Waiting To Be Happy? Really?!?

Enlightenment, joy and peace are inside you

Have you ever said to your spouse, children or a friend; if you would do “this” I would be happy? Come on, be honest. If you didn’t say it out loud, you’ve thought this at one time or another. Or maybe you have only applied this type of statement to a work environment. When the company does this, I will be happier about working here.

I started thinking about this because I’ve allowed a personal situation to steal my happy recently. I strongly disagree with some decisions a family member is making. When I discussed it with my husband, he said I was being negative about that person. Although I don’t see it that way, I understand his point. The fact is I’ve spent far too much energy thinking about the situation, worrying about the individual and trying how to get them to recognize what they are creating. No matter how much we love someone, we can’t live their life for them and they must deal with the results of their decisions.

A few months ago when my book, It’s Your Life…..Own It! was released, a classmate reached out to me. Bob and I had attended junior high and high school together. We hadn’t spoken in a decade but he wanted me to know he was proud of me. What was interesting is, he told me he wouldn’t be purchasing the book because he was already very happy with his life. Unlike most, he was grateful for all areas of his life. He used the words satisfied and happy multiple times as he described his life.

Yesterday Bob had a heart attack and died. I was shocked and saddened when I read the post on FB. Naturally, I recalled our last conversation and realized Bob was content and happy with the life he lived. Isn’t that the best that we can ask for? To be happy with the life we’ve lived?

My friend’s death gave me a different perspective on my personal situation. The question for me as well as you is; why are you wasting any time on things that cause you distress, anger or worry? Life is meant to be joyful. Why waste time or wait to be happy? Just as I can, I’m sure you can find plenty of people or circumstances in your life to be happy about. I have a file saved on my computer called “Gratitude Journal”. Sometimes I open it up to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life but today I’m going to add to it, starting with “I have been blessed to have had Bob as a friend, because he was a living example of happiness.”

RIP Bob, I will miss that easy smile and the man behind it.

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Who Can You Count On?

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

When there is a crisis in your life, who do you turn to? Who will be there helping you before you ask? While you are thinking about those questions, let me share a very personal story.

In 2003 I experienced the most challenging circumstance of my life. It was more heart wrenching than the death of my parents or my divorce nine years later. My husband spent sixteen days in the ICU and without exaggeration, about half of that time I didn’t know if he was going to make it. The most difficult decision I’ve ever made was taking my two sons, ages 9 and 12, to the ICU to see their father. I didn’t know if it would be the last time they would see him alive and I needed to prepare them for whatever may happen. The boys had gone to school one day only to come home and find a neighbor there instead of their parents, so I needed them to know that their dad was in the hospital and very ill. I postponed taking them to the hospital for several days, yet when the doctors were unsure about his recovery, I finally had to make a choice. Thirteen years later, just thinking about what my sons went through still brings me to tears.

During that difficult period something truly wonderful also occurred. I’ve never been a person who would ask for help and my friends and family are aware of this. When I needed them most, they came to my rescue. Knowing that I was spending most of my time at the hospital, my best friend flew across the country and planted herself in my home orchestrating everything from meals to homework. During this same time frame I needed to prepare our house to be sold. Several neighbors got together and created a schedule to do everything needed to the house. One of their churches donated the paint and my neighbors painted the house, cleaned gutters, power-washed the driveway and planted flowers. When my husband came home from the hospital, the house was ready to go on the market.

Now let me tell you why I shared this story. I’m tired of the division that I see in my country. The upcoming presidential election in the United States is bringing differences to the forefront. The acts of terrorism and groups calling for the death of others (different from them) disgusts me. However I know that only love can heal, so I don’t want to spend time focusing on the negatives.

At the beginning of this blog, I asked you some questions. I want to provide my own insight into your answers. I seriously doubt that the government or any of it’s agencies were the ones who came to you in your time of need. It is our family, our friends and the communities we live in, that provide us the support and help when we need it most. Why? Because that is what we do ourselves. When our family, neighbors or community are in need, we as individuals answer the call. Helping another who is in crisis brings out the best in us as human beings.

I believe that I’m blessed to live in a country where we have the opportunity, and in my way of thinking – the responsibility to vote for those who will run the government. However, my life doesn’t change dramatically whether it is a Democrat or Republican in the White House. My life is affected far more by what happens in the community I live in, the company I work for, and the people I chose to spend time with. I find most of our elected officials operate in a different reality than the parent who works all day, drives like a bat out of hell to get to their kids game and falls into bed hours later, exhausted. Rather than focus on division, I encourage you to recognize those individuals that truly make a difference in your life and spend more energy showing them love – whatever that looks like.

Feel free to leave comments or express your own opinion.

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Giving of Yourself

Every positive thought and action sends ripples out into the world. You may never know who you influenced to change for the better.

I was having a conversation with a young adult that reminded me how it is impossible to know all of the lives that we impact.

TJ shared with me that the night before he and a friend were sharing with a third party how they were both attracted to “broken” people. They have this need to fix others. Then TJ stated that it never worked out. As he described giving of himself there was an unspoken expectation that the other person would reciprocate in kind. He then bluntly stated that if he continued to give pieces of himself away, he would have less of himself. Because of this, he decided that he would no longer make an effort to help these friends and acquaintances that he’d been describing. TJ looked me in the eye and said, “don’t you agree that would be best.”

I told TJ I understood why he thought that way however I disagreed with every part of his assessment of the situation. He asked me to share why, not to be argumentative but he really wanted to know. Here is what I shared with him.

First, every person is “broken” in some way. It may not be obvious however each human being has something that they struggle with. In my eyes there’s no such thing as a broken person, instead I see individuals who need love and understanding. (Okay, some need a kick in the tush.) Some have lost their way or have never identified who they are but nobody is broken beyond repair. Each person is searching for the best way to live, and as teenagers or young adults, many different behaviors are exhibited as what fits them best is sought out.

When I told TJ that he was viewing the situations from a separation point of view he got a bit upset, as I knew he would because he sees himself as accepting of everyone. If we only view what occurs between two people then it is easy to develop a me vs you mentality. However if we stretch and take a birdseye view we would begin to see the connection between people and a oneness. What affects one person ultimately contributes to the vibration of all people.

If you share wisdom or inspire another it doesn’t end with them. Whatever action they take based on what they took away from the situation moves forward either with them or someone that they shared it with. This may occur right away or in the future. In other words, each action we take ripples out into the world and there is no way for you to know how many souls were affected. I encouraged TJ to see the bigger picture rather than focus on the one circumstance.

The pay it forward movement is based on this principle. Often times we provide help to someone who simply can’t repay us for the good deed. That shouldn’t upset us unless we are only doing something to get something back in return. Even though I know that there are those who merely take advantage of others, I believe it to be a small percentage. I believe in the innate goodness of people. That is due to my belief that we all come from a loving source. Those who are further out of alignment with themselves are struggling and exhibit behaviors we label as negative. It benefits us all if we can provide help or guidance to those who need it.

If you find yourself frustrated with someone today, pause long enough to let your own emotions calm down. Then take that birdseye view yourself. Maybe you will recognize some of the ripples that began with you being the first drop of love or kindness.

If you’ve not yet read my book, It’s Your Life…Own It! check out my author site to see if it resonates with you. Have a blessed day.

Let Them Know You’re Proud

children chose you

As much as I try not to judge, I’ve never understood parents who are unsupportive of their children. When I say unsupportive I mean in all ways from financial to emotional and everything in between. I recognize that my beliefs about life and spirituality guide my thoughts and those with different beliefs will make decisions based in those beliefs.

We are spiritual beings and the energy source that many call the soul has merely taken up temporary residence in our physical body. It’s kind of ironic that people can accept that they are energy projected into this vehicle we call a body for themselves, but when we think of babies, we tend to focus on physical biology. When an unexpected pregnancy occurred in our family, I shared what I thought about the situation. How awesome that a being of source energy made the conscious decision to come into a body and chose who would be his or her parents. In other words, a God source energy decided to express itself in physical form, and with everyone on earth to chose from, it chose specific people to be its birth parents. How can you feel anything but joy about that? Think about times in the past when you were chosen for something –a team on the playground, a big project at work or being the person someone wanted to commit to spending his or her life with. It felt pretty good, didn’t it? Actually it felt great to be chosen. How incredible that a soul selected those individuals who arguably will be the most influential in the beginning of their new journey on earth.

