Archive for Happiness
So much has already been said about the dark side of life…the images that bombard us with each nightly news report, the loneliness, the fear of not belonging, losing connection, whatever the age… the vision of life as disappointing.
Research shows that as a culture, we have a tendency to protect ourselves against being vulnerable, being visible. When we’re no longer willing to show our true selves, we become numb, feeling no pain and experiencing no joy.
Why is our culture moving in this direction? Underneath it all lies a common theme of “not being enough”. Have you ever had the thought that what you’re bringing to the table is just not good enough? And if asked, you probably wouldn’t be able to say what good enough is – it’s simply that what you have doesn’t cut it.
At some point in life most everyone has that thought, whether on a conscious level or not.
According to Brene’ Brown, a brilliant researcher who investigates vulnerability in-depth, one person at a time, too many of us are stripping the meaning from the ordinary moments of our lives: sharing a smile with someone you love, witnessing the proverbial sunset, observing the power of the ocean, watching our troops return home, greeted by loving children leaping into their open arms.
It comes down to allowing ourselves to be available for those moments of love and natural beauty. Imagine having to defend yourself against life’s natural rhythms (adversity, challenge, hope, joy) to the point that the most basic beauty cannot touch you. Do you really call it a win when you protect against possible disappointment so well that you lose the capacity to feel?
And where’s the path back to aliveness in all its fullness? Brown reflects the voice of her 10,000 interviews: practice gratitude, enjoy all the moments, play.
Where are you in this process? It’s worth talking about. Please let me know what you’re thinking.
Imagine the feeling of opening the door to your 5 invited dinner guests and then realizing that another 10 slipped inside while you were saying hello. Oh my goodness, but I wasn’t expecting you. I mean, gee, do we even know each other? Oh you’re a friend of Judy, well that’s great. Still, you just barge in? No call first?
They just stand there smiling. Waiting. A car passes. Something shifts. Do I have enough food? Finally, you get the feeling they sort of belong, at least for the evening. OK. I guess we’ll order something in and share.
When you get something like a business started you usually don’t have it all tied up with a bow. New ideas keep finding their way to you. Some fall away with the first introduction while others stick. You give them some space and they hang around. After a while, you figure they have some merit. Yeah, they’ve earned their new spot.
Well something like that’s been happening here. As I’ve been reaching out to those who’ve survived a crisis and are ready to redesign their lives, I’ve noticed that most all of us are in that place at some point and that our lives grow as we move on. The point is that in the process of redesigning we want to be sure to gift ourselves with more of the good juicy stuff of life – our talents, courage, confidence. It’s all there, but we may not have looked inside for a while.
I’ve been observing that a quality we may not see in ourselves is resilience…that ability to come back from a challenge, perhaps as powerful as adversity, and seem bigger than who we were before. A coach can make this process simpler and faster but that’s only because the seeds are already planted within.
So now I’m thinking about building lives of strength, resilience, joy. Like Bamboo. Without barriers – unstoppable growth, in flow, deeply rooted, free to be so many things, strong enough to build a home, soft enough to weave a scarf.
Being Bamboo…what are you wanting more of in your life?
When you think of your “work”, is there a particular feeling attached and if so, does it tend to be more positive than negative? How would you evaluate your level of commitment to being your best and contributing joy in the workplace?
Are you fortunate enough to have thoughts like, “I’m blessed to work in an environment where I can match my skills, energies, and creativity to the job at hand and see something of value accomplished”? Are they closer to, “I can contribute joy and aliveness here and see it ripple through the office.”
Or perhaps you started your current position with great spirit. Over time, the lack of acknowledgment diminished your expectations so that now your job is just what you do to pay the rent.
For still others, work may be something you pursue each day with courage and tenacity.
Living just beneath the “public you” that keeps to the beat of your daily life, is a place of stillness and a quiet mind – where you connect with your core, where your joy resides. Carving out time to access this part of you adds to health and an overall sense of well-being. Nurturing mind and spirit and expanding joy are basic sources of life-satisfaction.
Another is relationship. In its simplest form, business itself is the exchange of energy between 2 or more people, or what we call relationship.
The concept of positive change may at times appear overwhelming. When we’re able to break it down, it becomes more “doable” – all it takes is one small step at a time.
Wherever you are in your relationship with work, can you envision a step to enhance the process? Whether you work at/in the home, in an office, or you have taken on finding a job as your work for this moment, what can you do to add just 5% more joy to your day?