Twenty-one years later and we’re still creating our story together.  When we found the home that we’ve been in since 1996,  we stumbled upon it almost by accident because a co-worker of my husband had accepted an out of town job and needed to sell his home.  When we went to look at it, there were many decorating type things that we wanted to change but the basics of the land and a pool was what we had both dared to want for a very long time.  We sold the home we were in at the time, and bought this new home within THREE DAYS.  My list goes on and on but what I tend to forget was how effortlessly these things came into my life…as if by divine intervention.

I don’t know about you but when it comes to  assessments or following through on exercises that are supposed to produce a certain result, I tend to be one of those people who will “break” or severely stretch the parameters.  Suffice it to say that when it came to participating in Law of Attracting groups and trying to manifest what I wanted into my life—like the leaders and/or participants of the groups seemed to be manifesting what they wanted into their lives—-I just never was to be able to do it.  I went through several stages where I felt disenchanted, disillusioned, skeptical, depressed and maybe just a little bit angry.  In whatever way it is that my brain processes learning, I felt like trying to “manifest” and “attract” like I thought everyone else was doing it—was causing me to lose the great connection that I had with a Higher Power of my understanding.  I used to pride myself in being able to float a variety of different beliefs in my consciousness simultaneously, but this period of time in my life felt like I had walked into a gravity chamber of lead that didn’t leave anything floating in the air for consideration much less manifesting.

Overtime, I’ve been rebuilding and reconnecting the relationship with that Higher Power and rekindling the belief that I am a human being who lives a life at choice.  Everything and everyone that comes into my life is a result of a decision or series of decisions that I have made.  As I’ve written in previous blogs, I am making a conscious choice not to entertain the usual-suspects of negative thoughts when they come into my mind. Instead, as soon as I recognize them I STOP them and ask myself if the thoughts are useful or helpful to me and if they are not then I ask myself what, if any, action I need to take.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working with a good friend who is a fellow Coach and Master Mind member five days a week for 20 minutes which is helping me to carve out some new coaching programs and really get intentional about coaching and the kind of clients who I want to attract.  Almost as effortless as a swan swimming through the water, great ideas about the kind of coaching I could offer and new clients appeared in my life.  But as soon as my friend began talking about manifesting, there was that lead balloon again.  I couldn’t even manifest a parking place at school the next day!  My friend had this same dilemma as well and we soon realized that part of our issue was because somehow in our minds when we heard or thought about manifesting, it immediately became a chore for us.  It was no fun. There was no joy in the process of manifestation.

We made a pact to create a “manifesting journal” but only create in it when our heart was full of joy. I have since shared with three friends and I am now going to share this idea with you.

1.) Get yourself a journal that fits well with your personality.  I have a very simple spiral notebook (MR is the brand) that I bought at Target that I love because of the hard cover and the lining of the paper.

2.) Each page is for one thing, person, place, idea, etc. that you want to manifest in your life.  That one thing may take up several pages, but keep your focus on one thing that you want to manifest for each page.

3.) Remember how you want to feel.  Most of the current day sages who talk about the Law of Attraction, remind us to pay attention to how we want to “feel”.  In manifesting what you want in your life, it’s not enough just to visualize it–you have to feel like you know you will feel with that person, place, thing in your life.  Remember when you were a kid, and you could create a magical experience for yourself almost from thin air?  I sure could, about the most simplest of things like being excited to go to the DQ after our mom dragged us to the base commissary and BX when she would reward us with a corn dog and chocolate shake.  Those shopping days were magical to me!!

4.) Let go of the “how”.  I think our adult selves trumps our child selves when it comes to manifesting sometimes because we trudge into our dreams and feelings of joy with all the hows, and buts and what ifs.  All of those concerns are important for living; however, all we’re doing with our journal is having fun and letting that kid part of ourselves out to play and have fun with this.  Remember that for many of us, this whole manifesting thing became drudgery because instead of going with the flow and remember the joy—we kept trying to figure it all out.  I know I’ve had dreams of flying that perfectly illustrate these feelings for me. In some of my flying dreams, I’ll effortlessly take off in flight and be way up high soaring along until I realize how effortlessly I’m soaring and then I lose my height and sometimes I have to land and then run several times and jump up to fly again.  Go ahead, let yourself fly. Have fun.

This is your journal so no one is going to be looking at it…however you decide to communicate to yourself how you want to feel in your life when you’re living your best life—go for it.  You may want to write, draw, paint, collage, the sky really is the limit.  Enjoy yourself.  And if/when that part of your brain shows up that just has to KNOW HOW you are possibly going to get anything that you desire into your life, tell it kindly to bug off for right now because this is your very own journal to help you to remember how to have joy in your life.

Now go do it and have fun!

DINK #306 Rules For Living

Posted on : 08-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder



Have you come across “rules for living” in your lifetime?   Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, more than likely, you  have and even if you have been living in a cave there were probably  some rules for living recorded somewhere in that cave–if not by humans than by the tell tale signs that animals, reptiles and/or insects had left behind. So what are “rules for living”?  There are many degrees of the rules for living from the basic Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to emotional rules for living and spiritual rules for living.  Additionally, each of us have come up with our own definition of “rules for living” that we’ve accrued through our own experience of being human through the years of our life.

The following are ten rules for living that I’ve tucked away in my quiver of tools from my experience of living life thus far:

1.  The Golden Rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. This is not my own rule, but it is one that was passed down to me at a very early age which has stood the test of time.  In most cases, treating someone with respect, kindness and caring has proven to be happily accepted and well-received. After all, I sure do appreciate it when others treat me this way—it feels good!

2. People are animals too. And I mean that in the very good sense of being an animal.  As far as we know, we may be superior as a species when it comes to communicating with each other but then again there are so many ways that we, humans, communicate on various levels of the subconscious and unconscious with each other that we can miss the subtleties of what is being communicated because of sheer ignorance.  When I’m communicating with others, no matter how high there pedigree socially and/or professionally, it’s helpful for me to remember that we’re animals too and that just like wolves, dolphins and some of the higher intelligent species that we share our planet with, we are always communicating on several levels simultaneously.

3. Look for joy. Remember when you were a child and sometimes the most simple thing could light up your joy with ecstasy?  I remember when I was in elementary school in San Antonio, Texas there was a specific route that we would take right past the Wonder Bread Bakery that would just fill me with delight not just because of the wonderful smell of baking bread but because they had this huge billboard nearby that had a loaf of Wonder Bread with slices falling out of the bag and on to a plate.  I know, I’m a cheap date for happiness here but I looked forward to seeing that billboard and the falling slices of bread every time we took that route.  Look for the joy in life, it may be easier than you think.

4. Find ways to be kind to others. And this is one of those “rules” that doesn’t have any strings attached.  It means getting to a place in yourself where you want to find opportunities to be kind to others just for the sake of being kind.  It always makes me feel smoother inside.  Being bitchy really does make me feel gritty inside.  Being kind can happen in the simplest of forms from catching another person’s eyes and smiling at them to helping a neighbor through a crisis.  It can be acknowledging your dogs when the run up to the door to greet you after a long day’s work to scooping up a spider and porting them outside.  Be ingenious. Discover new ways to exemplify kindness.

5. Treat your body like a temple. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this rule in my life and finally, in my fifth decade of life I am honoring this rule as fully as I am able.  This rule could seem really complex but really I’m talking about the kind of self-respect where you make sure you get the hours of sleep you need each night to be fully on your game the next day. Eat nutritious and well-balanced meals.  I have three meals a day, no flour, no sugar and nothing in-between with lots of vegetables, protein, grain and fruit.  I’ve been doing this for almost eight years and I’ve never felt better.  Get plenty of exercise — again, the kind of exercise that works for you, your life style and your body type.  I’m a runner (though not fast) which I’ve been doing since I was 15. I make sure to stretch before and after my runs and to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals. I practice yoga, and I meditate.  When I think of the ways that I have treated my body in my lifetime and it has still pulled through, I figure that I’ll spend the rest of my life making amends to it by treating it like a temple and living healthy.

6.  Find humor. Sometimes we take ourselves sooooooo seriously.  Recognizing when we’re taking ourselves seriously can be humorous in itself, especially if you can find others who have taken themselves seriously the way you have and can laugh with you.  And humans aren’t the only species with a sense of humor, I’ve had many a dog or cat who have been hilarious in my life.  Just like a child’s humor is different than an adult (although have you watched The Electric Company lately? It’s hilarious!), animal humor is different too. For instance, I can almost hear my Australian Shepherd giggling when we face each other stock still and then I squat and hop unexpectedly–which of course causes him to run pell mell through out the house!

7. Discover your own unique creativity.  We all have creativity, it’s just in some people creativity is more obvious than in others.  My creativity comes out in the way that I think about things and the ideas I come up with to finding new solutions to old problems.  This kind of creativity is no less creative than some of my artist friends or musician friends it’s just that I have a different way of expressing it rather than with paints or instruments.  Become your own private investigator into finding your creativity and revel in it once you’ve found it!

8. No one is thinking about you half as much as you are thinking about yourself (if at all). We are all hyper vigilant about ourselves and so quite often we worry about “what people are thinking of us” when the truth of the matter is that they’re focused on their own lives.  A friend once said, “what other people think of me is none of my business” and I tend to agree with him.

9.  Be curious about those people around you. Paying attention to Rule #8, imagine what a delight it is to another person when you pay attention to them and ask them about themselves.  I’ve become so naturally curious about what other people are up to that I created a web show so that I could interview all kinds of people up to great things (Hope42Day).  I also realized that the reason I seem to finish my meals way before the other people I’m with is because I’m asking them just the right question to delight me with their answers (and entertain me while I eat).  It’s amazing some of the things you can learn about others and life by just being curious.

10. Have a thirst for knowledge. I’m talking knowledge in the very broad sense of the word from the traditional school and continuing education classes to zeroing in on a skill, hobby, cause, etc. that you can learn about and expand your wealth of knowledge.  I returned to school in ’08 and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.  Today we reviewed “logic and fallacies’ for a test in our Philosophy and Critical Thinking class.  Many of the logic rules and argument fallacies are basic common sense—you “know it” when you hear it—but there are still these subtle distinctions that are being cleared up in my mind to help me to really understand “why” I feel someone’s speech is wrong and gives me the words to fill in the blanks rather than only being able to say “because I feel it”.

These are just a few of my favorite “rules for living”, what are some of yours?

DINK #305 Choosing To Be Happy

Posted on : 05-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Choices



Yes, being happy is a choice.  I know there are many valid reasons for not being happy but as Abraham Lincoln one said, “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to believe (and ole Abe suffered from severe depression).

Having lived many years suffering through various addictions and the curse of my own negative thought processes, I know that choosing to be happy is one of the most important choices I can make today.  Otherwise, I slip and slide down the slope of depression and become frozen in with doubt and insecurity.

Here are ten examples of places that I’ve chosen to be happy instead of succumbing to the dark side:

1.) Career Dilemma — There have been many times in my life when I have either been frustrated with a job or looking for whatever my “calling” was.  All the lessons I’ve learned through this career dilemma can be distilled down to this one thought, “to always remember that wherever you go, there you are.”  We bring whoever we are to every endeavor that we take….our being happy does not have to rest on the experience of something outside of ourselves to relieve us of our boredom, frustration, fury, resentment or indifference.  The journey to happiness begins within us.

2.) Relationships — I don’t even want to admit how many years I spent fantasizing about how I thought I wanted a relationship to be.  I still don’t understand how I stumbled into the marriage that I’ve been in now for 19 years, but I’m grateful for the serendipity.  I know today that even in a good intimate relationship, happiness has to begin from within first.

3.) Dwelling Places — otherwise known as your home or place that you reside.  I love my home today but I have to say that I’ve been able to make wherever I lived into a “home” that I could be happy inside of even in those places where I had very little to show for myself.  Beautiful colors, good music and happy animals have helped me to foster happiness for myself and others.

4.) Spiritual Fulfillment — this has probably been one of the most important aspects of my being able to choose happiness.  Trusting that there is a power greater than myself at the helm of things is balm for my soul, meditation and quiet time so that I can be quiet and listen for that connection to my higher power and being able to share a belief in a spiritual connection with others even when some people may have completely different specific beliefs about their spirituality, has all been such a huge peace to my heart where happiness grows.

5.) Health — if someone had told me when i was 16, that by the time I got to be in my 50’s that I wouldn’t be drinking, smoking, using caffeine, eating in large quantities and most especially not eating flour and sugar—I probably would have become very scared at the thought of what the hell had become of me to go to such extremes.  Actually, I am more happy today not doing all that stuff than I was with my face flat down in it for so many years.  I am happy that I have the stamina to still run long distance. I’m happy that I can hope right up onto the washing machine in one quick jump to put the sheets in the baskets above and I am happy that my focus today is on enjoying my life and the people around me instead of looking for my next “fix” of things outside of myself that I thought would make me happy.

6.) Mornings — I think it took me a long time to recognize that when I didn’t get enough sleep, I woke up in the worst mood in the morning and I tended to take out that mood on everyone around me.  Today, I make sure that I get plenty of good sleep and I also know that no matter what kind of “mood” that I’m in…..I am not the center of the Universe. Everyone else has their own world and problems to deal with as well.  Might as well choose to be happy (or at least neutral) about the morning.

7.) Traffic — Don’t get me wrong, you can ask anyone I know and they will tell you that I don’t like traffic.  I pride myself in knowing when are the most opportune times to hit the highway and when to stay off; however, today I do what I can to make life better when I’m in the car.  Just like everyone tells us, I make sure to leave with plenty of time to get to my destination.  I usually stop and get a cup of my favorite coffee to enjoy on the road and I have some favorite radio stations and podcasts that I like to listen to at different times of the day. Miraculously (there must be some rule of the road at play here), most of the time I seem to get to my destination right on time if not a little bit before hand.

8.) School — The fact that I’m in my 50’s and not only older than most of the students that I take classes with but also probably a lot of the professors, could make me feel very insecure and unhappy.  Yes, I have doubting thoughts that circle around in my brain such as “wonder what my life would have been like if I’d stayed in school when I was so young” but I quickly put a stop to them.  Instead, I’ve jumped in whole heatedly to my classes and engage with my teachers, my classes and the students around me.  I’m having a ball and just grateful for the opportunity to continue my education.

9.) Mental chemical imbalances — Can’t say this enough times, if you feel unhappy or depressed for a length of time (like weeks on end), go talk to a trusted physician.  I recommend talking with a therapist and if you both decide that perhaps talking with a psychiatrist is warranted, then do so.  I know several people who have taken it upon themselves to go to their GP or OBGYN and have anti-depressants prescribed but I really believe it is important to go to those trusted individuals who have the training and background in the mental health field. All kinds of advances are being made today.  Some people may need some therapy, some people may need therapy and medicine, work with those professionals who have made this discipline their expertise.

10.) It is always your choice — whether we choose to be happy or not is always our choice.  Remember that movie from 1997 “Life is Beautiful” about the prisoner in a nazi death camp who uses his humor and loving heart to protect his son?  People who choose to look at life as beautiful (which is another avenue to choosing happiness) are the kind of people I seek out like a heat seeking missile.  I want what they have. I want to be able to feel that divine love in my heart no matter what my outside circumstances.

What are some ways that you could choose to be happy today?

DINK #304 Ten Ways To Enrich Your Life

Posted on : 02-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Featured



1. Read.   Seems the most obvious but you might be surprised just how many people don’t read.  Here’s one of my favorite Blog sites where you can find all kinds of bloggers and topics: My Alltop

2. Learn.   I returned to school in ’08 to complete a degree that I hadn’t ever gotten around to and I’m (for the most part) really enjoying the heck out of myself.  Philosophy class this semester is blowing my mind. Have to be careful not to think about “if only” in regards to how much I could have accomplished if I had known back when what I’m learning now!!

3. Listen. On the days that I drive back and forth to school, I listen to a talk show on the AM channel that supports different belief systems than me.  I do it for the exercise of considering another point of view.  Now that I’ve learned about all kinds of fallacies in Philosophy, I must admit to listening for those statements as well.

4. Experience Art and Music.  Go to an event or exhibit that you might not instantly consider going to and definitely go to an exhibit or concert that you are looking forward to experiencing.

5.  Be of service.   I sponsor several people in a 12-step program and talk to at least three of them every morning M-F.  Giving back what I have been given adds depth to my gratitude.

6.  Notice the tiny things in life.  Today when I was mopping our light pergot wood floor in the dining room I noticed a tiny black wolf spider frantically trying to get away from my mop,  He/she had no idea that I would never hurt them so they were scrambling.  I wondered why I found this tiny little insect’s movements so cute?  Notice the tiny things in life and you just may stumble upon a miracle.

7.  Grow a flower.  I have two potted orchids sitting on my window sill that I talk to every morning when I wake up.  I’ve had one of them 9 months and the other 6.  They’ve lost all their buds but have sprouted new leaves and air roots.  I know at some point that I will need to watch a you tube video on how to transplant them but, for right now, I can tell by their vibrant colors and hearty thick leaves that they are happy hanging in their present state.

8.  Love an animal.  We have five animal personalities in our family today. Three cats and two dogs. Each one has his or her very own unique spin on “being ness” and throw in their own unique flavor about life.  Tonight after watching the movie, “Billy Elliott” , I realized that our “bobby cat” (he has a naturally bobbed tail) who is the grey sweet tom who adopted me last year, sometimes sprints across our yard as if he’s doing plies like a ballet dancer with muscles that move across his back as he runs.

9. Let someone love you.  Volumes have been written on this subject. It’s about intimacy (in to me see), connection, receptivity, accountability and of course…love….to name a few.

10.  Travel.  It’s always good to get out of your own little world and see new sites, new people and new ways of doing things.  Helps to shake up the status quo and change your perspective.  Be willing to stretch yourself and take in different ways of being.

What ways have you found to enrich your life today?