I know it might be a stretch for some to believe their children chose them, but I really do believe that souls choose the families they will be born into. That is why I have such difficulty with unsupportive parents. Sure raising children can be challenging but for myself, I learned more about love and life from my kids than any other relationship. During rough times I have made decisions from a sense of duty as a parent however the incredible sense of love I have for my children was my guide most of the time.

The emotional wellbeing of a child carries them long after they leave our home. I think the two most powerful and enduring sentiments to share with your child are the phrases; I love you and I’m proud of you. Some are uncomfortable with expressing themselves with words however I would encourage you to say those two phrases often. They are a higher vibration than most other things you can say to your child thus they resonate with the soul.

I learned how important those phrases were when my oldest was in the service. He was involved in an intense level of training with an extremely high drop out rate. Three different times within a six month period he called me to share his grief over a friend committing suicide. As a parent, I worried about the intensity of what he was going through, especially if others found their escape in death rather than dropping out of the program. My son told me what they all had in common was a lack of support from their family. He assured me that he knew, no matter how or what he did, he would be loved. I still cry for those parents who lost their sons in what was but a moment of desperation. No doubt if they could start over they would ensure their son grew up knowing that they loved him and were proud of him, providing him the emotional rock to hold onto when life got tough.

Even if your beliefs are different than mine, I hope you will consider using “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” frequently. To do so can only improve the vibration of this planet, making it better for everyone.

Feel free to leave comments, whether you agree or disagree, I’m interested. Christie

 

My Top 10 List For Raising Happy Children

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

As parents we provide the best life we can for our children. I believe most of us want our children to become happy and responsible adults. This is my top 10 list to achieve that. You may have your own list however I’m thinking our lists have much in common.

  • Teach children they are energy and connected to everything by energy
  • Tell children they are intelligent and demonstrate you believe it
  • Teach children their thoughts produce tangible results
  • Teach words can hurt or encourage and to choose wisely
  • Demonstrate that kindness brings joy to both giver and receiver
  • Teach that moral courage and integrity are the basis of good decisions
  • Teach that collaboration improves every situation
  • Teach children that they control how they feel and can change it
  • Demonstrate that life is fun and full of opportunity
  • Teach by example what happiness is because they witness happy parents

No matter the age of your child, every parent knows the feeling of your words falling on deaf ears. For those of you feeling a bit of discouragement over this, let me assure you that anything that is repeated often does sink in.  You may have to wait until your children have reached adulthood to get verification but the important lessons will stick. Here’s an example that had me laughing out loud. My youngest son, Ryan, was a slob growing up. It was normal not to see his bedroom floor beneath the discarded clothes and sports equipment. Dishes had great difficulty finding their way back to the kitchen. You get the idea. I tried to teach my children that an organized space helps you to feel more in control of your world (not in my top 10). A couple of months ago during a phone conversation, Ryan was telling me what a slob his roommate was. He described dishes with food on them under the bed, clothes dropped wherever and the inability to wipe off the kitchen counter. Evidently Ryan has turned into a neat freak since living on his own. I, of course, was LMAO at the irony. My point is, eventually your kids recognize lessons from childhood.

Although I could turn my top 10 list into a book, I want to address what I believe is the most important — being a happy parent. The fact is what you say doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your children observe in the household. Think about it. The reason so many adults have mental blocks about money is we grew up hearing “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “we can’t afford that” or “our last name isn’t Rockefeller”. We witnessed our parents arguing over money or financial decisions. Even though conversations may not have been directed at us, we developed beliefs based on the sense of lack that was prevalent in the actions of our family.

