How does life work?

 

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Trying to Understand Depression

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“Our life experiences should invigorate our identities. We should be constantly learning new things and expanding our zones of comfort to learn more about ourselves, and what we were put on this planet to do. This is how we strengthen our minds against negativity. Most of us know when we’re in a situation or environment that isn’t right for us and restrict us from developing who we are. When we go against the feedback from our minds and physically remain in restrictive situations or environments, we stunt our human experience.”

Read the full post here

How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance… Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you’ll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

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

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

Relationships: The Importance of Unveiling Your Past

Separated Yin Yang

Your life up until this point; the identity you live with today, is a collection of your experiences, everything you have learned and traits that you may have inherited. Part of being in a relationship is sharing your life with another, therefore it’s important to share your past with your partner.

For one, knowing that you’ve truly bared all is extremely liberating. Knowing that you have nothing to hide makes for an uncomplicated relationship that’s not only built on trust, but built on honesty too.

These two values are crucial, if you desire the components that make up a powerful partnership that carries on throughout the rest of your life.

Furthermore, knowing that there’s nothing left to uncover, allows you to be easily understood.

When I coach couples, I ask very tough questions in order to expose an honesty that someone perhaps lives with, but has not yet shared. I ask difficult questions because it indicates how well a couple communicate and how well people actually understand each other.

When you share your past with your significant other, you’re sharing information that is essential towards keeping your relationship alive. First of all, your partner won’t be spending their lifetime trying to figure you out, that alone can cause complications and insecurities.

Your past reveals your motivations and it reveals your emotional triggers, so just think about how this information can elevate bliss and happiness within your relationship. Teach your partner about the person you are, educate them on your past so that together you can have a mindful future.

The beautiful thing about letting your past out, is that you let it go. If there is a part of you that you haven’t shared with your significant other, then already you’ve begun to diminish core values. And if there are problems at the very core, the effect is felt at the surface (i.e. you’ll find yourself disagreeing and placing significance over smaller, less important issues, more frequently).

Revealing your past also allows you to remain present.

People always argue that if you reveal too much you leave nothing left to uncover, that there’s an excitement to the mystery. I agree, and that’s great at the very beginning of a relationship…a lot of the excitement when starting something new, comes from discovering new things. However, as you begin to understand each other and connect, excitement generates from exploring life as you move your relationship forward. From the mystery of exploring each other’s potential and embarking on parallel journeys towards self-actualization.

You may fear judgment and loss as a result of the information you share, but the whole point of sharing your life with someone, is that you have someone that accepts your identity completely and vice versa.

Society put’s on a lot of pressure and expects you to live up to certain ideologies: to get married at a certain age, start a family, fill a home with memories and beautiful things that elevate their image of perfection and bliss. This motivation is corrosive to your identity and this pressure may force you down avenues you’re not ready for.

A relationship is about the elevation of spirit; to experience nirvana and to engage you in fulfilling your purpose. You won’t get that until you give yourself completely. All the other things that you progress into (i.e. the home, the family etc.) merely become extensions of a growing relationship, not the definition of one.

Lastly and most importantly, sharing your past allows you to communicate confidently. It lessens the impact of misinterpretation and allows you to remain honest and maintain trust.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Things We Tend To Neglect When Pursuing Our Goals

Neglect

Sometimes when we’re focused on attaining success, crucial parts of our lives get neglected. We also justify the things we neglect, by telling ourselves that we’ll place priority on them once we have achieved what we have set out to achieve. One thing I’ve learnt, is that if we don’t make these things a priority in our lives today, we’ll soon realize the burden of our actions.

Here’s 5 things that we must maintain in our lives to ensure that we attain success in a healthy and fulfilling manner.

  1. Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is the single most important thing in our lives. We must ensure that we make time for ourselves and that we look after our bodies. After all, we can attain all the success in the world, but it’ll mean nothing if we’re not healthy enough to enjoy it. The more success we build the more indestructible we feel, but that illusion will wear off the moment our bodies are overwhelmed and overrun by neglect.

I’m currently trialing an all organic diet and already I feel more energetic and awake. I also used to schedule exercise around my work, now I’ve shifted my schedule to work around my yogic goals.

  1. Home/Work Space

Whatever stage of success we’re at, our spaces are a reflection of our journey. The cleaner and organised our personal spaces are, the more productive we’re going to be. We’ll want to work in these spaces and spend less time wanting to get away or escape.

I once spent an entire day printing pictures and putting them up in frames around my house. At first I felt like I was wasting a day, but now my space serves a motivational gallery of things I’m grateful for and the aspirations I hold.

  1. People

Family, friends and partners are our immediate support network, they encourage us and support us when we need it. It’s easy to forget how much influence these people have on our success, without them we wouldn’t have anyone to share success with.

One of my most popular posts to date is on success and loneliness, it has climbed the search engine ranks and continues to get more hits day by day. Nurture your relationships and make time for them, don’t end up successful and isolated.

  1. Social and Recreational activities

Make time to have fun and socialize with others. Social and recreational activities lift our spirits and help us relieve stress. They are a crucial component towards maintaining a positive mindset.

When I’m writing I have to be alone, but I must balance all this alone time by connecting with others. Making time to have fun and gathering with others keeps our identities engaged and our lives fulfilled. You’ve heard of the saying ‘work hard, play hard’ to me it connotes balance. Don’t let all your hard work end up in vain because you’ve made no time to enjoy life.

  1. Emotions

The most fulfilled people I’ve come across tend to be the most expressive.

Our emotions are our guide towards fulfillment. If we fall into a habit of focusing on our success and repressing our emotions, we can be led astray from where we actually want to be in life. When we deal with an emotion, we spend time evaluating and reflecting, it’s a process that helps keep us aligned with our aspirations.

Your emotions are the rawest form of honesty, so listen to them they’ll guide you where you need to go. Process your emotions as and when they arise so you don’t end up building a life you’re not fulfilled by.

It’s easy to forget the significance of these things in our lives and if we don’t start making these things a priority now, we’ll end up losing touch with them later.

VanCity