How to be Happy

post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

smile

Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they’re exactly the same.

I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness”  as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.

To be happy, I needed to…

…accept and be proud of who I am.

This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression…and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.

…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.

If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.

I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I’m on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I’m contributing to my own happiness. 

…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.

Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it’s easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won’t find it following trends or chasing myths.

I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I’ve learned to move on until I discover what’s right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn’t feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.

Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.

…take the time to better understand others.

Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.

If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.

…overcome fear and make it a priority.

I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.

I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn’t much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one. 

…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.

There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.

We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.

In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.

As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

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How to Move On From Resentment

Resentment

Image Credit: Nikko

Resentment is an internal pressure. It’s easy to forget that as you direct your emotions towards the cause of this bitter feeling.

I think back to moments in my life, where I’ve resented people and situations in my past and often enough, my own difficulties moving forward stemmed from an internal battle.

When you resent, your emotions clash with rationality. You find yourself in a state of bitterness because your identity has become compromised. Things like putting your life on hold for another and repeatedly leaving your vulnerabilities exposed, can cause you to repeat negative behavioral patterns that go against what you truly desire from life. As you begin to find it difficult to break through negative emotions, resentment makes you act in ways that truly aren’t in your nature.

The way to move on from resentment lies within your will to change.

When you’re steered away from your own pursuits and desires in life, your identity becomes confused. From my own experiences, resentment tends to arise when this realization occurs.

Rather than face and process the internal battle, you’ll often find it’s easier to cope by emotionally projecting your issues onto others and/or certain situations, like getting angry.

Remember, this is your life and if you’re facing any resentment, it’s up to you to take charge and direct change. Although it may ease the pressure by getting angry and attempting to have others feel your dismay, take it as an indication that your identity has risen to the surface and that you’re ready to take back control over your life.

This is a crucial time to be pro-active, rise above the cause and reconnect with who you truly are.

Take this awakening to re-establish your self-worth. Your feeling this because you’ve discovered that there is something better for you to find. Be it a better life, partner, career, lifestyle…whatever the circumstance, a little shift in perspective can turn resentment into a motivational trigger.

Whatever the case maybe, if you are facing resentment, take time away from the cause and thrust yourself towards things that make you feel like you. Connect with your passions, engage in activities that motivate you, do something that you want to do (I personally enjoy a short trip away). As you engage in blissful activities that spark your spirit, you’ll begin to take back control over your life piece by piece, until your identity is fully restored and you’re prepared to move on from resentment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Reduce Anxiety and Ease the Pressure of Making Choices

Connecting two worlds

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in a shallow sea just as the sun is about to set and the tide about to rise. Although I may feel content and happy where I am, I’m merely moments away from a bad situation and if I don’t do something soon, I’ll be stuck here wishing I had made the choice to move sooner.

When we feel content and safe in a situation, it’s easy to overlook our pursuit for fulfillment. We begin to struggle with the choices we need to and/or want to make, that progress our lives towards betterment and actualization. This complacency feeds anxiety.

The longer we do hold onto a comfortable situation, the closer we become to losing sight of who we truly are and what we truly want. We can lose sight of our aspirations and motivations, as our complacent ways consume and become our identity.

Our true desires eventually catch up to us, for complacency can only repress our inner intentions for so long. There’s no running away from who we truly are and what we truly want from life, as it only takes a tiny spark of inspiration to reignite our true identities. And when we are reminded of who we actually are and what we actually want from life, we’re confronted with many choices that cause anxiety.

I’m working with several clients that are realizing this burden of complacency in life and are now facing a great deal of anxiety, because they’re facing the “pressures of freedom of choice.”

A wise connection of mine known as ‘Dilly Dave, recently published a video on anxiety and he describes it very well. He talks about how we need to take action in order to limit worry and overcome “the dizziness, of freedom of choice.” I think it’s a compelling video that sums up anxiety and worry brilliantly, check it out below:

To ease this pressure, I want to share something we all already know but easily forget, it’s the importance of engaging in trial and error.

I came to this re-realization when I began delving into both spiritual and scientific practices that help people reduce anxiety. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge impact on my life since adopting yoga and meditation, but what really intrigued me was how these practices actually developed.

Breakthroughs and discoveries in both Science and Spirituality are the result of trial and error, and I hadn’t noticed this primary link that connected the two together. Both, on the same mission towards solving problems and seeking answers, only progressed and discovered results because of regular trial and error.

Ironically, anxiety causes complications as we’re overrun by choices, yet a proven method towards solving problems and seeking answers, thrives on the many choices we’re presented with. Therefore it’s very important to understand that making the wrong choice shouldn’t really be the thing we should concern our lives with, failing to try is what we  really should be focusing on.

Motivation is triggered by thoughts that access our potential. If our thoughts are focused on making the wrong choice, then we’re only feeding an anxious spirit. However, if we mindfully focus our thoughts towards the outcome of not trying, we begin to awaken a motivated spirit.

There’s a wonderful bliss that one can experience when engaged in seeking answers. We can enter an active flow state and steady our minds just by engaging in life’s most simple and most effective learning tools. To sum up, we can begin to reduce anxiety by embracing the pleasure of discovery.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

10 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself and Into a Positive Mind-Set

Brush it off

Whenever you’re having a bad day or just need to clear your thoughts, try adopting some of the following principles to uplift your spirit, so that you can continue to deal with whatever life decides to throw your way.

#1 Liberation

Be honest and confess your heart out. We all have secrets that weigh us down, things that we continue to push back into the deep, dark corners of our minds. These repressions only add insult to an already difficult time in life, free yourself from the burden of locking up this stress and liberate yourself today. There’s an emotional freedom and strength you develop when you unlock both your heart and your mind.

#2 Withdrawal

There are certain things in life that occur outside the bounds of your control. You can either let this negative impact consume your spirit or, do what I prefer to do: plaster on a smile and say (aloud) “Fu*k it!” It’s my way of remaining in the present, not fearing what the past has to torment me, nor what the future has waiting for me (#fuckcancer).

#3 Bliss

Take a drive, book a weekend away, go out…do something for yourself that allows you to comfortably express yourself. Always take time for moments of bliss, to feel comfortable in your own skin; free to just be yourself. Personally, I book a trip away every quarter just to break away from the insanity that we refer to as the “real” world.

#4 Serenity

Go on a communications hiatus. Turn off the phone, close the laptop and pick up a book or engage in an activity that gives you time to relax and recover. Take time out to listen to your thoughts and be at peace with time. You can become so reliant on staying connected, that you can end up losing touch with yourself.

#5 Gratitude

Remind yourself of everything in your life that you’re thankful for and show appreciation towards it/them. Whether you’re grateful for the roof over your head or the people in your life, spend time protecting and showing appreciation to your most cherished assets. Oh, and don’t forget about your health; look after your mind and body.

#6 Community

Nothing eases the pressures of life than supporting others that could benefit from your help. Humbling, freeing and incredibly rewarding, helping others can really snap you out of negative thought processes. It can remind you that you’re worth something to someone, even if you believe the world and everyone in it is against you.

#7 Amnesty

Forgive. Forget. Move on. Let go of grudges; let go of the energy it takes to hate someone. Holding onto hate will only prevent you from moving forward. Understand that time gives you the opportunity to heal, but you must let go if you want to facilitate this process. Trust me, I held on to hate as if it were the life that ran through my veins, and it led my identity astray.

Also, fess up and seek redemption if you need to. We’re all human, we’re all learning, we’re all connected and we feel the same emotions. Make your mistakes but own up to them, if you let them fester and do nothing, they’ll develop into regrets you’ll later live with.

#8 Confidence

Say yes more! Just do it, if you’re hesitant then that’s your indication that there’s a part of you that wants to experience and explore your curiosity – this is life! However, if you’re completely certain and very confident that you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it, listen to your intuition and your gut instincts.

#9 Passion

Indulge in your hobbies and unleash your inner expert. Do things that make you feel proud of yourself; do things that make you feel accomplished. Explore those things that interest you, especially if others do not understand why. Your hobbies and your passions make you unique and they’ll keep your identity intact. Never lose sight of who you are.

#10 Mindfulness

Often associated to meditation, but I’ve learned that mindfulness is just about being completely present without judgment. I liken it to the freedom you experience behind closed doors. Tap into your creative spirit, express yourself and feel good! Get yourself into a flow state and reclaim your life; sing, dance, paint, write…you have endless ways to be mindful in your very own, individual way.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Protecting the Pride: Understanding How Advice Works

Lion

Only when the Lion has evaluated and reflected, will the path he must take become highlighted. Although he may be uncertain, the lessons he carries with him will uphold his identity and keep him protected. Only once he has discovered all that lurks beyond this point, can he invite his pride along to join him.

Our emotions guide the direction of our lives, but recently I have found myself at a crossroad feeling completely numb. When I feel my emotions slipping away I write, because it freely allows me to be completely honest, forcing me to confront any inner or outer conflict.

Although meditation, exercise and being surrounded by passionate and positive people helps, I feel more like me and more free when I write. If I can’t rely on emotion to guide me at this present time, then I need to process what I’m thinking and face my thoughts.

A few opportunities have risen in my life and I feel I’m being pulled in several different directions. I feel that I’ve come to a cross-junction of opportunities and I’m unsure which one will guide me closer to where I want to be in life. Unfortunately, the longer I linger here the less I feel and I fear this numbness will lead me astray, triggering complacency and forcing me to venture down the safest and most predictable route.

Living life having found a reason to actually live is a life worth living. There’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of: it’s that there’s no breaking away from passion. Once we’ve found that thing that fulfills our every particle, it consumes us and we get lost in development as we become more of the person we’re supposed to be. We become so sure of ourselves that in this self-assurance we forget that our journey always has a new beginning; that life and progress is never limited to just one route.

Before I used to just write The Lion’s Life, now I’m becoming it. I find myself wondering where an advisor goes for advice. I’m feeling stranded at this crossroad because I’m unguided, yet I am unafraid and completely aware. To guide myself I must be completely honest with myself and externalizing this honesty is giving me insight as to why I’m feeling this way.

As a coach, consultant, advisor or whatever title I’m given when guiding others, I feel nothing but passion. I’m assertive, expressive and in my element when engaging others. I don’t do it for any sort of self-assurance either, I continue on because it feels easy, because it feels natural.

In one way or another, every interaction and connection I make with people tends to lead to coaching, I find myself blissfully on duty. It’s the best addiction I’ve ever experienced and the fulfillment I receive knows no bounds. Every beam of hope or jolt of passion I see people experiencing; seeing their identities unfold and ignite makes my life worth living.

As I’m working on this post, it’s helping me realize that potential remains uncapped if we continue to experience these crossroads in life. The emotional numbness we experience is the result of feeling like we’ve exhausted our current abilities and life begins to lose its challenge. We’ve reached this point because it’s time to progress and we’re required to venture into new territory. This threatens to our affirmed identities which is why it is so easy to linger.

It’s these moments we must learn to become honest and seek guidance in order to grow and continue onward towards self-actualization. It’s about improvement and becoming better in every possible way.

I don’t want to be another advisor spitting out the same advice over and over again even though it’s easy to hold onto this peak. There’s coming a point where a lot of those I work with are becoming more affirmed, they’ll need a coach that grows with them, not someone who can only guide them so far.

I sometimes forget, all advisors need advice, all teachers need to be taught and all Gurus still need to experience.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Holding on to a Fantasy isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

Fantasy

My journey from living with insecurities to living with confidence and esteem has been long. It’s taken leaps and bounds overcoming challenges and threats to my identity but I made it through, partly because I held on to what once seemed like a fantasy.

7 years ago, if anyone had told me that I’d be living the life that I am today, and that I’d be living it happily, I’d liken such wisdom to fantasy. Although I yearned for it, no part of my being believed it. However entertaining the idea of how life could be offered me moments of escape where I could live out my ultimate dreams. The mere thought would stimulate emotion, enough emotion to encourage the spirit to act.

We grow up to be adults with plans and realistic tendencies that repress any thought deemed too fantastical. When living inside the ideologies of society we fail to see sense in exercising this natural ability.

The way I see it, what we have as human beings is meant to be embraced. Our imagination has no bounds, has no limits and has no restrictions. Our minds have the ability to give us whatever we want. Whether it’s that great love we desire to experience someday or the success we wish to encounter, we all have it in us to live it in the form of fantasy.

