powerful practices

Who's in Control this Year?

Clients always talk about control "issues". Mostly other peoples :)

We all have control issues, so let's get over it :) The important part is knowing what yours are and how to use them to your advantage. It's also really great to know what they are so you can own them instead of having others be annoyed by them and calling you out for them.

I call myself out all the time on my control issues -  I'm including you today! Confession - I love a neat house! Why? Because

It makes me feel in control

 it gives me a sense of peace and

it allows me to focus.

How can I not appreciate this control issue when it serves me so well? 

Here was the office mess from last year that I needed to deal with this week before I started the new year and could think clearly ~

Because I am in control of my paperwork and my agenda for the year to come, I put this mess to bed in less than 2 hours. I have a new system for the year to keep my mess in control and I love the feeling of starting fresh.

What I realize more than ever this year is that my joy and creative energy are tied to my actions, the way I organize my days and how I set my agenda. I am ready for the year to come! I'll leave you with this quote I received serendipitously at a retreat late last year. I'm pretty sure I'm embodying this now. 

What are your control issues? How aware are you of them? Ask a trusted friend for some feedback on this one and just listen. Take it all in and just consider what they might see that you don't. Feel free to share one with me in the comments here. I won't feel alone in my confession :)

What are you doing for yourself this year to become more aware of your habits, of what holds you back, of your control issues? Do you feel in control of your agenda, your life and the stuff you are responsible for? I'd love to have you be a part of my online program to  Live Your Inner Power - understand what your control issues are and really get in the driver's seat of your life. You can learn more here. We launch in just a couple weeks! 

Acceptance = Peace by Kelly McCoy

michael-suit-1A few months ago, I came across an article about Actor Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future, Family Ties, Spin City). In it, he talked about his family, his new television series and his challenges with Parkinson's disease. His story was funny, scary and inspiring. I walked away unable to stop thinking about one of his comments. When asked what he has learned from his disease, he said that he has recognized that his happiness increases in direct proportion to his acceptance and his happiness decreases in direct proportion to his expectations. Read those two sentences a few times and let them sink in. Happiness decreases in direct proportion to expectation.

Happiness increases in direct proportion to acceptance.

I found these thoughts about acceptance, expectation and happiness fascinating and started trying them on for size in my own life. Does this mean anything to me? Is that how it works in my life? As I examined my responses to life I found that when I expect something and it doesn't happen, there is disappointment or stress or anxiety. When I accept whatever comes along, whether it meets my expectation or not, I feel calmer, less stressed, more...at peace.

Michael's magazine revelation seems so simple, yet so profound. It has become a private litmus test for me in many situations. When I expect a client to like a draft of an ad, a letter or a brochure that I've created, their reaction holds power over me. If they don't like it, I often feel defensive, insecure, even guilty, that I was unable to give them what they wanted. Yet, when I enter the same meeting consciously, knowing why I have made the creative choices I have and leave myself open - and accepting - of whatever their reaction is, I feel less stress. If they aren't happy with what they see or read, I am open to the comments and ask questions about how we can better meet their requirements. If they love what they see, all the better.

I am continuously reminding myself that it's not all up to me. Every human interaction is just that, a relationship, a collaboration. I should not EXPECT to have it all right all the time in the eyes of another. I can ACCEPT that things are not always what I EXPECT them to be. This makes everything okay. We're all just doing what we think is best at the time. Perhaps there's another way to look at the situation or challenge and reach a peaceful solution in which both parties reach acceptance - and feel good about - the outcome.

peace-1

This is wrapped up in the concept of not taking things personally. It's not all about me. However, for those of us who were raised to BE RESPONSIBLE, this can be a challenge. When I enter into a situation with my husband, one of my children, or a client, I feel responsible for the outcome. That feeling has been cultivated in me since my childhood and it's not easy to release. However, when I consider the honest intent of what my mother and father insisted on from the time I can remember, it was "be responsible for yourself." They never told me to be responsible for another person's happiness, reactions or feelings. They taught me to be kind, to finish my homework, to clean up my room. In hindsight, I understand that these simple things were designed to keep my own life moving forward in a positive way.

When I really consider the intent...they were saying, "Always do your personal best so that you can be comfortable in any situation." The key is to be comfortable with yourself, not to be right in the eyes of anyone else. If you are comfortable inside your own skin, then it is much easier to ACCEPT whatever comes your way. If you know you have done everything you can...open, let go, accept. This lack of tension and anxiety is a magical thing.

peaceThe only place that I differ with Michael is in the word "happiness." In examining his words of wisdom, I prefer to insert the word "peace." I am more peaceful when I accept what comes along and less peaceful when I expect anything. I find that to be less qualitative than "happiness," which I've been somehow trained to think is a good thing. Peace, for me, is simply a state of being in which you experience less conflict and less struggle. Peace is possible when acceptance happens and expectation ceases. What a powerful thought and lovely way to be.

So, in the future, perhaps I can sit with Michael J. Fox to tell him how much his words impacted me and to debate semantics on this. I will never expect this to happen, however if the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely accept.

Be well and revel in the peace you can create for yourself each moment of the day.

The Vibration of Gratitude - Laurel's Monday Message 12-24-12

Do you need more ideas and encouragement to activate the powerful vibration of gratitude in your life?  Do you want to rapidly change the quality of your life? Are you not yet convinced of the power of this incredible emotion? The key is feeling gratitude. Not simply stating or writing things you are thankful for, but stimulating the sensation of gratitude. This is a powerful shift for reorganizing your life in the ways you deeply desire. The vibration of gratitude is expansive, high and inviting. On an energetic level it sends a message - more of this please! And so it will be! In today's message, my friend and colleague, Coco Krissey shares her innovative gratitude journal using her iPad. But you don't need an iPad for gratitude journaling - just a commitment to experience how daily gratitude journaling enhances the quality of your life. It is a fabulous way of stimulating the vibration of gratitude - the secret to the actualization of your dreams as well as feeling good every day!

If you need more video fuel to start that gratitude journal, here is a link to a snappy delivery by Marie Forleo about how gratitude can change your life.