40 (Yes, 40!) Ways To Create Space For Breakthroughs In Your Life!

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Written by Sterling Mire

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of disorder in your life. As Albert Einstein once stated, “Three rules of work: out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Unexpected challenges are what make us stronger, so don’t avoid them. Be mindful of the following 50 tips and you’ll be able to streamline your life so it's smooth sailing this year.

1. Recycle old papers that are filling up the space in your house. I get this way from time to time, tables or drawers over-loaded with old receipts, junk mail, records, and notes to myself. Sort through it. Organize it and set it free so it can live a reincarnated life elsewhere. 

2. Mentally prepare get ready for change by visualizing your ideal self. Think of someone you admire the most. Imagine that you are them. Would you then choose to be unstoppable and an eternal optimist in life? What do you think about and see for your future? Who do you want to BE in life? See it through your mind's eye so you can take it to the skies!

3. Realize the unexpected can be a good. The Dalai Lama once said, “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” Sometimes we don't always know what we want would look like, but the Universe does.

4. Ask people you respect how they created their lives. One of my favorite things to do is reading biographies of people I truly respect and admire. It is another good source of understanding how people overcome the breakdowns in life and still find happiness and success through it all. Truly inspiring!

5. Cut back or cut out alcohol, cigarettes and other vices. Escape mechanisms can be crutches that askew our judgment. Not only can the money saved be turned into vacations or other healthy rewards but it can keep you from getting stopped in life. 

6. Remove negativity from your life, whether it's people or a job you no longer want to do. If you surround yourself with people who bring you down, there’s no need to keep engaging with them out of obligation. Set them free as well as yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll meet up at another time when you both are headed in the same direction

7. Begin your day with a clearly created day along with your cup of morning coffee or tea. Defining what you intend to do in the day along with how you consciously create your experience of it exponentially creates success and keeps you on track. Writing it down allows for focus, memory and a connection that is essential. 

8. Clean your house from top to bottom and throw away anything outdated. A clean, organized space is a clean, organized mind. Our environment effects our emotions, energy and our frame of mind. Besides, you could be breathing excitement into someone's life when you donate your clutter to GoodWill or other charity organizations. Now that's a win-win!

9. Create a clear filing system for your personal records. Clearing up your desktop, creating folders, organizing your computer is one of the best ways to avoid time wasted and empty frustrations when trying to locate your personal records. Set aside just a few minutes a day to donate to this endeavor and you will thank me later. 

10. Do your grocery shopping on a convenient day of the week. If you work M-F then go after work. Leave your weekends open for more important things like what makes you the most happy. Make a list, budget, and get only what you need to save time and money.

11. Take a career test that will help you distinguish your strong points. If you are stuck in your career or job but not sure how to move on, this could be a great way to start opening the door to new, inspiring opportunities. 

12. Work with a life coach to get the most out of life. Nowadays, it’s common for people to have personal workout trainers. Why not invest in all areas of your life so you can achieve maximum results? Many people are struggling with dead weight from the past or emotional baggage that is holding them back. Deal with them and move on with professional assistance such as a life coach. I have perfected a revolutionary manual for life called “The Art of Manifestation System”. It is a air-tight guide that will take you there. www.getyourlifenow.com  for more details or call for your free consultation.

13. Go through cabinets and throw out expired food items. The last time I did this, I found some interesting things. Once gone I felt lighter and it was worth it (plus I could find things I was previously looking for). 

14. Make a clear diet plan with an emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet plan has a tremendous effect on your overall energy levels, your mood and your state of mind. Did you know that you can get plenty of protein from vegetables? Look at Gorilla's. They are vegan yet stronger than any muscle man. If you do want to continue eating meat, remember the ratio: 80% vegetables, 20% protein. 

15. Add vitamin pills to your daily diet. Vitamin supplements can help reduce the possibility of cancer and osteoporosis, among other disorders. If you are feeling unusually tired or out of sorts and can’t discern the cause, consider taking an inexpensive blood test to take a closer look at the vitamin stores in your body. You would be surprised how many people are missing vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other energy producing vitamins. This can really make a difference! Also, a great energy booster and great detox fast is eating only fruit for 1 day of the week. For best results, food combine, meaning, eat only one kind of fruit in a sitting. If you want to eat a different fruit, wait at least 1 hour before doing so. You skin will definitely glow, you'll have tons of energy and your tummy will shrink. 

 16. Work out a clear exercise plan with an activity that you enjoy such as dancing or biking. I love reading while on the elliptical machine – this way I get to do two things I love at the same time. As long as it’s active, it counts.

17.  Set appointments you’ve been putting off. It’s easy to put off going to the doctor or dentist until we are sick, but preventive care is extremely important in overall health levels. Take care of your health by getting an inexpensive massage at the many newly established foot spas once a week.

 18. Take up a mental exercise. Crossword puzzles, Lumosity, or other word games along these lines are more than just a good way to pass time. They have been shown in studies to help improve overall mental capabilities.

19.Keep a diary. Writing out your thoughts at the end of the day is a good way to unwind and release the day even if you just take 5 focused minutes on this endeavor you’d be pleasantly surprised by the results. Finish off your entry with a list of what you are grateful for. This sets you up for excellent sleep and refreshes you in the morning, setting you up for moving in the right direction in your day. 

20. Make a reading list and join a book club. Most people state that they want to read more, but without an actual plan you may not make the time to do this. Joining a book club not only serves as a social activity but also keeps you up to date with your own reading list. Did you know the benefits of reading are: boosts concentration, exercises spelling, improves knowledge, relaxes you, expands writing skills and enlivens thinking skills, just to name a few things. 

20. Spend time with yourself each day.  Spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to process and create order.

22. Practice breathing exercises or meditation. Stress can have a debilitating effect on our overall productivity levels. When stressed, I notice I hold my breath. Take the time to take deep breaths and improve oxygen flow to the brain.

23. Speak and act with honesty and integrity. Are you able to stand by what you do and say? If not, it may be time to reexamine your own words and learn to clearly communicate your thoughts in an open, honest way. This helps eliminate mistakes down the road and keeps you empowered.

24. Learn from past mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. It is part of what makes us human. Typically, we make a lot of them during our lifetime. As long as they aren’t repeated too many times, and are looked at and incorporated into our lives as a learning experience, they can be one of the best things that happen to us.

25. Volunteer to help others in your community. Give. Give what you have to give. Advice, love, support, help, time, food, toys, a few dollars, a hug, an ear, a smile, anything. Do it on a daily basis. Look for opportunity and life will not only reward you but your day will sing. Helping others is a rewarding way to get your own life together.

26. Take up a new language or hobby. You will come alive and create an extension of yourself you had not realized that wanted to be born. It's an important part of life. Refrain from looking at hobbies as a luxury but an essential part of a happy, balanced life. 

27. Read books that will contribute something to your life. Anything that expands your world and is uplifting will directly impact your life in a positive way.

28. Talk to a stranger. Spontaneous conversations can be surprisingly inspiring and enlivening.

29. Reconnect with friends and relatives who live far away. Call those people you miss but keep putting off calling. With the Internet, WhatApp, Google Hangout, FaceTime, FaceBook and Skype at your disposal what could possibly be stopping you?

30. Change your toothbrush. It can be filled with bacteria. Take naps or lie down with a meditation. Click here for a free 15 minute Green Meditation. Sleep is often incredibly underrated in its ability to boost energy, mood, and keep reaction times sharp. Drink at least 6 cups of water per day. Staying hydrated helps keep energy levels up and flushes out toxins.

31. Keep commitments scheduled. I am surprised how many people still don't organize their schedules in these busy, modern times. Take it off your mind by scheduling it. No remembering necessary except to look at your calendar. Set alarms to check your schedule or as a reminder to keep your eye on time.

32. Don’t put off difficult conversations. Deal with problems directly and immediately. This will result in a much lower level of anxiety for all involved and give you an opportunity to overcome something you dread turning it into victory and relief. Bonus: you'll get more and more comfortable and effective at communicating. Communication is everything. 

33. Make a list of priorities and do what makes you happy. If you have lost touch with your own priorities lately, it can make a huge difference to take the time to sit and think about what actually makes you happy and then plan it. And then do it.

34. Spend more time outdoors. Nature has an ability to help soothe a troubled mind and clear your thoughts. Taking a walk on the beach, in the woods, or sitting on top of a mountain can clear out the negativities or stress and put everything into perspective. 

35. Attend lectures. This could be any kind of lectures. It’s helpful to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the world and plan accordingly. Keeping the mind active helps you in all aspects of your daily life.

36. Make laughter a priority. Hang out with some of your most jovial friends for a good dose of laughter, or simply sit back with some favorite old comedies. Laughter counts as exercise and has been shown to not only release stress, see life's challenges in a less significant way, but it also extends your life.

