Why Wait for Happiness? Top 10 List to Claim it NOW

Happiness is... by author Sheila CallahamDeepak Chopra, one of the most-renowned names in the field of mind-body medicine and personal transformation, says one of the biggest mistakes people make is to wait for happiness. When people look outside themselves for joy and contentment, it is ever evasive. What that means for all of us is that we are responsible for our happiness. If you are scratching your head wondering what how you can claim your piece of happy pie, here’s a top ten list to get you started.Deepak Chopra, one of the most renowned names in the field of mind-body medicine and personal transformation, says one of the biggest mistakes people make is to wait for happiness. When people look outside themselves for joy and contentment, it is ever evasive. What that means for all of us is that we are responsible for our happiness. If you are scratching your head wondering what how you can claim your piece of happy pie, here’s a top ten list to get you started.

10) Read

Hey, you are reading now right with the hope of feeling happier, so pat yourself on the back because you are on the right track! Reading is a great way to feel happier because it forces your mind away from your present emotion and focuses on the words you are reading. So blow the dust off your Kindle and download a dozen books from your favorite genres and get lost in another world. Don’t forget that Amazon offers thousands of books everyday for FREE, and that’s gotta make any reader happy!

9) Exercise

Look, this doesn’t have to be painful, just get out and walk during your lunch break. Being in nature has calming benefits, and exercise (even walking) causes your brain to release endorphins, the chemicals that trigger positive, happy thought. Whoo-hoo! Our bodies were made to move; that’s why we have legs with feet. Consider joining a walking or jogging group in your area or recruit a friend and sign up for golf, tennis or tango lessons. The added commitment of paying for a program will help motivate you to get your body moving.

8) Laugh

When was the last time you let one rip? A laugh, that is… Like exercise, laughing causes the release of endorphins. What makes you laugh? How about playing board games with friends, hop-scotch with children, grandchildren, or fetch with your favorite canine. No access to children or animals? Google humorous videos you YouTube or consider joining a laughing group. Yes, they exist! At the Laughter Yoga website, you can find laughing groups near you.

7) Hug someone, ANYONE

If endorphins don’t do it for you try some oxytocin. A big hug increases the bonding hormone known as oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. Yep, hugging can make you much more open and receptive to happy thoughts (and other juicy things). I love this article by Marcus Julian Felicetti on the 10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day, and I’m sure you’ll feel much happier after you read it.

Oprah Winfrey Quote6) Choose your company wisely

And that means separating yourself from negative family and friends. Spending time with naysayers is an energy drainer — a mental and emotional downer. Fire family and friends who are chronic naysayers and spend your time with the people who inspire you, those who know how to laugh and play. Spend time with people who support your dreams and aspirations, whether they understand them or not, and who accept you wholeheartedly just as you are. Oh yeah!

5) Pass it on

Has anyone ever done a thoughtful or generous deed for you? Remember how appreciative you were? It’s time to pass it on and make a positive difference in the lives of others. Passing on a good deed can be a simple, one-time thing where you anonymously pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through lane, or it can be a long-term, volunteer commitment at the local school or hospital. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how happy you will feel doing good for others.

4) Watch your words

Don’t allow yourself to say negative things about yourself or anyone else. Words are the result of your thoughts, so when you feel something negative about to emerge from your mouth stop, check your thoughts, and shift to something positive. Not sure how to do that? Consider this little trick: “Wouldn’t it be nice if….”  When you think about what would be nice to see, have, hear, or experience then your thinking shifts to a higher vibration and so does your feeling of happiness.

3) Chase a dream

Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” What invisible dream do you want to make visible? Oh, and a head’s up… don’t wait for everyone to jump behind you and support you along the way. You’ll be surprised at how many of your family and “friends” will poo-poo your great idea. See number six above and proceed with wild abandon!

2) Practice gratitude

Oprah Winfrey Quote

Keep a gratitude journal. It only takes a couple of minutes to acknowledge the good in your life. Maybe it was a compliment you received, or that you found the perfect parking spot when you were rushing out to do some shopping during your lunch hour. When you tune into all the good around you, then you begin to see how wonderful life is. Your positive attitude creates an energy that is matched by the universe, bringing you even more happiness. Make the words, “attitude of gratitude” your mantra, and see how much better you feel.

1) Meditate

Setting aside a few minutes every day to meditate is a wonderful way to ground yourself into the present moment, eliminating ties to the past and anxiety for the future. Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax participants and induce feelings of appreciation and happiness. Whether you are new to meditation or are a practiced participant, consider joining Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra on their latest, all-new, free, 21-day meditation experience focused on…. wait for it… “Expanding Your Happiness!” Although the first mediation began four days ago, the recordings are available on the website for five days, so you can still catch up. Or, just start with today and continue the journey until the end. Over 2.6 million people in over 200 countries participated in Oprah and Deepak’s past meditation experience so don’t miss this one! Sign up at www.Oprah.com/meditation.

Sheila Callaham’s book “The Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals that Enrich Your Life,” the first in the series “The Power of Living Joyfully,” will be released this autumn. Sign up for the newsletter at the top of the page to receive notification for the release date and free giveaways! 

The Science Behind the Energy of Thought

Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of BeliefWhen I was going through my certification to become a life coach, I learned that coaches often attract clients who need to be coached on the very thing that they, the coach, need to practice. Interestingly, that has been my experience as well. What this reality brings home for me is that, while we all have different lives and experiences, the emotions that accompany these events are very much the same. Love, heartbreak, joy, despair, bravery, fear, pleasure, anger… we can all relate to the emotion.

In my last post I wrote about the importance of being mindful of what shows up repeatedly in your life. In a personal example, I just read Dr. Bruce Lipton’s best selling book The Biology of Belief, for this very reason — the reference to the book and/or author kept showing up in my life.

First of all, I’ve had an inspirational need to reexamine my internal programming. In particular, the programming that became embedded into my thinking as I was growing up. Dr. Lipton has a very important message about this topic and gives scientific evidence to the power that our energetic thoughts have over health and happiness.

Secondly, in a wonderful telecast with MindValley founder Vishen Lakhiani, he quoted Dr. Lipton’s reference that 95 percent of our daily actions are based on subconscious programming and that only the remaining five percent are directed by our conscious, creative mind. That says that the majority of the population is operating in a rote, mechanical way. Come on, admit it. Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions? Doing what you had to do to get by? I know I have.

Finally, in a recent blog post by my friend Christa at Shape Our World, she wrote that reading The Biology of Belief was a crucial step for her to understand the mind-body connection. Christa is on an important mission to rebuild her health and this book confirmed for her that it is possible to reprogram one’s biology. In Lipton’s prologue, he sets up a transformational concept for readers when he writes, “Just like the single cell, the character of our lives is determined not by our genes but by our personal responses to the environmental signs that propel life.”

When things show up twice for me, that’s usually enough. But when I see something three times in a short period, I believe that’s a universal kick in the ass. I bought the book. Twelve pages of notes later all I can say is, “Wow. Wish I’d had this book 30 years ago.”

Everything in our universe is energy. We are energy. And, as referenced in Lipton’s book, “At the atomic level, matter does not exit with certainty; it only exists as a tendency to exist.” Chew on that quantum physics concept for a minute or two.

When you become awakened to your own energy and revel in it, mindfully, day by day, then there is no stopping you from living a healthy, joyful, and successful life. If you are not happy with yourself or your life, you are shutting your body off from expansion. Loving yourself and expressing gratitude for the good in your life is the best first step to happiness. That’s an important part of my coaching platform, and you can bet I’m practicing it every day.

What energy do you want to radiate?

Read my full review of Dr. Bruce Lipton’s “The Biology of Belief” on Goodreads.

How to Put the Brakes on Self-Sabotage

You can't have a positive life

Image from Pinterest via a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net

There is a program running in my head. It’s one that I’m working to embed at the deepest levels of my psyche, so that it runs on auto pilot in my sub-conscious. I call this program Having it All! This program reminds me that whatever I desire, I can have, so long as I believe with all my being, without resistance, without doubt, without self-sabotage that I am worthy of receiving.

