emotions

How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance... Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you'll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to be Happy

post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

smile

Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they're exactly the same.

I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness”  as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.

To be happy, I needed to...

…accept and be proud of who I am.

This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression...and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.

…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.

If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.

I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I'm on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I'm contributing to my own happiness. 

…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.

Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it's easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won't find it following trends or chasing myths.

I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I've learned to move on until I discover what's right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn't feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.

Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.

…take the time to better understand others.

Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.

If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.

…overcome fear and make it a priority.

I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.

I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn't much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one. 

…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.

There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.

We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.

In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.

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As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Move On From Resentment

Resentment

Image Credit: Nikko

Resentment is an internal pressure. It’s easy to forget that as you direct your emotions towards the cause of this bitter feeling.

I think back to moments in my life, where I’ve resented people and situations in my past and often enough, my own difficulties moving forward stemmed from an internal battle.

When you resent, your emotions clash with rationality. You find yourself in a state of bitterness because your identity has become compromised. Things like putting your life on hold for another and repeatedly leaving your vulnerabilities exposed, can cause you to repeat negative behavioral patterns that go against what you truly desire from life. As you begin to find it difficult to break through negative emotions, resentment makes you act in ways that truly aren’t in your nature.

The way to move on from resentment lies within your will to change.

When you’re steered away from your own pursuits and desires in life, your identity becomes confused. From my own experiences, resentment tends to arise when this realization occurs.

Rather than face and process the internal battle, you’ll often find it’s easier to cope by emotionally projecting your issues onto others and/or certain situations, like getting angry.

Remember, this is your life and if you’re facing any resentment, it’s up to you to take charge and direct change. Although it may ease the pressure by getting angry and attempting to have others feel your dismay, take it as an indication that your identity has risen to the surface and that you’re ready to take back control over your life.

This is a crucial time to be pro-active, rise above the cause and reconnect with who you truly are.

Take this awakening to re-establish your self-worth. Your feeling this because you’ve discovered that there is something better for you to find. Be it a better life, partner, career, lifestyle…whatever the circumstance, a little shift in perspective can turn resentment into a motivational trigger.

Whatever the case maybe, if you are facing resentment, take time away from the cause and thrust yourself towards things that make you feel like you. Connect with your passions, engage in activities that motivate you, do something that you want to do (I personally enjoy a short trip away). As you engage in blissful activities that spark your spirit, you’ll begin to take back control over your life piece by piece, until your identity is fully restored and you’re prepared to move on from resentment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Relationships: The Importance of Unveiling Your Past

Separated Yin Yang

Your life up until this point; the identity you live with today, is a collection of your experiences, everything you have learned and traits that you may have inherited. Part of being in a relationship is sharing your life with another, therefore it’s important to share your past with your partner.

For one, knowing that you’ve truly bared all is extremely liberating. Knowing that you have nothing to hide makes for an uncomplicated relationship that’s not only built on trust, but built on honesty too.

These two values are crucial, if you desire the components that make up a powerful partnership that carries on throughout the rest of your life.

Furthermore, knowing that there’s nothing left to uncover, allows you to be easily understood.

When I coach couples, I ask very tough questions in order to expose an honesty that someone perhaps lives with, but has not yet shared. I ask difficult questions because it indicates how well a couple communicate and how well people actually understand each other.

When you share your past with your significant other, you’re sharing information that is essential towards keeping your relationship alive. First of all, your partner won’t be spending their lifetime trying to figure you out, that alone can cause complications and insecurities.

Your past reveals your motivations and it reveals your emotional triggers, so just think about how this information can elevate bliss and happiness within your relationship. Teach your partner about the person you are, educate them on your past so that together you can have a mindful future.

The beautiful thing about letting your past out, is that you let it go. If there is a part of you that you haven’t shared with your significant other, then already you’ve begun to diminish core values. And if there are problems at the very core, the effect is felt at the surface (i.e. you’ll find yourself disagreeing and placing significance over smaller, less important issues, more frequently).

Revealing your past also allows you to remain present.

People always argue that if you reveal too much you leave nothing left to uncover, that there’s an excitement to the mystery. I agree, and that’s great at the very beginning of a relationship…a lot of the excitement when starting something new, comes from discovering new things. However, as you begin to understand each other and connect, excitement generates from exploring life as you move your relationship forward. From the mystery of exploring each other’s potential and embarking on parallel journeys towards self-actualization.

You may fear judgment and loss as a result of the information you share, but the whole point of sharing your life with someone, is that you have someone that accepts your identity completely and vice versa.

Society put’s on a lot of pressure and expects you to live up to certain ideologies: to get married at a certain age, start a family, fill a home with memories and beautiful things that elevate their image of perfection and bliss. This motivation is corrosive to your identity and this pressure may force you down avenues you’re not ready for.

A relationship is about the elevation of spirit; to experience nirvana and to engage you in fulfilling your purpose. You won’t get that until you give yourself completely. All the other things that you progress into (i.e. the home, the family etc.) merely become extensions of a growing relationship, not the definition of one.

Lastly and most importantly, sharing your past allows you to communicate confidently. It lessens the impact of misinterpretation and allows you to remain honest and maintain trust.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Things We Tend To Neglect When Pursuing Our Goals

Neglect Sometimes when we’re focused on attaining success, crucial parts of our lives get neglected. We also justify the things we neglect, by telling ourselves that we’ll place priority on them once we have achieved what we have set out to achieve. One thing I’ve learnt, is that if we don’t make these things a priority in our lives today, we’ll soon realize the burden of our actions.

Here’s 5 things that we must maintain in our lives to ensure that we attain success in a healthy and fulfilling manner.

