What I learned from trees

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This spring, I’m living and volunteering for a month at a monastery in central Florida. One of the many, many, benefits of my stay here is that the grounds are beautiful and are home to huge, old oak trees, softly draped in bluish-grey, lush-looking Spanish moss.

The weather has been perfect for outdoor reflection, and a good deal of my time has been spent in the shade of the trees’ blanketed branches.

Here are a few life lessons these massive mentors have shared with me . . .  

Stay rooted.

Learn to sway.

Going out on a limb can be a good thing.

Accept that there are seasons, and change is inevitable.

Leaves, like so many things in life come and go, and that’s okay.

Oh, yes, and being green is a great way to live!

 

If you are thinking about branching out this spring,

sign-up for Strengths Coaching, a new service offered by Patrice Koerper @ Wishful Thinking Works

To register or to learn more about this inexpensive coaching option to grow and change your life, click here

Open Doors


Spring is a wonderful time . . .

Patrice Koerper Wishful Thinking Works Life Coach Bitola, MK 2013 Door in pazzar (2)

  . . . to open locked doors in our hearts and our heads.

Patrice Koerper wishful thinking works life coaching

Join the fun! Two Wishful Thinking Works workshops in Cleveland, Ohio in April

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking woman and treesOne of the best parts of my life coaching practice is being able to take interesting, helpful, scientific research and breaking it down into user-friendly formats and activities for real folks – like you and me – to use. 

I’m thrilled to announce that on Saturday, April 20th from 1-4 p.m., I will be in Cleveland, Ohio doing just that as I present a 3-hour workshop chockfull of great ideas and information to help women of all ages re-energize or redirect their lives.

And, on Saturday, April 27 from 1-4 p.m., I will be presenting a special “Flourishing Together” workshop for moms and daughters, ages 9-12, to help them discover new ways to work together to build their self-esteem and confidence.

If you are in the Cleveland area, please plan to  join us for one of these fantastic workshops, if not, consider bringing a Wishful Thinking Works workshop to your part of the world!

Don’t put off the changes you’ve been considering.

Spring into them, and launch a new you!

For more info on my “Re-energize and Redirect” April 20th workshop in Cleveland, click here.

For more info on my “Flourishing Together” April 27th workshop in Cleveland, click here.

To learn more about Wishful Thinking Works Workshop options, click here.

For information about Wishful Thinking life coaching options, click here.

For wonderful, free Wishful Thinking Works, Resources, click here.

For hundreds of helpful posts about happiness, well-being, creating the life you want and so much more follow Wishful Thinking Works or “Like” us on Facebook.

Each and every one of the above Wishful Thinking Works options can help you create the life you really want. Pick one, and go for it!

Today is First UN International Day of Happiness = Be Happy!

Today, March 20, is not only the spring equinox, it is also the first International Day of Happiness! The origins of this new, worldwide celebration can be traced back to the actions of Bhutan, a teeny, tiny country perched high in the Himalaya Mountains between China and India.

I first wrote about Bhutan and their approach to happiness in June of 2010. In 2008 Bhutan took a totally different approach to determining the well-being levels of the people of their nation when they developed and adopted the Gross National Happiness Index (GNH).

Because of their groundbreaking acceptance of the GNH instead of the worldwide standard of  Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which focuses on economic standards, Bhutan began tracking indicators such as:

Psychological wellbeing  Ecology Health
Education  Culture Living Standards
Time Use  Community Vitality Good Governance

I revisited the topic in my “Happy is as Happy Does” posts in 2011 and 2012. I was, and still am, fascinated and encouraged by Bhutan’s peaceful version of the “David and Goliath” story – a very small nation is changing the way the world looks at success. To learn more about how the first International Day of Happiness came to be, please read author’s Frances Moore Lappé’s Huffington Post’s article, which I have copied below in it’s entirety . . .

