Reprioritizing Your Life

Do you catch yourself making the statement that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything you feel you need to get done? If you feel that way, it is a good indicator that you could reprioritize your tasks and to do lists. If you don’t have enough time in each day, then there is a good chance you are not scheduling things you enjoy each day as well. It is very easy to get caught up in our busy schedules and lifestyles. I have done it several times in my life as well. Periodically I still have to reprioritize my schedule to find the balance. 
Life can march by us so quickly, and if we do not create the time for ourselves and hobbies, they tend to get put on the back burner and never make it onto our regular schedule. I’ve not only seen it happen to many people, but I too have fought this battle with time. Many times we have said yes to more things than we can realistically handle with a sense of peace and happiness. Sometimes our situations change and we have to take on more responsibilities at work or our in our home life. When these things happen, it is a good time to relook and decide what you can continue doing and what you may have to let go. It doesn’t mean that you can’t try it again once things settle back down, or that you have to stick with an activity that isn’t working for you.

In this day and age, people tend to take on more than they can handle. We women are especially prone to this problem, and I’m speaking from personal experience. But that thinking can come with a high price. Is the reputation for your brain/ego more important than being happy?

I’ve come to learn over time, we can do many things well and still have time to do things we enjoy. Now I said we can do many things well, but not all. If you are not balancing some of your activities and responsibilities out, you end up spending more energy trying to keep up with them rather than doing them well. And why take on things if you can’t do them well or happily?  
It takes a little listening to the soul to see what you can do within your lifestyle and they do need to come with some limits. Set time limits that you will allow for each task on your schedule. Often when we don’t, we bite off more than we can chew. And there are just simply going to be times that you have to let go of things you may not want to. If it is important to you, you can let one good thing go for the importance of another. For example if you are wanting to start your dream career on the side, you may have to let go of a meeting or outing you frequent to free up your time for the top priorities. I often hear clients talk about how they don’t have any time for themselves. Well, I’m going to tell you something harsh, only you can do something about it.  
The boundaries you set forth in your life have to come from you. You have the ability and option to choose how you spend your time and where it goes. It may take some baby steps at first until you get more used to it, but only you have the power to make things better. You may need to give yourself permission to say no and decline a few activities. You can politely say you can’t fit it in your schedule without explaining or defending your time and personal reasons.  
I feel the more we do this for ourselves, the more we empower each other to balance our lives along with giving time to our family and friends. Many refer to this process as time management, but too many of us do not manage the time well for ourselves. If you do not make the time for the things you enjoy, they do not have the power to make it to the forefront of what you want to do. So I encourage you to take a close look at your days and how they are flowing. Let go of the things that aren’t serving you well and reprioritize in the things you want to do more of. If I can balance as many things I do, so can you. I don’t get to do everything I want each day, but I do mix them up to where I can do most of them each week. A happier you, gets things done better and those around you will notice the difference. Do it not only for yourself, but also for those you love. 
Reprioritizing is a gift to you and those around you. When you can look at it as a privilege it can make the transitions you need to make for yourself smoother. And it is a bit of trial and error to find a balance that works for you. Just remember that your schedule is just as important as everyone else’s….. and so is your happiness! 

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Magnetizing Your Thoughts 

When you focus your attentions on the drama in your life, you will get more of it. If you can daily train your brain to focus bit by bit more on the things you like, love, and are grateful for, you can magnetize more of those things. 
Even when it’s one thought or one feeling at a time. Notice how often you smile and feel a certain way in a day. It helps you to center your thoughts on the things that are pleasing and going well in your life. There is always something to notice, no matter how big or small. You can have several things going well daily, but if you continue to focus on the negative ones, you drum up the energy to receive more of the same. 
The idea is learning to narrow your focus away from frequent drama. You get to choose what your mind ponders on and how much attention you give it. If you catch yourself constantly thinking about something that bothers you, stop and take notice. Give it some space and a break from that energy. Is it worth giving away your peace? Often the worrying we dwell in is out of our control. You can however divert your attention to more positive thoughts and outcomes.  
Our expectations often meet us exactly as we set them up. That is a powerful tool to use to your advantage. If you expect things to go bad, often they will. When you really expect things to go well no matter what, they frequently do. The more consistent you can be with your thoughts and expectations daily, you can attract more things to go more consistently well for you.  
Remember you are a powerful magnet. Energy flows where your focus goes. Pay attention to where you give your power. If you feel negative or wrapped in too much drama, take back your power and center yourself better. You do it with practice. The goal is for happiness and joy in your life. While you are appreciating and dwelling more on the good things working for you, watch and see if you attract more to be thankful for. Be choosy in how much time and energy you give to the drama that pops up.  

Judgements Define Yourself 

I often try to remember a certain quote from Earl Nightingale when my mind is quick to judge another. “When you judge others, you do not define them. You define yourself.” When we are quick to point out what we think is wrong in others, we are really revealing what we are struggling with on the inside. We are mirrors for each other. Owning up to your own feelings takes some courage. If we find someone or a situation that really bothers us, we have an indication of unresolved feelings and something we can work on.  
Generally when we make a judgmental opinion we are seeing it only from our perspective. We do not have all the facts. We also do not have the whole story. When we make assumptions we have limited understanding of another person’s actions or perspective. The art to kindness is learning to observe without jumping to conclusions. Realize you may not know the events that led up to the action and that it’s possible the person did the best they could with the knowledge and experience they have had in their life up to that point.  
As we realize this, we also can acknowledge that our reactions reveal to others what is inside of us. You do not have a choice in how other people act and the decisions they make, but you do have a choice in how you respond. Let them be responsible for how they reveal themselves and focus on your interactions with others. When we pay attention to how we respond, we have a window into our soul that shows us where we are having difficulty. 
For example if you encounter someone having a really bad day, it’s helpful to remember their actions do not have anything to do with you, even if they try to point the finger at you and aim the blame towards you. They are just showing you what is going on inside for them. Even if they try to point the finger on you and aim the blame towards you. When we blame others for our actions we take away our own power and ignore our own intuition. It certainly helps us learn to stay in peace while people we encounter learn to deal with their drama.  
You can’t be responsible for other people’s feelings. That is their right and generally we want the same respect. You can however be aware of your actions and reactions. Look and see what kind of energy you are putting out. If you want more peace, kindness, or love, Show it. 

Try a little less judgement and a little more understanding. It can sure bring you more peace in your life and less stress. When you focus on the frequency you’re putting out and the reactions from yourself, you don’t have very much time to left to consume the drama from others. 
The more you can become aware of how you define and show yourself, the more we can be kind and understanding to one another. When we take the time to understand a little more of another’s perspective we can then help each other and mend our differences. We certainly are all created differently and we can celebrate and respect our differences rather than be so judgmental of them. Nor do we have to agree on everything to allow the freedom of others to choose what may be best for them. Don’t you like to receive the same? 

Balancing Our Thoughts

Happiness can be boiled down to our choices in perceptions. If we are dissatisfied with how things look and feel, the key is changing our thoughts and perceptions to focus in a different way. It is the balancing of our thoughts that can bring about the happiness you may be searching for. We all have many thoughts during each day. We can surf, sail, or swim against the currents, but the most creative power we have is in which thoughts we entertain the most and whether or not we steer them towards joy or not.

If you don’t think your thoughts are very powerful or important to navigate, think again. The thoughts that swirl in your brain cells help mold and download your experiences. (Dr. Eagleman)

According to neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, “From cradle to grave we are works in progress. The brain is a battlefield. You might think you are making single minded decisions, but you’re not. You are made up of multiple drives all trying to be in control. As we make new memories, learn new skills, and have life experiences the brain is constantly and dynamically rewiring itself. It never stops. The human brain is always changing and therefore so are we.”

He also states “Our brain is like a prefrontal gym. Just like going to the gym and working out.”
I’m suggesting that you can “train” your brain towards more happiness using cognitive skills to help rewire your brain.

There are so many ways to understand the science of the brain and variety of paths for people to experience happiness. Happiness is defined as the “quality” or “state” of being happy. The state of being is a state of existing–a continuous act like a verb. So many people think of happiness as a result or destination, when in fact it is a choice you make every day. You choose the way you feel. Each person responds to circumstances differently. Whether you see the world as good or bad, it is still an individual choice. Same world, but we each look though a different lens. It’s how we choose to see.

Imagine yourself on a tightrope. Each day the rope is your happiness factor. Your thoughts are the balancing act. Happy and positive thoughts help you stay on the rope , and negative/worrisome thoughts pull you off. If you fall, there is a net to catch you, but if you can focus more on the thoughts to keep you on your rope, you navigate your brain towards more happiness. Over time you are strengthening your brain and improving your happy muscles. It is a balancing act like the tightrope.

If you are struggling with many negative thoughts this is an exercise you can try one thought at a time. You don’t have to turn it all around in one day. The ideas is to keep choosing better feeling thoughts to balance the tight rope of life. You gain strenth and momentum with practice.

Since we are always going to be a work in progress and we have the ability to change our brain, why don’t you consider exercising your brain towards the life you want. If you want more happiness, utilize this knowledge in your favor. Balance yourself well and remember you always have the opportunity to rewire your brain.

Being Kind to Yourself

Are you being as kind to yourself as you are other people? Sometimes we are much harder on ourselves than we are on those around us. There is nothing wrong with trying to be better and a kinder person, but often we do not add ourselves to the list. When we aren’t kind with ourselves, it reflects in our life. We tend to have less patience with others and we also attract that type of energy back to ourselves. I believe our greatest gifts to others is how we treat ourselves.

It is not a selfish thing to be good to ourselves. As a wonderful friend and mentor of mine Jeff Brunson often says, “Taking time for yourself is a selfless act. You taking the time to make yourself better is making you better for those you serve.” That has always resonated with me because often we are taught the opposite. Though the years of working with clients, I have often heard people say they feel too guilty to take time for themselves or simply being good to themselves. Feeling guilty for being kind and taking time for yourself truly doesn’t serve us well.