So what good is this fantasy? It’s not real, what use do we have for it? My answer is hope, and not that hope associated with religion. It’s the hope that inspires courage and determination and gives us the right to our identities free. It gives us the ability to dream and inspires us to locate opportunities to pull that dream into the realm of reality.

Life is fu*king tough, it’s not easy, but we do have something to turn to if we do need some comfort to cope. Our fantasies can be something we fuel our minds with to move forward and push through our struggles.

One thing about fantasy, and it’s sort of warping my mind even thinking about it, is that the imagination; the idea; this omnipresent force that exists within our minds allows us to feel. Feelings we cannot and must not deny.

The empathy we experience as we read a book or watch a movie. The connection we make with others that cannot be explained, and the raw expression of our own identities when there is no fear nor judgment to face. Our fantasies contribute so much to who we are and they give us so much to live for, yet we dismiss them because we’re taught to be realistic.

Today, I want to advise you that it’s OK to let your mind travel, it’s OK to enjoy the bliss and comfort that comes with being free to think and feel without the burden of reality. Hold on to your fantasies, let them fill your spirit with all the goodness that empowers you to become the best that you can be in your reality.

You have to be so much already; you may have so many hats to wear and roles to play in your everyday life. So long as you’re not harming anyone, explore your fantasy. Be free, be happy and don’t let the struggles of reality bring you down. This life I’m living now was once deemed a fantasy. Generations once enslaved also had a fantasy; lovers once deemed mentally ill also had a fantasy, and although there may be quite a bit of distance between the two realms, never let go of the possibility that one day that distance will decrease.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

CliffNotes Guide to Kick Starting a Life of Fulfilment

Rocket launch

Repression, frustration, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, fear and insecurity are just some moons that orbit around a lifeless planet called Judgment. Today is the day to climb into your rocket and take off to rediscover your world, a world that is simple and exciting.

To help launch your life into fulfillment, here are 5 of my favorite lessons that may help ignite your identity…

  1. Love and cherish life.

Life is incredible; it’s completely wide open and available to be explored. There’s nothing really holding you back from anything you wish to achieve. Negative thought is your only restriction. Start by appreciating life by finding gratification in small and simple things, things that are available to you naturally.

Remember to maintain your desire for freedom, fun and fulfillment and define them in your own way.

  1. Let go.

So many people are fed up with life because they’re living life constricted. You may not even realize that you’re holding onto chains of perception, onto an idea of how others perceive you without any quantifiable evidence. It causes you to box yourself into walls of comfort, fearing the freedom on the outside.

I would bet that most things you wish you could do are completely possible; the only thing keeping you from your potential is judgment. Let go and stop torturing yourself with words and ideals created by man. Start living and start feeling, listen to the heartbeat of emotion and let your feelings guide your destiny.

  1. Say “yes” more.

Embrace the spontaneity of life and expand zones of comfort. Get comfortable with confidence; share your deepest desires and discover them. Experience and explore curiosity.

We’re all artists. We have many skills and abilities lying dormant just beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, don’t be afraid to access them, fear will limit your potential.

  1. Work hard.

Life is hard, living is easy. The harder you work to live, the less you live to work.

Consume knowledge, test knowledge and challenge it. If what you learn doesn’t make sense then don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work hard to expand your horizons; don’t idly accept what you’re told as fact.

Also remember, the great things we have in our lives today are thanks to the hard work and boldness of great people before us. Work hard to leave behind a legacy, work hard to reach self-actualization, pay homage to greatness and pay greatness forward.

  1. Embrace others and build a community.

There’s a reason why we have emotion, not only do they guide our lives; they connect us to one another. We’re all beings connected by the very things that make us human, invite people into your life should they graciously want to enter and be there for those you can help.

Life can be great when explored alone but phenomenal when shared with others. It’s never been easier to meet new people and expand your reach; you have access people across the world at your fingertips. Network.

I guess the message in this entire post is: don’t spend your life creating moments and memories of regret just because someone else’s judgment held you back. Success is reserved for the brave and the bold, be fearless to find fulfillment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach