life coach rona 16 04 10 path

 

I have a sugar addiction. My way of managing my addiction is to try to avoid sugar in the form of cakes, cookies, candy, and ice cream.

Friday afternoon I was overwhelmed, unmotivated, and craving something sweet. So I headed for a baggie of leftover Easter candy. As I was eating a mini Reese’s a question came to mind: Do I want to experience pleasure or happiness?

I was able to put the baggie down (that time ). That simple question clarified and reminded me of what I value most–happiness.

When you find yourself doing things that bring you pleasure at the expense of your happiness, rather than deny yourself the pleasure, why not choose happiness instead? This shifts our attitude from feeling as though we are giving up something to one of moving toward something of greater value.

What activities are you engaging in that bring you pleasure at the expense of your happiness?

 

life coach rona 16 04 06 dont believe

 

Yesterday, I received some feedback. Not negative, but some advice. Prior to the advice, I was having a great morning: my energy was high and I was feeling positive and productive.

After the advice, I felt a total shift in energy: let down, distracted, a bit depleted. Once I noticed this shift, I reminded myself: S.T.O.P. –Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Observe my thoughts. Proceed with better thoughts. (Adapted from Deepak Chopra.)

It was not the advice that had gotten me down, it was my thoughts about the advice: “I’m doing it all wrong”; “I will never get it right”; “my dreams won’t come true”; and my favorite–”I’m not smart enough.” I took a minute to challenge these thoughts, in fact: I am not doing it ALL wrong; I am getting a lot right; my dreams are coming true; I am smart enough. After a 20-30 second meditation and few deep breaths to release the residual negative energy, I went on to have a great day.

It’s not our outer circumstances that cause our unhappiness, it’s our thoughts about our circumstances that cause our unhappiness. It’s not the stock market, the child who has misbehaved, the traffic, the boss, the weight, etc. that is inducing the upset or the stress. It is the thoughts and the story we tell ourselves about those things that cause our distress or unhappiness.

If you are feeling less than upbeat and positive notice your thoughts, and then, begin to tell yourself a better story.

 

life coach rona 16 04 03 people

 

Several years ago while leaving a coffee shop I struggled to open the doors as I balanced a tray of four large coffees. A gruff-looking trucker rushed ahead of me to hold the door. For some reason his kindness took me by surprise. As I fervently thanked he simply replied “Hey, we are all on the this planet together.”

His words were a game changer for me. He is so right. We are all part of one human family sharing a home we call Earth. At our core we are all the same and we all strive for the same thing: increase our happiness and reduce our suffering. Why then, do we treat one another like strangers and knowingly or unknowingly judge and often dismiss our fellow humans?

Just for today, try treating everyone you meet as though they are part of the family. Notice how you feel in your mind and your body as you make these small but meaningful connections throughout the day. I guarantee it will boost your happiness (as well as theirs!).

If you like the way you feel, make it a practice and observe the increased benevolence you feel for your world and those around you.