Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook

Tag: Happiness

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy as you achieve balance in your mind/body/spirit connection.

Rewrite Your Story and Gain Independence from Your Past Self

Rewrite Your Story and Gain Independence from Your Past Self Do you really want to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those around you? If you do, it’s going to require serious effort to become a better version of yourself. It doesn’t work to keep living the same old stories you’ve been telling yourself for years.

What do I mean by telling yourself stories?

Every day we change for the better or worse. Over time a person can become so beaten down that they lose all self-confidence and start telling themselves that they’re stupid and they don’t deserve any better. It’s just a story, but they believe it and act in accord with it! On the other hand, shy, introverted people can build confidence and become world leaders by telling themselves that they have something remarkable to share with the world. And because they believe it, they actually do it.

As you can see, your story is formed by how you view yourself and how you react to the world around you. It’s very empowering to realize that you are the ultimate storyteller of your life and you can rewrite your story at anytime. Even if you’ve heard negative and limiting things your whole life, you don’t have to believe them.

How do you gain independence from your past self?

Recognizing that there are things you want to change about yourself is the first step. This discontent with self will start you on the path to becoming a new person. It won’t matter who you were yesterday. Do your best as you mindfully live in the present moment.

Yes, this is easier said than done. We all tend to bring self-imposed limitations of yesterday into today. That’s what keeps us stuck. So how do we break free?

Here are three steps to gaining independence from your past self…

  1. Create a burning desire to change by understanding your “why”. You may want to exercise daily, write a book, or start a business, but until you know “why” it’s so important to you, you won’t have the motivation to make it happen.
  1. Envision exactly what your life will become. Start planning. How will each day be different? In great detail, list the ways your life will be better tomorrow and five years down the road. It works a lot better to set intentions as you move toward these goals. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll create momentum. Each day you’ll like yourself better. Even if you stumble or fall back into old patterns, you’ll be able to pick yourself up and keep going, because you’ve had a taste of becoming the person you want to be and you’ll see it, not as a failure, but as a learning experience.
  1. Rewrite your story. Start living the life you want. Trade in your jeans for the dress slacks that make you feel like a professional businessperson. Treat yourself to a monthly massage. Eat healthier. Get up earlier and enjoy more productivity. Speak positively of others and of yourself, not allowing any negativity to enter your story. Step by step, create the life that you want. Believe you can and you will achieve the progress you desire. Because you’re really enjoying the improvements in your life, you’ll look for ways to continue on. Your new story will work for you, because it’s in alignment with your desires and actions.

Don’t allow a moment, a situation, or an experience to define who you are. You may have a moment of depression, anxiety, or anger. But that’s not who you are. You have the power to identify what triggers those emotions and you get to choose how to deal with those emotions. Take my 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment to see areas in your life where you want to rewrite your story to become the best you possible. Click here to download your free copy

How to Deal with Change: Discover the 3 Stages of Change and What They Say about You

See if you really know how to deal with change - consider the three stages of change, what each one says about you, and how to deal with change comfortably.“The only thing that is constant is change.” ~ Greek philosopher, Heraclitus

Life is full of uncertainty and change. And really isn’t that a good thing? Wouldn’t you get tired of the exact same thing day after day after day…? If you’ve learned how to deal with change, your attitude, your outlook, your abilities to function in the real world will provide the basis for building a successful and happy life despite what happens.

However, major problems arise if you haven’t learned how to deal with change effectively. If you haven’t been given the tools to see life as it really is, you’ll be living with fantasies that paralyze you. And if you don’t know how to mindfully choose your state of being, you’ll never see the full potential for what could be possible for your life.

Of course, it’s natural to resist change at first. We all do it, especially when we feel fearful and unsafe. At other times, we may get stuck in the second stage of change – falling into a rut, merely existing, keeping the status quo, not rocking the boat as we maintain the life we have. I believe that the best way to live is the third stage of change –when we lean in and embrace it as we see the life we’ve envisioned unfold.

So how do you deal with change? Of these three stages of change, which do you stay in the longest – resistance, maintenance, or embracing a larger vision? Not sure? How do you react to the following statements?

I know how to deal with change because:

  • I’m prepared to adapt to whatever comes, instead of wishing life was different.
  • I see opportunities rather than challenges or roadblocks.
  • I choose to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.
  • I see what’s really there not making things more complicated than they need to be.
  • I trust that I’m capable of handling whatever comes.
  • I give myself permission to “fail” and try again until I get it right.
  • I forgive myself readily, instead of beating myself up.
  • I confidently move on from mistakes without doubting myself.
  • I see when something isn’t working and adjust.

Do you see yourself in this list? Excellent! Then you’re on your way to mastering change. If, at present, you can’t own all of these as your truth, don’t despair. You can learn how to keep your sense of humor and gain a better life through change.

A surprisingly simply way to do this is to read my ultimate favorite book: Who Moved My Cheese – An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change In Your Work and In Your Life by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It’s a simple story that uses metaphors, but how you interpret it and apply it to your own life gives it the greatest value. It’s a story of two mice – Sniff, Scurry – and two Little People – Hem, Haw – who find their way through a maze to get to the cheese – what you want in life.

Some of the lessons you’ll learn about how to deal with change are:

Change Happens

They Moved the Cheese

Anticipate Change

Get Ready for the Cheese to Move

Monitor Change

Smell the Cheese Often so You Know When It’s Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly

The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

Change

Move with the Cheese

Enjoy Change

Savor the Adventure and Enjoy the Taste of New Cheese

Be Ready To Change Quickly and Enjoy It Again

They Keep Moving the Cheese.”

You’ll see that ATTITUDE is everything! Every time you make mindful choices that supports the lifestyle you envision for yourself, you’re taking back the control you need. Each success empowers you to go on to the next with confidence. If you want more “cheese” in your life and need to learn how to deal with change more effectively, give me a call and we can set up an appointment in person or via Skype so I can help you “read the writing on the wall” as you progress to the next chapter in our life.

Healing the Father Daughter Relationship: 5 Steps to Forging Healthy Friendships with Men

Learning to heal the father daughter relationship is vital because it influences your self image, emotional growth, mental health, decisions and attitudes. My relationship with my father was…well…it was very complicated. When I was really little I adored my dad. I thought he was the best. As I got older, I learned that my father could be difficult to be around. My new story as an adult is that my father did the best he could. But the truth is it took me a long time getting to a healthy perspective about our father daughter relationship.

While a mother has a great deal to do with nurturing and helping daughters discover who they are, the father daughter relationship is extremely important too. Why? Because fathers shape their daughters in the following ways:

  • our academic performance,
  • our career path and financial wellbeing,
  • our communication skills,
  • our self-esteem and confidence,
  • our body image and sense of self,
  • our behavior and attitudes,
  • our mental and emotional health,
  • our social traits,
  • who we are,
  • how we experience the world,
  • whether we feel safe or not,
  • how we handle stress,
  • how we relate with men platonically,
  • who we date,
  • how soon we have sex,
  • whether we have successful romantic relationships or not.

When a father actively engages in his daughter’s childhood, promoting her scholastic or athletic achievements, he encourages her self-reliance and assertiveness. As a result, she’s more likely to graduate from college and enter a higher paying, more demanding job. A close mentoring relationship with her father makes a girl feel secure and supported. There’s nothing she can’t do.

But what if that’s not the reality of your father daughter relationship? Maybe your father has been absent emotionally or physically. Does that mean you’re stuck with a lot of baggage that slows you down forever? By no means! You CAN move past it.

Firstly, it’s important to be aware of the kind of relationship you have had with your dad. Whether it was positive or not, acknowledge the hurt, loss, disappointment, yearning and longing for something different. By acknowledging your feelings, you can begin to grieve and become more at peace with what was. You can now turn things around by deliberately co-creating healthy relationships in your adult life.

“Slender at first, they quickly gather force
Growing in richness as they run their course;
Once started, they do not turn back again,
Rivers, and years and friendships with good men.”
~ Sanskrit poem ~

Five steps to begin healing the father daughter relationship…Healing the father daughter relationship is vital because it influences her self image, emotional growth, mental health, decisions and attitudes.

  1. Acknowledge the type of relationship you have had with your father.
  1. Be kind and compassionate toward your younger self that might still be hurting. Anger, numbness, indifference often hides a great amount of hurt that you might not want to feel, so create a safe space for you to process through these emotions mindfully. Never ever say, “I’m stupid for feeling this way”. You have a right to your feelings. Be patient with yourself as you sort through them.
  1. Allow yourself to grieve. Tell yourself that you deserved better, because you did! Mourn what you missed. But don’t get stuck in what should have been. Focus on learning to feel worthy of being loved, supported and cared for. Look for the positive things you did receive from your father. If nothing else, you are alive today because of him, so you can be grateful that you have the chance to use your life in a kinder, more expansive way.
  1. Look around you for healthy male role-models. Yes, they are out there often camouflaged as our co-workers, neighbors, or dear friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out. You have the chance to create your own supportive family of “fathers” and “brothers” to turn to for advice and help. However, be mindful of the boundaries they and their families are comfortable with. You can become a part of your male friend’s life without giving the appearance of “taking over” attention that should be given to his family and other friends.
  1. Deliberately surround yourself and co-create healthy friendships with the opposite sex. I understand that this might be challenging depending on the kind of beliefs and values you and your partner might have but I can’t recommend this one enough. Even though I have one of the most loving and supporting partners I could have ever asked for, I value my close friendship with other males.

As adults, we get to choose whom we want in our lives. A healthy mix of male and female friends adds richness and fullness to our experience. Your father daughter relationship is just one of the indicators of a life well lived. Take the 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment to see how you’re doing as a whole. Click here to download your free copy

How to Get the Life You’ve Always Wanted

Get the life you’ve always wanted – learn this exercise that lets you extract value from every experience and gives you skills to make your dreams come trueDo you love your life so much that you greet each day with excitement and anticipation? Would you like to increase the quality of your life so that you do? How do you get the life you’ve always wanted?

We all experience set backs. The usual human response to being disappointed or afraid is to disconnect from your dream, telling yourself, “It’s not for me. It’s not meant to be.” Nevertheless, you have to be willing to risk failing and experience disappointment as you strive to achieve your goals. Otherwise, you won’t step out of your comfort zone because it seems too scary.

Raise your expectations back up to living life passionately. Continually strive for your peak experience that makes you happy and satisfied. Despite whatever challenges you face, you CAN get the life you’ve always wanted.

Positive results come from deliberate action. If you immediately apply the exercise I’m teaching you today, and you practice it daily, you’ll get results that will reinforce your beliefs that you CAN make your dreams come true. In turn, each win will be the foundation for new habits that eventually will create the life you’ve always wanted. You’ll see that you can learn to derive the maximum value from each experience.

The exercise that creates greater awareness and regulates your desires.

In full disclosure, I learned this wonderful exercise from Tony Robbins. For it to work, you must fully and actively participate. It can’t be just a reading exercise. The goal is to learn to rate all of your experiences as you use your power of thought and your sense of feeling.

Step 1: See how things really are. Be honest with yourself about your present situation.

Step 2: Be committed to finding value in everything you experience, even the hard things in life. Always ask yourself, “How can I make the most of this situation?”

Step 3: Learn to rate your desire.  Right now, select ONE item (try a piece of food) and focus on only it. On a scale of minus 10 (the most repulsive thing in the world) to plus 10 (I have to have it NOW!) where would you rate your desire for that thing? This targets a quality of feeling or sensation that you’re going to work on.

Step 4: Incrementally increase your desire by asking yourself the following questions

  • If my desire is at +4, what would make me want this at a higher level, say +6? Seriously. What thoughts and feelings will you have to concentrate on to make you want it a little bit more? Keep thinking about it and looking at it until your desire actually increases.
  • Now take it up a notch to desire level +8. What would make this item even more desirable to you? What do you have to think and feel to make it even more appealing?
  • Finally, take it all the way up to desire level +10. What did you feel and think to make it absolutely irresistible, so that you have to have it NOW?

It’s time to break that state of urgency, because we’re not done. Get up and walk away and think of something else until you can come back and continue.

Step 3: Incrementally decrease your desire by asking yourself the following questions…

What would make this item a little less desirable? What are you thinking and feeling to change your desires? Continue to work your way down the scale until your reach minus 10. Don’t give up until you feel repulsed by the object.

Step 4: Bring your desire level back up to the range of plus 4.

We all have different patterns of thinking. Some people use their imagination and add something to it to make it seem less desirable, like mentally adding salsa to that glass of red wine. Others change their focus and start thinking of consequences, like lying sick in a hospital bed because of eating the item. Others seek distractions.

Did you notice your pattern of thinking? When you create greater awareness around how YOU think and feel about any object or activity, you gain control over your desires. You’ll utilize patterns that work, and know when to interrupt patterns that don’t work.

You can create extraordinary experiences any time by consciously deciding how you want to think and feel before you engage in the activity. You learn to target a sensation, measure its desirability, and take conscious control of your emotional state by determining your pattern of thinking. Always ask yourself, “What is the quality of experience I want in this situation? What conditions must I create in myself, in other people, and in my environment to achieve it?”

Awareness gives you the freedom of choice and control over what you think and how you feel. You get to decide what everything means to you. To delve deeper into getting the life you’ve always wanted, please do these two things:

Don’t Let Fear Stop You from Fully Enjoying a Rich and Satisfying Life

Don’t let fear stop you from fully enjoying the rich life that you know you could have, so here are five ways to deal with fears so you reach your potentialDon’t you admire a fearless person – one who steps up and does the things you only wish you had the strength to do? Maybe it’s someone who speaks with ease in front of thousands, or happily travels to new places and fits in to every culture they encounter, or someone who reveals their deepest emotions without fear of rejection and has the most awesome relationships. Actually, if you talked with them, they’d tell you they have fears too. The difference is they’ve embraced the advice, “Don’t let fear stop you”. This is good news, because it means that you can too!

Granted, some fears protect you. Other fears are irrational. It’s your choice as to how you deal with your irrational fears. You can either let those fears box you in to a limiting life that immobilizes you from achieving your full potential. Or, ideally, you don’t let fear stop you because you’ve learned to non-judgmentally observe your emotions and face each fear. The second option allows you to view it as an opportunity to consciously choose to live more expansively.

Don’t let fear stop you from fully enjoying the life you want to live. Here are five ways to deal with fears so you can reach your potential for happiness

  1. Suspend self-criticism that you are “less than” and alone. Do you have one of these phobias: Ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing), Bibliophobia (fear of books), Cacophobia (fear of ugliness), or Pteronophobia (fear of feathers)? From A to Z, there are literally hundreds of phobias that grip people today. You’re not alone. Don’t let yourself feel isolated or think you’re weird. You might even feel better knowing others deal with fears more severe than you.
  1. Fears can be overcome one small step at a time.As you take one small step toward conquering your fear, you can become more comfortable. What you thought would happen, doesn’t. As you ease into it, you’ll prove to yourself that your fears were groundless. For example, you learn that your heart isn’t going to stop if you speak in front of a crowd.
  1. Change your emotional focus and view it as an opportunity to grow. Look beyond your fear and see the improvements waiting for you – increased self-confidence, healthier personal relationships, happiness, even greater wealth and professional status. Shifting your focus away from the fearful feeling robs it of its power, because you’re no longer feeding it.
  1. Realize how much your imagination is involved. Neale Donald Walsch says that fear is an acronym for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real.’ This is closely connected to tip number 2. Your imagination magnifies your fear. You begin to rationalize your actions. You say, “I can’t do that because…” The excuse may sound reasonable on the surface. However, underneath it all the irrational fear has no basis in truth. Our imaginings may feel real, but they aren’t. Often our fears are based in our own insecurities. Those who excel learn that taking risks and stepping outside their comfort zone is a way of life that they become comfortable with.
  1. We learn through failure. Fear of failure seems to be the most common fear. Yet, failure isn’t something to be avoided. It gives us an opportunity to see our strengths and our weakness so we can mindfully focus on the area that needs improvement. Everyone fails. The difference is whether you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep trying, because it’s the end results that matter in the long run. Failure is just part of the learning and growing process.

Learning to observe your emotions mindfully and adopting a positive state is a skill that will help you succeed in conquering your fears. I’m not saying it will be easy. I am encouraging you to not give up, because you have so much potential for experiencing a richer life. Don’t let fear stop you! I’d love to help you reach your potential for excellence, so please contact me and we can work together in person in Ashland, Oregon or if you live too far away we can work via Skype.


Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.

SCHEDULE


How to Step Forward to a Future You've Created

Discover how to replace your old, self-limiting map with a new map full of possibilities for the future

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE INTRO TO STEPPING FORWARD TODAY!

© Neways Integrated Wellness Center. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.
Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation