Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Basics of a happy life: pt 3

Life is moving pretty quickly these days. Sometimes it feels like its hard to keep up. The hours in the day fly by and before too long the week is gone and then the month is over. Do you feel this quickness in your life?

With time moving so quickly, it becomes very important to be clear about our priorities and what we choose to accomplish. It's so easy to lose our way in all the bits and pieces, the flotsam and jetsam of our lives and never really get to what is important.

I've known people who quietly live lives filled with joy and deep pleasure no matter what life throws at them. There are also some rather well known people who appear to live this way also. Some that I might mention are Will Smith, Actor; Eli Wiesel, holocaust survivor and author; Mohandas Gandhi, Indian Leader; Mother Theresa, and many more as well as unknown and unsung heroes and heroines. You may know some. They may live next door to you or perhaps they are members of a club you belong to.

Wherever you run into them, there is one thing that shines from the moment you meet them. They are Authentic. They know who they are and they live their lives from this space. In fact, one could almost say that they create the space they live in. And they are UNFORGETTABLE.

I have experienced a smile while walking down the street that was so genuine and authentic that it stayed with me for years. I have met people casually who brighten up the space they are in, their smiles and laughter infectious. These are people who are authentic in that moment.

Authenticity isn't a gift that someone hands out, and a few people get it but most of us don't. Being authentic isn't about doing what is expected of us and being good people.

Being authentic is about reconnecting, in each moment of our days, with that inner child we once were, and living through the eyes of the child, so to speak.

If you are blessed with a 3 year old in your life, spend an afternoon at the park or the zoo or anywhere that's unusual. Sit with your 3 year old in the grass or by the beach or in the forest and join in with 3 year old discoveries. Become that 3 year old within yourself and really begin to see the world as if you were seeing it for the first time. Listen to the questions the child asks, and ask more of those kinds of questions yourself. Don't try to answer the questions, but ask more of your own. Get out of your adult mind and into your child mind. See an insect again for the first time. Be amazed by the colors in the sunset. Feel the breeze in your hair again for the first time.

Children only know how to live authentically, in the moment. And this is the Gift they bring to the adults around them, a reminder of what it is like to be fresh and new in a fascinating world filled with possibilities. This is their gift to you. And so often it is wasted and discarded because we are too busy being Grown Ups.

So if you can, take some time in the next few weeks and spend it with your favorite 3 year old. Get down into your own 3ness and enjoy seeing the world for the first time once again.

I would love to hear from you and share these experiences with you. If you feel inclined to share, please email me at

Have a great and wonderful time rediscovering your authentic self, and the whorl again for the first time.

Blessings and Peace,


PS: You can get a complimentary 20 minute consultation by emailing me at sharon Just note that you are interested in the consultation and I'll get right back with you.

PPS: Feel free to continue this conversation. Email me your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to sharing with you personally.

Basics of a happy life: pt 2

I hope life is going well and your attitude is positive and upbeat. Are you looking forward to what's coming with enthusiasm and joy? Are you excited about possibilities? If you have areas of your life that are uncomfortable or where you feel stuck and unhappy with yourself, taking an honest look at those stuck places can be very helpful.

Today I want to focus on part 2 of the basics of a happy life: Awareness. According to Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, "the unexamined life is not worth living". This is what awareness is all about - Self-Reflection. It takes a brave person to really look at her life and evaluate it for improvements.

When we are living our life every day and getting through the day the best we can, we often don't know where those areas are that are not functioning properly. We tend to avoid going into the pain.

*We talk around the situation, focusing on ideas or behaviors that are misleading, that misdirect us away from what the real issue is. This is known as a Red Herring, and we all have plenty of these. Trying to locate and eliminate these can be a difficult process by ourselves, because we are invested in maintaining the status quo.

*We project the cause for our situation onto other people or circumstances. This is the blame game. We say it really isn't our fault, we are not responsible for the way "it" is. The blame for how we got to this place is *my mother didn't love me*, or *my father left me (abandonment)*, or *I was raped or beaten or suffered other physical abuse*, or *my teachers were mean to me* or *I was bullied when I was in school*, or any number of other life experiences we may have had that had an impact on us.

