365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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When a man leaves a woman

Day 138Will she really be happier living alone….?

Today I spoke to a woman, let me call her Lisa for the purpose of this story, whose partner had just left her. I asked about how she felt and how it was now living alone. She replied this was not the first time a man had left her, and now she was fed up with men and had decided to be happy being without a man and focus on her work and herself.

Hum… In my mind I felt sorry for her for having had such a bad experience with men. I believe that we are not wired to live alone and that she most likely will not be happy in the long term being on her own.

Lisa and I ended up having a long conversation, where I learned a lot about her personality. She also learned about herself from the realizations that she made while sharing her story with me. At the beginning of our conversation she told me she did not understand why he left. Our meeting opened her up to understand why her partner, as well as her ex-husband, ‘probably’ had left her.

Let me share a little bit about Lisa’s personality and story.

Lisa is a hard working woman. She runs her own business and actively grows it, and loves the work she does. Lisa hardly ever takes brakes. When she comes home after a long day at work, she often does grocery shopping and errands. After this she starts all the necessary work at home – and the list is long….; she makes dinner, cleans up, does the laundry, irons, cleans the apartment – until finally she almost collapses and head for bed. And so it goes, day after day.

IMG_4848I was wondering how much time and energy she has had for her partner? “Well, not much”, she said, “because he did not help me and just watched TV or sat with the computer, which I thought was so unfair and since I did not receive any help from him I became angry with him.” Lisa felt that she was serving her partner and that he was lazy and unhelpful. She had had a similar story with her ex-husband.

How often did you have sex, I asked? I got the same answer, “Not much. I was either too tired, or had no desire.”

Regretfully too many people recognize themselves in Lisa’s story.

It is quite interesting that we actually believe and think we can have a rewarding relationship if we are constantly busy. It is also interesting that one person in the relationship, and often the woman, accepts to do all the household chores with joy at first, and then end up bitter and complaining about it.

What are the solutions, what more is possible in our relationships?

Tomorrow I would like to explore ways to a rewarding relationship with our spouse or partner; where we share positive energy.

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Day 128“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder was an American playwright and novelist.

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about various ways to be heartful. One great way to a heart full of love is GRATITUDE.

It is well recognized in positive psychology that gratitude alters our outlook of life and impacts our positive feelings and emotions. By simply recognizing with gratitude how fortunate we are for all the things we have (and have taken for granted), we can be both happier and respond to life in a much more positive fashion. With a grateful mind and heart, we will most likely also attract more of the things we want, wish or hope for.

We might be complacent and not very happy. Or we might have a mind that is often in a critical modus looking for what is not working. With a mind programmed to continuously change and improve things, there is a risk that we see life through a lens where the glass looks a bit half empty rather than half full. With this outlook, we don’t tend to take a pause and feel gratitude.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you may forget to stop and celebrate and feel grateful for the improvements you are making and the successes you have. As soon as you have achieved something, you look for something new to chase rather than stop, savor and be happy for what you have. When our heart is not full, we strive to accomplish and have more with a hope it will fill the empty feeling we carry in our hearts.

I used to be one of those people with a whole in my heart, striving to continuously change and improve. I did not sense gratitude often enough in my daily life. So when I one day woke up and realized that I had been looking for happiness in the wrong places, I instead began to notice all that I was fortunate to have, and all that was working in my life. With this simple shift in attitude my life took on another turn and gave me more and with less effort. The attitude of gratitude has brought richness into my life on many levels – among them, I very often feel heartful.

I also enjoy expressing gratitude towards my husband, which he of course appreciates – and I have noticed that the love between us has grown as a result of it.

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The magic is within you

DAy 105You are a giver by simply being you

Life becomes enriching when we understand that we all have something to give to one another, simply by being real. Having the attitude that we contribute to other people lives by just being our most wonderful selves, places a focus on the ‘being’ part of who we are, rather than the ‘doing’ part. We do not always have to be doing things to make an impact and a difference to someone. Our natural selves can be plenty – if we see ourselves, appreciate who we are and share who we are.

I know the most wonderful woman, who is successful in every way one could imagine professionally and family wise. She still feels insecure in social settings where she does not know anyone, as she perceives herself as uninteresting. Of course with the attitude that she is boring and not worth talking to, she becomes shy or quiet and her self-image becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Our self-image, often established as a child, can stay with us no matter how successful we have become professionally. We can feel confidence and competent in our main occupations but still have a low self-esteem. Our self-esteem is fundamentally related to who we are and not what we do. We do not always have to perform to be worthy. Many high achievers believe that.

If you would like to feel more comfortable in social settings where you do not know people well I have some tips for you. What are the positive character traits that you are proud of? (Do not think about your weaknesses, we all have those as well but that is nothing that should enter your consciousness before you go out to meet people). When you reflect about these positive qualities, how does it make you feel? You are enough by simply being you; You are a pretty good person! What if you could simply show up with confidence next time you are in a social setting, knowing that you are enough in who you are?

If you share your most wonderful self with people you meet, and at the same time are curious about the people you meet, I can guarantee that you will feel comfortable in social settings.

To be beautiful means to be yourself.

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How intense is your life?

DAy 72I know well how it feels to live “on the edge.” I have most of my life valued “doing” over “being,” as I love to be engaged and active. However, when I squeeze too much into my life, I do not have a much fun. The more activities I try to pack into my days, and the more I rush – the less quality of life I have, because I cannot absorb and tune in to the people around me and what else is going on.

When we live at our edge, we live with an intensity that stresses the mind and body, and we disconnect from the voice of our soul. When we live with high intensity, we do not pick up clues and nuances from the people and the environment around us.

In the past I did not have the capacity to step back and review my life from the outside, with a “helicopter perspective”. I could not see that the intensity and speed, in which I lived my life, did not add true quality. I missed out on a lot. I was spinning for years not knowing how to live in another way. I was blinded by my own habitual routines of doing too much too fast. And I still fall into this old bad habit from time to time.

In the last years I have developed various strategies to slow down. My energy is more calm and focused. When I slow down I open up to life’s beauty; I feel greater appreciation and gratitude for all the lovely people in my life, and I notice and live much more in harmony my surrounding.

I will share in a later post more about what I do to guard my inner peace, but the biggest shift came when I had the big aha moment that I actually was in charge of creating my own reality and that I nobody but me could change my life for me. I understood that I had to explore and find out what I needed in order to live with more peace and harmony and that I could sometimes stop, say no, and take time out.