International womens day: Why Radical happiness is the key to real change

International womens day: Why Radical happiness is the key to real change

It’s International Women’s Day and the them for 2021 is #choosetochallenge

What does that mean and why does it matter to you as a change maker? 

No doubt there will be something in this this will have you fired up…and also perhaps feeling frustrated at the slow rate of our progress.  

It may be that you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and found yourself entangled in some them & us chats. MEN just don’t understand. WOMEN just don’t listen. If only THEY did this, things would be different.

 

 

If you’re looking for someone to agree that one group of people is to blame for the ‘state of our world’ today then it may be better to look away now.  You’re not going to find that here. Instead, I’m going to be exploring how we ALL play a role in perpetuating and creating systems that don’t support us. And crucially what the solution is. And it’s an obvious but not popular one.

 

Choose to Challenge is an open invitation to get curious.

Radical Happiness  is an open invitation to get curious too…about ourselves and others.

And creating sustainable change that positively impacts us all involves slowing down to speed up….and getting curious.

When we REALLY understand and apply Radical Happiness, it tranforms our life immediately giving us the battery power to take the action we need and want to take to evolve the systems around us.  And given most of our batteries are running low right now as a result of being locked down for a year, it’s fair to say that any talk of happiness can be met with resistance and also why it’s more important than ever.

 

What is Radical Happiness?

First of all, what do I mean by Radical?  Simply it’s no bullshit, no excuses, full on ownership.  If you want to be happy, BE it, don’t just say you want it and continue to believe the stories that prevent you stepping into the AMAZING natural born creator you are.

And what’s Happiness?  A misunderstood term that has a gazillion interpretations. 

Hedonic happiness is the feel good feels of excitement and joy and love and all things fuzzy and warm.

Eudaimonic happiness is knowing you’re connected to something meaningful, that your life has purpose.  It’s fair to say that there are many things we can do in our life that fulfil us but don’t feel fuzzy and warm.  – Caring for someone when they’re sick.        – Every moment of your work day when you LOVE what you isn’t filled with joy

The list goes on!

Johann Hari sums up what we intuitively have known for millenia in his book Lost Connections where he describes the 9 causes of depression:

1. Disconnection from meaningful work (not contributing in a way we feel matters)

2. Disconnection from other people (being emotionally and/or physically isolated)

3. Disconnection from meaningful values (not being tapped into what REALLY matters to us, living into other people’s expectations)

4. Disconnection from childhood trauma (not healing)

5. Disconnection from status and respect (not feeling valued)

6. Disconnection from the natural world 

7. Disconnection from hope of a secure future 

8. Brain changes (Hebbs Law…neurons that fire together, wire together. What we focus on becomes our reality)

9. Genetics (potentials within us can be activiated by our environment)

And the SOLUTION to mental dis-ease is the flip of this: connection.

And THAT is what Radical Happiness is all about… keeping our batteries charged,  helping us connect to what matters and take action.

 

Radical Happiness has 3 ingredients:  Radical Acceptance + Radical Compassion + Radical Responsibility

Acceptance of your circumstances.

Acceptance of yourself 

Acceptance that you are so mcuh more than what you think you are, you are infinite and awesome JUST for being you.  You are connected to and with all that was and and life is brain boggling and bonkersly brilliant.

Acceptance of other people and that they, like you are infinite and amazing beings too.

And acceptance that acceptance isn’t condoning, it’s simply stepping into our power because ALL our power is in this moment…not yesterday or tomorrow, or 2 minutes from now. It’s NOW. Accept THIS  moment and love and leverage the arse off it.

Radical Compassion…because everything I’ve just said above can feel a bit much to take in.

Accepting ourselves fully and completely is TOUGH. So be gentle. Have compassion for yourself.

Who you feel like you are now and the circumstances you’re living in are simply the compound effect of all the things you’ve taken on board as true about yourself and the world around you.  Bad things may have happened along your way and you’ve not created space to heal perhaps because life kept on happening and you haven’t had a chance to breathe. Or maybe it’s because on some level you started beleiving you weren’t good enough…you didn’t matter enough to love yourself.

Compassion is about getting curious about what’s behind the mask. 

It’s changing the question from, what’s wrong with me? to ‘what happened to me?’ for me to show up in this way.

And asking this of other people too.

Rather than stay in resistance and frustration, accept what is and get curious….what happened for them to act like this?

Resistance is an energy drainer.

Love is an energiser. 

Love more.

Radical Responsibility is an invitation to accept what is and step into YOUR power. It’s a reminder to stop blaming other people and things outside of us for our choices.  It’s an invitiation to look within and trust ourselves.

And see that our collective strength  comes through our diversity.

Not one of us has a full, all encompassing view of the world. It’s impossible. Which is why it’s soooo blooming important to get curious and listen to other people and actually VALUE their perspective.  It may jar with your own, but without it, you are perpetuating a them and us mentality.

And remember Radical Acceptance?  We’re ALL connected. So that annoying person…you’re connected to them. We’re part of the same source energy…just rocking this life in different physical forms.

We are one.  And sometimes it’s a LOT easier to choose to think otherwise…that THEY are the problem.

The only problem with that is, that THEY think that YOU are the problem.

And so the downward spiral continues.

 

 

 

So if you want to Choose to Challenge this downward spiral, now is a great time.

Accept that ALL of power is in THIS moment.

Get your compassionate pants on.

Get curious.

Actively seek out differences in opinion to strengthen your own.

Take responsbility for all your actions and non actions.

Change is created through the compound effect of teeny tiny actions.

It may seem like progress is slow but it IS happening…we ‘just’ need to keep our batteries charged and stay alive and curious to life and the diversity that makes us so strong.

 

The power of now

We spend so much of our time and energy living in the past or the future when these places exist only in our minds.

The ONLY place we have power is this moment.

Right now.

 

 

10 benefits of hiring a life coach

A life coach will help you get clear on what you really want, helping you let go of what you’ve felt until now you ‘should’ want.

A life coach will shine a light on what’s working, your strengths and helping you see yourself and your circumstances in a new light.

A life coach will help you identify your hiccup areas, help you to anticipate them and discover strategies to overcome them so you rock your results!

Your life coach will support you to take action where you have previously procrastinated. 

A life coach will hold the space for you so you tap into and trust your their inner wisdom.

Through working with a life coach you’ll reconnect with your mojo and feel more connected with yourself and others.

A life coach can help you let go of thinking that doesn’t support you so you finally believe you are good enough.

Life coaching gives you your power back so you no longer believe you live in the effect of other peoples actions and start creating the life and work you actually want.

Working with a life coach will help you have more successful conversations with your family, friends, colleagues, prospective employers & clients.

Life coaching offers you the gift of loving your life and work again

Pretty cool, right?

If you’re curious to experience the benefits of coaching then reach out to some coaches who you resonate with and have a chat.  If that’s me, get in touch and book a call.

 

We all get cloudy thinking

We all get cloudy thinking

We all get cloudy thinking sometimes.

We all get off track.

And sometimes we’ve never stopped to think what we REALLY want or how we’ll know when we’ve got that.

The power of a pause is enormous and that’s what coaching offers you. The space to reflect and get clear again, and start making good shift happen in your life & work.

The power of having a supportive partner is priceless too…someone who has your back, believes in you and is there simply to help you blow that grey cloud away and show up and shine.

The foundations of resilience

The foundations of resilience

Resilience.

It’s topical just now and oh so misunderstood (in my humble opinion)

I’ve been party to several discussions around how we raise people’s confidence and resilience, like this is achievable by flying in and delivering workshops and other such ‘interventions’.

Yet the irony is no one can GIVE someone else confidence nor resilience…however much we may want to. We can only be the guiding light as someone explores and discovers it for themselves.

It’s an energy and awareness thing.

First of all we need to understand what resilience is, because without that common understanding we’ve no way of measuring if it is or is not improving.

Resilience is inextricably linked with confidence and both are context dependent.

Resilience = ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties’

Confidence = ‘the feeling when or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’

So is resilience simply having confidence in ourselves that things will be ok?

Because I’ve worked with a lot of people who keep going & going throughout difficult times and may appear resilient, yet they are quietly crumbling.

So how do we know that someone has genuinely recovered or bounced back from an adversity?

Consider the different aspects in your life. Which do you feel confident and resilient in and which feel a bit wobbly? None of us are 100% amazing in every area of our lives….yet aspects of our lives overlap.

You may think what’s happening in your personal life is irrelevant to your professional. It’s not, YOU are the common factor.

Resilience is too important to fall into the trap of ticking boxes and hiring in coaches and facilitators to deliver one off workshops on the subject.

Yes these are great, and it’s a start but it’s not enough.

You cannot TEACH resilience, you must understand yourself, accept yourself and be ok with not being ok.

In other words it’s something you become.

It’s a coming home to the true nature of you…a well being.

And that involves being surrounded by the energy of acceptance, openness and curiosity.

It’s riding the storms with someone at your side not to stop you from falling but to be with you as you figure out how to get back up.

Have you created a culture personally & professionally where failing is encouraged? That trying is better than not? Where time to reflect and learn is expected?

Because THAT is the foundation of resilience ❤️

 

What do you when Loving Kindness Meditation isn’t your bag

What do you when Loving Kindness Meditation isn’t your bag

Loving Kindness meditations are one of my favourite guided meditations BUT it’s not for everyone. There are many roads to Rome and while meditations have there place it’s counterproductive (combined with a healthy does of silly) to think that is only ONE way of achieving inner peace and acceptance.  Channel Goldilocks and explore until the penny drops and you’ve found something that works for you.

 

In the last decade the fascinating research field of positive emotion has exploded with studies showing that people who experience warmer, more upbeat emotions tend to live longer and healthier lives. In her book Love 2.0, Fredrickson (2013) argues that the highest positive emotion is love. The presence or absence of love influences everything we feel, do, think and become.

 

The “three loving connections” is an exercise that aims to cultivate the emotion of love by seeking out three meaningful interactions each day and reflecting on them each night. Preliminary findings suggest that actually recording these experiences triggers positive physiological effects in the body. In a pilot study, Kok (2012) suggested that taking one minute each day to record how ‘close’ and ‘in tune’ you feel when interacting with others can produce improved heart function and a boost in day-to-day positive emotions. Moreover, seeking positive micro moments may boost positive psychological well-being, which has been found to be positively correlated to health and to survival in both healthy and diseased populations (Chida & Steptoe, 2008; Howell, Kern, & Lyubomirsky, 2007).

 

The goal of this exercise is to increase the experience of love by seeking out three meaningful interactions each day and to reflect on them each night.

As with everything, try it and trust yourself. Trying something new is a dance with steps tempting you back to the familiar embrace of your comfort zone and others enticing you forwards towards new land. All dances take practice and some you’ll love while others will never be your thing.  Give it a good shot before making that call.

Step 1: Connect
Each day, look for three opportunities to interact and connect with others, for instance a relative, friend, colleague, or complete stranger. Each interaction can be with the same person or with three different people.

  • Approach this potential interaction with warmth, respect and good will
  • Make an effort to stay present and listen with an open heart
  • Offer your eye contact and (when appropriate) your touch
  • Share your own light-hearted thoughts and feelings

Step 2: Reflection 

Each night call to mind your three interactions. Rate each of the following statements on a scale of 1 (not true at all) to 7 (very true):

  • During these interactions, I felt “in tune” with the person/s around me.
  • During these interactions, I felt close to the person/s around me.

A low rating on both questions suggests that you did not really connect to the other person during the interaction. If so, you may reflect on the following questions:

  • Why did I feel not so connected to the other person?
  • What can I possibly do next time to enhance my connection with the other person?

 

Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Any questions or observations drop your comments below and I’ll get back to you.