The startling practicality of happiness

The startling practicality of happiness

Manage for happinessWoohoo! The first in a series of free Happiness Hangouts happens this Friday, August 8, at 9:00am Pacific Daylight Time and YOU are invited.

Why? Because it happens that happiness doesn’t just feel good; it’s startlingly practical.

As the name suggests, Happiness Hangouts are all about happiness and its startling bearing on life and biz. We’ll look at:

  • Why happiness is a default, not a destination.
  • The relationship between happiness and wisdom.
  • How to use happiness as a navigational aid in life and business.

There will be some teaching and some coaching and some who-knows-what-else. Think insight meets pragmatism meets sassiness. (Hmmm. The term “wise sass” just occurred to me. I like that!)

How It Works

Happiness Hangouts will use Google’s Hangouts on Air technology to broadcast a live video feed of yours truly. You can watch the live feed on a page at my Web site or via Google+. If you have a Gmail account, I recommend the Google+ option, because you’ll be able to see and participate in the live chat.

In addition to watching, you can participate in the Hangout by teleconference. You’ll receive all the info about how to watch and/or call in when you sign up. You’ll get replay info as well.

Are you in?

Click the link below to sign up for the free Happiness Hangouts.

https://shaboominc.com/happiness-hangouts/

I hope you’ll be able to join me!

End of an era: Goodbye ezine, hello cool stuff!

End of an era: Goodbye ezine, hello cool stuff!

snug_as_a_bug_creativity_4-2014As best I can tell, this is the last regular issue of Authentic Promotion. Can you say, “Yowza!”?

It all started at the end of March during a retreat with my beloved Brain Trust*. As we talked about who I am and how I want to be in this, my 18th year as a coach, I realized that it was time to invoke the spirit of creativity and experimentation by letting go of this ezine and devoting myself to creating cool new stuff that will arouse, inform, entertain, and, one hopes, delight you.

You see, I love to make stuff. The photo in today’s issue is of the “vest” I made for my ’67 VW Beetle. I love to play with ideas, fiddle with designs, and experiment with new formats and media. In 1996, I put that love to work building my first website and convening conversations in early online communities such as womenconnect.com and AOL special interest groups. In 1998, I started this ezine, and in less than two years it was reaching over 12,000.

Back in the day, email newsletters were few and far between. Junk mail was sparse, and inboxes spacious. Since then, ezines have become as common as dust, and even when we value them–as I hope you have valued this one–they often languish unopened and unread. As open rates have declined, my sense of connection to you, my readers, has lessened. I don’t like the idea of adding every week to the clutter in your inboxes. I want to add value, not noise.

In the future, instead of a weekly ezine, you’ll receive an announcement whenever I’ve got a new cool thing to give you. An insightful interview. A provocative slidedoc. My latest cartoons. Heck, for all I know I’ll sing and dance for you, so long as I think it will serve you. In between cool things, I’ll let you know as usual when I offer a new product or program or when I come across something, whether it’s free or fee-based, that I think is worth your consideration.

I’m thrilled at the prospect of putting my creative energy to work in new ways to entertain, inform, provoke, and inspire you. Fans of my Facebook page are already seeing tidbits of creative goodness a few times a week. Check it out, and while you are there, feel free to post your questions and insights to the timeline. I would love to know what’s on your mind and in your heart. Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to give me a LIKE so that updates appear in your newsfeed, www.facebook.com/shaboominc.

I haven’t made any decisions about the blog. I rather think I’ll be posting the odd (!) insight, observation, or link from time to time. To subscribe, add this link to your blog reader: feed://shaboominc.com/wordpress/feed.

Whether you have been a reader since the early days or are a recent subscriber, I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from what emerges in the days ahead. Meanwhile, thanks for coming along on the adventure.

*The members of the Brain Trust are
Michael Bungay Stanier, boxofcrayons.com
Eric Klein, wisdomheart.com
Michele Lisenbury Christensen, hotloverevolution.com
Jennifer Louden, jenniferlouden.com
Mark Silver, heartofbusiness.com

Why you don’t need to fear scarcity thinking

Why you don’t need to fear scarcity thinking

piggy_bank_3-2014Not surprisingly, scarcity thinking came up during the Wealth Makeover calls last week. One common concern was how to meet financial setbacks without going into scarcity thinking.

During the calls we talked about the essential wholeness and wellbeing that is our factory default as human beings. How we are each an expression of and participant in the dance of creation, part of the formless energy or intelligence out of which everything arises and to which everything returns.

We talked about how the experience of scarcity or abundance is a function of thought, not circumstances. Consider how easy it is to be elated about getting a new client only to be deflated moments later by comparing yourself to someone else in your field.

Or how a funk about not being able to afford to travel more can give way to a wave of gratitude as you contemplate something you love about your home.

If you reflect for just a minute on your own experience, you can readily see that what seems like more than enough money in one moment can seem woefully inadequate in the next and vice versa as your thinking about your circumstances changes.

We live in the feeling of our thinking, not our circumstances.

At first blush it might seem that a smart approach to being happy and prosperous would be to manage your thinking. Think happy thoughts, have a happy life. Think prosperous thoughts, have a prosperous business.

In other words, just say no to scarcity thinking.

But it doesn’t work that way. (Besides, when you think about it, it’s kind of superstitious, don’t you think?)

It’s said that we have upwards of 80,000 thoughts a day. We notice and track only a tiny fraction of those. It’s simply not possible to manipulate your thinking to create the experiences you want.

Fortunately it’s also unnecessary.

You don’t have to fear scarcity thinking precisely because it is just thinking. And thinking can’t damage the wellbeing that is your factory default. At most it can only obscure it temporarily.

When you see that all that is going on when you’re afraid, angry, or insecure is that you’re experiencing your thinking, you can relax a bit, even though the experience may be quite intense.

When you remember that you are the thinker, you don’t need to fear the content of your thinking.

When you don’t fear or struggle with the content of your thinking, your mind is free and open to new thought, including the insight, wisdom, and common sense to live peacefully and well.

And that’s why you don’t need to fear scarcity thinking.


 


Photoy by Images of Money

The common cause of romantic mistakes and financial insecurity

broken_heart_3-2014We’ve all had friends who repeat romantic mistakes.

You may know a dreamy-eyed romantic who confuses surface and substance. Or perhaps your friend is a sad-eyed victim who sees deception and shallowness behind the face of every prospective mate.

From where you sit, it’s easy to see where they go wrong. Their preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides their innate wisdom and common sense. Dazzled by dreams of the future or blinkered by the memory of past disappointment, they can’t see clearly in the present.

The same thing happens when it comes to money. We may be dazzled by visions of wealth, spend more than we can afford, make shaky investments, or buy into the latest scheme for making money online or off. On the other hand, fear of financial insecurity may cause us to shut down. When that happens, we deny ourselves even small pleasures or starve our businesses because we are afraid to invest in equipment, training, or help.

Just as with romance, when it comes to money preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides your innate wisdom and common sense.

Whether we’re talking about love or money, the problem is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding: the fallacy that your happiness and wellbeing depend on outside circumstances. And because it doesn’t work that way, the harder you try to manage your circumstances to get what you want or avoid what you don’t want, the farther away you get from the very experience of security that you seek.

And the less secure you feel, the more confused your thinking becomes, and the less access you have to the wisdom and common sense you need to make good decisions in the first place.

But as soon as you stop looking outside of yourself for happiness and wellbeing, your thinking begins to clear. You feel secure, because you are secure. Because you don’t need external circumstances to be one way or another in order to be okay, you don’t argue with reality, and you see your circumstances more clearly.

And when you see your circumstances clearly, you naturally make better decisions. And then, don’t you know, your circumstances tend to improve. It’s a virtuous circle.
grow_money_wealth_March320_2014_AW_200w

If you’re reading this, odds are that getting rich isn’t your top priority, but even though your humanity is vastly more important than your bank account, you may be living with confusion, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness around money.

If that feels accurate to you, I invite you to join me for Authentic Wealth, a seven week virtual retreat, a teleconference-based experience designed to shift your relationship to money and wealth. Click here to learn more about Authentic Wealth. 

CREDITS
Growing from money by Aaron Patterson 
Broken Heart by Loretta Stephenson 

Opportunity: you can’t miss out unless you lock on

Opportunity: you can’t miss out unless you lock on

opportunity_lock_on_virtual_reality500_3-2014Nobody wants to miss out on an opportunity, whether it is for true love, adventure, new business–whatever.

But you actually can’t miss out unless you lock on.

Here’s what I mean.

We tend to think of opportunities as if they exist out in the world. But opportunities are a function of thought.

When you recognize an opportunity (it takes shape as a thought), you construct a virtual reality around it. Then you hold that reality in mind while you walk around inside it, testing possible scenarios and weighing the consequences of each.

That’s an amazing human capacity, and it’s incredibly rewarding when you’re in a spacious and creative frame of mind. But when you’re afraid of missing out, making a wrong move, or overlooking a ramification, it’s exhausting.

And it leads you to a dead end.

The more you fear missing out on an opportunity, the more you lock on, putting more and more of your attention onto that tiny subset of possibilities. Because that’s all you see, you start to believe that’s all there is.

You know you’ve locked on when your thinking gets muddier as the stakes skyrocket and your options shrink. The more important it becomes that you get this right, the less clear you are about what you should do.

You can’t think your way out of virtual reality lock-down. But you can recognize that you thought your way into it.

You can take off the goggles and headset.

You can relax and know that as your mind quiets and your mood lightens you’ll naturally see new possibilities.

In a universe of infinite potential, there’s just no such thing as an opportunity too important to miss.
Photo Credit: John Nicholls via Flickr

When you think there’s got to be an easier way, there is

When you think there’s got to be an easier way, there is

brickandmortar500One day on your morning walk you come upon a man bashing his head against a brick wall in the middle of a field. You watch, mesmerized, as he stands in front of the wall and rhythmically butts his head against it over and over again.

After a few minutes you just have to ask what he’s doing. When you do, he barks out a response between grunts and groans.

“I’m trying BAM to knock down OUCH this blinkin’ BAM wall. What GRUNT does it BAM look like?”

You allow as how that is indeed what it looks like, but add that you wonder if it’s the best way to proceed.

“Look buddy,” he grunts. “I don’t have BAM a battering OOF ram or BAM dynamite. UNH I’ve got BAM to use BAM my head.”

“Okay,” you say. “But is bashing your head against the wall going to work?”

“Maybe not BAM,” he replies. “But it OOF certainly BAM won’t work BAM if I stop GROAN.”

Oooookay, you think. Whatever blows your skirt up. And you walk on.

The next day you pass by the same field. The man is still at it, but now he’s wearing a helmet. And the day after that you see that he’s got a giant bottle of Tylenol at his feet.

“I see you’ve made some changes,” you call out.

“You bet,” he grunts. “I’m working BAM smarter, BAM not harder.”

It sounds insane, doesn’t it? But how often do we bash our heads against metaphorical walls, convinced that it’s our best, albeit unlikely, shot at getting what we want?

And how often do we equip ourselves with helmets and painkillers, under the illusion that that’s what working smarter means?

We grind away at problems, thinking and overthinking until our heads are splitting, then we look for ways to alleviate our headaches so we can think some more.

Of course as long as we’re using our heads as battering rams, we can’t step back from the wall and use them to reflect on the possibilities. As long as we envision problems as solid walls, we can’t see the ladders up one side or the paths leading around to the back.

The solution always is to stop bashing against the wall.

Just stop.

Because no matter how impractical that may sound, head bashing is even less practical. Head bashing is guaranteed not to work.

What works is taking a fresh look when your head clears.

And your head will clear, though you’ll probably have to walk away from the wall for a bit.

It’s worth noting that walking away isn’t about avoiding the problem. It’s about broadening your perspective, freeing your mind, making room for new thought to flow and insight to flower.

That’s the way to bring down a brick wall.

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The origins of Shaboom and an invitation to apply for individual coaching

The name of my company, Shaboom, is taken from a tune written and recorded by The Chords in 1954. The refrain, “Life could be a dream” captures the promise and impermanence of dreams. It calls us to be bold, visionary, and creative. It honors intuition and alternate ways of knowing. And it reminds us not to take  ourselves too seriously.

It’s exactly what I want for myself and for my clients.

This fall I’m opening up my practice to five new individual clients. This is a rare opportunity to work with me at a deep level to unleash your creativity, hook up your genius, and take bold action to create your dreams. I’m interviewing prospective clients now. To learn more and apply, please click here.
shaboominc.com/coaching/

Photo Credit: Damien Cox via Flickr

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