Category Archives: Happiness

Are You Clutter-Blind? Or Do You Know Someone Who Is?

4494987374_36e21d0849_bOne thing that continues to surprise me about the nature of good habits and happiness is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should.

In the context of life of a happy life, something like a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box seems trivial—and it is trivial—and yet I find that I get a disproportionate charge of energy and good cheer from clearing clutter.

An orderly environment makes me feel more in control of my life, and if this is an illusion, it’s a helpful illusion.

Many people feel that way, and even people who thrive on a little chaos tend to have a limit, and enjoy orderliness to some degree.

Oblivious to Clutter

However, there’s a group of people who seem oblivious to clutter. They don’t appear to see it at all. Just as some people are color-blind, these folks are clutter-blind.

“Clutter-blind” doesn’t apply to the people who can stand to see dirty dishes scattered around, because they know if they wait, a spouse will collect the dishes — perhaps complaining all the while; see these crucial facts about shared work.

The fact is, very often, people in a couple or in a group have different levels of tolerance for clutter, and the ones with the least tolerance end up doing the most tidying, and the ones with more tolerance end up doing less. Again, this is a problem of shared work. However, in most cases, the messier ones would eventually cave and do some clutter-clearing, too. They want to be in environments that are reasonably orderly (though others might disagree by what is “reasonable”).

But some people don’t seem to register clutter, ever. A friend told me, “My husband never notices anything. As an experiment, when we got back from a trip, I left a suitcase full of his dirty clothes right in front of the front door, so he’d have to step over it to get in the house. I wanted to see how long he’d put up with it.  After a month, I called off the experiment and dealt with the suitcase myself.”

Have you found anything that works?

Continue reading

Living with Intent: What Are You Creating?

Over a year ago we saw the release of Living with Intent and the Intent.com app.
Both came after years of growing an Intent community who shared their truest hopes and passions with one another, supported one another and saw one another make dreams a reality.

So what’s going on over at Intent.com?
Today we wanted to share these beautiful intents created by our members while on the go using the Intent app: Continue reading

Are You a Worrier? Three Tips to Worry Less.

8422339152_4403e7cd77_zI worry to some extent, of course, but I don’t think I worry as much as a lot of people.

Many people worry about how much they worry!

Today, the New York Times had an interesting article by Roni Caryn Rabin, “Worried? You’re Not Alone.

In it, Rabin points out several intriguing findings in a Liberty Mutual Insurance research paper, the “Worry Less Report.”

Apparently Millennials worry about money. Single people worry about housing (and money). People worry less as they grow older.

Some people — for instance, like my sister Elizabeth — feel that if they do worry about something, they’ll somehow prevent a bad thing from happening. Rabin points out, very sensibly, “Researchers say this notion is reinforced by the fact that we tend to worry about rare event, like plane crashes, and are reassured when they don’t happen, but we worry less about common events, like car accidents.”

Rabin also distinguishes between “productive worry,” which helps us solve a problem, and worry where you’re just, well, stewing in worry.

According to the report, here are some ways to tackle worrying: Continue reading

I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E  A Ten- Step Plan For Creating Abundance In Your Life

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By Kristin Meekhof, LMSW

A little over two years ago, I began sharing a bit about my writing journey. I embarked on an entirely different career while maintain my day job as a clinical social worker. I wasn’t sure how to write anything for a national platform. I didn’t have a literary agent, a publishing contract, any type of media connections or a marketing background. I simply wanted to share my story and that of other widows in the hopes that they would feel less alone. I did one blind entry about gratitude to the Huffington Post and to my surprise, they published it. They were not the only major company to open their arms to me.

What followed in the past two-and-a-half years is nothing short of phenomenal. I became friends with Dr. Deepak Chopra, who did the cover blurb for my book, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”, and I began to contribute to Maria Shriver’s platform, and she also did a cover blurb. In addition, I was interviewed by Katie Couric, American Greetings, my story was on the USA Today website, and I found myself at ABC’s headquarters doing a live hour long tweet chat. Most recently, I was at the United Nations.  By the way, Deepak did not introduce me to any of these individuals, nor, did a publicity team garner this support.

The question I am most asked is this- How did I manage this on my own? 

Many of the practices I developed evolved as my own writing / publishing process evolved. However, I can share with you that I know that because I practiced what I call I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E. this ten- step program which I developed over time, my world is richer and brighter. These practices aren’t exclusive to the publishing world. Anyone who is interested in creating more abundance can integrate these steps. Continue reading

It’s Time to Seek out a Therapist: Can Couples Counseling Help?

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If there is a persisting pain in our back, we see a chiropractor. For a chronic cough, we call our family doctor. So why is it so difficult for us to turn to help when there is a persistent, nagging problem in our marriages?

There are many couples that could do with seeking out a marriage or family therapist.

Couples therapy has a track record of 70%-80% of the marriages that participate successfully staying together and moving past their problems. That number is nothing to sneeze at considering the divorce rate hovers around 50% year in and year out.

Marriage counseling is a big help because we can’t look at our own relationship problems objectively. We tend to wear blinders when it comes to our own behavior, which places the blame squarely on our spouse’s shoulders; but in a relationship it takes two to make and two to break. Continue reading

What You Hold On To, Holds On To You

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By John Maclean

I became an incomplete paraplegic at the age of 22, because of a road accident. Running was the thing I loved to do most in life and it was taken away from me in a split second without warning or consultation.

Meeting the man who put me in a wheelchair was not going to be easy. I didn’t feel anger towards him or crave retribution, but I was apprehensive about getting in touch with him, hearing his voice, seeing him in person. My concern was that it might be a negative experience—and that would make things worse for me, not better. But I also knew that if I didn’t face up to this I would never be free of it. I wanted to know what happened in the cabin of that truck just before it hit me and what the driver’s reaction had been and how his own life had turned out. I wanted to know for sure that it was an accident, that my paraplegia was an unfortunate consequence of a random event.

Dialling the number was extremely difficult. It was nothing compared to facing up to the injuries I’d suffered when I woke up in the spinal unit at the local Hospital, but I had no choice but to keep going then. Facing the man who put me in a wheelchair was another issue altogether. I would be putting the ball squarely in his court and that was both risky and confronting. Continue reading

For Mother’s Day and the Women We Love: Get Your Signed Living with Intent Bookplates from Mallika Chopra!

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We are so excited to announce the upcoming release of Living with Intent in paperback this May 3rd. It has been over a year since the initial launch and we have heard countless stories of men and women living their own lives of intent. It has truly been an honor to join in that journey with you.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are happy to one again offer free signed bookplates from Mallika Chopra for your copies of Living with Intent.

How do you get one? Continue reading

Daily Opportunities to Live My Gratitude

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By Ryan Skinner

I had the wonderful opportunity this week to travel to Aruba for a vacation with my fiancée and future stepchildren. One evening, while sitting alone on the balcony of our room, gazing out in awe at the beautiful landscape and feeling warmed the balmy breezes, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. I’m blessed with so many things – family and friends who love me, opportunities to meet and work with amazing people and the daily opportunity to express how grateful I am to God for giving this recovering addict a second chance at life. I’ve been in very dark places and know that my story could have ended differently. But this night in Aruba, like all of the days since I made the commitment to be clean and sober, offered another moment to reflect on the reality that if you do the right things, hang in there and choose to live God’s way, all of those blessings are possible.

Since I renewed my commitment to God and a life of meaning and purpose dedicated to helping others both professionally and personally, I’ve developed daily prayer, meditation and journaling rituals that help me get into the right spiritual mindset. I’ve been doing this ever since I got sober. I wake up by 6 a.m. at the latest and spend 30 minutes on a combination of praying (sometimes on my knees on a clean floor, but sometimes even at my kitchen counter having my morning coffee) and doing affirmation readings from books of positive quotes and writings that inspire me to live that day and be present. I spend a lot of time on gratitude. Whether it’s dark or light, I always light a candle. It’s just my way of bringing spirituality into the moment and connecting with God. My morning journaling is simple, just writing thank you to God for another day He has granted me. Continue reading

7 Ways to Get Out of A Slump: And One Reason Why Not To

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By Andrew Bryant

I’m in a slump. I’m sure you’ve been here, or maybe you are in one to?

How do I know I’m in a slump?

My batteries feel flat, focus is elusive and I am drawn to my couch like a moth to a flame. Your symptoms may be different, but you know you are not operating at your best.

What’s really embarrassing about this, and causing me some guilt, is that I am an author on personal development and self-leadership – surely, I shouldn’t be in a slump?

The surprising fact is, I don’t want to get out of my slump, well not yet anyway! I am like the man who is happy at the bottom of a hole, you see I both know the way out and I know the benefit of being in the hole.

Mostly I maintain pretty high-energy. Zest is, in fact one of my strengths, but when we are ‘go, go, go’ we can miss the subtle things. So I am accepting my slump. Why? Because it’s my slump. Nobody did this to me. It’s my body signaling me something, and in accepting that I can get the message.

Often we force ourselves to push through low performance, but if it really is a slump, the best strategy is to call it. By naming and owning your slump, ultimately you put yourself back in control.

Everything in life has cycles, the weather, the stock market, and your energy levels. The secret of success is to ride the cycle, and benefit from the down-time.

So I’m in a slump and you maybe you are too, so what’s the benefit?

It’s time to reflect, to regroup, and to decide on what’s important and what’s not. Use your slump to nurture yourself and become aware of what really matters to you. When you have answered this question, and given your body some rest, do the following: Continue reading

6 Essential Tips to Develop a Stress Management Strategy

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By Brigitte Cutshall

Were you aware that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of health issues?  Heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. Chronic stress can affect your brain, raise your blood pressure, and reduces your immunity and ability to heal.

At least 75% of doctor office visits are for stress-related complaints stemming from job stress.  It’s a $1 trillion per year “under the radar” health epidemic according to Peter Schnall, author of Unhealthy Work.

The cost to treat those with chronic diseases (from stress) is about 75% of the national health expenditures per the CDC. Chronic diseases cause 7 out of 10 deaths each year – but are preventable and treatable.

Chronic stress not only affects the physical aspects of your life such as health or general energy level, but it can affect job performance and personal relationships. For this reason, every person needs a stress management strategy, a way to focus on personal empowerment and feelings of “loss of control” in check.

Dealing with cancer twice and a brain tumor diagnosis confirmed that I can’t take anything for granted.  I want to be there for my family, watch my kids grow up and thrive. This reality made me stop, take a step back and evaluate my life, intentions and overall goals. Developing a stress management strategy was important. My curiosity also led me to become a certified health coach and health advocate.

Here are 6 essential tips I recommend to help you develop a stress management strategy: Continue reading

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