Books

Great-Reads and Listens For The Weekend

Because why waste your time reading or listening to anything less than great?

Here’s one I’m reading now with a group of friends at the Columbus Center for Spiritual Living where I worship. I think you’d enjoy reading this book if you want to re-map your brain to lean toward happiness instead of negativity.

I’m not calling you negative…I’m just saying that we’re all predisposed for it. All of us! Even Pollyanna!

It’s a good read with a lot of solid commonsense ideas with scientific background…which many of us like to have so we can misquote it to our friends when we recommend that they read this book.

Remember, I am an Amazon Associate which means if you click and buy here…you’re helping a not-starving writer fund her addiction to blogging!

As far as the listening portion of this post goes…let’s stick with our theme of happiness, okay? And who’s the happiness guru-ess? That’s right, Gretchen Rubin!

I do not listen to Gretchen religiously, but I do think her podcast is light, filled with talk that spurs my own thinking about how I define happiness for myself, and entertaining.

Here’s a link to Gretchen’s podcast, but if you use a different platform for your podcasts, just put the name in that app to pull it up.

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I won’t even claim to know anything about platforms and apps and all things technical that allow you to listen…very much like my inability to tell you how Netflix works…only that I push a button on my remote and I’m HAPPIER!!! Wanna know what I’m binge-watching this weekend?

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The Story of God with Morgan Freeman 

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Books, Enlighten Me

Improving your EQ

Improving your EQ is relatively simple, but profoundly difficult and that’s because you’re wading across the tide…not against the tide which can knock you on your…rear.

You’re making progress, but it’s taking grit, muscle, flexibility…

Every single emotional response we have gives us information. Usually, we choose to ignore that information by:

  • swallowing our feelings along with a piece of chocolate cake, glass of wine or dark chocolate covered almond…or is that just me?
  • regurgitating our feelings with slammed doors, raised voices, silence and isolation…also, just me?

Here’s a better way that will increase your EQ points, improve relationships with others and help you think better of yourself, doggoneit!

First…the event…whatever it is…triggers an emotional response which lasts approximately SIX SECONDS!

Instead of swallowing or regurgitating, breathe from the bottom of your belly filling your lungs, holding for a count of 3, then releasing slowly through your mouth.

Fill in the blanks: When this happened, I immediately felt _________.  My first thought about me is that ______________. When I think this thought, I feel (repeat your emotion). Breathe again as you repeat this in your mind…do you feel its truth in your body’s response?

OKAY! Good Job! You just sat with your feelings and identified the ROOT CAUSE of your feeling…your thoughts! Now you can choose to ACT instead of REACT.

Don’t you feel smarter already?

Let me know if you have other methods you use to improve your EQ!

If you’re interested in learning more tips and techniques that will improve your relationships, decisions and overall happiness, you might be interested in:

  • using the free resources I’ve provided at EmpowerU
  • contacting me for private coaching
  • stay tuned for my upcoming E-Book: Navigating By Heart. 
Enlighten Me

Parenting

I’ve been thinking about parenting a LOT lately as I help my daughter and her husband with their 4-year-old. I’ve been thinking about it because of the 4-year-old, but also because of the 41-year-old with her right foot bandaged and elevated.

Parenting changes over the years as your child matures, but a parent’s need for their child to be safe, secure, healthy never goes away. It’s there from the moment you learn you’re pregnant till, I suppose, the moment you die…(I only suppose this because I don’t really know what happens after we leave this world…and that’s for another day.)

William Glasser, psychologist and author, identified 5 basic psychological needs for happiness: survival and safety, freedom, fun, power, love and belonging.  Dr. Nancy Buck, creator of Peaceful Parenting and a student of Dr. Glasser, says that a parent’s number one focus is survival and safety, while the child’s is fun. (Right away we can see why the parent/child relationship is frought with conflict.)

My daughter is 41 and Dr. Buck’s theory is still holding up in our relationship. She wanted to travel to Spain, rent a Vespa and explore one-lane mountain roads with her husband…she thought it would be FUN!

I look at the bloody scrapes on her elephant-sized ankle and think she could have had fun in some less broken-toes-sprained-ankle-stone-wall-abrasions sort of way.

When I extended my trip to help them while they are unable to: walk, drive, chase a 4-year-old, cook, feed a dog AND a rescued desert tortoise who lives in their backyard and was named Sky Scooter by aforementioned 4-year-old, my son-in-law said, “You didn’t sign up for this so you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.”

It only took me half a breath to realize that I DID sign up for this. I signed up the moment I decided to have a child. It’s an unbreakable lifetime contract…sort of like Queen of England but with a smaller house.

I signed up for it…and I’ve never had a moment’s regret.

Children are challenging. ALL children are CHALLENGING, not just yours…or if you’re one of THOSE parents…yes, yours too!

You know what else children are? Little bundles of joy, hope, laughter, sloppy kisses, and messy hands. They teach us that WE are not the center of the universe; THEY are!

Children are worth every second of worry, frustration and fatigue because they supply the energy that beats our hearts and ignites new synapses in our brains.

They do this at -0; at 4; at 41.  And all the years in between and after.

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Have a parenting story? Share it with us!