Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Benefits Of Learning To Ask For Help

Published on December 18, 2013 by   ·   1 Comment Pin It
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An Excerpt from Nurturing the Soul of Your Family

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We all need support — lots of it. We weren’t meant to do everything for ourselves. Assess how you currently navigate challenges: Do you immediately isolate, put on your armor, grab your sword, and head out into the forest to slay the dragon alone? Or do you enlist the help and strategic counsel of other knights and soothsayers who have already weathered similar challenges? What is your typical response to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and isolated?

Next, consider all the ways you could ask for the help you need. What do you do now that you could do more often, or what new steps could you take? Regardless of the challenge — whether it involves parenting, your career, or a relationship issue — consider expanding your concept of what it looks and feels like to receive support.

Here are a few ideas on how to ask for and receive help in our everyday lives:

The Benefits Of Learning To Ask For Help

  • Let your boss know you’re overextended at work and you’re concerned this will effect the quality of your work. Specifically, you can ask for help prioritizing tasks, request additional staff support, or tap coworkers for help or ideas on how to streamline processes or tasks.
  • Cultivate an existing friendship, or create a support group that will meet your specific needs.
  • Ask a neighbor, another mom or dad, or a single friend to watch your child when you need help. Don’t feel like you have to reciprocate; just practice receiving. If a friend or neighbor has offered help in the past, don’t be shy about taking them up on it.
  • Reach out to a career, leadership, or business coach for support on making a career change or navigating a challenging phase in your professional life.
  • If you usually handle the cooking, ask your partner to make a meal for the family — and then stay out of the kitchen. Let go!
  • If you have a big house chore to handle, like cleaning out your garage or weeding your yard, create a “work crew” of friends. Reward them with a party afterward, and/or offer to swap house tasks the following weekend.
  • For family or parenting issues, ask for support and ideas from a parenting educator or coach. Often churches or local nonprofits offer this for free. If you’re unsure, ask potential mentors to lunch to get to know them first.
  • If you want more emotional or practical help from your partner, set up a date to talk about this and brainstorm ways you could support each other to bring more flow and ease to your days (sometimes you may simply need emotional support).
  • Get your kids involved. Ask them to help fold the laundry, vacuum a room, help with dinner prep, or water the plants. Kids are never too young to share in household or family responsibilities.
  • Practice saying yes! The next time someone offers you something — to buy you coffee or lunch, to watch your cat, to help you move, and so on — accept the gift, smile, and say thank you!

In our Personal Renewal Groups for women, we designate one entire month for “Building a Support Network.” Because so many of us find it hard to receive without feeling that we have to immediately give in return, the homework challenge is to practice receiving support by “allowing” others to help — picking up the kids, running an errand, mailing a package at the post office, receiving a meal — and not reciprocating.
I believe because we’re so conditioned to do for others and often put ourselves last, women always find this really difficult. Yet at the same time, they share how deeply rewarding it is to help out and support others just for the joy of it — with no expectation of receiving anything in return. In everyday life, there’s nothing wrong with offering to return a favor (“Thanks for watching Scott; I’ll be happy to watch Elijah next week”), and most people do this often, but I challenge you to balance this with learning the art of receiving without feeling that you owe the other person a thing.

The more comfortable we become modeling giving and receiving with ease, the more our children will learn to do this, too. It’s like building up your support muscle — it takes time and practice.

Maddy, a friend who facilitates our self-renewal circles, once told me she found her four-year-old daughter, Ella, creating a circle on the floor with all of her dolls and animals propped up on pillows. Ella said proudly, “Look, Mama, they’re having a Personal Renewal Group meeting to help each other!”

Life balance coach/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau is the author of the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. Thousands of women in ten countries are participating in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.

Excerpted from the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family ©2013 Renée Peterson Trudeau. Published with permission of New World Library
 

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  • Five Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritFive Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritIt’s 1976, and my mom and dad are sitting quietly with their eyes closed, hands resting upward — thumb and index finger touching — while my younger siblings crawl on their backs and shoulders. My older two brothers and I sit nearby, holding our own meditation poses, bored, rolling our eyes and counting the minutes until this ritual will end. At least once a week or whenever things got stressful, my parents would pull all five of their children — ranging in age from ten to one — into our library for a family meditation. As much as I complained, a part of me yearned for this spiritual practice. Spiritual renewal is essential to our emotional well-being. It helps us nurture our essence, feel centered, build inner strength, live in integrity, and trust life. It allows us to experience a connection to a higher power, feel a sense of purpose, and experience meaning in our lives. There are many different ways we explore and nurture our spiritual lives. For some this includes spending time in nature, yoga, prayer and meditation, or musical or artistic expression. Some of the daily practices that provide me spiritual nourishment include: Creating Ritual We all crave sacredness and ritual in our everyday lives — not just around birthdays and weddings. Rituals can be both carefully planned events and casual but regular remembrances such as voicing gratitude before a meal or creating dedicated space in your day for contemplation. When we mark important transitions or milestones in our lives — whether it’s your daughter’s first period or your son starting kindergarten —    we connect to the sacredness of everyday life. We remember that life is mysterious and we’re more than our to-do lists! Cultivating Stillness Stillness, whether experienced through prayer, meditation, or reflection, is our time to be alone and connect to our inner wisdom or our higher power — what I call our internal GPS system. It’s essential for all of us to carve out time for quiet reflection each and every day. One of the biggest gifts I’ve received from a daily meditation practice is the ability to live more comfortably with what is--whether that’s my husband’s recent layoff or a car accident. Life is like the weather in Texas — constantly changing. Meditation has helped anchor me, so that despite this impermanence and turmoil, I’ve learned how to be still and find my center in the face of it all. Practicing Service to Others Mother Teresa says, “The fruit of love is service.” We are all interconnected. The more we reach out and are present to one another’s pain and suffering, the stronger we become and the easier it is to embrace the esoteric idea that we’re all one. I believe huge shifts in consciousness can occur when we reach out and help one another navigate this sometimes scary, often isolating and perplexing, but beautiful world.  Sometime that might look like serving soup at your local homeless shelter and other times, it’s helping out your neighbor who just lost her husband. Living in the Present Many great spiritual teachers believe the answer to everything is to just “be here now,” and that our suffering and emotional distress would end if we simply stopped resisting the present moment. One weekend as I sat on the couch with a full-body cold: a splitting headache, body chills and a nonstop runny nose, I thought about this principle. And, as I watched the things I was missing fly out the window — my friend’s birthday party, my son’s piano recital — I connected to my breath and felt myself arrive in the present moment. I sensed my resistance begin to dissipate and a feeling of peace slowly settled over me. I temporarily suspended my desire for things to be different and I embraced that on the couch, with a cold, was exactly where I was supposed to be. Choosing Happiness Three of my immediate family members died unexpectedly between my twenty-sixth and thirty-fourth birthdays. For years I let those losses dictate how much and how often, I could experience joy. Anytime I started to feel light, free, or happy, the old feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” would creep in. Can you only be happy if things are going your way and all the stars are aligned in your favor? I believe we’re born with the innate capacity to experience emotional well-being and joy; it’s our birthright to feel good. Happiness comes from within; we’re wired for it. We just have to remember to choose this moment to moment. It’s easy to forget who we really are. To lose sight of what really matters. 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If you take your time, the writing itself will be a heart-exercise and a spiritual journey that your soul has been dying to take. Writing it out will get you a lot more present, a lot more emotional and a lot more "on the hook." Goodie! 2) Take Out the Negatives Most clients begin dreaming from a point of what they don't want. This is probably because it's easier for us as humans to understand change from the perspective of what already exists. We can’t help being tethered mentally to the past and the present circumstances, but help it, we must. Writing dreams is a purely creative endeavor, so you must suspend disbelief for a little while so you can design a future based on your ideals, not on "what you expect" or “what you don’t want.” "I no longer hate looking in the mirror."vs."When I walk by the mirror, I think 'WOW' and feel full of pride." "I finally pay down my debt."vs."I enjoy paying my bills on time and I have extra money leftover!" 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You want to force yourself to think about and write what you actually mean, like: "I feel like a million bucks" vs."I am awake and alive." "I look like a supermodel" vs."My body is trim and lean." "He is the absolute love of my life" vs. "I am so grateful for him." Then check for extremes and replace them with something truer, like these: "I'm always present with my kids" vs."I am present with my kids." "I have the perfect schedule" vs."I adore making and sticking to my schedule." "I never scream" vs."peaceful interactions are the norm in my life." 5) Write It in the "NOW" Write your dream only in the present tense language modeled above. As you can probably already tell, this exercise is about getting you to focus on being the person who could fulfill this dream. Writing it in the present tense will have you feel it right now, making it easier to relate to and draw into your life. Sidenote: writing your dreams in the present tense will also force you to face your disbelief and negative voices. It's important to face and transform these too, because if left unattended, they will undermine you from the inside out (very dangerous).  Here is some advice on where to begin tackling your negativity for best results, get a coach. Need help dreaming? At our Design Your Life Weekend, we work closely with clients to revisit their dreams and debunk the bad theories that are standing in the way. By dividing our attention into 18 areas of life, we get our clients to develop a big dream and a brilliant plan for each one. For now, you can practice with just one area. Don’t be afraid to dream big! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Love, Laurie Laurie Gerber is a Co-President and Senior Coach at Handel Group® Life Coaching, a world-renowned coaching company that works with people to design and realize their dreams across all areas of […]
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  1. […] of others along the way. Shining some light on the subject, GirlieGirlArmy recently published,  “The Benefits of Learning to Ask for Help.”  We couldn’t agree more with the tips it offers when it comes to leaning on others. These are […]




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  • Five Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritFive Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritIt’s 1976, and my mom and dad are sitting quietly with their eyes closed, hands resting upward — thumb and index finger touching — while my younger siblings crawl on their backs and shoulders. My older two brothers and I sit nearby, holding our own meditation poses, bored, rolling our eyes and counting the minutes until this ritual will end. At least once a week or whenever things got stressful, my parents would pull all five of their children — ranging in age from ten to one — into our library for a family meditation. As much as I complained, a part of me yearned for this spiritual practice. Spiritual renewal is essential to our emotional well-being. It helps us nurture our essence, feel centered, build inner strength, live in integrity, and trust life. It allows us to experience a connection to a higher power, feel a sense of purpose, and experience meaning in our lives. There are many different ways we explore and nurture our spiritual lives. For some this includes spending time in nature, yoga, prayer and meditation, or musical or artistic expression. Some of the daily practices that provide me spiritual nourishment include: Creating Ritual We all crave sacredness and ritual in our everyday lives — not just around birthdays and weddings. Rituals can be both carefully planned events and casual but regular remembrances such as voicing gratitude before a meal or creating dedicated space in your day for contemplation. When we mark important transitions or milestones in our lives — whether it’s your daughter’s first period or your son starting kindergarten —    we connect to the sacredness of everyday life. We remember that life is mysterious and we’re more than our to-do lists! Cultivating Stillness Stillness, whether experienced through prayer, meditation, or reflection, is our time to be alone and connect to our inner wisdom or our higher power — what I call our internal GPS system. It’s essential for all of us to carve out time for quiet reflection each and every day. One of the biggest gifts I’ve received from a daily meditation practice is the ability to live more comfortably with what is--whether that’s my husband’s recent layoff or a car accident. Life is like the weather in Texas — constantly changing. Meditation has helped anchor me, so that despite this impermanence and turmoil, I’ve learned how to be still and find my center in the face of it all. Practicing Service to Others Mother Teresa says, “The fruit of love is service.” We are all interconnected. The more we reach out and are present to one another’s pain and suffering, the stronger we become and the easier it is to embrace the esoteric idea that we’re all one. I believe huge shifts in consciousness can occur when we reach out and help one another navigate this sometimes scary, often isolating and perplexing, but beautiful world.  Sometime that might look like serving soup at your local homeless shelter and other times, it’s helping out your neighbor who just lost her husband. Living in the Present Many great spiritual teachers believe the answer to everything is to just “be here now,” and that our suffering and emotional distress would end if we simply stopped resisting the present moment. One weekend as I sat on the couch with a full-body cold: a splitting headache, body chills and a nonstop runny nose, I thought about this principle. And, as I watched the things I was missing fly out the window — my friend’s birthday party, my son’s piano recital — I connected to my breath and felt myself arrive in the present moment. I sensed my resistance begin to dissipate and a feeling of peace slowly settled over me. I temporarily suspended my desire for things to be different and I embraced that on the couch, with a cold, was exactly where I was supposed to be. Choosing Happiness Three of my immediate family members died unexpectedly between my twenty-sixth and thirty-fourth birthdays. For years I let those losses dictate how much and how often, I could experience joy. Anytime I started to feel light, free, or happy, the old feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” would creep in. Can you only be happy if things are going your way and all the stars are aligned in your favor? I believe we’re born with the innate capacity to experience emotional well-being and joy; it’s our birthright to feel good. Happiness comes from within; we’re wired for it. We just have to remember to choose this moment to moment. It’s easy to forget who we really are. To lose sight of what really matters. To fall asleep and not remember how interconnected we all are and that we’re fully human and, at the same time, divine. A regular spiritual practice — whether that’s daily prayer or meditation, being in a spiritual community, or singing— serves to anchor us. It grounds us and helps us navigate the challenges we face from just being human. It helps us stay awake. So ultimately, we can begin to let go, trust the rhythm and flow of life and relax into the beauty of our true nature. Life balance coach/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau is the author of the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family.  Thousands of women in ten countries are participating in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. Based on the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family ©2013 Renée Peterson Trudeau.  Published with permission of New World Library Cover image: John William Waterhouse - Sketch for a […]
  • 5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming 5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming My daughter wants to be a fabulously wealthy, world renowned OB-GYN with an amazing husband, two or three kids and plenty of animals. She loves dreaming this dream. She is ten years old. My other daughter, age eight, wants to be an abstract artist or a comedienne, or maybe both. She has similar love and parenting dreams to my eldest. As adults, when do we stop wanting exactly what we want and dreaming big and talking about it freely? Probably some time after the first onslaught of rude awakenings, insults or disappointments. I'm hoping that day never comes for my kids, but I know it came for me, as it happens for most adults. I know it comes for all the people we coach at Handel or they wouldn't be coming back to us to re-ignite and plan their dreams. Fact is, in our culture, as you "grow up," you are almost supposed to let your dreams die. You are supposed to get "realistic." Luckily, at my coaching company, The Handel Group, we are ushering in a new culture, one in which dreaming for your life not only feels good, but uplifts humanity by improving the consciousness in which we all swim. The world needs dreamers! So, in the spirit of wild, life-altering dreaming, I am going to share the tips we've learned from years of coaching countless people to dream again. 1) Write It Down The act of writing down your dreams is the first step to making them happen. Writing is a powerful way to think, plan and cause change in your life. If you write your dreams in the way we suggest, reading them will evoke a visceral response. Getting yourself into the "feeling state" of your desires is key to your ability to manifest them. Writing helps you consciously craft. You have to face it all when you write it down and you will easily see what fits and doesn't, what feels great to read and what doesn't. If you take your time, the writing itself will be a heart-exercise and a spiritual journey that your soul has been dying to take. Writing it out will get you a lot more present, a lot more emotional and a lot more "on the hook." Goodie! 2) Take Out the Negatives Most clients begin dreaming from a point of what they don't want. This is probably because it's easier for us as humans to understand change from the perspective of what already exists. We can’t help being tethered mentally to the past and the present circumstances, but help it, we must. Writing dreams is a purely creative endeavor, so you must suspend disbelief for a little while so you can design a future based on your ideals, not on "what you expect" or “what you don’t want.” "I no longer hate looking in the mirror."vs."When I walk by the mirror, I think 'WOW' and feel full of pride." "I finally pay down my debt."vs."I enjoy paying my bills on time and I have extra money leftover!" "I stop picking jerks."vs."I am in love with my soulmate." 3) Take Out the Hidden Jabs and Sarcasm Your real, true, heartfelt dream has no room for jabs at others or yourself. Most people unintentionally weave in these little buggers which end up zapping the power right out of their dreams. Read through your dream, and if you feel your good vibrations dip at a certain line, you may have snuck in sarcasm or a jab. "My mom and I can finally be in the same room."vs."My mom and I treasure our time together." "I make zillions of dollars." vs."I am compensated abundantly for my work and my feelings of value start with me." 4) Make It Real Most of us will go from one extreme to the other; when we aren't jabbing, we're going to "pie in the sky." Your dream has to be believable, real and uniquely you. Remove any clichés, because they distance you from the feeling of your dream by being "fluff." 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Sidenote: writing your dreams in the present tense will also force you to face your disbelief and negative voices. It's important to face and transform these too, because if left unattended, they will undermine you from the inside out (very dangerous).  Here is some advice on where to begin tackling your negativity for best results, get a coach. Need help dreaming? At our Design Your Life Weekend, we work closely with clients to revisit their dreams and debunk the bad theories that are standing in the way. By dividing our attention into 18 areas of life, we get our clients to develop a big dream and a brilliant plan for each one. For now, you can practice with just one area. Don’t be afraid to dream big! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Love, Laurie Laurie Gerber is a Co-President and Senior Coach at Handel Group® Life Coaching, a world-renowned coaching company that works with people to design and realize their dreams across all areas of […]
  • The Heavy Lifting of EnlightenmentThe Heavy Lifting of EnlightenmentWhen the world seems to have gone mad (50% of our country actually thinks Trump is a good idea) how do we process the exhausting emotions that come along with knowing and feeling deeply the chaos and sadness of the world? Ask a yogi, that's how. We went to our guru-friend Anna Ferguson for a conversation on how hard it can be to know and feel too much. What are sensitive souls to do in a time of sensory assault? The weight of the world…it’s hard not to feel it. Even on a bright sunny day it can feel like a thick fog.  There are times when I wake up in the morning, prepare myself a meal, enjoy time in nature, go to the studio to teach, hold my son close to me, or go to bed at night that I think…someone is being murdered right now, someone is being raped right now, someone is being verbally or physically abused right now, someone is starving right now, someone is unable to find a job to support themselves right now, someone is getting their child taken away from them right now, someone doesn’t have a bed to sleep in or a roof over their head right now…and it goes on and on and on. When I sit and meditate with my son Noah or a group of people, I feel so fortunate.  I am able to do this every day if I so choose. I don’t take these blessings for granted.  I ask myself, what am I able to do to end all this suffering, oppression, and violence.  Stay content? I don’t think so.  I mean, yes, I must take time for self-care and practices that allow me to maintain inner peace, but remain content with “the way things are.” Nope. I will be divinely discontent until this world is filled with kindness, gentleness, empathy, and compassion for all beings and the earth. I will do all I am able to liberate others…those with two legs, four legs, hooves, fins, skin, scales, fur, and feathers. I will stand strong in my values that challenge the normalcy of society, even if it means others feel uncomfortable by it. The easy thing to do is to give in or give up…the small and large-scale pressures are great and the petty arguments and disputes that often cause a breakdown of living one’s values even greater. But if I give in, what kind of life am I living? Not an authentic one. Each moment of each day, I strive to live my core values of love, mutual respect, kindness, empathy, and compassion for myself and all others. When I do this, I am connected to my authentic self, my true nature.  This is a movement anyone may join…a movement to truly live one’s values. It is an evolution not a revolution, a personal transformation not a renaissance...a call to action to utilize three tools available within each individual at all times: intuition + empathy + compassion for all life = peace. I take action within to be of better service to the world, practicing mindfulness to more deeply connect with my natural ability to intuit, empathize, and show compassion.  May we all choose to be part of this evolution and work together both within and without to end all forms of violence, domination, bigotry, selfishness, greed, and discrimination bringing complete freedom, prosperity, and happiness to all. For all of these different forms of oppression to finally end, it is only going to happen because of this evolutionary movement. The weight of the world is heavy, and I am able to get through each day knowing that I am doing something to make it lighter, until one day, all of us are truly living our core values and we celebrate world peace. Anna Ferguson is the co-founder of World Peace Yoga, a style of yoga that inspires manifesting the most exquisite and authentic version of one’s self through developing intuition, empathy, and compassion.  Anna is the director of the World Peace Yoga Personal Spiritual Growth and Yoga Teacher Training programs in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the author of the upcoming World Peace Yoga book, a beautifully arranged and brilliantly photographed yoga book for people who breathe to be released in early […]

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    • Five Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritFive Ways to Nourish and Renew Your SpiritIt’s 1976, and my mom and dad are sitting quietly with their eyes closed, hands resting upward — thumb and index finger touching — while my younger siblings crawl on their backs and shoulders. My older two brothers and I sit nearby, holding our own meditation poses, bored, rolling our eyes and counting the minutes until this ritual will end. At least once a week or whenever things got stressful, my parents would pull all five of their children — ranging in age from ten to one — into our library for a family meditation. As much as I complained, a part of me yearned for this spiritual practice. Spiritual renewal is essential to our emotional well-being. It helps us nurture our essence, feel centered, build inner strength, live in integrity, and trust life. It allows us to experience a connection to a higher power, feel a sense of purpose, and experience meaning in our lives. There are many different ways we explore and nurture our spiritual lives. For some this includes spending time in nature, yoga, prayer and meditation, or musical or artistic expression. Some of the daily practices that provide me spiritual nourishment include: Creating Ritual We all crave sacredness and ritual in our everyday lives — not just around birthdays and weddings. Rituals can be both carefully planned events and casual but regular remembrances such as voicing gratitude before a meal or creating dedicated space in your day for contemplation. When we mark important transitions or milestones in our lives — whether it’s your daughter’s first period or your son starting kindergarten —    we connect to the sacredness of everyday life. We remember that life is mysterious and we’re more than our to-do lists! Cultivating Stillness Stillness, whether experienced through prayer, meditation, or reflection, is our time to be alone and connect to our inner wisdom or our higher power — what I call our internal GPS system. It’s essential for all of us to carve out time for quiet reflection each and every day. One of the biggest gifts I’ve received from a daily meditation practice is the ability to live more comfortably with what is--whether that’s my husband’s recent layoff or a car accident. Life is like the weather in Texas — constantly changing. Meditation has helped anchor me, so that despite this impermanence and turmoil, I’ve learned how to be still and find my center in the face of it all. Practicing Service to Others Mother Teresa says, “The fruit of love is service.” We are all interconnected. The more we reach out and are present to one another’s pain and suffering, the stronger we become and the easier it is to embrace the esoteric idea that we’re all one. I believe huge shifts in consciousness can occur when we reach out and help one another navigate this sometimes scary, often isolating and perplexing, but beautiful world.  Sometime that might look like serving soup at your local homeless shelter and other times, it’s helping out your neighbor who just lost her husband. Living in the Present Many great spiritual teachers believe the answer to everything is to just “be here now,” and that our suffering and emotional distress would end if we simply stopped resisting the present moment. One weekend as I sat on the couch with a full-body cold: a splitting headache, body chills and a nonstop runny nose, I thought about this principle. And, as I watched the things I was missing fly out the window — my friend’s birthday party, my son’s piano recital — I connected to my breath and felt myself arrive in the present moment. I sensed my resistance begin to dissipate and a feeling of peace slowly settled over me. I temporarily suspended my desire for things to be different and I embraced that on the couch, with a cold, was exactly where I was supposed to be. Choosing Happiness Three of my immediate family members died unexpectedly between my twenty-sixth and thirty-fourth birthdays. For years I let those losses dictate how much and how often, I could experience joy. Anytime I started to feel light, free, or happy, the old feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” would creep in. Can you only be happy if things are going your way and all the stars are aligned in your favor? I believe we’re born with the innate capacity to experience emotional well-being and joy; it’s our birthright to feel good. Happiness comes from within; we’re wired for it. We just have to remember to choose this moment to moment. It’s easy to forget who we really are. To lose sight of what really matters. To fall asleep and not remember how interconnected we all are and that we’re fully human and, at the same time, divine. A regular spiritual practice — whether that’s daily prayer or meditation, being in a spiritual community, or singing— serves to anchor us. It grounds us and helps us navigate the challenges we face from just being human. It helps us stay awake. So ultimately, we can begin to let go, trust the rhythm and flow of life and relax into the beauty of our true nature. Life balance coach/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau is the author of the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family.  Thousands of women in ten countries are participating in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. Based on the new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family ©2013 Renée Peterson Trudeau.  Published with permission of New World Library Cover image: John William Waterhouse - Sketch for a […]
    • 5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming 5 Rules for Life-Altering Dreaming My daughter wants to be a fabulously wealthy, world renowned OB-GYN with an amazing husband, two or three kids and plenty of animals. She loves dreaming this dream. She is ten years old. My other daughter, age eight, wants to be an abstract artist or a comedienne, or maybe both. She has similar love and parenting dreams to my eldest. As adults, when do we stop wanting exactly what we want and dreaming big and talking about it freely? Probably some time after the first onslaught of rude awakenings, insults or disappointments. I'm hoping that day never comes for my kids, but I know it came for me, as it happens for most adults. I know it comes for all the people we coach at Handel or they wouldn't be coming back to us to re-ignite and plan their dreams. Fact is, in our culture, as you "grow up," you are almost supposed to let your dreams die. You are supposed to get "realistic." Luckily, at my coaching company, The Handel Group, we are ushering in a new culture, one in which dreaming for your life not only feels good, but uplifts humanity by improving the consciousness in which we all swim. The world needs dreamers! So, in the spirit of wild, life-altering dreaming, I am going to share the tips we've learned from years of coaching countless people to dream again. 1) Write It Down The act of writing down your dreams is the first step to making them happen. Writing is a powerful way to think, plan and cause change in your life. If you write your dreams in the way we suggest, reading them will evoke a visceral response. Getting yourself into the "feeling state" of your desires is key to your ability to manifest them. Writing helps you consciously craft. You have to face it all when you write it down and you will easily see what fits and doesn't, what feels great to read and what doesn't. If you take your time, the writing itself will be a heart-exercise and a spiritual journey that your soul has been dying to take. Writing it out will get you a lot more present, a lot more emotional and a lot more "on the hook." Goodie! 2) Take Out the Negatives Most clients begin dreaming from a point of what they don't want. This is probably because it's easier for us as humans to understand change from the perspective of what already exists. We can’t help being tethered mentally to the past and the present circumstances, but help it, we must. Writing dreams is a purely creative endeavor, so you must suspend disbelief for a little while so you can design a future based on your ideals, not on "what you expect" or “what you don’t want.” "I no longer hate looking in the mirror."vs."When I walk by the mirror, I think 'WOW' and feel full of pride." "I finally pay down my debt."vs."I enjoy paying my bills on time and I have extra money leftover!" "I stop picking jerks."vs."I am in love with my soulmate." 3) Take Out the Hidden Jabs and Sarcasm Your real, true, heartfelt dream has no room for jabs at others or yourself. Most people unintentionally weave in these little buggers which end up zapping the power right out of their dreams. Read through your dream, and if you feel your good vibrations dip at a certain line, you may have snuck in sarcasm or a jab. "My mom and I can finally be in the same room."vs."My mom and I treasure our time together." "I make zillions of dollars." vs."I am compensated abundantly for my work and my feelings of value start with me." 4) Make It Real Most of us will go from one extreme to the other; when we aren't jabbing, we're going to "pie in the sky." Your dream has to be believable, real and uniquely you. Remove any clichés, because they distance you from the feeling of your dream by being "fluff." You want to force yourself to think about and write what you actually mean, like: "I feel like a million bucks" vs."I am awake and alive." "I look like a supermodel" vs."My body is trim and lean." "He is the absolute love of my life" vs. "I am so grateful for him." Then check for extremes and replace them with something truer, like these: "I'm always present with my kids" vs."I am present with my kids." "I have the perfect schedule" vs."I adore making and sticking to my schedule." "I never scream" vs."peaceful interactions are the norm in my life." 5) Write It in the "NOW" Write your dream only in the present tense language modeled above. As you can probably already tell, this exercise is about getting you to focus on being the person who could fulfill this dream. Writing it in the present tense will have you feel it right now, making it easier to relate to and draw into your life. Sidenote: writing your dreams in the present tense will also force you to face your disbelief and negative voices. It's important to face and transform these too, because if left unattended, they will undermine you from the inside out (very dangerous).  Here is some advice on where to begin tackling your negativity for best results, get a coach. Need help dreaming? At our Design Your Life Weekend, we work closely with clients to revisit their dreams and debunk the bad theories that are standing in the way. By dividing our attention into 18 areas of life, we get our clients to develop a big dream and a brilliant plan for each one. For now, you can practice with just one area. Don’t be afraid to dream big! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Love, Laurie Laurie Gerber is a Co-President and Senior Coach at Handel Group® Life Coaching, a world-renowned coaching company that works with people to design and realize their dreams across all areas of […]
    • The Heavy Lifting of EnlightenmentThe Heavy Lifting of EnlightenmentWhen the world seems to have gone mad (50% of our country actually thinks Trump is a good idea) how do we process the exhausting emotions that come along with knowing and feeling deeply the chaos and sadness of the world? Ask a yogi, that's how. We went to our guru-friend Anna Ferguson for a conversation on how hard it can be to know and feel too much. What are sensitive souls to do in a time of sensory assault? The weight of the world…it’s hard not to feel it. Even on a bright sunny day it can feel like a thick fog.  There are times when I wake up in the morning, prepare myself a meal, enjoy time in nature, go to the studio to teach, hold my son close to me, or go to bed at night that I think…someone is being murdered right now, someone is being raped right now, someone is being verbally or physically abused right now, someone is starving right now, someone is unable to find a job to support themselves right now, someone is getting their child taken away from them right now, someone doesn’t have a bed to sleep in or a roof over their head right now…and it goes on and on and on. When I sit and meditate with my son Noah or a group of people, I feel so fortunate.  I am able to do this every day if I so choose. I don’t take these blessings for granted.  I ask myself, what am I able to do to end all this suffering, oppression, and violence.  Stay content? I don’t think so.  I mean, yes, I must take time for self-care and practices that allow me to maintain inner peace, but remain content with “the way things are.” Nope. I will be divinely discontent until this world is filled with kindness, gentleness, empathy, and compassion for all beings and the earth. I will do all I am able to liberate others…those with two legs, four legs, hooves, fins, skin, scales, fur, and feathers. I will stand strong in my values that challenge the normalcy of society, even if it means others feel uncomfortable by it. The easy thing to do is to give in or give up…the small and large-scale pressures are great and the petty arguments and disputes that often cause a breakdown of living one’s values even greater. But if I give in, what kind of life am I living? Not an authentic one. Each moment of each day, I strive to live my core values of love, mutual respect, kindness, empathy, and compassion for myself and all others. When I do this, I am connected to my authentic self, my true nature.  This is a movement anyone may join…a movement to truly live one’s values. It is an evolution not a revolution, a personal transformation not a renaissance...a call to action to utilize three tools available within each individual at all times: intuition + empathy + compassion for all life = peace. I take action within to be of better service to the world, practicing mindfulness to more deeply connect with my natural ability to intuit, empathize, and show compassion.  May we all choose to be part of this evolution and work together both within and without to end all forms of violence, domination, bigotry, selfishness, greed, and discrimination bringing complete freedom, prosperity, and happiness to all. For all of these different forms of oppression to finally end, it is only going to happen because of this evolutionary movement. The weight of the world is heavy, and I am able to get through each day knowing that I am doing something to make it lighter, until one day, all of us are truly living our core values and we celebrate world peace. Anna Ferguson is the co-founder of World Peace Yoga, a style of yoga that inspires manifesting the most exquisite and authentic version of one’s self through developing intuition, empathy, and compassion.  Anna is the director of the World Peace Yoga Personal Spiritual Growth and Yoga Teacher Training programs in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the author of the upcoming World Peace Yoga book, a beautifully arranged and brilliantly photographed yoga book for people who breathe to be released in early […]