If you want your children to be happy, find a way to be happy with your life, the way it is right now. Find the joy and gratefulness within the day to day living. Let your children see that there are reasons to be happy even when there is a challenge. Allow them to witness you doing things that you love and the joy it brings you. Pay attention to both your actions and words as you teach them by example that this is a friendly and loving universe. Do this and they will know that happiness is an achievable result of the choices they make coupled with how they think.

You can read more in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It! available on Amazon

Manifesting Requires Faith

Have faith....universe supports you in every way

The most difficult part of creating something new in your life is to have faith.  The lack of faith is the reason people don’t believe the law of attraction works for them.  Typically this is the scenario.  I come up with a desire and send that out into the universe, maybe I even share it with another person.  I think about what it is that I want, why I want it and how it will benefit me and others.  I focus on the result but can’t help also focusing on the details.  Then I wonder about the hows.  That’s when the doubts start marching into my mind like soldiers from a conquering land.  With them, they carry the why’s of why my dream isn’t possible.  My logical mind starts pointing out my current reality and before you know it, doubt has taken over, placing me on a fence of my manifestation.  I will surely fall off this fence on the side of my beliefs.  Without faith I fall back into my current reality – the one I’m trying to escape.

Sound familiar?  We all experience this scenario at some point for different reasons.  It could be that you lack confidence in your abilities.  It could be that you aren’t convinced that you deserve to have your desires manifest.  It could be that your beliefs about yourself don’t benefit you any longer and need to change.  I can’t tell you the why.  What I can tell you is that change is possible if accompanied by faith.

Faith is simply a belief in something that you can’t see or touch even though you know it exists.  Are there things you already experience faith in?  Maybe it is a higher power such as God.  Maybe you have faith that your children will do the right thing.  You may have faith that a particular candidate will follow through on their promises.  My point is that each of us experiences faith in something outside of ourselves and we can apply that same principle to our own creation.

When you decide to create anything you do so with a bit of faith that it is needed, will fill a gap or will be beneficial to you or others.  Let’s revisit the scenario from above.  You decide that you are going to follow through with a dream.  You love it and are passionate about this dream.  You send it out into the universe, including telling others because the spoken word is powerful.  You focus on the result; what your life looks like once this dream is achieved and how you feel.  Capture that feeling and that picture in your head so it is the only option.  You create this new reality in your mind.  You “know” that the universe is handling the hows and will provide opportunities to move you closer.  You take faith filled action each day to contribute to the manifestation of your dream.  You believe you are on the correct path for you and when those soldiers of doubt approach, you have faith that the fortress of your mind is strong enough to hold them at bay until the point that you begin to experience your new reality.  No need to fight the soldiers at that point, let them die from the natural cause of your dream being realized.

If this writing resonates with you, check out my website and join our community.

Fulfilling A Purpose

Sometimes you don't feel the weight

Have you ever wanted to do something, but you kept putting it off?  Procrastination takes hold and life gets in the way.  Before you realize it, your dream was moved to the back burner in someone else’s kitchen.  You know that desire is still there somewhere, because it nags at the back of your mind, interjecting itself into your thoughts at unexpected times.  It calls to you, in a soft subtle voice that nobody else hears.  That idea has substance and a weight that isn’t measured in pounds but rather attention units.  Always present, yet never in the forefront of your mind because you’ve chosen to put your focus elsewhere.  Miraculously, this desire doesn’t die from neglect.  It can’t if it is truly part of you.  It grows in imperceptible ways, waiting for the right time to spring forth demanding you notice it once again.  Demanding that you take action.

This was how writing was for me.  Even though I’ve written my entire life, it was for myself.  Sometimes others would receive heartfelt letters or I’d share a short story with a friend for whom it was written, but sharing my thoughts outside an intimate group wasn’t something I did.  As I became focused on my career, my marriage and then children, there wasn’t time to write.  To be honest, I didn’t make time.  When my boys started school, the desire to write resurfaced.  I had this crazy idea to write a novel.  I wasn’t in a good place mentally however I found the writing cathartic.  That novel was never published, nor should it have been.  When I reread it years later I decided it would need a total rewrite, however that probably won’t happen, because that writing was more about me healing than sharing a story.  Besides, the weight of the desire to write wasn’t unbearable yet so I put my efforts into other people.