Got Happiness? First UN International Day of Happiness” by Frances Moore Lappé

Don’t laugh. It’s true, and it’s serious business. Today is the world’s first International Happiness Day, declared by the UN to signal the importance of going beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of progress. We need, says the UN, better measures of society’s real wellbeing — including happiness.

GDP was never meant for the job. In 1934, Harvard economist and Nobel Laureate Simon Kuznets devised the measure to help the U.S. climb out of the Great Depression, but he was clear about GDP’s limits, warning congress that “the welfare of a nation can…scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income…”

How right he was. Since the 1960s, U.S. GDP per capita has doubled, but average happiness? It hasn’t budged.

Finally, people are starting to pay attention. Noting what a poor guide GDP has been, an international movement is underway to create metrics of progress that incorporate multi-faceted wellbeing. And, it could be game changer, if you consider this finding of the Gallup Millennium World Survey: Polling almost 60,000 people in 60 countries, Gallup ranked ten things that matter most to people. At the top were health, a happy family life, and a job, while “Standard of Living” — what the GDP supposedly captures — was one of the least important.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERALeading the movement to remake what we measure has been the tiny, mountainous Asian nation of Bhutan, population of 740,000. Its goal is “Gross National Happiness.” Six weeks ago, as a member of a UN-promoted International Expert Group for a New Development Paradigm, I traveled to Bhutan where, with a couple dozen others invited from around the world, I deliberated on how to measure wellbeing.

Why Bhutan?

In 2005, after the Fourth King relinquished the throne to his son and instituted a British-style parliamentary democracy, Bhutan began in earnest to build the world’s first Gross National Happiness Index — a comprehensive approach to measuring well-being that includes not only psychological well-being (life satisfaction, emotions, and spirituality) but also subjective assessments in eight other “domains” that include health, education, good governance, and ecological diversity and resilience. Five years later a Bhutan survey found 41 percent of its people happy, meaning they’d attained “sufficiency” in two-thirds of (weighted) indicators, such as work, literacy and housing. Only 10 percent were “unhappy.”

Then, in 2011, Bhutan took leadership on the world stage. In July it sponsored, with 68 co-sponsors, UN resolution 65/309, “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development,” which flatly stated that GDP doesn’t reflect the goal of “happiness” and declares that a “more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach is needed…”

UN General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus and invited member states to take action. So in New York City last spring Bhutan hosted a meeting on new wellbeing indicators, attracting 800 enthusiastic attendees and exceeding all expectations.

Already, a number of countries, including Canada, France and Britain “have added measures of citizen happiness to their official national statistics.” Just one year ago, Japan launched its first Quality of Life Survey that leads off with “a sense of happiness.” Italy is also a leader, in part using online consultations with citizens to develop twelve domains for measuring well-being, including health and the environment, along with specific indicators like “quality of urban air.”

Here in the U.S., two state governments, Maryland and Minnesota, have gotten serious about happiness — generating more realistic, comprehensive measures of progress. Maryland’s Genuine Progress Indicator both subtracts and adds about two dozen things that GDP doesn’t capture: from, on the negative side, the costs of lost leisure time (as much as $12.5 billion a year), pollution clean-up and crime to, on the positive side, the value of volunteer work.

And in 2011 the city of Somerville in Greater Boston became the first U.S. metropolitan to survey its residents on their happiness and wellbeing — finding, among many discoveries, that the city’s “beauty and physical setting” are “relatively important” in how residents value Somerville.

On the first International Day of Happiness, just knowing these initiatives are getting underway and taken seriously by the United Nations, makes me happy.

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Upcoming Wishful Thinking Works events you wont want to miss:

Patrice Koerper will be presenting two special Wishful Thinking Works workshops in Cleveland, Ohio: on Saturday, April 20 “Reenergize and Redirect Your Life” and April 27“Flourishing Together” for mother and daughters ages 9-12. On May 17-19, she will host a Wishful Thinking Works weekend retreat at the world renowned Safety Harbor Spa in Tampa, Florida. Plan to join us, if you want to discover new ways to create beginnings and balance in your life

For ways to develop more happiness in your life, follow Wishful Thinking Works or visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook. Later this week I’ll be sharing ways to create your personal happiness index!