When we deplete ourselves whether it be emotionally or physically, we cannot be very good to those around us. As the old saying goes, you cannot serve from an empty vessel. Not only is it a good investment to take time for yourself, it is equally valuable to be kind to yourself. The deposits you make into yourself are establishing what you give to others.

Think of yourself like a bank. Before you can withdraw funds, you have to deposit money. The same goes for ourselves. We can only pull out and give to others the time, energy, and feelings we have given ourselves. It’s learning the importance of not leaving ourselves off the lists. The more you invest in yourself and apply kindnesses yourself, you invoke a more positive experience for yourself and increase that energy around you and with others.

Leave the guilt behind and make sure you are on your to do list. And be as gentle and kind with yourself as you like to be to others. The more kind you are to yourself, the more kind you can be to those around you. To give good energy to our friends, family, and loved ones, we must deposit that energy into ourselves. Fill your bank with deposits of joy from the inside to experience joy in more areas of your life.

Make Your Life Extraordinary Now!

Many people are working towards and hoping for their bliss. Instead of looking for ways to find an extraordinary life, how about making your life extraordinary now? The most power you have with your time is in the present. Your memories can pull you into the past, but you can not change it. You have the option to visualize or worry for the future, but the only projection of control is how you are perceiving it now.  
Consider what things you can do now to feel more excited and happy in your life everyday. It doesn’t have to be big or the same act every day. When you get lost in the everyday responsibilities, you can miss the joys in each day. Let’s say you have some chores on your list that you feel the need to get done, but aren’t very pleasing to you. Consider changing how you do them to be more pleasing. Perhaps you are folding laundry or cooking when you’d much rather be reading a book. I believe you can have more time for both. When working on a task that feels more like work, add a little fun to it. Play your favorite music. Pour yourself a glass of wine, or perhaps listen to a funny or inspirational YouTube to add joyful momentum.
I’ve tried these and I have to say they work very well. I’ve caught myself dancing while doing the laundry or housework especially when you pick your own tunes. And I’ve learned to really love cooking. If I’m cooking Mexican, I may put on some mariachi music and fix a margarita. Suddenly dinner not only got exciting, but the menu improved.  
The idea is shifting what you may feel as mundane chores into more joyful experiences in your day. I find that when I am able to enjoy the task, I not only complete it more joyfully, but also in a timely manner. Then often, I can treat myself to a few pages in a book, some art, or writing before the family comes to the table. I was able to take care of my family and save a little time to enjoy myself. Once I was waiting on my husband and child to come home from their martial arts practice and dinner was warming on the stove. Since I had a little window, I poured myself a glass of wine, put on some jazz music and colored a Mandala design in my (adult) coloring book. I probably only spent 15-20 minutes coloring, but I can’t express the therapeutic value in that little time frame. I felt relaxed and was kinder to my family that evening. 
It doesn’t matter how you implement your ideas, but start noticing what else you can do to feel more joyful throughout your day, even. Even when it’s packed full of tasks that do not always feel fun. By making these small deposits, the little things you do more joyfully each day turns your days into more extraordinary ones. You also stimulate your imagination towards fun. You may even be inspired to celebrate every day in small ways without needing an occasion to celebrate. When you can do more things you enjoy, you are more happy and content. Sometimes the challange is finding the time. I’m suggesting you add them to the things you are already doing. 

Turn those tasks and chores up to a happier level. The next time you have to make a call for customer service, try to add a smile on your end of the phone. See if it’s harder to get aggravated and perhaps your experience will be a little brighter.  
It really is adding a little joy and positivity into your everyday actions. Don’t wait for extraordinary. Make your life extraordinary now! 

Silver Linings 

There are silver linings in everything when you look for them. I’m proposing to you to train your brain towards a more joyful day by focusing on noticing the positive aspects that speak to you. It’s looking towards the bright side of life. Your focus is your power. The direction of your thoughts is your creative power. How you use it is up to you. By being more mindful in how you look at things you are given an opportunity on steering your focus. 
Do you base your emotions on circumstances? For example are you only happy when things are going your way? Or do you choose to be happy regardless of what the day unfolds?  
Letting circumstances control the way you feel shifts your creative power away from you. It puts your vibration into a more powerless feeling. The good news is you have the choice to shift your feelings into a more powerful one versus letting something like the weather affect the kind of day you will have. 
I can give you an example on how I utilize this idea. When the weather is warm and sunny, the most positive aspect I focus on is the excitement I can wear my sunglasses and flip flops. When it is cold and snowy, I focus on getting to wear my favorite boots and cozy sweater. And when it is a rainy day, my focus shifts to a perfect day for a massage or a good book. These are some of my silver linings regardless of how the weather or “circumstances” are flowing. 
When you offer a positive outlook, you attract good feelings that help you have a more joyful day even when the circumstances aren’t as pleasing as you can imagine. Your creative power is in your focus.  
Focus on looking for your silver linings in your day. The more you do that each day, you can shift your days more joyfully.