*We distract ourselves from our feelings in any number of ways. One of the most powerful distractions in our lives today is the television. We invest our resources in bigger and more powerful pieces of equipment, and spend our leisure time in front of the big screen. We put televisions in every room of our house so we don't have to miss anything if we bathe or potty or cook. We also distract ourselves with behaviors such as smoking, overeating, chewing our nails, or any other myriad activities we can't do without. These behaviors and activities relieve our feelings of anxiety, insecurity and fear.

But are we stuck with these behaviors? So many of them are subconscious and we just do them.

For example, if you are a smoker or have ever smoked, you know how unconscious the habit can be if you allow it. A smoker just finds themselves reaching for a cigarette and smoking often without any awareness of what they are doing. An overeater finds the refrigerator calling at inappropriate times and they may find themselves standing there trying to find something to make them feel better.

Perhaps you play the blame game. You may find yourself talking again and again about a situation in your past that is responsible for so much of your problems today. It might go like this:

"When I was a kid, I'd try to talk to my mom about stuff but she was always so angry that I just learned to keep it to myself. That's why I don't like anger and get uncomfortable when people are angry or upset, even for good reasons. And I never share my deep inner thoughts. So I can't get close to people, even though I want to. I just can't trust them." (The Blame Game)

Or it might be this way:

"I know I should quit smoking and I'd like to, but whenever I try I just can't get past the first few days. It seems like all I can think about is smoking and everyone says I get real crabby. Besides, if I quit smoking, I'll just start eating a lot. I've seem my friends get real fat after quitting cigarettes." (Distraction and Avoidance)

Or you might hear:

"You know, I'd really like to have a wonderful relationship but I find that when I start getting close to someone, I feel like I'm being smothered. It's like they want to own me and want me to be a certain way, rather than leaving me the room to be myself." (The Red Herring)

In the example of the Red Herring, the issue of personal boundaries and being authentic is projected onto the other person, who can't win.

So how does one become aware of these kinds of internal activities? And how can we avoid these pitfalls to a successful life?

First, we become aware; we give ourselves the Gift of Personal Responsibility. When we are ready to be aware and take responsibility, we free ourselves to become truly who we are.

Second, when we are aware of our choices and we own those choices, we are in a position to change them. If we don't empower ourselves with self knowledge, we can't make the changes necessary to create the life we all want for ourselves.

Third, the more shackles of unconscious living we break free of, the more we come into our own power. The more powerful we are in ourselves, the less our need to control and manipulate others.

And finally, I want to add that when we take full responsibility for our lives in each moment of each day, we begin to live powerfully in the Present Moment, rather than the past or the future. And this is where we were meant to live, in this Powerful Now!

Blessings and Peace,


PS: Just a reminder… you can get a complimentary 20 minute consultation by emailing me at sharon Just note that you are interested in the consultation and I'll get right back with you.

PPS: Feel free to continue this conversation. Email me your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to sharing with you personally.

Basics of a Happy Life: pt 1

I hope this day finds you happy and living life fully. It's so difficult these days to stay positive and live in that happy place. I was thinking about this the other day and 3 areas of focus popped into my head (well, more than 3 actually, but thee 3 were at the center of my thoughts):

*Attitude or Perceptions
*Awareness of our Perceptions
*Authentic Perceptions

I wanted to share these thoughts with you, and I hope that you will share your thoughts with me. If you are so inclined, please send me an email to

I was sitting and thinking the other day about what it means to live a good life. I know the specifics are going to be different for each person, but there are some basics that are necessary. So I asked myself if I could boil these basics down to the most fundamental aspects, what would they be?

Firstly is Attitude and Perception! The attitude you take when you look at your life, when you think about your life experiences, is extremely important. If your attitude is negative and full of "why me's", then your perception are going to follow along and see problems and bad stuff wherever you go and whatever you're doing.

We've all known somebody who has a wonderful opportunity to take a cruise, go on a fabulous vacation, spend the holidays skiing… And when he or she comes back, all he has experienced is negative. Instead of eating delicious food they focus on the price, the calories, the fats. Instead of gorgeous scenery, they talk about how cold (or hot) it was and that it was so uncomfortable and didn't feel like they had the right clothes. And everything was so expensive. And the hotel rooms were not all that. And so on…

These people had the same opportunity to experience a great time as the person who returns raving about all the aspects of the journey.

So what makes the difference in the experience from one of I'd do that again, to one of I'd never go on that ship again? Attitude and Perception.

Your attitude and the way you perceive the world is a choice. And a choice gives us the option of shifting our perceptions and attitudes.

Let me tell you a story about a woman that I used to know. She loved birds, the big ones that talk. She had several at home, but when she came into some money, she decided that she was going to become a bird breeder. She made contact with a woman who had many baby birds and she chose about 6 or 8 that she would take. At first, she couldn't say enough good things about this woman and she spent many days playing with the birds she had chosen. But soon I noticed a change in her attitude. The woman wasn't on the up and up. She had agreed to keep the birds until they were more grown up and my friend had moved, but now she wanted her to pay the balance on the birds and take them home. Then she wanted to charge her to keep the birds at her shop. She became more and more angry and spiteful about this woman.

Now here's what was really happening. This woman was a business woman and she had a number of birds taking up space in her shop that were ready to go home. Other birds needed the space and she needed full payment for all the birds which she hadn't received. What she finally did was figure up what had been paid, released a couple of birds to her that had been covered by the cost and set about selling the rest.

My friend was incensed that she had taken the big, more expensive birds away from her and she was angry at being told she had to get the other birds out of the shop. This woman had gone from being a wonderful new friend to an enemy that was trying to rip her off in a matter of a few weeks.

My friend had a perception of life experiences and an internal belief system that was very destructive to her life and well being. Based on an internal dialogue that she had about how everyone else was in some manner trying to take something from her, every situation and opportunity that came up in her life was filtered through this expectation.

So what are the expectations and beliefs you have in your life?

*Are they affirming to your experiences?
*Do you find yourself feeling more joy when you share your experiences with others?
*Are you excited by what life has to offer you?


*Do you find yourself finding fault with yourself and others?
*Do you blame others for any problems or difficulties that are in your life?
*Are you overcome by feelings of failure and defeat when you consider the possibilities of tomorrow?

Yes! Attitudes and unconscious beliefs sway the way you understand your life and your life experiences. They control the possibilities that you allow into your life. For many of us, these attitudes and beliefs were received from our parents, teachers and other adults we looked up to. They are based in our early childhood experiences filtered through our 2 or 3 or 4 year old eyes. And while there are many wonderful attitudes and awarenesses that a child brings into our life, making adult decisions about how to live our lives shouldn't be one of them.

Blessings and Peace,


PS: Just a reminder… you can get a complimentary 20 minute consultation by emailing me at sharon Just note that you are interested in the consultation and I'll get right back with you.

Quit Smoking in 6 Months: part 3

Having set your intention to stop smoking or change another habit, and setting up your affirmations, writing them out and saying them daily, it’s time to take the final step.

Step 3: Action

When you have set your intention, and written your daily affirmations, the final step is to take action by visualizing your life to be the way you want it. Be very specific. Imagine yourself going through your daily activities as you choose to be, not shackled to your habit.
Visualize your life as you want it to be. Believe in yourself and  imagine yourself free, living comfortably and effortlessly with your changes. Imagine how it feels, smells, tastes. Bring all your senses and creativity into this part of the process.

Have an eye to eye discussion with yourself every morning in the bathroom mirror. It might go something like this:

“Good morning, (your name). It’s going to be a great day today. I’m so grateful for the
opportunities that today will bring, opportunities to get closer to my goals, especially my
goal of being free. I’m so blessed that you, my subconscious, is helping me and working
with me to achieve my goals. Thank you. I love you.”

Say whatever feels right to you, just remember to keep it positive, upbeat, and throw in some humor, gratitude and love.
You might want to make up a little jingle to some tune you already know, like happy birthday, and sing it as you go through your day. How about a little chant such as “I live my life free to choose” that you can say over and over rhythmically. As above, stay positive and upbeat.
If you are artistic by nature, do some art projects around the changes – make a collage, or paint a picture of yourself free of the habit, or any other art project you enjoy.

You might invent a new drink or salad that tastes wonderful.

Have fun with this part and engage all your senses.

Remember, HAVE FUN! Laugh with yourself! Enjoy your success!

When you have succeeded in achieving one of your daily intentions easily and effortlessly, celebrate! Tell people about your accomplishment and do something fun.

The more you enjoy the process, laugh with yourself as you look in the mirror, share the humorous situations that come up with family and friends, the easier and quicker the changes will come about.

How Long Does This Take?

How long each step takes depends entirely on you, your willingness to visualize and work with your affirmations, and to do the mirror exercises.

The more creative and imaginative you are, the less time it will take to get your desired change into the subconscious.
If you follow this process YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

By changing your thoughts on a deep level, you can affect every aspect of your life and make deep changes.  The secret is to be creative, imaginative, have fun and follow through. And if you find you need some help, contact someone you trust to help you through the process.

For additional information and to learn more about me and what I have to offer, visit my websites at:

You can email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Quit Smoking In 6 Months: part 2

When I decided that I had smoked long enough and it was time to quit, I set my long-term intention (see the first article in the series) as well as daily short-term goals.

If you have been using tobacco products for some time, you know how hard it is to quit. You throw away your cigarettes or other tobacco product, and start out determined to change your life. Not too far into the process, you find the desire to indulge increasing. You tell yourself, “no, I’m not going to smoke”. You try hard to keep your will power strong, but usually, in the end, you give in. It’s just too challenging and the rewards too nebulous for your will power to be successful.

I want to congratulate you for quitting for however short a time you were successful! And you were successful! Even if only for an hour, or for a day or even years. When you succumbed and picked the habit back up, it’s not because you failed. You picked it up again because you were trying to get your needs met. The trick here is to change the response to certain triggers in your environment or your mind that bring you back to smoking (or any other habit).

Following is the process I used to quit smoking. You can use this process for just about any habit you want to change, or any change you want to bring into your life. My long-term intention was to be smoke free.

Step 1: Set your intention.

The first thing I did was focus on all the things about smoking I didn’t like. I was tired of spending so much money on something that was smelly, dirty and unhealthy; I didn’t like smelling like an ashtray; my health was beginning to suffer; I was short of breath; and it was getting more expensive every day. Writing these down and getting really focused on what I didn’t want helped me shift into what I did want.
Connecting to what I did want and setting the timeframe to accomplish it was the next step. I firmly put in mind the results I wanted to achieve and set my intention to be tobacco free within 6 months.

Next I set daily goals. I took it in small steps.  I wrote down daily my intentions and goals in the form of affirmation and repeated them throughout the day.

There is something about putting pen to paper and getting our thoughts and feelings out that works deep down in our subconscious. It almost seems, at times, that the act of working things through in writing allows us to reprogram our subconscious, especially if we are doing it over and over. So, to set an intention, write out what the overall goal is you want to achieve, then look at how you can accomplish this goal on a daily basis.

Step 2: Affirm your intention at least twice a day.

I decided that there were three basic things I would do every day to make myself more conscious of smoking. First, I wouldn’t smoke in my car. Second, I wouldn’t smoke in my house. And third, whenever I thought I wanted a cigarette, I would put it off for at least 10 minutes, then half an hour, then an hour, and so on, while getting involved in something I enjoyed. Whenever we shift our focus of attention, our mind has to follow along. It can’t focus on more than one or two things at a time. By shifting from smoking to something I liked, I was able to put off smoking eventually for long periods of time. I just forgot to have that cigarette 10 minutes later.

As I became more consciously aware of my habit, I quit the automatic lighting up. The more clear I became about my goals, the longer I was able to go without smoking.

Every morning, I wrote out my affirmations and set my intentions for the day. I said them aloud several times to allow my mind to hear and see them.  I used as many of my senses as I could. Soon I was comfortable not smoking in my car or my house.  And there were times it was just too inconvenient to get up and go outside.

I had reminders on my fridge, bathroom mirror, the dashboard of my car. A reminder might be one of your intentions, or the final goal. Mine was, “I am smoke free.

Look for Part 3 of the series, How To Quit Smoking In Six Months.
Copyright 2010