For free Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching information, click here.

Have a great day!

Beginnings and balance

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking DaffodilsSpring is just days away! On March 20, when the sun crosses the celestial equator (the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator from south to north) the spring equinox will occur.

That’s the moment day and night are equal length, because the Earth’s axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun. It is the time when our planet is perfectly balanced.

Why not mark March 20th as the day for new beginnings and balance in your life?

What have you been wanting to do, but haven’t done? How can you begin that process?

Baby steps count: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu.) Where will your journey take you?

Or perhaps, you need a day, an hour, or a moment to simply contemplate achieving more balance in your life – to consider new ways to blend work and play or doing for others and doing for yourself.

I’m taking my commitment to balance and new beginnings more seriously than ever this year by a spending a month volunteering and living at a monastery. The experience has been amazing thus far, and quickly reminded me that the first step to beginnings and balance is believing they are possible. I first contemplated this experience almost ten years ago, and at that time it seemed like an impossible dream, but I dreamt it anyway! My life has taken me on many wonderful “impossible” journeys since then, and now seems to have come full circle as I find myself enjoying life here as the spring equinox prepares to unfold.

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Your whole world in your handsEach of us, truly holds our world in our hands. Don’t be afraid to dream.

What will your first step be? If this spring you do nothing more than to simply think about beginnings and balance or to consider creating the life you really want, know that you have taken the most important step, the first one. You are moving in the right direction, now keep going . . .

Upcoming Wishful Thinking Works events you wont want to miss:

Patrice Koerper will be presenting two special Wishful Thinking Works workshops in Cleveland, Ohio: on Saturday, April 20 “Reenergize and Redirect Your Life” and April 27“Flourishing Together” for mother and daughters ages 9-12. On May 17-19, she will host a Wishful Thinking Works weekend retreat at the world renowned Safety Harbor Spa in Tampa, Florida. Plan to join us, if you want to discover new ways to create beginnings and balance in your life

For ways to develop more happiness in your life, follow Wishful Thinking Works or visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook. Later this week I’ll be sharing ways to create your personal happiness index!

For free Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching information, click here.

Have a great day!

Mother and Daughter Flourishing Together Workshop: Cleveland, Ohio

M and D Workshop Banner OhioJoin us at Cleveland’s first “Flourishing Together” workshop specifically designed for mothers (aunts or grandmas) and their daughters, nieces or granddaughters ages 9-12 to encourage the girls to celebrate who they are, to boost their self-esteem, to strengthen the bond between mom and daughter and to have fun!

When: Saturday, April 27th, 1-4pm

Where: River’s Edge 3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, Ohio 44111

Cost: $65 per pair (mother/daughter) and $30 each additional daughter. Limited seating: book today!

Visit Reflect Who I Am to register today!

“We want every girl to love who she sees in  mirror. We not only want to inspire girls, we want to awaken them to their true selves, and with your help we can do it.”    Reflect Who I Am

The 3-hour workshop is crafted with guidance and activities that will not only  create lasting memories for you and your daughter, niece or granddaughter, but will plant seeds for  continued growth. You will each gain a deeper understanding of your potential  and will create a stronger bond while enjoying combined activities and learning  take-away-tips to keep the confidence and connection going and growing in the  years ahead.

Each participating daughter will also receive an “I am beautiful” t-shirt.

“Our lives are filled with an infinite array of possibilities. What we choose to see becomes our experience. What  we focus on will grow. Reflect Who I Am wants to remind girls everywhere that they are who they see in the mirror.  They reflect the beauty, the courage and the brilliance that is within them.”    Reflect Who I Am

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Our presenter: Patrice Koerper, personal and professional coach and blogger @ Wishful Thinking Works. Patrice has a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness and has served in the United States Peace Corps. She has published articles on raising confident children and ran a hugely successful summer camp in the Tampa, FL area for tweens.

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