I just returned from the gym where I had two remarkably different conversations. Which one would enhance your joy?

Story One:

As we cycled side by side, my friend Gary brought tears to my eyes as he spoke of  how blessed we are to:

  • Live in, and be surrounded¬†by, the beauty of Marin County, California
  • To¬†have a community of like-hearted men and women connected through the Pachamama Alliance. www.pachamama.org
  • That we “get to” help produce symposiums in support of making the planet a kinder, more sustainable, more equitable home for all beings. www.awakeningthedreamer.org
  • That we are privileged to¬†have known a treasure of a woman named Sarah who is near death, having been diagnosed only 2 months ago. Gary was on his way to say goodby.
  • Enjoy good health… he at 70, I at 63

Story Two:

The second encounter was with a woman who works out religiously, is in super shape, and recently ran a half marathon. I like this woman I’ll call Barbara. She appears to have many blessings: a husband,¬†healthy children, and a¬†summer home abroad.

“What’s with this weather?”, she groaned in response to my asking how she is doing. (normally we are enjoying summer-like weather in October. This morning brought gray skies and a light drizzle). I was struck by the contrast of the two encounters. I asked myself:

  • How do I¬†respond to¬†that question?
  • Doesn’t “joining” with the complaint bring us both down?
  • How had she forgotten all her blessings in that moment?
  • How might her experience be different if she:¬†noticed and stopped the complaint; scanned her life for something positive; gave voice to what’s working?
  • What have I complained about recently?

Years ago, my mentor, who¬†is a paragon¬†of positivity,¬†¬†referred to¬†someone¬†as a¬†“human complaint”. I inferred that it was indirectly meant for me, too. There I was in the presence of a remarkably inspiring woman, in the comfort of her cozy home overlooking the¬†ocean, and¬†I¬†was¬†whining about the¬†weather!

I am deeply grateful for what¬†Candice taught me about how to be joyful, no matter what! She was influential in my deciding to enhance my coaching and psychotherapy practices by specializing in “Positive Psychology” and the research from¬† the “Science of Happiness”.¬† Click here to request information on coaching, psychotherapy and women’ s retreats.

Here’s a simple, effective¬† practice she taught me for shifting out of negativity:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Call up the image of a person or pet you love.
  • Feel the love in your heart. Accentuate it.
  • Hold for 60 seconds or more.

I hope you count your blessings today, especially if you are feeling cranky, as we all do now and then!

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