37. Clear some time each day to do nothing. As a child, I remember that we had “free time” scheduled into our school activities every day. This could be used for reading, drawing, or simply staring into space if that’s what we felt like doing. What a novel idea, and one that keeps the brain at ease. 

38. Learn new tips for entertaining and socializing. Throw a great dinner party or get together. Learn how to be a great host or hostess. This can give a big boost to your confidence levels and simply knowing how to introduce people properly helps break the ice and connect people on a deeper level. This leads to many breakthroughs for everyone.

39. Keep texting to a minimum. Text only when there is an urgent message to convey. Something that is not emotion based. When feelings or emotions are involved people tend to misunderstand even the most benign messages. Call or email a well-written message when the message is more than, “I’ll be there at 5:00 pm”.

40. Acknowledge people in your life on a regular basis. Oftentimes we think, “That’s a pretty blouse”, or “I am so happy such and such was made possible by _____” but we don’t say it. People are not mind-readers so even saying the obvious makes a huge difference in people’s lives. Remember, people want only 2 basic things in life: To be “gotten” for who they are and to make a difference in the world.

5 Ways to Let Go of Pain - Be Free!

                                                                                Written By Sterling Mire

                                                                                Written By Sterling Mire

Giving something up can be the way to having everything.

Let’s face it – life hurts. There is no human being on the planet that hasn’t experienced emotional pain and/or trauma.

It’s an awful experience. Yes, agreed.

So, there is pain and what you do with pain is what is most important. Wouldn’t you rather be living your life fully again? Enjoying all that is wonderful and awe-inspiring or be stopped by the past incident that cannot be undone and continue suffering over it? No one truly wants to suffer so let’s explore the alternative.

Putting the blame on others is a seemingly easy enough way to handle the situation. We feel like someone let us down or did us wrong and we are owed an apology. We think they need to “own up” to what they did.

Blaming others and not taking responsibility for ourselves is the fastest way to being powerless in our lives and leaves us stuck with anger, resentment and no resolving of the pain we feel. Yes, you have valid feelings. It’s important to acknowledge them and express them fully but put a limit on how long you feel them. You can even say to yourself, “For the next 15-30 minutes I am going to cry my eyes out, write in my diary or say out loud how I feel and feel it 100% and then I am going to move forward with my day/night”. Getting into the habit of indulging in your grief is a vicious cycle. Remember, you are the one hurting more than the other person if you continue to “live” your pain over and over. It’s a balance. A balance of embracing what’s there for you to express and putting it away for the rest of the day or preferably resolving it and moving on.

5 Ways to Move Through Pain

The pathway to happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction in your life is to make room for it. If you are full of sadness, anger, bitterness how can the opposite show up for you?

1. Make a choice to let go

Things do not resolve themselves without you choosing it. If you avoid making a conscious effort to move on you could be setting yourself up to continue to keep the pain alive and drag it around in your life and even effecting your outer world in a negative way.

Choosing to let it go also means you are accepting that you have the choice to do so. You can decide to stop playing the story over and over in your mind every time you think of that person.

2. As mentioned before, an important step to moving on is expressing your pain. Find ways that are satisfying and healthy. Experiment with the tips mentioned above. Find a great listener, someone who you look up to.

Even though you may not have had the same amount of responsibility for the pain you’ve experienced, look to see what you are responsible for. What can you learn from this experience and do differently in the future? Choosing to be less free and trusting is not necessarily a great choice versus being more aware of what is actually being communicated before all hurt broke loose. Learn to really understand and get to know people before “jumping in”. The most successful relationships were built as friendships where mutual respect and admiration can grow. Consider taking communication classes. Ultimately, will you choose to become wiser from the experience or a victim?

3. Don’t choose to be a victim, choose to be a winning warrior

Being a victim can feel pretty good. We don’t have to take responsibility or take a good look at ourselves. But being a victim is like donning a costume of a decrepit zombie and that is just not who we authentically are. Your feelings are worthy but when we allow ourselves to wallow in them it becomes at the expense of everyone else in the world and we all matter – equally.

The good news is that we have a choice in every given moment. We can continue to feel bad about someone else’s actions (or lack of actions) or decide to feel GOOD! Taking responsibility for your own happiness is power and giving your power over to someone else to determine how you feel is absurd. No amount of obsessively thinking about a painful situation has ever fixed a relationship issue. So why choose it?

4. Be Here Now – In the Present Moment

Do you really know what it feels like to be powerfully present in the now? How liberating, freeing and just good it feels? Here’s an exercise that will help you get related to reality – now.

Either out loud or in your head notice 5 things you hear (if there are not five you can repeat something). Now, 5 things you see and 5 things you physically feel. Repeat the same exercise working your way down to 1.  5-4-3-2-1. When you’ve completed the exercise notice how you feel, your surroundings and your thoughts. Suddenly reality has taken over your imaginings.

5. Forgive Them as Well as Yourself

Perhaps we won’t forget someone’s poor behavior, but everyone is deserving of our forgiveness, including ourselves. Sometimes getting trapped in pain makes it occur like forgiveness isn’t an option, yet it is. Forgiveness is empathy and empathy connects us to the beauty, love and laughter in life. Accepting “what is” doesn’t mean you are agreeing with what happened. That it is ok to happen again and again and again but that it is ok that it happened once. Forgiveness is a true sign of strength because that is actually where strength comes from.

Forgiving yourself is just as important. Identify what you said to yourself about yourself after the breakdown occurred. That is what you want to forgive yourself for. For inventing and taking on a lie as if it is truth. Anything disempowering is inauthentic to who we truly are. Create something new, the truth, to live by.

Although letting go takes an effort. It requires us to be courageous, to be committed to our happiness and health. Everyday you hold on to pain is another day lost to it. Go ahead. You can do it. Choose to implement these exercises in your life and set yourself, and everyone else, free!

 

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Acceptance vs. Agreement

                                 Knowing the difference makes ALL the difference.     “Some of our greatest successes come from unconditional acceptance of all aspects of life.” ~Sterling Mire    My clients often ask me, “How can I possibly accept something if I don’t like or agree with it?” My answer is simple: Avoid resistance. I’ll explain. The reason why avoiding resistance is the solution to the problem is because what we resist  will  persist. If we resist what is so in this particular moment we will be giving energy to that which we would like to change. We feed the beast. Stop feeding the beast and that beast will disappear.  I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle. In his bestselling book, “The Power of Now”, he describes acceptance as this. Imagine you fell into quicksand. Your first instinct is to resist it by flailing your arms wildly to get out. The only thing you achieve by resisting is frustration, panic and exhaustion so you end up sinking. If you just accept what is so, “Ok, I just fell into quicksand. I accept that. It is what is so.”, this frees you up to begin to create a way out – and you do! Acceptance is not agreement. I must stress this. Accepting is acknowledging and allowing something to just be. Once we have done just that, then we can began to move into a solution driven direction with ease. Answers to our questions are free to come to us – physically and mentally. We are an open channel for guidance.  Life is fluid. It can  occur  as if what is happening to us in the moment is permanent. We are stuck and we begin to get resigned in life. If we remind ourselves that it just appears that way BUT is actually is not the truth, it is a step in the right direction for finding the change we seek.  Life is also unpredictable. If we can accept that as part of the beauty in life then we can create the ability to embrace what ever comes along, even if it is painful.  Life will bring many challenges, such as the loss of someone we love, and it is truly challenging to embrace “what is so” when we are suffering. Yet, if we start cultivating acceptance in our lives right now, we will cope with future crises in an empowered way finding the positivity in the situation. It really is a powerfully effective way to live. Begin today to just BE with what is so. Notice how life is different and notice how you respond to undesirable things as they show up and how insignificant and manageable they become. You will be amazed!  WRITTEN BY: STERLING MIRE   

           

                  Knowing the difference makes ALL the difference.

“Some of our greatest successes come from unconditional acceptance of all aspects of life.” ~Sterling Mire

My clients often ask me, “How can I possibly accept something if I don’t like or agree with it?” My answer is simple: Avoid resistance. I’ll explain. The reason why avoiding resistance is the solution to the problem is because what we resist will persist. If we resist what is so in this particular moment we will be giving energy to that which we would like to change. We feed the beast. Stop feeding the beast and that beast will disappear.

I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle. In his bestselling book, “The Power of Now”, he describes acceptance as this. Imagine you fell into quicksand. Your first instinct is to resist it by flailing your arms wildly to get out. The only thing you achieve by resisting is frustration, panic and exhaustion so you end up sinking. If you just accept what is so, “Ok, I just fell into quicksand. I accept that. It is what is so.”, this frees you up to begin to create a way out – and you do! Acceptance is not agreement. I must stress this. Accepting is acknowledging and allowing something to just be. Once we have done just that, then we can began to move into a solution driven direction with ease. Answers to our questions are free to come to us – physically and mentally. We are an open channel for guidance.

Life is fluid. It can occur as if what is happening to us in the moment is permanent. We are stuck and we begin to get resigned in life. If we remind ourselves that it just appears that way BUT is actually is not the truth, it is a step in the right direction for finding the change we seek.

Life is also unpredictable. If we can accept that as part of the beauty in life then we can create the ability to embrace what ever comes along, even if it is painful.

Life will bring many challenges, such as the loss of someone we love, and it is truly challenging to embrace “what is so” when we are suffering. Yet, if we start cultivating acceptance in our lives right now, we will cope with future crises in an empowered way finding the positivity in the situation. It really is a powerfully effective way to live. Begin today to just BE with what is so. Notice how life is different and notice how you respond to undesirable things as they show up and how insignificant and manageable they become. You will be amazed!

WRITTEN BY: STERLING MIRE

 

Embracing Differences Makes a Difference

Written by: Sterling Mire

Accepting how people are different from ourselves can benefit us and heal the world as a whole more than we realize.

We are all unique. We’ve been raised by different people, with different siblings and friends, sometimes even in different countries with different cultures and within different generations. Yet, we all have the same basic wants and needs. These differences don’t have to result in disconnect or friction in our experiences of one another.

Each of us is the result of a completely individual miraculous design. We all have different talents, skills, points of view, ideas, perceptions and experiences to share with the world creating a contribution unique unto us and providing something different from others contributions. Human beings want the same things in life yet may go about it differently. We all want love, security, acceptance, and to make a difference in the world we live in. We are all moving in the same direction yet coming from and going about it in different ways.

We are here to learn from our choices and the consequences of making those choices unconsciously or consciously. Granting each other grace, forgiveness, love and support along our journeys in life help us to grow for the betterment of the world. Having a level of compassion when interacting with others helps others to grow in a way that serves the planet in a constructive versus destructive way.

No one likes to be criticized or ostracized by others. When we give up judging or criticizing others taking into account that we don’t know what it is to live their lives or what they may be challenged with at that moment not only helps others but helps ourselves too by creating space for positive growth. Accepting differences allows us to unite with one another, forge a bond and gives access to cooperation towards the fulfillment of peace, love and happiness.

Sometimes people can frustrate us especially when it is someone we are close to and care about. Maybe we see them being self-sabotaging or being destructive and suffering needlessly. If we can accept that what is happening is part of their learning process, their journey, individual to their independent life path we actually create room for transforming the situation for the better versus resisting and fighting the situation by making it wrong. What also helps is stepping outside of our own world and moving into others lives bringing with us the intention to understand and accept “what is” so we create a space for transformation.

Ultimately, we are all experiencing the result of the choices we’ve made in life. In other words, the consequences of what we consciously or unconsciously choose give way to the experiences we have. All human beings truly want is to feel good, even if they are not sure how to do that. Choices and consequences are great guides to helping us learn our way. Everyone learns differently and in different time frames. Respecting those differences help move the human race as a whole to a place of peace, love, fulfillment, and unity.


 

 

What Did I Do?

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By Sterling Mire

Many times what people say or do to us has nothing to do with us at all.

Have you ever had the experience where what someone does or says doesn’t seem to jibe with what is actually going on? Yet, we take their behavior personally and make it mean something disempowering about us leaving us confused, hurt and disappointed. It’s helpful to remember: people are more connected to their past experiences versus the experiences they would like to have in their future.  That past can be what just happened 5 minutes prior or as far back as childhood. Taking things personally without taking a moment to think about where they could be coming from takes us off path.

We also have to be responsible for what we do and say. Could what we said or did provoke a particular response? If our intentions are benign but misunderstood, then we can apologize and clarify what we mean to the other person. If they refuse to forgive and hear the value in what we are trying to convey then we can walk away feeling satisfied with the responsibility and the action we took to remedy the situation. We can also see that there is something that person is personally dealing with that may have absolutely nothing to do with us but what they are struggling with in their own life. Be compassionate and loving and move on. We are all dealing with something in life. We are all evolving and being given the opportunity to grow and growth comes from our relationships. If this is a relationship that we are committed to, then we take move on by taking responsibility of our communications and distinguish if there is anything else we can do to help. Sometimes just being clear in our communications is all there is for us to do. We need to just give the other person some space to be with the situation and gain the understanding and clarity within themselves.

When you shift your attention to the bigger picture you may then notice that there was nothing you did that was inappropriate and can choose to not take it personally leaving you free of feeling attacked or blaming yourself for something that didn’t have anything to do with you. It’s up to you to retain your self-worth while knowing you are taking responsibility for your words and actions. This is the best way to live an empowered and satisfying life!

 

 

Contributing to the Bigger Picture - Breakdown to Breakthrough

Written by: Sterling Mire

Being of service to others allows us to step outside of our own struggles which can bring answers and pathways to overcome challenges in our own life.

When things aren’t going the way we’d like them to our first instinct is to run and hide, preferably to the nearest dark hole we can find and escape. Sometimes we choose to obsessively think about the problems that face us until we can’t see straight. Yes, there are times when we need to get off the merry-go-round of life and just stop to catch our breath, clear the air, and deal with issues at hand. Other times our best course of action is to be of service to others. Giving ourselves to others not only helps us to gain distance from our own problems but allows us to transform others lives for the better. This creates empowerment and confidence within our world which contributes to finding solutions to our own conflicts. There are two basic human needs being fulfilled: making a difference in the world and being accepted. As a bonus, we also create a connection and bond with others that allows us to feel stronger and more powerful in life.

Helping others creates evidence that we are one and not alone in our quest for support and enlightenment. Even in our darkest hours we can still
contribute to someone else’s struggles and not only make the difference for others but for ourselves as well. It’s a win-win situation and we get to transform who we know ourselves to be.

Make an effort next time you find yourself in a breakdown and fully give of yourself to someone else in need. Notice what happens, what opens up. Notice how your view and perception of life is altered and how you begin to move in a much better direction in your own life.

“We rise by lifting others.”


 

 Holiday Thriving versus Surviving! 

 

We all need a guide.  The first thing is to really be ready to be related with the people that you’re there with, and out to cause something extraordinary with people.  We can have all the dinners, we can have all the decorations, and gift-giving and receiving but really what’s at the heart of a great holiday, no matter how great the food was, how beautiful the decorations were, what makes or breaks a holiday is the relationships we have with people and whether we enjoy the people or not.  So what we really want to focus on is how to really have extraordinary relationships with the people we’re with, whoever we’re spending the holidays with. You may ask yourself, “How do you do that when you don’t even want to go?”

I had that experience myself once at a birthday party.  I was invited someplace, rather obligated to go just because of all the different circumstances, a place I really didn’t want to go.  Here’s what I resolved for myself.  As I was going there, I said, "Okay.  You’re going to have a better time than you think you can have," and then I rang the doorbell and walked in the door with that commitment in place, like really, "Okay," and when I walked in the door, just having committed to have a better time that I thought I could have, and I ended up meeting new people that were instrumental to my future! It was great!

I think every time we go someplace, we have a preconceived notion of how good it’s going to be.  We have a preconceived notion of how enjoyable it’s going to be.  So the first thing would be to just get committed to you’re going have a better time than you think you’re going have, and then walk in the door looking for the opportunity for that.  And if you walk in the door looking for the opportunity to have a better time than you think you’re going have, guess what?  I think you’ll find a lot of ways to do that.

My clients often ask me what to do when someone says something to you that makes you mad but you don’t want to ruin the holiday for everyone?

There are actually three things you could do but there’s only one of them that really works.  One thing you could do is argue, right?  You could.  Somebody says something that makes you mad, and you just want to – you just can hardly stand it.  You just so want to let them know that what they said was wrong. You could come back with your best, best, best answer that really proves how wrong they are, except guess what?  You’ll end up in an argument because then they have to defend themselves and then you have to defend yourself, then they have to defend themselves, and we know where that one goes. So that doesn’t work.  Another thing people often try is to not say anything, just try to grit your teeth and grin and bear it, but you really are holding onto it and you still let it shape you, like whatever they said really does ruin your day because that’s all you’re thinking about, all you’re stewing about, and even though you’re not responding, it’s totally shaping you.  You’re succumbing to it.  That doesn’t work, either, because your day’s still ruined.

There’s a third thing you can do, which is – it sounds simple but it really is profound.  It’s just to let it go by.  Let it go.  Sometimes I imagine being a bullfighter where you just – what you don’t do with a bull, you don’t argue with it, right? Yet you don’t lay down and let it run over you.  Look at matadors. They are masters at just stepping out of the way and letting things go by.  I think sometimes we think we have to deal with everything that people say, but people say things they don’t even mean.  People say things that they didn’t intend to be upsetting, and a lot of it, especially around the holidays – I think this is all the time, but especially around the holidays.  Let some of it go by.  Just let it go by, step out of the way, and then stay right there in the conversation and just committed to what you’re committed to causing in terms of your friendship and your relationship with that person.

Now, if somebody says something that’s really irritating to you and you let it go by, how do you not let that fester? You simply have to relate to it for what it is.  It’s just something they said.

One of the things that always makes something worse is not what they say but what we have what they say mean.  So there’s a difference between what somebody says and then what it means to us.  In other words, the story we make up about what they said or the interpretation we have of what they said and it’s really important to separate those two out.  There’s what they said and then there’s what we have it mean.  And those are two different things.

I’ll give you an example, if somebody said, for instance, "I wouldn’t have set the table this way," Suppose there you are, you’ve got the table set, and your mother-in-law says, "I wouldn’t have set the table this way," Now, that’s what she said.  What somebody could and probably would have that mean is, "She doesn’t respect me, she doesn’t honor that this is my home, she never thinks anything I do is good enough for her son." Right?  On and on and on.  It could be any of those things.  Now, really, though, the statement, "I wouldn’t have set the table this way," is a pretty simple statement that is just a statement about what she would’ve or wouldn’t have done, and if you can keep it for what it is, just a statement, and keep separate everything you had it mean and you’ll notice that all of the upset every bit of the upset is in actually what we have it mean, not what they actually said.

How do you appreciate someone if you’re mad at them?  Why should we appreciate someone if you’re mad at them? Why we choose to appreciate someone even if we’re mad at them is because where if we really look at relationships, when we’re satisfied in a relationship is when we love who we’re being.

We put a lot of focus on how the other person is treating us, but you know what?  Even if someone’s not treating us well, if we love who we’re being, we’re actually pretty satisfied. The opposite is also true, isn’t it?  Which is that if somebody’s being great with us but then we’re pretty cranky with them, then even them being great with us doesn’t make a difference for us because we’re still cranky.

So to really take on, even when you’re, especially when you’re mad at somebody, is to appreciate them and find something to appreciate about them at the very least. it’s really simple.  That them being there gives you an opportunity to be somebody, to be somebody you love being, gives you an opportunity to be generous or it gives you an opportunity to be loving. Even the ones that make you the maddest, those are the ones that give you the biggest opportunity to be somebody really great.

If we really study relationships, one of the things you notice is that the whole point of other people like the opportunity of people, of being with people, is that without them there, we don’t get to be somebody, and the quality of our life comes from who we get to be with people.  So it’s right there, so why appreciate somebody you’re mad at is because you’ll end up being really happy with yourself and therefore even happy with them through your own empowerment about who you are choosing to be within the circumstance.

Last week I had a client say to me, "My husband’s so controlling, how can I have a happy holiday if he tries to control everything?"

There are two things here.  If you know that about your husband, if you know, from holidays from the past, one of the things that really works is to, ahead of holidays, ask him everything that he wants so that you actually know what he wants and he has some – he gets to say what’s important to him before the holidays ever get there so that he already knows you’re committed that he gets what he wants and then at the holiday itself, I kind of always have a theory called ride the horse the way the horse is going. The more you would fight it or the more you would resist, probably the more controlling he’s going to try to be because he’s going to be fighting back then.  If you really just keep looking for it, there’s something that’s important to him, something. People only try to be controlling because there’s something important to them, and if you can just listen for and try to hear what’s really important to him and then make sure he gets it or make sure that he knows that you’re committed that he gets it, then guess what happens?  He starts paying attention to what’s important to you and that you get that as well.

Two things, again.  One is, if at all possible, before the holidays ever happen, sit down, talk about what’s going to be important to each other at the holidays and what’s going be important to your husband so that he knows that he knows in advance that you’re out to make sure he gets a really great holiday that he wants.  Then when the holiday’s happening itself, just keep trying to hear, when he’s being controlling, what is important to him and how can I make sure he knows that I’m committed that he gets that, and then I promise, it really is amazing how much then the other person starts wanting to make sure you get what you want, too.

Here’s another question I’ve been asked, "My mother-in-law doesn’t make me feel welcome.  I don’t want to go.  How do I survive that?"

One of the things there, I think is that I wouldn’t take it personally.  If the mother-in-law’s not making you feel welcome, I bet, I really would bet a lot of money, that the mother-in-law’s concerned about something you don’t even know she’s concerned about.  For instance, it may have nothing to do with you.  Maybe she’s concerned about how her house looks or maybe she’s concerned about how her food is or maybe she’s concerned about how she and her husband are getting along in front of you.  There’s a whole number of things.  Maybe your mother-in-law’s concerned about getting older.  There’s a whole number of things that she could be concerned about, and when people are concerned about something, they often don’t – aren’t able to make another person feel welcome around them. One of the first things I do is to not take it personal and would, again, just have some compassion that probably that person is concerned about something and give they’re concerned about it, they’re not having an easy time being with you.  The more you can just be at ease with them and make it safe for them to be with you, then the more they’ll be able to be at ease with you, and guess what?  Then you’ll have the experience of being welcomed.

I think we often underestimate the power of listening. Listening to people.  When you really listen to people, they get really – they’re just grateful for it.  A lot of times we think what’s important is what we say to other people.  I’ve found that that is very important, what we say is very important and we want to make sure that what we say really is always empowering of others.  On the other side of it, there’s listening to people and really listening to somebody.  I’ve always found people, I know for myself, if somebody really listens to me, I’m always grateful afterward.

Sometimes, especially if somebody’s not making you feel welcome, there’s something that they want to say or there’s something that they’ve got to say that if you could just listen to, they would be grateful that you’re there, and then, again, you’d have the experience of being really welcomed.

No matter what they’re talking about, because sometimes they talk about something that doesn’t seem important or they can be talking about the weather or sometimes they’re upset and their visibly upset.  Whatever is going on right there, if they’re talking about the weather, listen to that. If they’re talking about how the dinner’s going, listen to that.  If they’re talking about something they’re upset about, listen to that.  When I say listen, I really do mean give them your attention so that they know, and maybe even ask them questions, but even if it’s something, they just make a comment about the weather, just acknowledge that you heard them.

People also really appreciate being acknowledged for the “good” that they are. Acknowledging people for their better attributes or way of being in life actually helps them to connect to that side of themselves in the present moment and that paves a way for them to move forward in extraordinary ways allowing you to have an extraordinary and memorable experience and holiday with them.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Do People Really Make Us Happy?

It appears that people can make us feel a range of emotions; happy, sad, angry, frustrated, euphoric, disappointed, depressed and the list goes on. The truth is this is an illusion. We live in a society that has convinced us that happiness lies outside of us, within our environment and through the things we accumulate. Here is a perfect example of how we have learned this way of understanding life’s happiness. A mother sees her young child crying. The mother enthusiastically offers the child a cookie. The child then seeing his/her mother smiling (happy) makes the association with the cookie as an object that possesses happiness. We could take it a bit further and look at how the cookie has an effect on the child’s brain reinforcing the idea of where happiness lies. Let’s look at the effect of the sugar in the cookie. Sugar is known to light up the reward pathways and cause a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. As a result, we feel good and “happy”. The child easily confuses the cookie, or any other thing the child learns to associate with happiness, as where happiness lies.

People’s Energy DOES Have an Effect On Us

True. We are all energy. We transmit energy. We receive energy. Yet, energy changes all the time so if someone’s happy and we feel the effects of it we begin to associate thatthat is where happiness lies. We begin to confuse, once again, where happiness lives. “That person makes me happy!” or “That person makes me upset”. It may not be that we consciously want to blame or hold someone accountable for our state of being. It could be that we simply are confused as to where happiness truly is.

Taking Responsibility

Taking responsibility for how we feel is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn in life. Choosing how we feel is a conscious action. We must be fully aware to make this choice. Noticing how we feel is the first step. To choose how we want to feel in a way that is authentic and actually works is to first allow what is so to be. To simply allow it to exist. Allowing is not agreeing. Allowing is allowing. Once we allow what is, then we can make a conscious choice to choose how we want to feel. Once you choose an empowering emotion, take a moment to connect to what that feels like. Experience it fully. Maybe think of a happy memory and relive it. Embrace the feeling and let it wash over you and sink in. Then proceed with your life. It is quite simple but where people go wrong in choosing their emotions is leaving out the acceptance, allowing something to be as it is. What is surprising is that whatever undesirable emotion was being experienced will simply take care of itself and disappear.

True Happiness

Happiness is our birthright. Happiness is a skill. Like all skills, it must be practiced. When you have true happiness within, you are totally fulfilled and the things you engage in are not perceived as a pathway to lead you to happiness but an adventure you can embrace fearlessly with joy and out of the sheer excitement of being alive!

To discover more about happiness, I recommend a current documentary on NetFlix simply titled: “Happiness”. Filmmaker Roko Belic travels to more than a dozen countries, searching for the meaning of happiness.

Sterling is a celebrated professional life coach and a nationally published author. She works with clients all over the world. Her practice is located in Beverly Hills. For more information, please visit: www.intuitivelifebysterling.com www.getyourlifenow.com