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7 Day Happiness Challenge

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A few days ago, I was nominated by my dearest friend Jennifer to do the happiness challenge, by posting three things each day for the next 7 days that make me happy.  In my life I try to dedicate the majority of my time to doing things that make me happy. I try my best to live with intention and I accept sole responsibility for my happiness. For all of you Ambition in the City readers I invite you to take this challenge along with me this week. How are you welcoming happiness into your life?

September 8th, 2014 Day 1 of the Happiness Challenge 

Service1. This morning it made me extremely happy to coach a client around an issue that has been long burdening them. Our conversation focused on what they realistically had control over and how knowing this could empower them to experience their problem differently. As we tried on the various ways they could choose to experience their problem the problem started to loosen its grip on my client. It started to look smaller in their mind and even appeared more manageable. It made me happy to witness such a wonderful transformation happen right before my very eyes. When I can help someone to embrace the things that are beyond their control and to shift those things and situations that no longer serve them, my heart is filled with much joy. It is these very moments that resonate with my value of connection and service. It is a pleasure to connect and to serve people as a life coach.

2. Happy thoughts rushed into my mind as I felt my baby kick today. My heart became full as I welcomed each and every one of his subtle jabs. A little life is growing inside of me and that brings me so much joy. It is an honor to have had dreamstimemaximum_326843151this little person chose me to be their mommy. I embrace and revel in these months of transformation and growth. I welcome this new chapter into my life and open myself up to all the lessons I am sure this new experience will provide me and my future son. I value family tremendously and have been blessed to have so many supportive and loving people in my life. It makes me extremely happy that it is finally my turn to create a family of my very own with my hubby this coming year. We can’t wait to meet you Alexander. :o)

3. I set the intention to approach this week with thoughts of love.7f528e7fe38ce978bd3a696f7a6cebaf I value love and welcome its power into my life.This morning I decided that my mantra for the week was going to be  “I welcome love and reject all negativity”. It is easy for us to step away from love and fall into negative thinking patterns so making it a part of our practice to be fully present and surrounded by love is imperative for a happy and healthy living. To aid me to keep me fully present and connected to this intention, I recently purchased rose quartz and black obsidian crystals to carry around with me. I can tell you that the two crystals provide me with a profound sense of calm when I carry them. Next week ill report back on how combining these crystals with my intention impacted my day to day dealings with the world around me.

“All great acts are ruled by intention. What you mean is what you get.”-Brenna Yavanoff

If you are unfamiliar with the world of crystals here are the meanings behind these two very powerful crystals.

Rose quartz is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. It carries a soft feminine energy of compassion and peace, tenderness and healing, nourishment and comfort. It speaks directly to the Heart Chakra, dissolving emotional wounds, fears and resentments, and circulates a Divine loving energy throughout the entire aura. Reawakening the heart to its own innate love, it provides a deep sense of personal fulfillment and contentment, allowing one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others. [Raphaell, 82-85][Simmons, 331][Hall, 236]

Black Obsidian  is a grounding stone that provides an instant connection from the Root Chakra deep into the core of the Earth. Black Obsidian will help to clean and remove negative energies in a sacred space or environment. It also assists in releasing those emotions/reactions that cause negative energy such as anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, etc. Once these energies are removed/released, Black Obsidian will help to keep the space protected.

 

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Ponder This…

What risks are you willing to take to get you where you want to be? 

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When you take risks you gift yourself with the opportunity to learn. Regardless if your attempt is a success or a failure, learning brings with it its own rewards. Take pride in the risks you have taken. In the grand scheme of things the lessons are just as important as the desired outcome.

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Competition Versus Creativeness

“Competition attempts to be like. Creativeness attempts to be unlike.” -U. S Anderson I don’t know about you, but I choose to be unlike anyone out there. We were each put on this earth with a unique purpose. In the entire world there is no one like you. Stop trying to be what you think others want you to be. Let’s stop being ridiculous, and embrace the fact that we are each essential in our own way. You have been living in the trap of competition for long enough. Why fight to have the same as everyone else when you can strive to obtain something different? Let go of the idea that the value system of the group is the same as your own. What do you value? What do have you to contribute that is good, and true, and unique?

Just as a painter puts paint to canvas with only his/her imagination and creativity guiding his vision, so too should we lead our individual lives. Paint the life you envision suiting your wants, and needs, not the life you see suiting others. It is only when we see value in our individual existence that we can look at life with creativity and wonder. We will take risks and explore every desire, every question, and every ambition that rises from within our minds. We will trust our intuition and resourcefulness, and know that every move we make manifested because we saw fit to make it so.

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Say YES Today

How many times have you shied away from saying YES to you? 

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Say YES today! I challenge you all to say YES to 5 things that will bring you joy today. When we say YES we acknowledge ourselves in a way that no one else can. We honor our truth and we step fully into our power. Stop putting your needs and desires on the back burner. When we say yes to ourselves we honor our needs and values. Let go of the notion that saying yes is self-serving.  How we treat ourselves sets the tone for how others treat us. Love yourself enough to say YES! Stop dreaming about a better life. Act upon it today.

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Keep Moving Forward

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Image Credit: Dougal Waters via Getty Images

 

It’s not always easy to leave things in the past but we can never truly heal until we open our eyes to all that is still ahead of us. What are you looking forward to? 

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Ponder This…

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How often are you pausing to recharge and reboot your mind? 

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It’s been said, that everybody needs time to rejuvenate, refresh, recharge and begin again.

Every so often we life coaches like to coach one another. This practice not only helps us to keep our skills sharp but it also helps us to remember we are human just like everyone else and not exempt from regular day to day struggles. This morning I had a wonderful coaching session with my friend and fellow colleague Sarah. In this coaching session I came to the realization with her that I am long overdue for a recharge and reboot. The low battery life alert had been flashing in my mind for days now, but I kept ignoring it. As I shared with her the internal struggle I had been wrestling with, it hit me that I was putting too much energy on things that are secondary to my authentic purpose and passion. As we discussed the physical and mental toll sacrificing my interests and talents was taking on me, I started to feel a weight lift off my shoulders. I began to take ownership of the choices I had been making over the course of these past few days and I acknowledged that my desire to please others had overpowered my desire to be happy and at peace with myself. This resulted in me realizing that I had been running on autopilot. I had been floating along for the past few days crossing item after item off of my to-do list, never feeling all that satisfied with the days progress. I found myself feeling exhausted and frustrated at the end of every day. “I would rather be…” kept popping up in my mind as I floated from one task to the other. I was using up all of my energy to tackle things that had little if anything to do with growing my coaching practice, blogging or working on my art. Upon exploration and with the help of some visualization exercises I realized that my mind was being pulled in several different directions and that it was running on fumes at this point.

After my session, I committed to giving my mind the time it needed to rest and regroup. I paused and let my mind settle. What is important? What can wait? What is no longer serving me? What would you like to do in this moment? As I meditated around these questions today I felt my mind coming back to full power. I felt invigorated and inspired to put more of my energy and focus on the things that mattered to me most. Those things that bring me alive.  My original outlook of the day shifted and as this Wednesday, March 5th draws to a close I feel accomplished and content. I was able to coach a few clients, write this blog post, and will be finishing up a painting before this night is through. That’s a beautiful thing.

Remember to be patient with yourself. The energy that our mind supplies should be nurtured and cared for. This is our essence. When we neglect the messages our mind and body relay to us, we deny our authentic self from being heard. Listen to the messages being transmitted and take the time every so often to recharge and reboot your life.

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Chasing Happiness

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I never thought I was one to chase happiness. I was always taught that happiness was just a by-product of your gratefulness towards life. When I think of where my life has taken me in this past year, I now realize that I was in fact one of the many people who chased goals and accomplishments down in an effort to  truly feel satisfied with my life. While the journey and all its ups and downs are what really help people to achieve a happy life, I like so many others, lost sight of the hours and days spent trying to achieve happiness and never allowed myself to just be. In my 28 years of life, I struggled to find happiness in all things. Whether it was in my academic career, my romantic relationships, or even my work life, my motivation was always to do great now so I can be even greater later. I never sat down to enjoy small success or minor victories. My actions were all a means to an end that in some respect were never later achieved. So what can we do when we realize we’ve been chasing happiness all along? I for one have decided to embrace choice and move forward. No longer worried about what will be, I look to embrace what is now. Like the quote states, “Happy people don’t have the best of everything; they made the best of everything.” Embrace each day for its limitless possibilities. Strive to be happy everyday and not “one day” soon. It is the moments we experience now that matter most. After 28 years of chasing my happy future, I have decided to allow happiness to finally catch up to me. It has been here all along just waiting to be acknowledged. I’m ready to embrace it and find it in all things around me. What will you decide?

Embrace Choice and Keep Moving Forward

10 Tips to Finding Happiness Now

1. Be Present

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Commit to living for the experience. It’s so easy to get caught up in our “future thinking” that we forget to embrace true moments of happiness as they happen. BE PRESENT! Commit to enjoy each day as it passes. Regardless if you are wondering what will come next embrace the now and allow its gifts to present themselves. There is so much learning and growth that can be experienced if we just permitted ourselves to be more present. “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca

2. Let Your Passions Be Your Guide

Regarding our daily activities or career meaningful is vital to living a happy life. As a tool for self exploration, I find it helpful to create a passion list. What are your passions? What have you always wanted to do but never went after? As children we change career ambitions like we change our underwear, but as we get older these early desires begin to fade for the more “realistic” path. Look to your inner child and ask them what they are still yearning to experience in life. As someone who once gave up my passion for writing, I have to tell you, its feel amazing to be back! I feel as though I have reconnected with an old friend and it’s as if we never skipped a beat. List your passions on paper and determine for yourself what it is you have been looking for all this time. It’s never too late to acknowledge that inner yearning. Cultivating your passion with commitment and enthusiastic curiosity will only bring you closer to experiencing true happiness. While it is hard to adopt this type of mindset, attention must be given to our passions. If your motivating factor is the paycheck, you may be depriving yourself of a chance to do your true life’s work. When you can attach purpose to your work, satisfaction and happiness are sure to follow. “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

3. Respect the Body

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The healthier you are, the more you exercise and eat right, the more likely you will lead a happy life. While it is so easy for us to take our bodies for granted, it is vital that we protect and preserve this beautiful shell we reside in. Take time to nourish the body. Be mindful of the things you put in it and be mindful of the messages our body regularly sends us. Only you can be responsible for the care of this fragile vessel. Be proactive and take the necessary preventive care measures. Your body will be so grateful to you and your mind will be all the more at peace. Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps to reduce ones stress level and has been known to increase ones overall energy towards life. If you intend on living a long life filled with wonder and exploration you must protect the vehicle that is vital in getting you where you want to go in life. “In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.” Flannery O’Connor

4. Nurture Relationships That Matter 

When it comes to wanting happiness for yourself it’s vital that you surround yourself with positive people who exude happiness themselves. There is no better feeling then the one you get when you cultivate a circle of like-minded, loving individuals that share in life’s special moments beside you. These people are with you during good times and bad. They build you up and share in your accomplishments and significant life experiences. They are honest and dedicated to nurturing the relationship you represent for them. Take care of these relationships as they bring meaning and clarity to your life. Nurture those people who matter to you most. Never take these invaluable people for granted. “The quality of life is the quality of your relationships.” Anthony Robbins

5. Lend a Hand keep-calm-and-help-others-16

It feels so good when you can help your fellow-man/woman. I have often heard it said that when you lend a hand to others you are filled with feelings of joy, appreciation, and inner goodness. Seek opportunities to help others. Not only will you make someone’s day, week, or life, you will bring joy and happiness into your own heart and that’s a beautiful thing. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes

6. Look to the World around You 

Whenever you come to a crossroads in your life look to those around you for strength and inspiration.  Happiness and the courage to change your situation can come when we see others around us who have overcome similar struggles. While no two people are the same we can pull valuable lessons from others stories of courage and perseverance. It is possible to change your course at a moments notice. We see people do it everyday. Why go through life on autopilot when you can take back that control and be the steward of your journey. Transformation occurs when we allow ourselves to be inspired. Listen to others stories of change and allow yourself to see that we too can be transformed when we are open to it. Look to these stories to awaken your inner curiosity and creativity. The possibilities for change and transformation are limitless if you open to uncovering them. I admire people who open themselves up to experience what I like to call an awakening. While once they would consider themselves unhappy and dissatisfied with life, they now have complete control and are happily moving forward on the course they were destined to travel all along. Look to others for inspiration and empowerment. You too can decide to make a change to be happy now. “Change is the end result of all true learning.” Leo Buscaglia

7. Keep Love Alive hands_in_shape_of_heart

A huge part of the journey to achieving true happiness consists of giving and receiving love. To have love in your life requires that you practice having both an open heart and an open mind. Love is an emotion when embraced can really help you to become the person you always knew you were meant to be. Love and happiness easily go hand in hand. Love can lift you up during the darkest times and can motivate you during the best of times. When we feel loved we feel secure in our lives and as a result are empowered to do and be better. Sky’s the limit when you have love in your life. Open your mind to accepting love and watch as your perception of the world shifts. You will be more likely to love and happier because of it. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coelho

8. Give Value to Experiences

I live for experiences! Memorable experiences make me feel alive and they make me feel connected to the people that matter most to me. Happiness is long-lasting when we take time to place value on the experiences we have and share with others. You can get so much more from an intimate dinner with friends or loved ones than you can from a new expensive purse that will probably go out of style in 6 months. When it comes to happiness create opportunities that will having meaning for you. Plan a romantic vacation with your significant other. Send a handmade heartfelt card to someone close to you that needs it. The emotions that emerge during these moments are powerful and everlasting. While the accumulation of possessions can be nice, these things only provide temporary happiness. “Life is about experience…You can’t hold on to everything.” Sarah Addison Allen It’s the experience and the moments you create that you remember the most. Allow yourself to experience these moments fully. A happy memory can be tapped into at anytime and can result in the recharging of your happiness levels. Live for the experience and keeping making memories. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

9. Get Out There! 

Building community is a vital component to achieving inner happiness.  Whether you are part of a religious community or a friendly reading group, being a part of a greater whole can bring joy and purpose to one’s life. Spend time reviewing your passion list and see if any of those interests you identified can connect you with like-minded people. Get out there and build relationships. Joining a group can not only help you to cultivate your interests but it can also aid you in your search for authenticity and true happiness. “Interest and enthusiasm are the wellspring of continually evolving community life: they create bonds which unite us whether we are young or old, nearby or far from each other; they allow human warmth and love to be the formative forces in personal and community life and striving.” Henning Hansmann

10. Know When to Ask for Help helping-hand

When times are tough and you feel stuck seek guidance without fear of judgment. Look to your close friends or family members with whom you can confide in. Listen to your inner voice as it tells you that you need more and that something needs to change. If family or friends just don’t seem to get it, you might come to realize that a coach or therapist is the more suitable person to hear you out. There is no shame in asking for help and there is definitely no shame in loving yourself enough to take charge of your own happiness. Seek out the help of someone who will empower you to see your true potential and inner strength.  Get to know yourself again by identifying those things you love and are passionate about. As your coach challenges you and champions your efforts you will begin to see that happiness, clarity, and a new outlook on life are sure to follow. “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” Deepak Chopra

“Happiness is the highest form of self-respect. A person who allows himself to be happy shows his self-respect.” Maery Rubin

Ambition In The City