Happy Year!!!

happyroadIt’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged, but I have been quite busy writing, researching and becoming a certified Life Coach.  In just a couple of weeks I will launch Life Coaching Matters, which is about re-empowering those who have survived.

That feeling of being filled with power means a great deal to most of us…it may come to mean even more to those whom have felt it’s loss. To those that have lived to know what it’s like to be a “survivor”, it can mean so many things.  Surviving opens your eyes in ways that you might not have known otherwise.  As a survivor you often see life, your work, your relationships, much differently after you’ve survived.  You’re so glad to be here, that your mind is exploding with thoughts, and you’re looking for that dynamic, life affirming way to re-stabilize and re-empower yourselves.  That’s what Life and Career Coaching is about.  My role as a Cancer Survivor and Life Coach is to help those of us that have survived, become that empowered self.

This year has been such an amazing, fulfilling experience, filled with positivity and happiness.   Research shows that happiness actually raises every business and educational outcome for the brain.  It pays to be happy.  As Cancer Survivors, we know what it’s like to be in those places that most people worry about being in, or if they have been there, they know how difficult it is; it can be a challenge to be happy.  Statistically however, that while it’s difficult, it behooves us all to look at things positively.  If you don’t know this already, it’s worth thinking about a bit.

Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage spent 12 years researching at Harvard, and is now CEO of Good Think, Inc.  What he’s learned is incredible. He realized that training your brain to be positive at work is like training your muscles at the gym; the key is to make it a habit.  Of course many of us are born more positive than others, but it’s great to know that this is something we can learn, especially when things aren’t going so well.  You can create “life habits”.  In The Happiness Advantage he suggests several things to begin that training:

  • Write down three new things we’re grateful for each day
  • Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience we’ve had over the last 24 hours;
  • Meditate for two minutes, focusing on our breath going in and out, and also;
  • Provide social support in our community and at the office.

These things are easy enough and apparently bring tremendous life altering results.

Martha Beck, a therapist, a well-known Life Coach, and a best selling author, most recently wrote Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want; she was asked to put together a list of the 20 most important questions we should be asking ourselves.  She said she found this task to be overwhelming and instead choose to “pass the buck”, and ask her followers for the questions.

She then went through all the questions that came back to her, and created the list of 20 out of those questions asked and answered those. Many of the questions she received back were very much about Happiness. Below area couple of those questions and answers:

Is this what I want to be doing? 

A: This very moment is, always is, the only moment in which you can make changes.  Knowing which changes are best for you comes always, from assessing what you feel.  Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing.  If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer.  Thus begins the resolution.

Are your thoughts hurting or healing?

A: Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness.  Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering.  Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness.  Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.

There have been several times in my personal life that I’ve had the choice to live on the darkside or see the brightside, it was a choice.  We’ve all been there at times in our lives.  In a very short time I look forward to embarking on being able to coach those that have lived long enough to know what it’s like to be a “survivor”.  Once you’ve survived cancer or have survived a different life-threatening situation, you change.  Researchers have found that people who regularly write down things for which they are grateful in “gratitude journals” have increased satisfaction in life, higher energy levels, and improved health.  In one study, people who read a letter of appreciation to someone in their lives were measurably happier still almost one month later.  Performing acts of kindness or altruism, boosts moods. Twitter chat participants stressed the importance of smiling and laughing, pointing to movements like “laughter yoga” around the world. Data shows that our relationships matter too. People that engage in meaningful conversations with friends or family, report being happier than those who don’t. Close interpersonal ties and strong social support are crucial for happiness.

My strong feeling is that so much of what this research describes is Life Coaching.  People who are feeling good but want to feel better, or people who are going through a change and want to find that next place that will make them happier would achieve so much benefit by being in a trusting coaching partnership.  It’s enormously beneficial to have a coach who is chock full of emotional intelligence, as well as skill, in addition to feeling that they’re happy to be alive.

Are you Happy? Could you be Happier?  Happiness=Health…Health=Happiness.

Visit me at LifeCoaching-Matters.com. Look forward to meeting you.