If you’ve been following my blog the last few weeks, you’ll know this topic of subconscious influence has displayed prominently. From sharing the power of personal mantras to how childhood programming can create limiting thinking, I want you to understanding the power your sub-conscious mind exerts over your daily life. Becoming mindful of your subconscious thinking is the first step in putting the brakes on self-sabotage and creating a the life you have always wanted.

Until you make the unconscious conscious

Image from Pinterest via Mollison Morgan

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His teachings encourage us to understand the deepest aspects of our psyche to achieve a very important goal: directing our life as we desire rather than accept the consequences of our subconscious thinking.

Where does all the unconscious/subconscious programming come from? Everywhere. As children you hear information disseminated as facts by parents, relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors, politicians, and representatives from your church and community. Information about what is good versus what is bad; what is interesting versus what is not; what to believe versus what not to believe. Because you are learning and growing, you accept the information without question. That information becomes ingrained into your belief system. Like a television that is on in the background, this belief system is running in your subconscious mind.

Maybe you’re playing a track that says you have to work hard to get ahead. Maybe your track says that if you’re in love with someone of the same gender that you are going to hell. Maybe your track says that men are better at math than women. Maybe your track says that you aren’t good enough to run your own business. Maybe your track says every idea you have is doomed to fail….

Self Sabotage

Image from Pinterest via findingpeaceinthechaos.wordpress.com

Bo Bennett, author of Year to Success, equates the challenge to a game of mental tug of war where the subconscious mind always wins because its program is always running on loop. The conscious mind holds one thought at a time and sometimes turns off, relying on the subconscious autopilot to carry on. Have you ever been driving a car for a long period of time and realize that you aren’t even paying attention to the road? That’s an example of your conscious mind turning off and your auto-pilot (subconscious mind) taking over. So when you set a goal, one minute you may believe you can and then your conscious mind turns off and you go back into your pre-programmed mode that says you can’t.

It is vitally important to identify where you have pockets of doubt in your belief system, because this doubt is programmed into your subconscious thus creating resistance in your daily life. Only by understanding, at the deepest levels, what you believe about yourself (and life in general) will you be able to reprogram that doubt and become the deliberate creator of your destiny.

How do you uncover your resistance? Here are three ways to determine the limiting programming holding you back.

1) Pay attention to your self talk. If what you hear yourself saying is disempowering and negative, you are living by a limiting program.

  • I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I did that. 
  • I’m never going to get ahead.
  • Why did I ever think I could start a business.
  • I’m too frightened of failure to take a chance like that.
  • I could never be that successful.

When you catch yourself thinking or mumbling negative thoughts stop yourself. Lovingly acknowledge that those thoughts are coming from old programming. Remind yourself that you are in the process of reprogramming your thinking to empower your joyful living. State what you really want to believe, what you really want to feel. I have never felt braver! Success is so much easier than I ever imagined! I love having a joyful life!

2) Pay attention to your body. If you get lots of headaches, tire easily, have difficulties sleeping at night, and feel restless and/or depressed, it could indicate that your life is out of alignment with your authentic purpose. When you are not happy, physical symptoms manifest. Keep a journal of your physical symptoms. When do they show up? What were you doing at the time? Who were you talking to? How did you feel? What worries are you carrying?

It shouldn’t take long for a pattern to emerge. And when it does, you’ll know what areas of your life to focus on first. One small change at a time creates a whole new life over time!

3) Notice what keeps showing up for you? What do you find yourself repeatedly drawn to? What common suggestion do others make for you? Perhaps you frequently hear what a great artist you are and how you should have a gallery show. But you live in fear thinking that your art will “never be good enough.”

When signs show themselves repeatedly, it is no coincidence! Take inspired action and know that there is room in our world for every kind of art — especially yours!

Going through this process of identifying your limiting thinking is the first step. Reprogramming takes vigilance and time. It’s just a matter of being mindful of your thoughts and gently, lovingly redirecting them whenever the thought limits your boundless potential. When you hear Change is scary tell yourself instead Change is exciting! That’s where new opportunities and friends reveal themselves! When you hear I’m not good enough tell yourself instead I’m more than enough! 

The Secret to Having It All

Image found on Pinterest via JaneMorrison.com

When you know what you want, don’t let anything stand in the way of success — especially YOU! The secret, of course, is in believing. If you don’t believe in you, how can anyone else?