Archive for Empowered Thinking

Dec
12

Find your Joy

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photoxpress_4771927_joyIf you were to rate yourself on the level of joy you consistently experience, what number would you give yourself on a scale of 1-10? “1″ means no consistency and rarely finding joy, and “10″ means each and every day, I find joy in my life. Where do you find yourself today in relationship to joy?

In my work over the years as a professional coach, many people find joy based on what they are doing so it’s often an inconsistent and/or a fleeting experience. Why? Because our external circumstances are always changing and with this unpredictability it can be difficult to sustain joy.

But I want you to experience”joy” as your “inner” experience no matter what you are doing or what’s happening around you! You might be wondering, “Is that possible?” I say “Absolutely!” as long as you put attention and intention toward being “joy filled”.

I really appreciate what Becky Mason, Director of Marketing at Compass has to say about “joy”:

“Choose joy today. Right now, make a choice to receive joy and let it flow through you – not based on what’s going on around you, but based on the fact that you are loved and that you have a purpose that is bigger than yourself. We have no control over many of the things that happen to us, but we do have control over how we respond and how we think about those situations. You might think there is no way you can respond positively or joyfully to a particular circumstance. I am here to tell you that you can choose to allow joy to flow through you.  We have control over one thing: our attitude. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond.

A good friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer one year ago.  After lots of chemo, radiation, surgery, pain and suffering, he received a clean bill of health. He said one thing recently that really stuck with me. He said, ‘I will not allow cancer to define me.’ His response to a circumstance he could not control was to choose joy. To find the joy in the situation. Our circumstances can be pretty ugly, but do you allow them to define you – or will you choose to rewrite your definition? Will you choose to respond with joy?”

After reading this, what will you choose?

If you need a little encouragement or some next steps, I have two immediate solutions for you that will cost you nothing but a little bit of your time:

  1. Listen to the first three days of the Compass MAP on the topic of “Find your Joy”. Visit my Compass website and click on the picture box that says “Find your Joy”. It takes you to the page of the MAP where you can access the first three days of audio recording (these are the ones in blue).
  2. Join me for a FREE Compass Group Coaching Call this Thursday, 12/15/11. I will facilitate the Compass Action System using the theme of “Celebrate Life”. For more information visit the event page at Facebook.

I know this is a busy time of year so you might decide you don’t have the time. But if not now, when?

It’s counter intuitive but it’s true that if you make the time to find your joy, you will experience it more often and consistently. So make the time…you’re worth it!

Sep
29

Stop the Should’s!

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hand with stop signYou’ve probably heard the phrase “stop shoulding on yourself.” Intellectually you get that should’s, have to’s and ought to’s just drain your energy and leave you feeling heavy and unfulfilled. Yet regardless of this knowledge you find yourself “shoulding” more often than not.

So what do you do? How do you change the cycle from “should” to “want”?

Let me paint the picture of what’s happening behind the scenes for me. I’ve been in an intense transition season, on a mission to reclaim my “want to’s” as I eliminate the “should’s” in my life. It’s literally impacting every facet of my life, including my work, my relationships with myself and others, and even basic things like how I schedule my time. As I go through this process, I’m amazed at what I’m learning.

I have allowed “should’s” to drive my life…often! Mostly because I didn’t realize that many behaviors and beliefs that drive me aren’t core to who I really am. Through my discovery , I’ve tapped into what’s true for me so I have stopped several things cold turkey, like writing my blog. I haven’t written a post in over a month and half because it wasn’t a “want to”. I found I was writing because I thought I “should” based on others’ opinions, expertise and beliefs so I decided to take a break for awhile to get clear for myself.

So what about you? Where do you need to stop the “should’s” in your life?

I invite you to explore the question as you create awareness around where you are run by “should’s”. Without judgment, decide what you need to do with that “should”.

Here’s a system I use called the “Three D” system that will help you choose:

  1. Dump it. If it’s not necessary or life giving do you really need to keep the should?
  2. Delegate it. Maybe this is something that you can hire out or you can get help from someone else?
  3. Defer it. Take a break from it. See what happens and decide when you want to pick it back up or if you even want to. This is what I did with the blog writing.