  1. Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is the single most important thing in our lives. We must ensure that we make time for ourselves and that we look after our bodies. After all, we can attain all the success in the world, but it’ll mean nothing if we’re not healthy enough to enjoy it. The more success we build the more indestructible we feel, but that illusion will wear off the moment our bodies are overwhelmed and overrun by neglect.

I’m currently trialing an all organic diet and already I feel more energetic and awake. I also used to schedule exercise around my work, now I’ve shifted my schedule to work around my yogic goals.

  1. Home/Work Space

Whatever stage of success we’re at, our spaces are a reflection of our journey. The cleaner and organised our personal spaces are, the more productive we’re going to be. We’ll want to work in these spaces and spend less time wanting to get away or escape.

I once spent an entire day printing pictures and putting them up in frames around my house. At first I felt like I was wasting a day, but now my space serves a motivational gallery of things I’m grateful for and the aspirations I hold.

  1. People

Family, friends and partners are our immediate support network, they encourage us and support us when we need it. It’s easy to forget how much influence these people have on our success, without them we wouldn't have anyone to share success with.

One of my most popular posts to date is on success and loneliness, it has climbed the search engine ranks and continues to get more hits day by day. Nurture your relationships and make time for them, don’t end up successful and isolated.

  1. Social and Recreational activities

Make time to have fun and socialize with others. Social and recreational activities lift our spirits and help us relieve stress. They are a crucial component towards maintaining a positive mindset.

When I’m writing I have to be alone, but I must balance all this alone time by connecting with others. Making time to have fun and gathering with others keeps our identities engaged and our lives fulfilled. You’ve heard of the saying ‘work hard, play hard’ to me it connotes balance. Don’t let all your hard work end up in vain because you've made no time to enjoy life.

  1. Emotions

The most fulfilled people I’ve come across tend to be the most expressive.

Our emotions are our guide towards fulfillment. If we fall into a habit of focusing on our success and repressing our emotions, we can be led astray from where we actually want to be in life. When we deal with an emotion, we spend time evaluating and reflecting, it’s a process that helps keep us aligned with our aspirations.

Your emotions are the rawest form of honesty, so listen to them they’ll guide you where you need to go. Process your emotions as and when they arise so you don’t end up building a life you’re not fulfilled by.

It's easy to forget the significance of these things in our lives and if we don't start making these things a priority now, we'll end up losing touch with them later.

VanCity

Protecting the Pride: Understanding How Advice Works

Lion

Only when the Lion has evaluated and reflected, will the path he must take become highlighted. Although he may be uncertain, the lessons he carries with him will uphold his identity and keep him protected. Only once he has discovered all that lurks beyond this point, can he invite his pride along to join him.

Our emotions guide the direction of our lives, but recently I have found myself at a crossroad feeling completely numb. When I feel my emotions slipping away I write, because it freely allows me to be completely honest, forcing me to confront any inner or outer conflict.

Although meditation, exercise and being surrounded by passionate and positive people helps, I feel more like me and more free when I write. If I can’t rely on emotion to guide me at this present time, then I need to process what I’m thinking and face my thoughts.

A few opportunities have risen in my life and I feel I’m being pulled in several different directions. I feel that I've come to a cross-junction of opportunities and I’m unsure which one will guide me closer to where I want to be in life. Unfortunately, the longer I linger here the less I feel and I fear this numbness will lead me astray, triggering complacency and forcing me to venture down the safest and most predictable route.

Living life having found a reason to actually live is a life worth living. There’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of: it’s that there’s no breaking away from passion. Once we've found that thing that fulfills our every particle, it consumes us and we get lost in development as we become more of the person we’re supposed to be. We become so sure of ourselves that in this self-assurance we forget that our journey always has a new beginning; that life and progress is never limited to just one route.

Before I used to just write The Lion’s Life, now I’m becoming it. I find myself wondering where an advisor goes for advice. I’m feeling stranded at this crossroad because I’m unguided, yet I am unafraid and completely aware. To guide myself I must be completely honest with myself and externalizing this honesty is giving me insight as to why I’m feeling this way.

As a coach, consultant, advisor or whatever title I’m given when guiding others, I feel nothing but passion. I’m assertive, expressive and in my element when engaging others. I don’t do it for any sort of self-assurance either, I continue on because it feels easy, because it feels natural.

In one way or another, every interaction and connection I make with people tends to lead to coaching, I find myself blissfully on duty. It’s the best addiction I've ever experienced and the fulfillment I receive knows no bounds. Every beam of hope or jolt of passion I see people experiencing; seeing their identities unfold and ignite makes my life worth living.

As I’m working on this post, it’s helping me realize that potential remains uncapped if we continue to experience these crossroads in life. The emotional numbness we experience is the result of feeling like we've exhausted our current abilities and life begins to lose its challenge. We've reached this point because it’s time to progress and we’re required to venture into new territory. This threatens to our affirmed identities which is why it is so easy to linger.

It’s these moments we must learn to become honest and seek guidance in order to grow and continue onward towards self-actualization. It’s about improvement and becoming better in every possible way.

I don’t want to be another advisor spitting out the same advice over and over again even though it’s easy to hold onto this peak. There’s coming a point where a lot of those I work with are becoming more affirmed, they’ll need a coach that grows with them, not someone who can only guide them so far.

I sometimes forget, all advisors need advice, all teachers need to be taught and all Gurus still need to experience.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Channel a Negative Experience into Productivity

Shell

I feel I’ve worked very hard over the last few years to build a life free from as many negative stresses as possible. Yet, as hard as I work to avoid it, sometimes life just throws a negative force my way and I get affected.

I wish I could tell you that I have a solution. A way to avoid bad experiences completely, but I have yet to come across one. Life just has a funny way of f*cking things up now and again, but its OK, because I’ve learned that I can build strength from moments that attempt to break my spirit.

When I’m knocked down, what I learn as I get back up makes me stronger. The lasting impact reduces as I increase my tolerance and patience to work through any negative experience life decides to put me through.

The future is promising and my present is shaping up nicely. I’m experiencing the life I have built for myself and for the first time, I'd become unconcerned with interruption.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good vibes: from networking and connecting with new people, through to celebrating milestones and successes. However, getting caught up in all this current bliss, I overlooked any potential disruptions that would affect this positive flow of energy. I was productive, I was social and I was grounded.

I won’t go into detail, but an echo of disappointment and mistrust knocked me sideways as my identity was threatened. Everything I had work so hard for felt like it was unravelling because of this one, unrelated negative experience. It was so unexpected that disruptive thoughts consumed my consciousness, I was struggling to focus as I tried to regain a positive mental state.

I guess it’s what a lot of us do in situations that impact us negatively, I tried to overcome without processing and I tried to rebuild without reflection. There was bit of a journey between where my mind had ended up to where my mind needed to return, and I had to drive down a highway of reflection to get there. Full of wide turns and varying speed limits, the journey felt long but I found myself finding more peace as I passed each landmark I recognized.

I realized that this is one small, although significant, negative experience was not the energy I needed to nurture. Why dwell on it when I don’t want it? I don’t need it and by investing into it I’m only giving it more power over my life. It’s one of those situations that cannot be reversed, so I have two choices. I can choose to either let it affect all that I have worked on and worked for, or realize my aspirations and utilize this experience towards something productive.

I always forget that negativity is an uncomfortable loud scream over positivity, which is a gentle comforting whisper. Understanding this is how I learned to channel negativity. There are countless ways for me to be productive and do something that benefits me and my life. I just needed to do something to raise those little whispers, something that reminds me of my identity; doing something that reminds me of myself, to remind me of what I want.

I like to write, I like to blog and I like to be alone when I process my thoughts. So I opened up my laptop, poured myself a beer and wrote. Not really trying to think of what to write, I just allowed my mind to focus on whatever it wanted to focus on. Clearly the negative experience was still on my mind so that’s what I wrote about. The more I wrote the more I reminded myself of how much I love this! How much I love just doing what I do and how I want to make this a part of my living. This is what I want and I want more of it.

The more I engaged my passions the balance began shifting back in my favour; the more I was engaging in something that made me feel like me again, reminded me of my potential and my goals. I synchronized my energy into a flow state of productivity and before I realized it, I had this blog post written up, four more ideas drafted and organized my schedule for the week ahead. I overcome a negative experience and rediscovered my bliss by utilizing  things that make up my identity.

Like me, you too can turn your negative experience into something productive.

Whatever bad experience you come across in life, you can get through it. Life will continue to affect you again and again, but as long as you consistently engage in the things that make life worth living, then it won’t be too long before you return to your purpose and focus.

Just keep in mind, you must do whatever it takes to engage those comforting whispers in order to distance yourself from any annoying screams.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Guilt Can Advocate Positive Change

guilt

They say love can make you do crazy things and if you’ve ever experienced it you’d probably agree. The emotion is so powerful that it has an overwhelming impact on your identity. When I think about it, I could probably push myself to do a lot of senseless things for the people I love. When an overwhelming power like that takes over you, you realize the force and the significance of emotion.

Guilt is an emotion that, if given enough attention, can harness the power of your true identity and direct you towards positive change.

When guilt arises, it’s very easy at first to deny it. It’s easy to just push it aside into the darkest quarters of your mind as you indulge in one distraction after another. It’s not easy to forget a powerful emotion like that and by battling against it you deceive yourself, causing you to embrace and justify inner torment.

A weight difficult to shed, it can really keep you down from progressing in any positive direction in life. What you may not realize, guilt can be the biggest reveal of your identity and you can use this emotion to navigate yourself towards becoming the best that you can be. Although you may not want to admit it, but honesty is the policy you need to adopt here. Be honest about how you feel, be honest about why you’re guilty and be honest about wanting to overcome this guilt.

Guilt is one of those powerful emotions that allow you to reveal your identity or cause you to lock it away. When you  experience true and life altering emotion, you're required to take responsibility for yourself.

Just as you have to reveal your aspirations to the world in order to achieve them, you must allow your guilt to rise in order to harness its power towards positive change. It’s also crucial to admit that you want to stop feeling guilty. It can feel ironic, but it if you apply positive thought, you present yourself an opportunity to develop positive change.

Processing your guilt causes you to evaluate and reflect, it causes you to face awareness and challenge the identity you've been living with. Powerful emotions like love and guilt have such an effect because they expose your truth. They reveal the most vulnerable parts of your identity and it’s within this vulnerability you’re able to connect to your true self.

When you choose to turn away from powerful emotions, you choose to deny who you really are and what you truly want. You begin to destruct your own identity, probably beyond recognition as you stray further away from fulfillment.

Remember, we are all flawed beings and perfection is an illusion that halts evolution. Hiding or turning away from your emotions because of mistakes and misdirection will only restrict your ability to find peace of mind. Keep you from making the changes you need and want to make in your life.

Every single one of us has the ability to be great, after all we feel the same emotions. What separates those who achieve genuine greatness and those who do not, is how emotions are harnessed.

Guilt allows you the opportunity to learn about yourself, it reminds you of your humanity and your desire to connect with others. Guilt is a chance to discover reason and purpose. Guilt is an opportunity to better your life so that when you do, you can make healthy amends.

Give yourself this opportunity to make positive changes and return to the world proving that you have learned, experienced and are repentant. It was Ghandi that said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.”

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why We Secretly Enjoy Getting Pissed Off

anger

When we find ourselves in moments of anger, there’s usually an element of control that’s missing. We fear what we're not in control of, which is why I think this primitive aggression takes over. It’s a way for us to reassert ourselves and regain control.

I reckon we secretly enjoy these moments of rage because they make us feel powerful; they allow us to vent our frustrations without facing our inner truths. However, to move forward happily in our lives, we must learn to overcome fits of anger by being honest with ourselves and what it is we truly want.

It’s no secret that several years ago I used to hold onto a lot of anger. Easily triggered, I would quickly go from a state of calm to an overpowering rage in any situation that didn’t present an outcome I desired. Unleashing my wrath, I would cause emotional harm to those around me and emotional torment upon myself. I hated this part of myself as it did not represent my identity.

My frustrations were fuelled by up keeping outdated cultural traditions, and maintaining and meeting everyone else’s expectations. I was frustrated that I was working very hard to build a life that I was not happy with at all. I felt like the world and everyone in it seeped into my consciousness and controlled me from within. Moulding my identity to fit into ideologies I did not agree with and trends I did not want to follow.

I think flipping the switch and flying off the handle gave me a sense of freedom; it was the ultimate f*** you. I suppose it felt good because it was inadvertently honest. It was a moment where I was unconcerned about anything or anyone else but myself and what I wanted.

Getting Over It

The very day life turned around for me was the day I decided to venture into a life of my own design. When I realized that if I want things to go my own way, I have to go my own way. There was no one to blame anymore, nor was there anything in my way.

One thing that I had to work on though, was my ability to be honest and accept the reasons for my frustrations. It’s difficult to admit when we’re not happy, even more so if others will be affected by this honesty. Being honest is learning to express emotion, its learning to admit challenges and asking for help when needed. Consider anger an indicator of hiding from the truth.

I’ve learned that the more we repress honesty the more we feed our ego, until eventually we build lives where an ego is all we’re left with.

Experience more of that secret enjoyment everyday by regularly expressing yourself in ways others wouldn't expect; be more honest. At first you may experience feelings of displacement, judgment and perhaps even mockery, but once you put yourself out there for the world to see, there’s no need go back. Once you confront and then begin to share your truth, feelings of frustration become far and fewer and experiences of joy become more frequent.

Fight frustration with truth and notice day by day, how much less the world pisses you off.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Avoid Giving Up: A Formula Tried and Tested

wheel-of-fortune_2011_a_l

Facing a crisis

My life began to get pulled into different directions as my mind kept pacing from one aspect of it to another. I was trying to balance day-to-day motions and emotions, while constructing the next chapter of my life. I found myself losing control because I was motivated by fear.

I had built up a level of success that I feared losing. Rather than deal with these feelings, I sped passed them and missed certain cues telling me to slowdown and evaluate. If I had just taken the time to understand what this new area of success meant and what I should’ve been focusing on, I could’ve re-organized my life and continued on attentively. I would’ve done what I did much sooner…

My priorities were mixed up, my mind couldn’t sit still and it all became overwhelming. It was like my life was stuck in a game of Wheel of Fortune: blogging, completing my book proposal, ‘Feeding the Lion’ videos, consulting, running a home, finances, family, friends, me time? Exercise, meditation, reading, dating, query letters, researching agents/publishers, writing, more errands to run and so on. I was never certain where the wheel would stop, I needed an indication of what I should be working on in order to keep progressing successfully. I just felt compelled to always "spin the wheel" because I was afraid of losing momentum. I just kept on going and did a bit of everything; unfocused and unsure, my aspirations were beginning to get blurry.

I became hesitant of what goals I had to accomplish and what aspects of my life I was supposed to be focusing on. I remember trying to write a blog post but kept trailing off topic because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I felt like an actor playing many roles at once; I became disordered and almost went on stage wearing the wrong costume.

Life was unclear because I was motivated by the fear of losing success, rather than the reasons for pursuing it. I firmly believe that fear is a response to the lack of control, and that’s exactly how I felt. That loss of control caused me to crash. It caused a lot of anxiety as one deadline loomed after another, and if I’m being completely honest, the thought of giving all this up crossed my mind.


Taking my own advice

When you find yourself stuck in a theme of uncertainty and insecurity, you find yourself in an identity crisis. You’re lost between two worlds, between you recurrent reality and the life of your aspirations. Comfort ZoneYou end up swaying between motivation and procrastination. You’re either sitting around procrastinating, waiting for motivation to come along, or your motivated to work just so you can feel better about procrastinating. Your mind faces an aggressive wrecking ball of doubt, as it breaks down the confident spirit you were once plugged into.

…I started to read through my own blog posts and it was like I was talking to myself. Evidently I was reading my own journal. My aspirations were communicating to me right there on the screen, but my conscious thoughts were not relating. For the very first time I started to question my own advice to the point of disbelief.

It was a very threatening thought process but it was that exact eye opener I needed. I’ve been blogging for some time now and these lessons that I had already learned and shared, lessons that led me to my current accomplishments in life, needed to be retested. The answer was right there in front of my own eyes.

I needed to prove myself, to myself. There was no way I could continue guiding others if I was struggling to guide myself. It was time to take my own advice and rebuild my spirit back to the level I had maintained for so long.

I turned to my aspirations and reminded myself of where I was aiming to be in the next few years. Almost instantly, I noticed how taking the time out to evaluate and reflect allowed me to focus on where I was going wrong.

I was entering a new chapter in my life and I had forgotten what it took to get me here. I needed to remind myself of my identity. I needed to reaffirm my aspirations and listen to that little voice inside my head. I needed to re-align my responsibilities with my dream. The list kept on building as I read through my blog, I realized how many cues I missed out on.

With the intention to uphold the lessons I had shared through this blog, I constructed a plan that resonated with this new chapter I started. As I plan to move to Los Angeles, CA in the next four years, everything I was trying to complete contributed towards this next major goal in my life.

So I flew out to L.A. and connected to my goal emotionally to face what I had almost turned away from.

Alone

I went alone to escape any zones of comfort I had nestled into. I rebooted my identity as I was forced to speak to people about myself and my aspirations. I connected to my environment and completed the goals I had set myself. I networked, I motivated people, and I helped a couple out in their relationship. Then others started to approach me for guidance and motivation. I knew there and then that I was on the right path, because I felt fulfilled doing it, I naturally felt like myself as I was in my element.

I worked and I had fun too, I even did things I felt I never had time for. Not only had I rebuilt my spirit, I raised it. I returned home having accomplished several goals that I had struggled to focus on and complete. More importantly, I returned home having strengthened my identity, with a rediscovered sense of self-assurance.


The Formula

Identity and DreamRemember success is a series of different levels, when you reach one level it doesn’t grant you access to the next. You need to re-establish yourself and familiarize yourself with the new platform from which you’re working from. Once you become aware, you will discover what you need to do to make it to that higher tier and avoid giving up. You declutter your mind and refocus your energy.

The best thing is that the formula for this is quite simple because your identity and your aspirations are forever interconnected, they can help each other out.

If you ever find yourself at a loss of identity, remind yourself of your aspirations and allow yourself to psychically connect with a small piece of it. Whether like me you book a short trip to somewhere you aspire to be, or something totally random. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s doable and that it connects directly to your aspirations.

On the other hand, if it’s your aspirations you’re struggling to remember, do something that makes you feel like yourself and connect with your identity. There’s nothing better to remind yourself of what you want from life, than to immerse yourself within your own identity.

Good luck on your ventures and never let fear lead you astray.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Discover Your Passions: Build the Bridge between 2 Lessons

Bridge

As I’m paving my own path, living by my own identity and letting knowledge and understanding guide my thoughts. I can feel myself inching closer to the heart of my own virtue.

There are two very significant lessons that connected me to my passions; to my very purpose of being…

…I was about 18 years old, tired of negative influence and feeling like I didn’t belong. I was broken by betrayal and my trust in others diminished. I remember filling out my university application and remember writing exactly what I was expected to write. Just so someone could grant me access into an academic institution of no real value to me or my life. My only frame of mind was escape, so long as I didn’t have to face the reality of my intentions, I played by the rules.

So there I was, naïve, free and finally without the burden of responsibility nor tradition. I met 3 very different individuals, ambitious, influenced and as fresh-faced as I.  Individuals who taught me that being me was all that was necessary. Teaching me the true value of my own life and that I shouldn’t give a f*** about anything else other than the present and being present.

Although, I still found it very difficult to be present towards graduation. It was at the end of this experience and returning home, when I realized the importance of the two lessons. Lessons that guided my successes, moved me around the world and gave me the confidence to dream and to pursue that dream.

Lesson #1 – Identity

  • To embrace and nurture all aspects of my identity.
  • Stay true to who I am and let truth guide my aspirations.
  • To let that truth shine, so that others could connect. So that I could connect.
  • An identity of my own so that my mind and my life remained in my own control.

 Lesson #2 – Awareness

  • To be present in the moment and to be very aware of it.
  • Experience what’s happening now so that I could navigate my future.
  • Being aware of others, aware of my actions and aware of my environment.
  • So that I could protect myself from negativity and any threat to my identity.
  • Aware of myself; my identity, so that I could work on my weaknesses and build upon my strengths.
  • To be present in the moment of opportunity.

These two lessons taught me more about myself and the world I live in, than any manuscript, guru or drug ever could.

However these two lessons do not work well unless they’re connected. You can’t truly be aware unless you understand and know yourself. On the other hand you cannot fully develop your identity unless you become more aware and present.

The bridge that connects them, is emotion.

Emotion is by far, the most significant tool you have, when it comes to building a life you’re fulfilled by. It sounds so simple, but because emotions are so complex and varied, many of us fail to notice how simple life can actually be, if we pay attention to what we’re feeling.

Ever notice how a child experiences life? Free, uninhibited and curious. They’re present in the moment and full of character. Notice how the very thing that motivates and stimulates a child's eagerness to learn and engage, is emotion. A child can love easily and has an abundance of love too, allowing them to connect to others and for others to easily connect.

When I returned home, I quickly noticed how much I ignored my emotions to pursue a life of false fulfillment. The more I allowed myself to feel, the more I became aware and the more my identity rose to the surface. It was emotion that allowed me to embrace the above lessons, that guided me to the success and fulfillment I have in my life today.

So learn to listen and experience your emotions. Build that bridge so you too can discover, and confidently live by your identity. To help you become more aware, so that you know what it is you need to do to find fulfillment.

As you begin to live life by these two lessons, build the bridge that connects them. You'll begin to discover your passions; discover your own virtue, thus enabling you to pave a path of your very own.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How a Premonition Awoke Me to My Present

Premonition

Life is constructed on expectation and emotion, after all it’s what motivates us to act on our goals. So is the reliance/notion of premonition so ludicrous? After all, we do often turn to the prospects of our future to pull ourselves out of despair.

Recently I was caught off-guard by a wave of insecurity and uncertainty, it washed over me suddenly and I felt like I was drowning in a sea of desolation. I couldn't avoid it, but I pulled myself out of it. To save myself from drowning I triggered some sort of 'premonition' to counteract my present uncertainty. What I saw allowed me to navigate my way back to shore, back to my identity. I knew that if I continued to float around surrounded by these emotions, I would drift further away from myself and my aspirations– I needed a reminder of who I was (the past) to rediscover what I wanted (the future).

Now I’m not talking about a supernatural power gifted by Gods. I’m referring to an ability that's contained within all of us, a way we can construct an image of our future to save ourselves from the negative emotions that we suffer from today. We all have the opportunity to foresee our future, but we must first delve into the past.

Now imagine that I’m literally floating in a cold ocean of despair, the longer I bask in uncertainty the further I drift away from who I am and what I want from life. The longer I stay still the less I feel. I become more and more numb to the identity I worked so hard to build. I needed a reminder of who I am, quickly.

Our minds have the power to relive any emotion just by delving into our past. I can literally think of anything from my past and relive the emotions associated with a memory. For others there’s a trigger, a song perhaps, a picture or a smell even, we all have it.

These emotions dictate our future; we construct our future by wanting to feel more of, or in some cases less of  what we have felt and experienced in our past. This is how we trigger a “premonition” - we get in touch with our emotions. If we have the ability to feel and relive the past, then we should be able to feel and get a glimpse of our future.

The more you feel from your past the more you understand about your future. I remembered achievements, I remembered positive comments and words of encouragement, I remembered great times in my life that I wanted more of.

The more I remembered the more I re-constructed my future. I used these emotions to re-build the vision of a future I wanted - so clear that it felt like a premonition. Action was almost instantaneous as I awoke to my present, I knew there and then what I needed to do to make that future a certainty.

Turning to certain emotions in our past can highlight our aspirations, and it was by generating this premonition that alerted me to my current actions. One thing we must understand is that we cannot control the past nor the future, we can only manage them by taking control over our present.

Having re-envisioned what I wanted for my future, I was then faced with a choice in my present: to either sink or swim. I could either continue to remain still and sink into the sea of desolation, or swim my way back to my identity and manage the future I envisioned - no waiting around for rescue, no waiting for the current to change, just me and my own spirit with my future in sight.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

10 Ways To Participate In A Good Discussion

Discuss 1. Listen and pay attention

You'll be surprised how easily you can engage in a decent discussion if you actually listen to the other person. I've seen countless people argue about a topic without realizing that they are both on the same side of the debate, rather than listen to what the other is saying their main goal is to simply get their own point across. You can learn and understand much about a person if you simply listen to their point of view, you'll understand where they are coming from and you'll better communicate your point.

2. Never argue empty opinions

Opinions are empty unless you can back it up with fact, either firsthand experience and/or through secondary research. It's easy to be dismissed if you have an opinion that cannot be followed up with a solid reason why you have it.

3. Establish the difference between opinion and belief

An opinion is easier to change over a belief. A Persons belief system is a very big part of who they are, it's a part of their identity, which is why listening to people and understanding them is very important. If someone truly believes something that you strongly disagree with, have them focus on why they may be right rather than why you may be wrong, you'll gain more understanding from their perspective.

4. Keep an open mind

People are more willing to share and are able to discuss more openly if they feel they are speaking to someone they may be able to influence. Never go in with a "know it all" attitude, not everyone is right not everyone is wrong...same goes for you. Try and stay unbiased and avoid dismissing someone's point until you have fully understood it.

5. Never judge

Everyone's journey is very different, if you truly want to engage in an honest discussion than don't let the other person feel judged. The more one feels judged the less they will share, insecurities and doubts will rise to the surface and you will only engage in a dead-end discussion resulting in a negative outcome.

6. Be patient, respond only when you have received all the information

Don't cut somebody off midpoint and only respond if you feel you have received enough information, otherwise get the person to explain further. It enables you to construct a better response and find out how prepared and knowledgeable the other person is on a subject.

7. Never be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand

I feel this is a true trait of an intelligent mind; never being afraid to ask a question. After all, it's why we have so many answers today, if you don't understand, ask! It shows that you're interested and that you want to understand.

8. Be honest

Honesty is difficult, especially if your opinion or belief has been challenged and you begin to see the opposite point of view clearer than your own, I believe it was his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama that said "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change." Trust me it's much better going through life with the right answers than living with the wrong beliefs.

When someone opens my eyes to something I never believed, I'll always  admit they're point is valid and then delve into research to prove it for myself. This way you can form a constructive belief rather than taking someone's word for it.

9. Keep the same tone and tempo...be the king of calm

Discussions can easily turn into heated debates, maintaining control is key to a good discussion no matter how different the opinion. I find when discussions elevate to certain levels, responses are motivated by emotion over fact and understanding. Both parties should walk away more informed rather than frustration and stressed.

10. End on a positive note

We are all different and we all have different motivations, there is no need to let someone feel belittled or defeated if both parties cannot come to a mutual understanding. The way I see it, you can respect the other person for standing by what they believe in, you'll have that to agree on if nothing else!

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Little Bit of Carpe Diem - Feelings of Loss without Reason

Here and now I never felt I’d post this topic because it’s a part of life that I had never really understood before. Sometimes during moments of happiness, when I’m feeling most content, surrounded by loved ones or in moments of reflection, I experience some sort of emotional conflict. Even during some previous relationships, I’d encounter a feeling that my mind is drifting into an unknown alternate reality, where I’m overcome by a feeling of loss; sometimes hit with a slight panic or sadness, even though nothing has occurred to reason the emotion. It’s like I’ve disconnected with my present and it’s very bizarre.

I spoke to an old co-worker of mine, from my life in New York because I always remembered how spiritual she was and how obsessed she was with astrology. So to gain insight I sought out her advice. She suggested that maybe it was my past life trying to remind me of something, or perhaps a glimpse into an event that may occur in my future. Although an interesting perspective, it wasn't a reason I felt comfortable with. Call me a skeptic, but I had to come up with a more rational explanation. However, she wasn't totally wrong, her insight triggered my understanding; by looking into my past and confronting my hesitations about the future.

When I meet key moments in my life, when life seems to be working out and when things are simply right, I sometimes can’t help feel that I’m about to lose something. That somewhere down the line some sort of loss may occur: losing a loved one, losing money, losing control or even losing my passion for my work. There were many scenarios in which I could potentially encounter loss so my mind would trigger feelings associated with it, even though no loss had taken place. Loss was perceived, it was like I was anticipating some sort of universal balance as a result of things working out in my life.

I reckon this occurred because of one of the following two reasons:

1. Preparing for Contingencies (known): Every direction I take in my life I have carefully calculated, by doing my research and planning for any contingencies, things I know that could go wrong. I can’t help it, I’m a marketer so it sort of happens innately.  So experiencing emotions in anticipation for a loss became a coping mechanism. So if loss was to occur, I’d be prepared, I‘d be ready to handle it, because I was taking care of it emotionally, ahead of time.

2. Waiting for Failure (unknown): All of us have jumped hurdles in life, minor or major, every person knows that the road to success isn't a direct route; we hit dead ends, wrong turns and encounter forks along the way. My feelings of loss stemmed from my past experiences, causing the doubt and disbelief in my present and an uncertainty for my future. Not knowing all the details of what could occur made me look into my past losses and we all know that a trip down memory lane can trigger an array of emotions we can’t seem to understand today.

What I had to do was retrain my mind to think in the present. A “what will be, will be” sort of attitude. I may be able to construct and direct my life but there are definitely elements beyond my control. I had to be okay with that and learn the importance of accepting the moment. I continue to remind myself like many others, that life has its funny way of fu***** us around from time to time. Therefore I shouldn’t live my life failing to appreciate the present, because I’m idly waiting for loss to occur. It’s a waste of energy leading to a breakdown of my identity.

The funny thing I noticed was, only when we suffer loss do we generally motivate the spirit to “live in the moment,” why wait for loss to occur when we can make that pledge now and “seize the day.” I decided to beat loss at its game and continually remind myself to be present and to look forward to the positive outcomes of my future. A failure to be present today makes for a loss of presence in the future. Sometimes, as we work forward to the life we design, we charge so fast that we make ruins of the memories we create. We have to stop and capture every moment as it happens, rather than letting the fragments of doubt spoil our chances to live.

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Insecurities Develop When Used To Mask Doubts in Relationships

Image When a discussion topic turns to relationships, the term insecurities get thrown into conversations all the time. Many people I've spoken to tend to say that their insecurities are affecting their relationships. However during the course of discussion, the case is that people will use the term as an excuse to simply mask and avoid doubts and concerns - ultimately blaming themselves for an entire problem that they may never have caused. For example, if someone is concerned that they are not getting the attention they deserve from their partner, compared to at the beginning of the relationship; many people justify that as an outcome of one’s insecurities getting in the way, rather than investigating where the doubt stems from first. Unfortunately when left unresolved, these doubts begin to develop into actual insecurities that carry over into other relationships.

First of all, here’s what I know about feeling insecure: People rarely reveal their insecurities, if someone is truly insecure about something; they do everything to avoid highlighting it. Feelings of insecurity are internal, insecurities will affect one’s own behavior, personality and self-confidence and it’s a huge self-esteem knocker. Feeling insecure is psychological and often stems from trauma and not from unfortunate situations.

In relationships when things begin to go south we always try to find a way to reason them. We want to understand why a certain situation is occurring. However, what I have found from many people is that they use their insecurities as a reason, almost like a defense mechanism, to avoid understanding the actual root of their genuine feelings. Also, people don’t like to feel their making the same mistake twice, so when they feel that something iffy is recurring, they confuse their emotions and reason with insecurity. It’s easier to admit fault with our insecurities as they are difficult to overcome, than to face up and deal with a relationship that could be on the rocks or even failing. It’s taking the easy way out.

To define those points which trigger feelings of insecurity is to look at the doubts you have, which in most cases means to track changes in behavior, either of your own or your partners. If you’re still the same person in the relationship as you were when you began it, then most likely it’s not insecurities that are making you feel uneasy, listen to your instinct instead. If you had insecurities in your past which you felt were resolved but now feel have been triggered, then you need to define the moment things changed and resolve it, before you begin blaming yourself. If you feel you've never had insecurities in the beginning and now they've developed, then you need to define the moment they began; In many circumstances you will notice that it’s caused from a change of behavior in the other person within the relationship. When we can pinpoint changes, we can then begin to unveil the true reason.

Consider doubts your warning signs, your mind and body will try to tell you if you’re beginning to feel symptoms of insecurity. If you notice yourself becoming more introverted, avoiding discussion and shunning away from the topic of relationships – these are signs of feeling insecure in your relationship, which then can be identified as causing the problems. If you’re openly talking about your relationship and trying to engage in discussion to resolve issues - these are your doubts. Feeling truly insecure in a relationship is very damaging, you open yourself to be controlled, manipulated and your identity can slowly get consumed. Justifying doubts as insecurities can lead feeling like every relationship you enter will ultimately fail because of your “insecurities” and you end up jumping over hurdles and compromises that can cause emotional harm.

Here’s some advice, if your partner isn't helping you feel more secure and comfortable, then clearly the relationship lacks a lot of the basics that make being in a relationship worthwhile. People forget the purpose of having another person in our lives - we need to feel empowered and encouraged by the people we keep close to us, to be surrounded with positivity and comfort and to offer this in return. Either way, you need to feel secure.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Depression: How To Replace Negative Thought

moolit-mermaid-night-sky Depression is an ultimate loss of identity. All of us find ourselves in a state of depression now and again, its natural; often life has its funny way of knocking us down. When we’re struck, negative thoughts tend to consume us, doubts encourage a cycle of uncertainties that we cannot seem to work through. Regardless of the knock back, the recurring theme is often a repetition of destructive thought. When depressed, we often feel we are trapped in a mosh pit, boxed in and surrounded by disbelief's that knock us from one bad emotion to another; we feel there is no escaping it, which is where we begin to lose our identities. I've learned that you have to retrain your mind. Feelings of depression begin to reverse positivity and halt the motivations that guide you forward - it reverses your ambition. Your identity is shaped by what you want out of life, depression makes you lose sight of that.

Start with educating yourself, most people when feeling depressed will know their depressed, like knowing when you’re lost. You’re not going crazy; you've simply hidden from yourself to cope with life’s curve-ball. Start by understanding that you’re heading in the wrong direction; understand the damage you’re causing yourself. In this current state where do you see your life going? I’m sure the result isn't your dream. Think long and hard about the trap you’re in that’s keeping you from moving on. You’re like a mouse stuck in a maze; you need to find your way to the cheese. However, the cheese isn't a metaphor for the happy life you crave; it represents the comfort in an awakening moment that there is no further need to struggle.

Begin to externalize thought. Thinking externally helps you to work through and organize your thoughts when you’re in a depressed state. Find a way to regurgitate your thoughts, write them down, paint them, record them, snap them, we have boundless ways to creatively store thought. Reason to externalize your thoughts is so that you can translate your thoughts back to yourself. It’s tough but you've let yourself into this state, so you can let yourself out. What caused you to get depressed may have been out of your control but you can control how you deal with it. If these negative thoughts are all you have, then you needed to find your way to externalize them in order to work through them. It allows you to deal with one thought at a time rather than trying to take on your mind all at once.

As you’re pulling negative thoughts out of your mind, you need to find reminders of positive ones. Oddly enough, being stuck in your room not wanting to leave and closing yourself off from the world is probably a good start. Find reminders of what life was, find reminders of your dreams and find reminders of good times. Remembering is a fantastic tool to uplift spirits. Memories are always embedded in your surroundings, if you look hard enough: Clothes, music, books, photos even old receipts - there are so many things that can trigger positive memories and remind you of your identity.

You’ll begin to break from finding comfort in negative thought, as you begin to activate encouraging and engaging positive thought. Reminding yourself of what life was or what life can be will allow you relive. As you relive great moments in your mind, you’ll start to break down the negative walls you feel surrounded by. Glimmers of hope will begin to trickle in. With hope peering in, realizations begin to hit. You’ll realize how lost you are, you realize what you wanted out of life and you’ll find your path. In this realization you begin to want, you’ll want your life back and soon enough your motivations will start filtering in. Use this as an opportunity to source out strength and pull yourself away from the negative behavior that brought you misery.

Depression is just like the sky at night; although it is dark and scary there are glimmers of light. Focus on stars to locate an opportunity. The sky at night represents all that we know and what is yet to be explored and even though it can get overwhelming, you can guide yourself back home, back to your identity.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Connect To Your Goals Emotionally

We all have our own destinations in life and we can always picture how things are going to look: who we’re going to end up with, the lifestyle were going to live, the career we’ll be in or even the house were going to live in. Like most people, that destination stemmed from a visual appeal - the end result is often associated with what has been seen or perhaps experienced by others. Therefore, stimulus that has been seen forms the basis and the desired outcome of one’s own goal. Very simple examples: you see a car you really like, so you picture yourself in that car, driving that car or buying that car, so you want that car – Goal set. Or, perhaps you’re watching a movie and you desire that romance you saw onscreen in your own relationship? You find yourself on a mission to find it – Goal set. You get the idea. I want to talk about the emotional connection that we tend to expect (because of the visual) but very rarely experience or even take the time to think about. How is it going to feel when you get what you want and during the journey toward it? It sort of links back to my past posting on ‘motivation’ and those reminders I mentioned – music made me feel good and put me in a great mood. I want to feel like that when I get to where I want to be, the emotion is real, so I latch these feelings I experience onto my goals. I've always envisioned myself with my successes but I never really took the time to think about how I would feel when I have them. Now that I do - that glimmer of light becomes a lot brighter.

Link your future prospects to the emotions you feel now. If getting that high-flying career is going to make you happy, then when you feel happy think of the career - motivate yourself in that moment and give yourself that extra boost of confidence. Just like conditioning a response, associate real emotions to your goals. Make goals feel more real and attainable; turn them into more than just an image of how you see yourself.

Even when things get tough and you feel that struggle, apply it! Apply it to all the challenges you expect to face in the future and the challenges you will come across. Each goal achieved means you’ll be setting the bar higher for the next one. Life will never get easy, how you deal with it will. For example, I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is on a mission to lose a lot of weight, the work outs are challenging but I told him when he gets his new image, maintaining it would be the next hard part.

Lastly, help boost the energy of your goal by taking real steps available to you now. If you imagine yourself in a big house in the country, then go view some big houses in the country, soak up the feelings of excitement and attach it, then set the objectives in motion to get you there. Take a test drive of the car you want, research the jobs you want to apply for, offer time to the people you want to help. There are always steps you can take right now to stimulate emotion and remember to welcome challenges with open arms too. Because those challenges will make achieving your goals worthwhile.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach