The Healing Power of Joy

Exploding eggToday, I invoke the healing power of Joy.

The past few weeks have been challenging on our set.  Shortly after Will’s tragic accident, our executive producer’s wife lost her 16 year battle with cancer.  There are still others struggling with impending or threat of loss in their own families.  We are not experiencing joy.  Sorrow has descended upon us on multiple fronts, standing in sharp contrast to the progress I’ve been making to get my course launched online or to the day to day production of our show.

For me, it is a time to pause and reflect on all the other aspects of life that contribute to a joyful and well-led life – from cleaning house, maintaining the yard and animals, belonging to a community, sharing with family, loving family, traveling, and having fun with friends.  It is a time to center in the silence and open to the “amazing” things that come to me when I do.

Is it coincidence or serendipity when I open the computer on this day of all days and read Abraham’s message:

“We are as dead as it gets, and we are fully aware of this joyous experience.  We are with you every time you allow it.  We are in every singing bird and in every joyous child.  We are part of every delicious pulsing in your environment.  We are not dead, and neither will you ever be!  You will just get up, one day, and get out of the movie.”

The message that comes to me in this moment is to follow the joy and discover its healing power.  Even as we strive to express gratitude for something every day, let us find the joy each day.  For several years, part of my daily routine has been to ask – what can I do today to feel the way I want to feel when I achieve my dreams?  At moments like this, I am aware that I want to feel joy when I achieve my dreams – the joy of accomplishment, of love shared, of inspiration and beauty.  Has it ever occurred to you that when you are in a state of joy, you are in touch with and living your dream?

What if I ask “what can I do today to feel the joy that is all around me?”  Joy is important.  There is value in it. It heals us in the face of sorrow and setbacks.  Today it feels as if it is the ultimate goal of all our life.  Can we discover joy in our own lives and realize what we can do to bring joy and well-being to others? As we make dreams come true, we are bringing joy and well-being of accomplishment, of making a contribution, of making a difference.  We are making it all happen.  As money pours into my life, it is a resource for more than just survival or the acquisition of property and belongings.  It is also for the creation of joy and the good of all concerned.

But can we create joy?  How do we do that?  I believe it starts by allowing yourself to look around and see the joy that surrounds you.  Take an inventory of what brings you joy.  Ask what you can do feel the joy.  Appreciate it and share it with others.  Joy is like a muscle.  The more you exercise a muscle, the stronger it becomes.  Develop the mindset that yields joy.  Practice positive self-talk, affirmations and Afformations – asking why you experience joy.  Embrace the joy.

When you align with joy, in spite of challenging circumstances, you are aligning with the most creative and healing energies in the Universe.  As you develop the mindset, you are magnetizing love and joy.  Resources begin to flow to you that can make a difference in your experience of life and the contribution you make to it.  And I believe you will find your life improving.  Yes, even sorrow lessens as you redefine and begin  living your purpose again.

Here are a few Afformations you might try to help you get into the spirit of finding joy:

Why am I so happy?  Why am I so blessed?  What do I experience joy and well-being?  Why do I find it everywhere from the simple to the sublime?  Why does my life shift to include more joy – and still be comfortable and abundant?  Why do I get to love and say “yes” more?  Why do I find joy in heaven and on earth?  Why do I find it in the angel voices?  Why do I find it in those I love?  Why do I find ways to bring joy to others?  Why are my creative endeavors filled with joy?

Why is this so much fun?

May your life be filled with joy and may you bless others with joy as well.   I know you can do it.

I believe in you,

Susan

 

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FINDING COMFORT IN THE SILENCE

The Home & Family cast and crew came together on set in our beautiful backyard this week to share our loving memories of one of our own, director William (“Will”) O’Hara.  It was a simple tribute to a kind, gentle, caring, fun-loving and talented man.

With the help of a chaplain once on staff for an earlier version of “Home and Family,” and soft music in the background, we lit a candle and shared – a prayer, pictures and memories of this wonderful human being.  We were so blessed to have Will’s father join us via Facetime.   Tears flowed and laughter.  When the time felt right, we said a closing prayer, hugged and comforted one another before drifting out of that space.  What remained was sacred silence.

It is the memory of that silence that is with me today.  It is as if I am on pause, awaiting either a re-dedication to the life I live or a shift. I am in the midst of the mystery, in the moment.

What stands out for me is the sense of community, of home and family, built upon shared experiences, values and goals, the support of “loving mirrors” in those around us, shared beginnings, shared endings.  Breaking bread together.  Crying together.  Laughing together.  Building together.

Of all the things I do or have done, it’s the community here that stands out.  I am so blessed to be part of this home and family.  The work we do touches so many more people in a positive way than I have been able to do on my own.  We are engaged with our audience.  We welcome them.  We play with them.  We are beyond scandals and harsh discourse in the outside world.  We are a safe place, like being home with loved ones.

At its essence, it is this sense of being at the center of life with faith, love, caring and hope that energizes this community.  Family extends into community, centered in space (spirit unspoken).  We experience the broad spectrum of emotions, emphasizing the positive, supporting one another in the face of negatives.  It is day to day life.  It’s not always pretty, often dysfunctional, yet we serve our community, our audience.  We help them live, laugh and learn.  We serve the desire to care for loved ones and bring joy and well-being into our homes.  And in the process, this extends beyond our small space on a large television lot to help others care for, support and bring joy and well-being to their families as well.    When I signed on for this show, I thought it would be just another project.  Nothing provided a hint that it would become such a major expression of my “why” in writing and speaking or that it would help me live my dream.

In the silence, saying goodbye to the young man we called Will in this life, I give thanks for his part in this community.  I am inspired by his example of giving and caring beyond himself.  And I embrace the ongoing expression of his spirit in all our lives.

May you find this spirit of community in your lives too.

I believe in you,

Susan

 

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7 Steps to Make the Most of Your New Year’s Resolutions

img_4913_newCan you believe it?  The year is rapidly drawing to a close.  I’m looking forward to celebrating as we always do, however, before shifting into all the preparations for the festivities, I’ve paused to think about what I really, really want in the coming year.

I started my morning meditations with a list of what turned out to be 25 things I’d like to do this year.  Half of the items were related to what I’d like to build in my business.  The rest fleshed out other areas in life that provide balance.  Twenty five ideas is too large for me to handle as we start the year, so it seemed prudent to divide the list into smaller components.  My business still dominated the list, but it seemed easier to break down the goals into manageable actions over the course of the full year.

That’s what I’d like you to take a few minutes to do today.

  1. Jot down all those great ideas you’ve been telling yourself you’d like to do.  If not this year, when?
  2. Sort them into categories. Some involve your financial well-being, your business if you have or want one, your job and career path.  The others, the ones I suggest provide balance, include your relationships, health, education, recreation, and personal environment.  Please don’t relegate this latter group to the back of your mind.  It’s become clear to me that we do not have to wait to pursue improvement in all the categories in our lives.  It might serve us better if we found a way to build elements of all of them into our current life rather than wait until we achieve our self-proclaimed dreams.
  3. From all these categories, what’s the one that calls to you today? What do you want?  Why?  You may still have to work, but with focus you can achieve your goals.
  4. Why don’t you already have what you just described? Are you willing to do what it takes to get it now?  Then rough out a plan.  What will it look like when you have it?  What has to happen?  Back out of it to where you are now.  Do you need some education?  Do you need materials?  Do you need help?  What could you do tomorrow as the New Year dawns to move toward your goal?  Think of something simple and easy – like researching on the Internet or calling a friend to ask a few questions.
  5. Then, make that small action your New Year’s Resolution – Write it down.  Say it out loud:   I commit to doing this one step by the end of New Year’s Day.
  6. As soon as possible on New Year’s Day, do it. Taking action is powerful.  It breaks the cycle of inertia and sets the New Year off with momentum.  And you won’t have a list of resolutions to break.  You’ll already have a success to celebrate.
  7. Reward yourself and then do it again.  Rinse and repeat.  What small action can you take the next day and the next?

Happy New Year!  I’m off to take a small action of my own to set the New Year in positive motion.   Let me know how you feel when you do it.

I believe in you.

To Your Success,

Susan

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Are You Procrastinating?

In the last week, my inbox has seen a greater concentration of thoughts on procrastination.  I look at it as an indication that it’s time to plan for the New Year.  Although many mentors ask folks to get their New Years Resolutions in place now, rather than wait until the new year has already started, it’s easy to see that people are just not getting around to it.

Why is that?  Why are they procrastinating?

Are we happy with life just as it is?  Or do we know that we’d like to make some changes, but are fearful of what might happen?

Could it be that we sense that we are not aligned with our purpose, so planning would not be optimal?

What do we do to correct such situations?

Perhaps we should hit the pause button for a few minutes or hours and think about the subject.

We teach that everything begins with an idea.  If you want to identify and align with your purpose, you will need to put some thought to it.   You will have to create the thought form that carries your idea into the real world.

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Robert H. Schuller – 1926-2015, Televangelist

What limitless idea could you develop if you had a Living Dream Garden as presented by Dr. Helen Sherry?  Or participated in Michael Hyatt’s 5-Day plan for a great 2017?

What are you looking for?  A thing?  A quality of life? Better relationships?  Wealth? A meaningful career?  Peace for all? Travel to exotic locations?

You can achieve any of these when you manage your mindset.   I know that you have heard these words before – because coaches and mentors all teach that it makes a huge difference.

I also expect that you may have a litany of excuses that come up whenever you try to start something new:  “I’m too old.”  “My health is bad.”  “I don’t have the money.”  The list goes on and on.  But you can use those excuses to find the words and mindset that will empower you to make changes and open up possibilities.

Peggy McColl and Bob Proctor are currently doing workshops on changing your thought paradigms.  Noah St. John focuses on Afformations (positive why questions) and Power Habits designed to transform your thinking and your actions.

Think you have physical challenges that stop you cold?  Pick up a copy of one of Nick Vujicic’s books or take advantage of any opportunity to see him in person.

Have problem children that consume your mental energies?  Nick Vujicic and John Maxwell have joined forces to create the YouthMax Plus program.  It’s a leadership program designed to empower us to become part of the solution.

Do you need regular reminders to inspire you each day?  Try Insights of the Day.

If procrastination is stopping you from achieving your optimal life, perhaps you should give yourself – and all your loved ones, the gift of a new mindset – one that aligns with your (or their) purpose and dreams – so that you can become unstoppable and live a limitless life.

Already have a favorite source of inspiration?  Please share it with us.

You can do it.  I believe in you.

To Your Success,

Susan

 

 

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Are You Contributing to Positive Change?

We would have to be living under a rock not to recognize that we are in very emotional times when people on both sides of the political aisles are highly polarized, angry and willing to even go to violent measures to make their displeasure known.

What is the solution? How do we move beyond such negative emotions in order to find solutions to real problems within our country?

We saw our leaders begin the process when they appeared together and spoke about coming together.  Yet, the news media questioned whether this was just for show.   It was as if there was an internal recognition that we will need more than mere words and photo opportunities to succeed for the good of all concerned.

It’s my opinion that any meaningful healing will have to begin with forgiveness.

Are you willing to forgive those who hurt or harm you?  Are you willing to forgive those who hurt you without conscious awareness of what they are doing or without intent to harm?

Are you willing to ask forgiveness from all those that you have hurt under the very same circumstances?

Your willingness to forgive and humility to ask for forgiveness when you are feeling self-righteous is the key to an ancient Hawaiian practice known as Ho’opono pono.  I had heard of it over the years, however, it was not until I read Dr. Joe Vitale’s book, “Zero Limits,” that I had an inkling of what a profound technique this is. zero-limits-iii

Do you know the name Dr. Joe Vitale?  He is a legendary marketer who became aware of this technique, wrote “Zero Limits” in 2008, and has recently released “Zero Limits III.”  At first glance, this technique is amazingly simple.  Say the words; meditate on the words:  I love you.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.

We often have a great deal of resistance to saying I’m sorry.  As Joe puts it, our first response may be “Why am I saying I’m sorry?  What did I do?

What all of us have done is be unaware of the beliefs and programs we have carried with us from birth.  For centuries, we have carried basic survival programs, probably now in our DNA.  These survival beliefs may not serve us well anymore, but we still carry them, totally unaware of what they bring into our lives.

In success circles, we talk about conditioning – all the beliefs we acquire from birth from our families, religious institutions, schools, communities and the media.  These beliefs impose limitations on us and until we address them, we will continue to be run by old tapes.  In the Ho’opono pono tradition, they clean these old tapes out by forgiving and asking for forgiveness continually.

Does something uncomfortable arrive in your life?  Are you experiencing negative emotions?  Then erase the program that brought it into your experience.  Take 100% responsibility for whatever shows up, forgive and ask to be forgiven.  This is probably a tall order for most of us, yet we can look to examples to see how powerful forgiveness can be.

nelson-mandelaThe most notable is seen in South Africa.  When Nelson Mandela became the leader there, he faced a country formed around notions of apartheid.  He himself had been imprisoned for decades.  And what technique stands out in bringing the country through those hard times?  A national mandate to forgive.  Criminals and enforcers, face to face, forgiving one another.

It may not be practical to meet everyone in face to face forgiveness rituals, however, you can contribute to an overall improvement by practicing forgiveness and Ho’opono pono in your prayers and meditations.  Notice where you have blocked the flow of love and appreciation at home, among family and friends, at work and in your community and say those words:  I love you.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.

You can do it.  You can be an agent helping to heal our wounds.  You can contribute to positive change.  Amazing things can happen.

I love you.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.

I believe in you,

Susan

hoopono-pono

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Can You Survive and Dare Dream Again?

9781452592619_COVER.inddHurricane devastation always brings me back to memories of our own natural disaster.  Those who have followed me for a long time remember that a landslide took our home several years ago.  It changed our lives.  I call it a life-altering moment and document the journey we took to not only survive, but rebuild something even better in my book “Rainbows Over Ruins.”  I am amazed and grateful that people are inspired by my story.

Since writing the book, I’ve become aware that it’s not enough to just survive.  It’s great that my words are a testament to what we were able to accomplish after going through a disaster, but I want to talk about more than that.

First, I speak about rebuilding.  We can get through the physical impacts of disaster.  We can get back our routines, use the opportunity to improve our habits and change our mindset so that we tell ourselves positive stories.  It’s the subject of my podcast series, “Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity”  and “Your Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace.”  I speak and blog anywhere I’m invited to let people know that they have the power to survive and rebuild.

But the message I really want to convey is that once we get to this place, we can dare to dream again.  Once we have revived or awakened a dream, we can use the power of intention to create something even better than what we previously had, something that moves our dreams from idle wishes to reality.

The steps to take are pretty consistent.  It is in the execution that we seem to run into challenges.  So over the past few months, I have been writing a course that converts what I’ve learned on my journey and subsequent training into an explanation of the steps involved with exercises that you can do.  It’s not about me anymore.  It’s all about you.

While putting the final touches on the course, I’ll be on a blog tour once again.  I’ll be more active as a guest blogger at www.coffeytalk.com, as well as setting up posts elsewhere.   A new website is under construction and once all the buttons are working properly, we’ll be ready to take signups for the course.

More than anything, I want you to survive.  I want you to face life’s setbacks, dust yourself off, and dare to dream again.  Keep looking toward your dreams.  It can be done and you can do it.  I believe in you.

To Your Success,

Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What would it take to lift your spirits and make you feel happy?

Back when I was young mom with a toddler at home, Dr. Joyce Brothers was actively writing and appearing on television.  One of her books was among the first I read as I began exploring self-development.  She asked the question – what would you need to feel happy – and going through the exercise that followed literally changed my life.  Dr. Brothers asked:

(1) What 3-5 things would need to happen to find happiness and feel better about your life? She suggested that we eliminate all the little wants on our to-do lists and really focus on the changes that would make a difference – and she wanted us to spend a week thinking about it.

(2) At the end of the week, Brothers asked us to list all the reasons why we don’t have these things.  Again, we were instructed to take a week to think about it.  It takes a bit of brainstorming to think of all the reasons we find obstacles in our paths and I had quite a list by the time I completed this part.

(3) Returning at the end of the week, she asked us to list all the actions we could take to overcome the reasons we listed and suggested we take another week to brainstorm.  By this time, I had several pages of ideas and discovered that some of the same solutions appeared repeatedly.

(4) By the end of this week, Dr. Brothers told us to pick one of the actions on our lists and do it. The way she described it, taking just one action indicates serious intention and sets energy in motion, like a snowball rolling downhill, gathering momentum as it goes. Although I don’t remember exactly which action I chose (it was something very simple, like getting a haircut I think), the reason I chose it was that it had appeared several times as a solution for several problems.

I took that one action and within a year, my entire life had changed…for the better. I’ve used this technique a couple times since when my emotions threatened to overwhelm me and it has always turned things around quickly.  As I grew personally, when choosing which step to take, I chose what would lift my spirit as the best reason to choose a particular action.

There are other techniques that help you identify actions you can take to start the shift from negative feelings that may be swamping you.  If you are challenged by negative emotions, one of the best techniques is to start asking yourself positive, open questions.  Such questions require more than a yes or no answer.  You will have to dig a little deeper.

Here are a few ideas:

If you are upset about a particular incident during the day that has tangled your emotions, ask yourself “what would you prefer” and think about what would need to happen for you to get that preference.

There is value in examining contrasts between something you don’t like and something you do.  Pause to look at the essence of the difference between them.  There is a kernel of desire in the contrast that can point you in a more positive direction.

Brainstorm, using What if… questions.  You can get some great solutions by playing with options.

Afformations ® – positive why questions – kick your reticular activation system into high gear.  The mind has the ability to become a search engine when it has a specific question to answer.  Keep the questions positive and you will receive position solutions to explore.

Change your story.  All of us tell ourselves stories continuously.  However, what we tell ourselves makes a huge difference.  Telling a negative story regularly will interfere with your ability to get to a positive emotional place.  Sit down and write a new biography.  It doesn’t have to be what you are currently experiencing.  You can imagine a better outcome.  You can use creative license to add details that make you feel good.

Celebrate when you take an action toward your positive solutions.

If you use techniques like these, you will begin to cultivate gratitude and appreciation which lead to joy and well-being.   In fact, using these techniques, I’ve found they have become part of my definition of a successful life.

To me, Success is being able to experience joy and appreciation in daily life, to see past outer circumstances and embrace a vision, to celebrate and savor each accomplishment in turn, enjoying the recognition, and then allowing the next desire to emerge as your next adventure. From that positive state of mind, all the outer trappings of success flow — financial stability, resources and freedom, healthy and happy relationships etc.

If you’d like to learn more, I discuss these techniques in greater depth in my book Rainbows Over Ruins and in my podcasts, Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity on iTunes and Stitcher.

I hope these ideas help you start to lift your spirits.  Let me know which ones you try and the results.  Or share other ideas you’d like to share.   You are always welcome to join in the conversation.

To Your Success,

Susan

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