When you concentrate on others it can be altruistic and cowardly at the same time.  I threw myself into volunteering first.  I found that the skills I’d honed in management positions were invaluable to organizations desperate for volunteers.  Whether it was the PTA, an alcohol/drug rehab or the foster care system, my planning skills coupled with my ability to communicate, filled gaps for them.  I was helping the organizations as well as individuals.  That was the altruistic part.  The more time I gave to others, the less I had to spend on improving myself.  Ah, the cowardly part.  If I was busy focusing on others I didn’t have to deal with my own fears, my own beliefs about myself and all those thoughts that weren’t benefiting me in any way.  I could effectively ignore that part of me, the one calling me to a life purpose, if I was contributing to the wellbeing of others.

There was something inside of me that I couldn’t ignore so I compromised with myself.  Whether you knew me thirty years ago or we just met in the past year, if we talked much at all, you figured out that I really wanted to help people, to be of service to them.  I want people to do well, to be happy for themselves.  Due to changes in our family situation, we closed our company and I began working for a large company.  Since I had this purpose of helping others hanging over my head, I concentrated on developing and training those who reported to me.  I’m direct enough that I cut through some of the excuses people give for not performing their best and we developed an incredible team.  If you are wondering what the compromise was, here it is.  At the same time we were achieving unprecedented results I was taking note of what worked and what didn’t, not only for the team but for myself.  At the time, I didn’t know that these would turn into exercises I incorporated into my book, It’s Your Life..Own It!

When a desire or a dream isn’t overwhelming, it’s easy to ignore.  That’s what I did for several years.  Even though I was making some journal entries of what was working well, I didn’t think about sharing them.  My grandmother used to tell me that when God closes a door, another one opens.  Well in my case, I felt like the universe decided I wasn’t moving fast enough to the next door so a series of events occurred which put me on my current path.  It started with a fateful Saturday when it took me fifteen minutes to recognize a feeling that overwhelmed me……happiness.  Now there’s a wake up call, when you don’t immediately recognize happiness when it shows up.  That gives you a small hint at the state of my life at that point.  That incident, which I wrote about, provided the motivation for me to take a serious look at my life and decide what I was going to create for the future.

Deciding what you desire to create in your life sounds much easier than it is.  Before I could develop a clear picture for the future I had to do some mental housecleaning.  That cowardly part of me actually suggested we just keep living in our little status quo box but it was too late for that.  I had to confront my fears, my mental blocks and I had to remember how to dream again.  Once that door to possibilities was open I was flooded with ideas, concepts and plans which I had no idea how to execute.  I traveled a great deal for my job so I began writing down everything that was coming to me.  Sometimes I wrote in a notebook on my lap as I drove and other times I would use the dictation feature on my phone and record notes.  If I was on my computer when these ideas came to mind, I sent myself an email so I could get it out of my head and refer to it later.  That is how the book started.

It wasn’t until I made further changes in my life that I had the time to organize all of these random thoughts.  My attempts were thwarted by my own self doubts as new fears arose.  However fears weaken as passion grows.  The more I focused on the message and helping others, the more passionate I became and with that my fears were lessened.  Then something interesting happened.  As I completed chapters of the book I felt as if a weight was lifting off of me.  I’m sure that some will read the quote at the beginning of this blog and think about negative situations that need to be released.  The opposite is just as true.  When a purpose is carried without giving it the attention and focus it requires, it weighs on our psyche until it is allowed to flourish and find it’s place in the world.

I wrote It’s Your Life..Own It! so that others could recognize that they too have the ability to create the life they desire.  You may have dreams and desires that are weighing on you and demanding to be released.  You don’t have to know all the hows, I sure didn’t.  You do have to start, first by recognizing what makes you happy and then taking steps to move toward that.  I want to share what I’ve learned so your journey is shorter than mine.  You can visit my website ChristieBakeman.com to see other things I have to share.