Letting Go – Short Term Hurt, Long Term Joy

I was having a conversation with some friends recently on the topic of letting go and how caring about someone makes it difficult and rather uncomfortable to just sit back and watch as they make their own mistakes.

Caring about someone means we want what’s best for them. From our life experiences we have picked up wisdoms, life lessons and have had our eyes opened to what does and does not serve us in our higher purpose and life plan.

We know that negativity does not bring us joy, we also know that unhealthy habits of mind and body do not allow us to live up to our full potential. In learning what works in happy, healthy and positive ways we want to share this knowledge with those we care about so that they do not need to go through the hurt and discomfort that we experienced in order to learn the lesson.

This is all very well and good, intentions are pure and hearts are in the right place but…

The message can only be received and the lesson only learned if the receiver is open to receiving!

This is where the choice comes in :-

Do you let go and allow each individual to travel their own path and learn through their own mistakes, trusting that should they fall they will get up again?

Or,

Do you keep trying to talk to them, involving yourself in their process of learning by volunteering information without them asking for it? Do you keep trying to help and feel hurt and disappointed because they won’t let you in and won’t take your advice to allow for a smooth and pain free transition?

You would think that the option that requires less physical input and interaction is the one that is easiest and will reap more reward and therefore more joy but this is not so.

Allowing someone to find themselves through their own process of learning as you stand by is often more difficult than putting your two cents in the mix.

The state of allowing and letting go requires increased energy because you need to remind yourself to stop and back off. Expending your energy attempting to help someone who is not ready and open to receive help is not going to make you happy it is going to cause you hurt, pain, frustration and in the long run feelings of inadequacy and failure. But, in letting go, although it hurts in the beginning as you watch someone you care about stumble and maybe even fall, you begin to see them for who they are, warts and all….from here begins acceptance, respect and learning to love them as they are.

It is loving human nature that wants the best for everyone around them, even parents don’t want their children to endure the difficulties they endured in their lifetimes and it is those very difficulties that bred strong character and a defined sense of self!

I’ve found that with the path of transformation, positivity and growth that I have taken I have lost some friends along the way, it is sad but it is a reality that I am OK with.

I accept that we all need to embrace what it true to our soul journey and maybe one day some friends will return and maybe they won’t….but it is what it is and in letting go there is joy and there is serenity!

It would be great to hear from you!

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Happiness Can Be Learnt

Happiness is not just an emotion it is also a skill and just like any other skill it can be learnt and with practice it can be perfected to the point where it becomes quite effortless.

Happiness is not just an emotion it is also a skill and just like any other skill it can be learnt and with practice it can be perfected to the point where it becomes quite effortless.  

In psychology research there is a theory that suggests that each one of us has a happiness ‘set-point’ this is like a base line. When positive life events occur our happy meters go up and with negative events our happy meter goes down but given time we will always return to our base line….like a happiness ‘comfort zone’!

In practice however, this set-point can actually be reset by learning new skills which is fantastic news because who doesn’t want to be happier right?!

So since Happiness can be learnt what are the tasks we need to set ourselves in the short term to raise our set point for the long term?

Be Thankful – If you’re reading this post its because you care about how you feel and I’m sure you’ve heard it countless times but gratitude really is the key to happiness not as a short term measure but as a total transformation with which you experience life as a whole.

The art of gratefulness takes practice but once you start you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Start by ending your day thinking of 3 things you’re grateful for, if it helps you can write them down in a journal – even if they are the same three things every day for the first few days it’s OK. I remember when I started this exercise I would repeat the same things over and over until I learnt to actually appreciate things for what they were and then it became easier. I’ve now worked myself up to 10 things I go over before bed but I still rough have days where I can’t think of anything, then I resort to my basics.

Challenge yourself, try looking for new things each day and you’ll see how going to bed smiling is the best way to plan for a positive day ahead!

It Is What It Is – If you’re anything like me, when something negative happens or someone says something hurtful you already have 10 (if not more) different thoughts going through your mind, with them come ‘what if’s’, ‘if only’s’ and ‘but why’s’.

Since I’ve committed to becoming the most positive version of myself I have a new word I say in my head when this situation presents itself – it comes with a mental shoulder shrug…this word is ‘meh’. For me, this word means ‘Oh well, it is what it is!’.

I don’t think of it anymore, it’s almost instinctive now – some of my friends find it strange how something can happen and I just carry on seemingly oblivious but that’s not what it is.

Every day I am constantly making the conscious choice NOT to entertain that voice in my head that just has me feeling anxious and unsettled and sometimes even fearful. I have a client who hums a certain Disney tune about ‘letting go’ every time she catches herself starting the negative dialogue in her head. Find something that works for you and do it – don’t think about it, just find a word, tune, phrase or quote that works for you, jump in and start now!

Practice Mindfulness – Now before you go and search the internet for videos, links and audios – the mindfulness I’m talking of here is simply being aware of where you are, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling and the thoughts in your mind without a need to act or react, just to be aware.

Take time when eating your lunch to actually eat your lunch, not multi task by doing the online grocery shop between mouthfuls while filling out a form and replying to an email while checking Facebook updates. By doing too many things at one you divide your energy and divide the actual joy of each experience – yes there is joy in filling out forms, someone somewhere needs the information only you can provide so they can, in return, provide you with information/services/items meant specifically for you!

There really is nothing more beautiful than really living and experiencing each moment fully…give it a go!

Take Care of Yourself – Here is another one you’ve heard of countless times but it really is worth mentioning again. It’s so easy to put other people’s needs before our own, to prioritise career or housework before ourselves. But think of it this way – how can you be the best at work/home/play if you’re not feeling like the best you? Take little time outs for yourself to feed your soul, to refuel and recharge your inner power source. Maybe watch a quick music video you like, go for a walk, call a friend or family member – nurture your relationships with loved ones and yourself. Eat healthy, fit in some exercise, be playful!

Have fun…you’ll be better for it…and happier!

Pay It Forward – Doing nice things for others makes you happier – this is a scientific fact!

Acts of kindness release serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a substance that has amazing health benefits including the ability to make us feel happier. Doing something for someone just for the sake of it is a great way to feel good inside.

A random act of kindness is good for you, great for the person receiving it and if someone just happens to see it then it becomes a motivation for someone to do something good too – a wonderful win win chain reaction – everyone is happy!

Keep a Checklist – Yes, it works!

You have a to do list and organiser for every aspect of your work and social life, why not one for your happiness?

I have a little notebook that goes with me EVERYWHERE! Anything I come across that looks fun or sparks joy in me I write it down either as a to do at some point or commit to a date and then I can cross it off.

On my way into work today I was sitting next to a man on the bus doing a Sudoku puzzle – I realised I actually miss doing those and they make me so happy so I made a note to check online for a Sudoku app.

Lunchtime puzzle for me…yay!!!

So, there you go! A few suggestions on how to move that set point higher. Remember slow and steady wins the race – a little push against our boundaries is good, too much and you’ll just end up where you started but disheartened and feeling like the task is too mighty.

It would be great to hear from you!

Get in touch…

Happiness Is A Choice

Doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you ultimately decide how it affects you – choose happiness!

In my last post we looked at what it takes to STAY happy.

In the essence of getting it right, we’ll be looking at different aspects of how to stay happy and explore them a little.

Today we’ll look at happiness being a choice that we can make.

Let’s face it, positive people are great to be around! Try thinking of your closest friends and who you most enjoy being around and spending time with – 9 out of 10 times that person is positive, upbeat, fun, motivating and happy…am I right?

Being around happy people makes us happy, I know it makes me happy and I find that more and more I choose to spend more time with positive people and just cut out the negatives.

I work a full time job, I study, I network, I visit clients at the weekend, I host workshops, I blog…My ‘free’ time in hours does not amount to much and around my current commitments I like to choose spending the precious free moments I have with people that make me smile. More than that, I want to become one of those positive people too!

So how is it that some people are just so happy? Is it because they have more money, more time, a life partner, a great job or do they have a perfect body and a great social life?

Actually its none of those things, those blessings are in fact a side effect of choosing to be a happy and positive person despite the hurdles and challenges life throws in your path!

Don’t shake your head just yet – stick with me and let’s look at this.

Choosing happiness is a choice someone makes, not once in a lifetime or once a week but every moment of every day. That’s not saying happy people don’t have difficult, trying and testing moments but it’s in the way that they handle those moments that keeps them in the positive.

It’s not what happens to you but HOW you deal with it that counts.

Let’s take an example almost everyone has had happen to them at some point in their life – you’re happy standing in line at the supermarket/bank/concert and someone rudely cuts in.

Even the thought of it is annoying huh?!

So now you’re with me, let’s look at two separate scenarios:

Someone cuts in….

  1. You could show your annoyance and express your displeasure at their lack of consideration, if you’re lucky and they agree they’re in the wrong they’ll move to the back of the line or as is most cases they’ll find a way to annoy you more and get into an argument – either way, your moment/morning/day is now ruined! Your mood is now negative, you get to the front of the line and instead of completing your task with the feeling of fulfilment as you go on about your day that negative argumentative energy bleeds into the next moment and the next and the next….until you catch yourself and turn it off.
  1. Alternatively, you could decide and think to yourself ‘Ok this person has cut in, now what?’ In a positive and non-confrontational way you ask if they’re aware of the line and more often than not, (because people hate to be made to look guilty in public) they’ll move to the back of the line, they smile, you smile. You continue to check your phone/read your book/listen to music and get to the front of the line, complete your task and go on about your day as normal.

So what’s the difference here?

In the second example you make a choice in that moment to approach the situation you are faced with in a positive way and because of that, someone cutting in line has no impact on the next moment of your day.

Choosing how you handle a situation can mean the difference between a calm experience and an awful day.

Nobody chooses to be unhappy, down or angry. Situations we are presented with spark a split second decision in our minds that will determine how we handle the situation and this decision determines the result of our mood.

Yes, it takes time. It takes effort and it takes practice but it’s worth it!

Why not try it next time a situation presents itself – catch yourself before you react and see how it plays out.

I’d love to hear about your experiments and I am confident the more you do it and the better you will feel because with every decision you will consciously be choosing happiness!

Get in touch…