As for me, I’m not convinced that I’m ready to re-engage in blogging. I know I wanted to begin with this post as I continue to explore what blogging looks like for me. I am committed to staying connected to community in a way that is life giving and allows me to use my wisdom and inspiration creatively. I want to support a win-win and I’m not quite sure what that looks like, yet.

The key here is to focus not on “should’s” but on what you really want paying special attention to where you come alive. Choose powerfully to do those things that “light you up”, because this is the place  you will be energized, filled up and on purpose as you give to others.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and comments at the blog.

Bottom line: Stop the Should’s! It could be the most life transforming decision you’ll ever make as you free more of authentic self to positively impact the world!

Photo Courtesy of Photoxpress © musk

cover_sm8So often it is the simple wonders that fall in the shadows of the steep expectations we hold for our self and the way we think the world should work.

I am sure not to be the only one who experiences that whatever task I undertake or project I agree to, it consistently takes two to three times as long as I anticipate to accomplish my intended goal.

You think we would get smart enough to do better at time management by planning for these certain realities, accepting that it always takes longer. But no, instead we judge ourselves and compress life, not wanting to ‘drop a ball’ or say ‘no’ to anything.

Can we be happy even at these times? Expanding compassion and patience, not for the outer world or others, but for ourselves seems to be the key to happiness until we can adjust our perception of time and surrender to and trust in Divine Order.

It is important not to miss the simple wonders in our hurry to force life along. So today, amidst looming project due dates (I refuse to call them dead-lines) and having more on my plate than I have allowed time for, I choose to take the time to notice that the sun is out for the first time in days, delight that I heard my grandson giggle over the phone, and show gratitude for the simple wonders, big and small, that reconnect me to the perfection in mis-perfection today.

WHAT DO YOU PERCEIVE AS THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD? 
by Author Unknown

A group of students was asked to list what they thought were
the present ‘Seven Wonders of the World.’ Though there were
some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids 
2. Taj Mahal 
3. Grand Canyon 
4. Panama Canal 
5. Empire State Building 
6. St. Peter’s Basilica 
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noticed that one quiet student hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, ‘Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind  because there were so many.’

The teacher said, ‘Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.’

The girl hesitated, then read, ‘I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ are:

1. to see 
2. to hear 
3. to touch 
4. to taste 
5. to feel 
6. to laugh 
7. and to love.

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!  Be grateful for simple things!

Special credit for this blog post goes to Rhonda Hall, founder of The Center for Happiness. Be sure to learn more about Rhonda and her work at www.driveyourselfhappy.com.

I am grateful for the many mentors and coaches I have partnered with during my journey. A special thank you to Teresia LaRocque who has shared some amazing insight that will help you shift into role of CEO for your business and your life.

teresiaWhoa, what a ride………. Last week was my first week as a MOMpreneur. Being the mom of a 10 week old and running a full fledged business, the concept of time management presents a whole new set of challenges.  “Going back to work” brought up many different emotions; sadness, joy, fatigue, gratitude, and most of all overwhelm.

As we enter the month of September many of you will be getting into the ‘back to school mentality” and refocusing your energy and time on your business.

Before that familiar feeling of overwhelm sneaks up on you, I want to share with you four “perspective shifts” that I am revisiting as I enter this new phase in my life and which powerfully supports stepping out of  reaction mode and stepping into super efficiency.

This perspective shift is based on one question: what’s most important? It may sound like a simple place to start, but when you really embrace this, it has a profound effect on how you run your business – and your life.

Here are some tips that I am embracing and I invite you to join me.

1.    Become the CEO of your business. When a good CEO starts her day, she has a plan. She moves with purpose, methodically devoting her full attention to each objective. She has results in mind. Does she answer every call that comes in? Does she let other people determine when to meet, and for how long? Does she run around putting out fires and saving the day? Not a chance. You are the boss of your company, and it’s okay to act like it. You get to decide where to invest your time, and that means you don’t necessarily respond to every little thing right away. Go ahead, let that call go to voicemail!

2.    You won’t get it all done – and that’s okay. It’s the dark side of ambition that driving need to get everything handled. It haunts our nights and eats into our personal time. Many of us believe that in order to be successful, we have to get everything done. It’s not true! Handle your biggest priorities (like your marketing activities) every day and let the small stuff take care of itself. It is OK if you don’t get it all done – really! Getting to the next level is about doing what’s most important – always.

3.    Perfectionism isn’t profitable. Remember the golden rule in business: ‘Tis better to get it done than to do it perfectly. Don’t waste time with details that don’t really matter in the end. If high standards are compromising your productivity or adding to your stress, take some time to explore whether you have an unmet personal need (such as a need for approval). If this is the case, find ways to meet your needs outside of work. (We’ll talk about needs in a future article, as I have found that unmet needs are one the biggest reasons we become out of balance – more later). Remember, your job is to make sure things get done – one priority at a time.

4.    Contain your business: declare office hours. When you’re self employed, and especially when you work from home, your professional life and your personal life tend to blend together. You conduct high-powered meetings over the phone in your pajamas (come on ……I know I am not the only one :-) your faxes end up with salsa smudges; you stop shopping for the kids back to school clothes to take a call from your assistant etc. But when you set up boundaries between your personal time and your work hours, you’ll start to experience some wonderful benefits:

bullet You become much more efficient. In an effort to make the most of your work hours, you stop tending to the minor details and start tackling the bigger picture.
bullet Your time off actually becomes “down time” so you feel much more rested.
bullet At the end of the day, you feel satisfied instead of resentful; in control instead of chaotic; purposeful instead of panicky. Of course, you only realize these benefits if you actually honor your office hours. Take them seriously, and demand that everyone else does too.

TLC Coaches challenge:
This month, be intentional about how you spend your time. Define your office hours and stick to your priorities. Constantly ask yourself, “Which result is most important now?” Post a sign or make a note to keep you focused, and when the end of the day comes, close the door.

Begin this fall with a CEO mentality and join me in having your business serve your life rather then feeling like a servant to your business!

Reproduced with permission from Teresia LaRocque’s ‘Leverage Your Business, Love Your Life’ newsletter. To subscribe, go to www.teresia.com. Copyright 2010 Teresia.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s most important to you? And what changes do you need to make to have a CEO mentality in your business and your life? Share your comments at the blog at www.shannonbruce.com.

path aheadThe longer I journey this path to true fulfillment I am reminded daily that there is no “one size fits all”. Your unique and rare blend of values, identity and mission are meant for you to discover, embrace and unleash for the benefit of the world at large. And news alert! You are also meant to understand these truths for the joy of your own fulfillment.

Yes, you get to enjoy you! You are beautiful! You are unique! And you deserve to embrace who you are and what you bring to others for the simple fact that when you do, you actually have more life and love available to share at home, in your community, your workplace and the world.

As little kids, you were probably told to stop bragging or boasting about yourself because it’s considered rude. For the most part this is true. However, as a little child with the inability to understand anything but black or white, you might have interpreted this comment to mean that it’s selfish and rude if you put any attention toward yourself and that you are meant to serve and give to others exclusively.

Carry this line of thinking forward into your adult life and now you deflect praise, are unable to receive thanks and put others needs before your own heart because it’s selfish otherwise right?

Wrong! This is such a lie and it’s worked for years in keeping you from discovering who you really are and the larger story you are meant to live out in the world.

So now what?

Renew your mind! Take captive every thought! Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’!

And remember these poignant words shared in a speech by Nelson Mendela years ago:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson
Author and international lecturer on spiritual, personal and political issues.

Owning your brilliance begins with overcoming your negative self-talk. If you need help, download our free tool to Empower your Voice Within and consider partnering with one of our coaches to overcome your obstacles as you discover who you really are as you create a life of freedom and true fulfillment.

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