QUICK! DO IT NOW!

One of the greatest challenges about showing people how to reduce their stress and increase their joy is convincing them of the importance of doing it now. After all, if your life is fairly happy why would you worry about techniques to handle stressful situations? You have enough on your plate with your job, the kids and figuring out if your favorite show is on Netflix. You will worry about it when life becomes stressful. The analogy I often use in my seminar is this, when would the best time to learn to swim be? While you are safe on the shore or when you are in the middle of the ocean in a boat that is sinking? When you are on shore it may seem silly to worry about swimming, but trying to learn as sharks are grabbing bottles of meat tenderizer is not ideal in anyway.

This became very apparent to me this past week. A lady I had been in a relationship with for 20 years, and then remained friends with for 4 years after passed away after losing her battle with cancer. It was a very hard and trying moment for me. Lots of feelings came up that were not fun, regret, sadness, frustration and lots of other not so pleasant emotions. All of this is natural and certainly ok to feel when someone passes away. Thankfully, I am blessed to be in a relationship with a lady who really knows and cares about me. Not only was she supportive, but gently reminded me of everything I have learned, teach and believe. The tools I have learned and developed that help the spirit stay resilient and to help heal sadness.

Before we continue, allow me to share a few of them with all of you as someone may be going through the same thing, and most certainly we all will at some point in time. When someone passes away we are all left with the question as to how to carry on their memory in both our hearts and the world around us. Personally, I have never been a fan of sorrowful days of mourning or candlelight vigils. Not that there is anything wrong with those, but I believe the best way to honor someone who has passed away is to try and rekindle some of the light the world has lost with their passing. Did they have a good sense of humor? Work on sharing yours a little more. Did they love animals? Maybe you can contribute to an animal charity?

I am grateful for two things in this very trying time. First, that I have a loving and wonderful lady in my life who can walk the fine line of being supportive and reminding me to use what I know to help myself as well as others. Second, that I have spent the last two decades learning and developing techniques to help keep a positive outlook in the face of trying times. If I had waited until after the funeral to try to discover ways to help me heal, I would be swimming with the sharks.

I encourage you to learn now. You never know when life will give you something major to deal with. Losing someone close to you, losing a job, or maybe even a relationship ending. If at that time you already have some tools in place, recovering from those situations will be a little less painful. There is always a sense of loss and sadness, and that is certainly more than ok. It means you cared for that relationship, job or the person who passed away. We must learn how to not only heal ourselves, but help others to do the same. I encourage you to start now. Feel free to click on the link below to order my book A Happy Life for Busy People, read the posts featured on this site or take other steps to learn effective ways to reduce stress, increase joy and become the best version of yourself. Love and light to all of those struggling.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY BOOK

TAKE THEM WITH YOU

image

This is my current work situation. I find myself at one of my favorite coffee shops ready to share with all of you tips that I have learned to make life a more fun, passionate and successful adventure. If you were to be watching me while waiting in line I would appear to be a man typing on his computer by himself. This, in some versions of reality, is exactly what happens. If you were to crawl inside my head, which I warn you is a scary place to be, you would see the situation much different.

Ok, look at the picture above. You see the card sitting on my computer? It is from my lovely lady. When I write outside of the house I miss her and her adorable face quite a bit. This card she gave me was for one of the sweetest reasons too. So, every time I open my computer to write, there she is. Reminding me I have a sweet loving woman to come home to and that I am working for.

What does all this have to do with your life? How can this help us enjoy life more? Well in a multitude of ways. Whenever we do anything in life we are really never alone. At the supermarket trying to figure out the best price? Thank your math teachers and parents who taught you the skills to do so. As I am writing this blog post I am reminded of many people who gave me the language skills and ability to relate to people. My grandfather was a big influence in my life and I learned a great deal from him as well. In fact, lots of things he tried telling me are only now making sense. He continues to teach me long after he passed away.

He is the idea behind this. Think of people in your life and what they bring to the table. Is there a certain person that cheers you up? If they can’t be with you when you are down or facing a sad day take a picture of them with you. Someone who inspired you to always to your best? Take them with you when you are facing a challenge. I have a friend I saw at a charity run a few years back who had his high school gym shirt on. I asked him why he was wearing it and he told me because it reminded him of when he was young and fit. I had to remind him it still fit so he had to be doing pretty good.

These all may sound crazy to you, but symbols really activate emotion and feeling on a level many things can’t. Weather it is having the help of another who can not be physically present or carrying on the memory of a loved one, symbols can be a great link for us. So next time you see me writing away seemingly by myself know there are really a whole group of people sitting with me. That being said, you can still borrow a chair if you need one.

If this post hit home for you please feel free to share it with others so they may be equally inspired.

A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION…

This is by far the question I am asked the most often in regards to both this blog and my upcoming book. “How can I remain happy when my loved one passed away/I was diagnosed with a serious illness/I was just fired” you name it. In fact, the day after I started this blog a woman who had all of those and them some asked me that very question. Now, at the time I was a bit overwhelmed by the screaming in her tone to answer. Even though her delivery was debatable, her question is a very valid one. Judging by how many times I am asked that question in one form or another first let me assure you that you are not alone. Everyone in life faces struggles. When it comes to death of a loved one, or serious and terminal illness, often a very serious struggle. So what them Mr. Smiley? What do we do then? In short – you cry. What kind of advice is that coming from a blog like this? An honest one. Let me start by again stating the goal of this blog, and of life in general is not to be happy one hundred percent of the time. Not only is this unrealistic, it also sets us up for feelings of failure. The idea behind self improvements is to make the good parts of life more intense and frequent and the trying times less frequent and less intense.

Look sometimes life gives us a little more than we can handle. Whether it be at work when you feel so overwhelmed being unemployed and homeless seems like a less stressful plan, or something more serious happens to bring us down, you have a right to feel sad. Pain is one of the most powerful tools of change and growth IF it is looked at in just such a light. A perfect example of this was given to me by a friend I know from the bar I work at, Tina. Recently she had a family member pass away. this is never an enjoyable experience for anyone. Listening to Tina’s story about the event I was struck by just what an empowered and inspirational view this woman took. Yes, she cried. When we lose someone we care about it is expected we should feel sad. Yet, she remarked how amazing it was to learn not only about the woman who has passed on, but about the rest of her family as well. She heard exciting stories from the past and learned things about her family she had not known. She told me there was as much celebration of life, if not more, than morning of loss. It gave her pride in not only the way she dealt with her grief, but the way her family did as well. I really got the feeling listening to her that is drew her family closer as well. it also inspired her to take a long hard look at her own spiritual beliefs. Again, sometimes pain is the best catalyst to growth. If given the choice I am sure Tina would have chosen not to go through that event. She understood all to well the realities of life. Sadness and grief should be given their respect and time. They can cause us to look inside, to grow and to reflect. If you have taken the steps to add joy to your life, when darkness does come, you will be better prepared to focus on and find the light at the end.