Free Virtual WTW Workshop, “Finding More Meaning in Your Life”

Wishful Thinking Works Meaning of Life (2)Do you feel that your life has purpose and meaning?

Studies show that those who are leading a purposeful life – live longer, are happier and experience a greater sense of resiliency and trust!

Would you like to learn more about the concept of meaning, the role it plays in your life and how to find yours?

If so, join us to learn about the latest research on meaning and to take an individual survey to discover where you fall on the meaningful life scale. (Only you will know your score, unless you choose to share it!)

Taking the 3-5 minute survey can help you get started on your personal meaning journey. A few days before we meet I will send you the survey and we will score it at the end of our session.

Also before we meet, please read my Wishful Thinking Works post about PERMA (3 minutes), which describes a bit about purpose and then join us for a fun evening of insights and positivity! (Hint: Meaning is related to connectedness and relationship, but not necessarily how we may normally think about them.)

We will begin at 6:30 pm with a Welcome and Intros and then I will share on the topic for about 35-40 minutes followed by Q & A and survey scoring.

RSVP today!  I will email you details about joining our call by June 26.

 

Meaning matters and can enrich and expand your life!

Talk with you soon.

Warm regards,

Patrice

 

 

360 into spring

Spring womanIt is Sunday and it’s spring. Life is good, and today is the perfect time to reconnect to nature and your surroundings. Here is a quick and easy, free pick-me-up that can bring a breath of fresh air to your life and a new lightness to your heart and soul.

You can shift your focus and expand your view with these simple steps…

  1. Step outside without planning to go anywhere!
  2. Close your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply.
  3. Exhale lazily like you have all day to do it.  End with an audible sigh, “Ahhhhh,” let your shoulders relax.
  4. Slowly open your eyes.
  5. Look up, look down and all around. Linger on what you see.
  6. Take in your world with new eyes. Squint to soft touch your surroundings. Tilt your head gently from left to right. Notice the colors, the scents, the sounds.
  7. Turn around slowly and then repeat the process.

Go for it! You deserve it! It may seem too simple or silly to work, but this 360 into spring can give you a new perspective and renew your purpose and awaken passion, especially if repeated daily. I’m stepping out for mine right now; I’m looking forward to the “Ahhhhh”!

 

 

 

Checking expectations

I am giving a presentation today to a wonderful group of Red Hat Ladies on my experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the country of Macedonia where I served from 2006-09. As I was updating my presentation, I came across a post about living abroad I had written in 2013 when I was returning from another short assignment with the Peace Corps in Macedonia.

In the post I shared what I learned about checking my expectations with my luggage; today I am sharing excerpts from that post, along with some tips on letting go.

luggage-646311_960_720While living abroad I quickly learned that some of my richest and most rewarding moments were dependent on how well I adapted when things turned out differently than I expected, which led to an even more valuable lesson – to be truly happy abroad – it’s best to check your expectations with your luggage!

And, guess what? The amazing part of that lesson is it works just as well at home as it does abroad! Letting go of your expectations, is one of the keys to being truly happy – anywhere, anytime. When we let go of what we expect to happen and how we expect others to act and react, the happier and more fulfilling our lives become.

Expectations take-up a great deal of room in our hearts and in our heads and require loads of effort to maintain, which leaves very little space and energy for understanding, communication,  growth, and happiness.

Think about it.

How many times a day do you get frustrated with the actions or non-actions of yourself or others, because you expected yourself or others to act differently?

How many times in your life have you look backward or forward through a very narrow lens, shaped almost entirely by your expectations or the expectations of others? Did not meeting those expectations cause you pain or frustration?

travel-164574_960_720Wouldn’t it be nice to leave all that behind? To give yourself and those around you a break? To unpack your baggage?

Why not give yourself a free and totally unexpected gift by decreasing the expectations you have for yourself and others (past, present and future), which just might  be the gift that gives you more happiness!

A great way to get started is to simply become more aware of the expectations we place on ourselves and others.

  • Next time you feel frustrated or angry – check to see if you have any expectations that weren’t met.
  • Try to identify what your expectations were. Write them down, if you can.
  • Don’t bother at this point trying to determine whether or not you should have expected something, or if you deserve some type of behavior or pay-off. What is key, is becoming more aware of the role expectations play in your life and feelings.
  • Later when you are not in the throes of the situation, you can look at your expectations more objectively and determine if they have value to you and if you need to keep them around or not.
    • If you decide to let them go, next time they pop-up, smile at your brilliance and foresight for being prepared to deal with their arrival, and then breathe deeply and slowly before your react. Repeat as necessary, until your frustration fades and only your congratulatory smile remains.
    • If you decide that a particular expectation is valuable and worth keeping, then spend some time figuring out how to change your situation (on a small or large scale) to ensure your need is met. This process takes time, so be patient and be prepared to do some work, but please don’t beat up on yourself along the way. Just keep moving forward.

I know it isn’t easy to change ourselves or our expectations, but I also know you can do it. In fact, I expect you to!

Just kidding, the choice is yours.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Getting stronger than the tough stuff!

Lately, I have been talking with folks who are facing tremendous challenges and sadness such as illness, job loss, relationship troubles or the loss of a loved one. sad girl -517555_960_720

Their situations and their bravery made me think about the fact that when we are knee-deep in a crisis or dealing with sad times we don’t always have the time or the wherewithal to figure out we can do to get through the difficulties and sad times. Yet, if you are human, you have been through some type of hard times and did do something to get through them.

Even if you are thinking “Well, just barely,” you are still here, and now is a good time to review what worked for you then as a way of helping you now and in the future, and to give yourself credit for making it through!

Start by asking yourself, “What has worked for me in the past?” “What did I do to regain my footing, strengthen my resolve or help myself create a new perspective?”

  1. Did you reach out to friends?  This is a great way to start sorting through what is happening to you. Via phone, social media, face time.
  2. Did you reduce your outside commitments? Increase them?
  3. Did you make more time or less time for yourself? Were you able to key in on what you really needed or what really mattered to you?
  4. Did you try to refocus or better understand your worries or negative train of thoughts? (Rumination – rehashing negative thoughts primes your brain to release  stress hormones, getting too much of them is not a good thing.)
  5. Did you use music, movies, TV, reading or another method to relax? Which worked best for you? Least?  (I note in “My Courage Diet” how often I have used movies and music to make me feel better and ready for anything.)
  6. Did you try something new – even if only because the situation forced you to? (This is referred to as becoming a “reluctant hero”, like Hans Solo or Finn in Star Wars – they didn’t start out wanting to do good, but ended-up on the right path for them and others.) As an example, if a loved one was in the hospital or lost a job, did you take on new tasks or responsibilities to get through the hard times? Did those choices take you out of your comfort zone? What did you learn by doing that? Did you gain any new insights or skills? Have those choice away made your life better or you stronger?
  7. Did you simply grin and bear it or did you focus on comforting thoughts such as, “This too shall pass?”
  8. Did you under/over eat, drink or medicate? Did that help or hinder your situation? Would you want to repeat those patterns, if not, how would you change them?
  9. Did you exercise intentionally or by accident due to circumstances – change in schedule or environment, lack of transport, or increased activity?
  10. Did you meditate, breathe deeply, count to 10, take relaxing baths, light candles, connect to nature? (Any and all can be effective what matters is what worked for you.)
“I am stronger than the tough stuff!”

I have created a free Wishful Thinking Works “I am stronger than the tough stuff!” sample to review and sheet for you to print and customize for yourself, so when a difficult situation arises you can pull it out to help you deal! Download as many copies as you need to list everything that you have done that works for you. Keep the list(s) around and add to them as you think of new activities, thoughts or quotes that helped you. Using the lists is a  form of resiliency, which  is a very good thing.

The key is to objectively review and write down how you got through the tough times using the benefit of hindsight and perspective.

As you start the process, it is human nature to think of all the things you did that didn’t work . . . Don’t beat up on yourself for anything you did, but also don’t make excuses. Simply review what you did and whether it helped or hindered your situation

Developing Resiliency

Resiliency “is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”

Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial worries, among others.[1] Resilience is not a rare ability; in reality, it is found in the average individual and it can be learned and developed by virtually anyone. Resilience should be considered a process, rather than a trait to be had.[2]

A common misapprehension is that resilient people are free from negative emotions or thoughts, remaining optimistic in most or all situations. To the contrary, resilient individuals have, through time, developed coping techniques that allow them to effectively and relatively easily navigate around or through crises.[3][4][5][6] In other words, people who demonstrate resilience are people with optimistic attitude and positive emotionality and are, by practice, able to effectively balance negative emotions with positive ones.[1]

Your life may never be exactly as it was before a traumatic or sad event or before other circumstances beyond your control entered it, but it can be good again, even great.  Developing resiliency will help you find your way until your path is clear again.  (Please note: I am not saying  losses are without pain, loss can be very painful. I am saying if you are still standing, sitting, kneeling or even crawling you got through them and somehow, someway you can do it again.)

Get your free Wishful Thinking Works “I am stronger than the tough stuff.” plan.

Creating a plan for coping in advance can reduce the shock and may help the pain pass more quickly.  The Wishful Thinking Works “I am stronger than the tough stuff.” sample and sheet are an easy way to started. Click here for sample to review. Click here for blank for you to record what works for you.

Let me know how they work for you and please share any thoughts on what works for you when you are sad or facing difficulties. We can all learn from one another.

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and share the post with your friends!

Impossible dreams

IMG_1239I think I might have mentioned that my life caught-up with my dreams in the Peace Corps.

For me that means the “pinch-me” moments came back-to-back.

Such as, pinch me: I can’t believe I celebrated Easter in 2009 with folks I barely knew, eating lamb roasted on a spit, while sipping wine along the water on the Greek Isle of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, which is just south of the Adriatic Sea and an arm of the Mediterranean and I loved every minute of it!

I had an absolutely fantastic time for 5 days at a total cost of $250.  You see, there was a time when I truly believed I would never be on a Greek Island, and certainly not for only $250. (Travel booked in Europe is cheaper than you can ever imagine.)

Oh, I wanted to be on a Greek island; I just couldn’t figure out how it would happen.  Too expensive, too far, too many other places to go first, no time, etc., etc., etc.

IMG_1176

When a door closes . . .

I thought I had to have it all figured out for “it” to happen.

I was wrong.

And, you may be to, about your life and what is ahead.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. You just have to begin imagining what you do want.

That’s what wishful thinking is all about.

Maybe, just maybe, during this beautiful season of rebirth and renewal, you might want to take some time to dream some impossible dreams.

Don’t worry about the details.

We can work on those later.

wishyright

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Another way to meditate

b7f8c554b69c1c9a33e783d6c957ddbfIf you’ve been thinking about meditating, but haven’t started or if you are a looking for a way to bring more gratitude into your life, please check out this free gratitude film series by famed  director, producer, and cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg.

The Mentors Channel 21 Days of Gratitude series begins November 4th, and may be the best holiday gift you give yourself – and it’s free. By the time the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, you will be relaxed and ready to embrace the festivities from a brand new perspective.

Click here to enjoy one of the wonderful videos the series offers. It begins with a sweet message and is 6 minutes of pure pleasure and the perfect way to immerse yourself in feelings of gratitude. The series is designed to be enjoyed with your eyes open or closed, so it is perfect for meditating and gratitude newbies and a refreshing change for those comfortable with the practices.

For more information on this free series, click here. I’m sharing this information because I’m grateful it is available! Please take a moment to do the same with your friends and family via email or Facebook. Everyone can use a bit  of tranquility at this time of year!

Here’s more about the series from the Mentor Channel:

Embark on a never before traveled, journey into gratitude, through extraordinary audio and stunning video presentations . Listen to inspirational thoughts from our narrator and twenty one pre-eminent mentors, leading minds of industry, science, entertainment and spiritually. Keep your eyes open, as you enjoy dazzling images of nature that transport you to a magical place, or, with eyes closed, allow haunting melodies take you to a quiet place within . . .
  • An unorthodox, reliable way for anyone to meditate
  • Audio meditations enhanced with extraordinary visuals
  • Golden nuggets from world renowned mentors
  • Learn how to enhance every aspect of your life with gratitude
  • Heal and/or strengthen family bonds through gratitude
  • Discover your unique place in the universe
  • Begin to appreciate nature in a whole new way
  • Turn your dreams and desires into reality through the practice of gratitude

Enjoy! And remember to share the series with your family and friends.

Never underestimate the power of happiness . . .

International lecturer, author of the “Happiness Advantage”, and former Harvard instructor Shawn Achor recently shared the following research at the Commonwealth Bank’s two-day “Wired for Wonder” conference in Sydney, Australia. The figures are staggering, the research is interesting, and the impact amazing.

MH900448318Happiness matters.

“Ninety percent of our long-term level of happiness is . . . not based on the external world, but how your brain processes the external world,” Achor said. “If we could change that lens some incredible things could happen.”

“If you take four-year-old children, prime them to become more positive and have them put blocks of shapes together, it turns out the children in the positive category will put blocks together significantly faster than children in a negative/neutral category.”

IQ doesn’t matter as much as we think it does.

“If I know everyone’s IQ here in the room and I’m trying to predict your job successes, cross-industry, over the next five-year period, it turns out that IQ and technical skills are only responsible [for] and only predict 25 % of your job successes,” Achor told the conference.

The pattern has been observed again and again: “Happiness and optimism can be much better predictors of productivity than IQ and technical skills,” Achor said. According to research undertaken in the late 1990s, doctors who had been primed to be more positive were 19% faster and more accurate with coming up with a correct diagnosis and were more “intellectually flexible” when presented with a misdiagnosis.

Success and Happiness

MH900401133“… if you raise your levels of happiness, it turns out every single business and educational outcome improves. Our success rates rise dramatically. Raising success does not raise levels of happiness but raising levels of happiness dramatically increases your success rates.”

Before Happiness

Achor’s second book, “Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success” is due out in September, I’ll be sharing more info from it with you as soon as it’s available.

Have a great weekend, and make it even better by asking yourself each morning, what one thing can I do today to bring more joy into my life. . . and then do it!

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