Are You Happy with Your Life ? Answer These Five Questions

Questioning Your Level of Happiness?  Take the Satisfaction With Life Scale Assessment  (SWLS) and Find Answers

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HAPPINESS, SERIOUSLY?

The pursuit of happiness has occupied humans for millennia – whether creating ancient Greek schools of philosophy or inspiring the United States Declaration of Independence.

Until recently, psychological science has had very little to say on happiness, instead preferring to study, understand and relieve illness and distress. However, recently scientist and practitioners have observed that an absence of distress and illness does not lead to greater happiness, or result in increased life satisfaction. So, with this realization, the study of happy people and what makes them happy has become a serious pursuit.

What is Happiness?

 Happiness is described as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile” . Today happiness researchers are increasingly confident in the evidence-based strategies that can increase our happiness.

Psychologists have observed that happier people appear more successful in many areas of life; they are more creative, are judged more favourably by peers and colleagues, have better social relationships, have healthier immune systems and also have longer life expectancy, which makes happiness a serious business.

 ( Pay attention Business Owners)

Also,  employees of happier managers are more productive, more innovative and have better problem solving skills than those of less happy counterparts.

A study to explore this discovered that positive emotions act as an excellent predictor of the motivation and effort required to overcome obstacles to success. People in the study with fewer positive emotional experiences were less likely to persevere and succeed compared to those who had a greater number of positive experiences, when faced with the same obstacles.

 The question is- which comes first: success or happiness?

 This research identified that being happy is crucial to developing many of the desirable characteristics that lead to success. So there it is, HAPPINESS COMES BEFORE SUCCESS

 Is happiness related to nature or nurture?

Studies of twins reveal that

  1. 50% of our capacity for happiness is accounted for by our genetics

  2. 10% is determined by our current circumstances, health, wealth and safety.

  3. 40% of our happiness is a result of our intentional activities and attitude in how we spend our time, attention and energy. Studies of the happiest of people reveal that this cohort differs they cultivate meaning in life and contribute to things bigger than themselves.

So, how happy are you?

Reflecting on our sense of happiness in different key areas of life can be difficult, especially if our life is seemingly all going well.

Sometimes feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction just seem to find us and it’s up to us to take the time to explore why this might be.

How you do that will depend on a number of different things, but if you’re struggling to get to grips with it, here is a tool that can help you to get started.

I have attached a link to the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) .

What is the SWLS ?

The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) was first created by researchers Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin (1985) and published in an article in the Journal of Personality Assessment.

 The scale was developed as a way to assess an individual’s cognitive judgment of their satisfaction with their life as a whole. The SWLS is a very simple, short questionnaire made up of only 5 statements.

To complete the questionnaire you will be asked to judge how you feel about each of the statements using a 7-scale scoring system, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ with the statement and 7 being ‘strongly agree’ with the statement.

As you will see, the SWLS won’t take up a lot of your time to complete! But it can be a really useful instrument in supporting you to reflect on your life, overall satisfaction, and in beginning to think about areas you might need to spend a bit more time exploring.

If you are ready to start your journey of exploring your levelof life satisfaction then click on the button below. Don’t worry, it is simple and quick.  

 

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information and research was obtained from Positive Pychology

Learn the 12 Steps to Overcoming Adversity

Have You Been Derailed From Your  Well Crafted Plans for the Future? Welcome to the human race - But don’t worry, we have tools that may help you get back on track.

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings

— Lau Tzu
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Overcoming ADVERSITY

We see it on a regular basis and understand that unexpected circumstances can derail your best laid out plans. You may have to relocate due to a job transfer,  with a health issue or experience the loss of a loved one. During difficult times, old patterns such as negative thoughts and low self-esteem might resurface and affect your progress. All of these setbacks are part of the journey as human beings. The process of getting back on track can be challenging, especially after a traumatic experience. It requires you to let go of old notions of who you thought you were, demand you to take on new responsibilities or question the meaning of life. Rebuilding after a big loss may bring pain and hardship, but it can also bring strength and wisdom you didn’t know was possible-gifts to carry with you into the next chapter of your life. Adversity can also teach you to be more tender, more flexible and more appreciative of what you might have taken for granted in the past. It can also give you a fresh perspective and help you adjust or reclaim your commitment to your path. Instead of fighting against things you can’t change, try to except that this is a natural state of life - is all ebb and flow. The more you are able to except this truth, the more you will be able to open yourself up to new opportunities for personal growth and transformation.  Here are 12 ways you can start seeing your situation differently;



The 12 Steps of Overcoming Adversity

 

Step One:   Gratitude

Acknowledge what you are grateful for helps you  see that hardship is only part of your life not your whole life.

Step Two:  Release Negativity

 Negative thoughts will come up, acknowledge them and send them on their way

Step Three:  Reach Out

We all need help sometimes. Share your concerns with someone you trust, or seek out a group support program.

Step Four:  Act NOW

 Don’t wait to take action until everything is perfect. Start from where you are and with what you have.

Step Five: Shift Your Perspective

Be open to find the lessons.  There are opportunities for growth in the darkest places.

Step Six: Practice Self-Care

 Nurture ALL aspects of yourself - mind, body, and spirit. Love and be kind to yourself.

Step Seven:  Take a Break

Carve out some time from the busiest of doing - and give yourself quiet time to reflect, feel and review.

Step Eight:  Let Go

Releasing what is out of your control will lift a giant burden off of you.  Some call it “let go and let God”.

Step Nine:  Follow Your Gut  

Trust your instincts.  If something feels wrong, it probably is. Let your intuition guide you.

Step Ten:  Be Flexible

 Adjust your plans when the unexpected takes you on a different path. It may be an opportunity in disguise.

Step Eleven:  Use Intention

Set your mind with the intention that you have the strength and the courage to get through this difficult day with Grace

Step Twelve: Set Limits

Don’t spread yourself too thin by taking on too much.  It’s  OK to say NO in order  to take better care of yourself.

If you would like to receive these 12 steps in a printable PDF  format, fill in the form below and we will send it directly to your email box.

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In addition, if you would like to talk to one of our coaches or counselors about your current challenges or dreams  - simply log onto www.totalwellnessenter.net and sign up for your FREE consult.



As always, we would love your feed back.





9 Rules - Success and Happiness

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We all seek happiness. Add these 9 rules to your life and watch your dreams become reality.

Rule 1:  Know who you are - Be true to yourself

 There is no one just like you.  Your path to success is uniquely yours.  Let go of your  dated ideas about yourself that you may have adopted from the past, especially if they keep you from evolving into your best self.  Bring meaning to your life through intention and choice.

Rule 2:   Hold a clear vision - Follow your NorthStar

Reflect on what you envision for your life, aligning it with what inspires and feels meaningful to you. The more clarity you have about the kind of life you want and the person you want to be, the easier it will be to stay motivated.  Take consistent steps forward making your vision a reality.

Rule 3: Understand your mind. - Unleash your true self

Much of your perception and beliefs grew out of your earliest experiences and  interactions with your families, culture and the media. Learn to distinguish between the beliefs and ideas that support you and those that limit you. Perception does not always reveal truth.

Rule 4: Take control of your thoughts - Thoughts become matter

Thoughts are among the most powerful creative tool you have. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of negative thoughts before they take root and develop into destructive patterns or behavior. Through awareness, conscious choices and determination, you can redirect your life by releasing disempowering self-limiting thoughts and cultivating positive ones.

Rule 5:  Choose what is essential - Life is built on choices

Be aware of how you spend your time and energy, as every decision you make influences the direction of your life. We are all born with gifts and talents as well as challenges and limitations. The way we choose to work with these blessings and trials determines our success.

Rule 6. Be consistent. - Baby steps lead to big results

 Consistency will help build momentum and form new habits for success. Break your bigger goals into smaller tangible ones that are time sensitive.  Turn your smaller goals into monthly, weekly, and daily task to make them all doable.  Checking off daily goals not only gages progress but also increases confidence, resulting in motivation to continue.

Rule 7.  Surround yourself with inspiring influencers - Lift each other up.

You are influenced by the people you choose to spend your time with. Surround yourself with individuals who encourage you to be and do better. They should be people you look up to and trust, people who help drive you forward on your personal path to success.

Rule 8. Live mindfully -The power of the present

 We spend much of our time on auto pilot, missing the depths of our precious life. Living with more mindfulness requires you to observe and participate with awareness and without the filter of judgment. The more present you can be from moment to moment, the deeper the connection you will make with yourself and others, enabling you to live life more skillfully and with greater appreciation and wonder.

Rule 9. Stay the course - Tread the path daily

Success isn’t something you attain - it’s something you live. While working toward your outer goals, it is necessary to be aware of who you become internally  in the process that’s more important. Stay focused on cultivating the inner qualities of success; living with integrity, self-discipline and patience; valuing yourself and others; reserving judgment; practicing compassion and having gratitude towards the gifts already present in your life.

Total Wellness offers a variety of tools to help you take each of the above rules from concept to real life application.  We would love to become a part of your success. Let us knowhow we can help you - simply fill out the form below and we will respond promptly. We answer all inquiries.

Wishing Success,

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Science, Health, Faith - Conflict or Harmony?

Conflict or Harmony?

For the first time in recent history, we are experiencing a reverse in life expectancy even while medical science is advancing at a furious pace.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the overall life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.6 years, down .1 from the previous year. Men can expect to live 76.1 years, down from 76.3. Women held steady at 81.1 years.

But the real question is what is the cause of this downturn? According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, noted research Psychologist, there are two main causes for this reversal in American life expectancy. The first is the American diet which consists of highly processed and nutritionally inadequate foods which simply do not supply the nutrients that are needed to maintain the body’s health. The second reason is the mental state of our nation. We have become a nation of relationships without intimacy, information without wisdom and activity without purpose which has left us more depressed, anxious and stressed. These mental/emotional disorders have been proven to be contributors to a number of serious health problems including, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.

Dr. Leaf’s conclusions are supported by recent studies of the general state of unhappiness in our society. During the last decade, the state of happiness in the USA has been steadily declining.

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“I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless …”
— Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention expert at George Washington University

One more correlation is significant here – that is the state of interpersonal relationships.

The symptoms of hopelessness are drug abuse, suicide and a host of stress-induced diseases that our medical advances can not treat for what we are experiencing is a sickness of the soul. However, this has not stopped medicine from making an attempt.

The current response to these ailments has prompted an increase in psychoactive drugs, both legal and illegal, in an attempt to alleviate this suffering. This has led to a 446 billion dollar psychopharmaceutical industry which is clearly not addressing the core issues of the problem.

Finding novel treatments for mental illness has become so discouraging that several pharmaceutical companies have shut down or reduced neuroscience research.
— Edmund S. Higgins in his January 1, 2017 article in Scientific American

Mental health experts must make major changes in their strategies to address this crisis. Simply applying the same ineffective remedies to this current crisis will not curb the downturn in mental health or produce greater well being. There must be a commitment to using every healthy and empirically proven tool to bring wholeness to those who need help. That quest leads us to the crossroads of science and faith. Merely seeing the body as a predetermined biological mechanism that is genetically predisposed to mental and emotional illness is not the answer. Clearly, there is another dimension to humans that reside in our thoughts and beliefs and this area has profound consequences upon our mental, emotional and even physical wellness. Study after study has affirmed that when the spiritual aspect of humanity is attended to it increases the overall health of individuals. It may indeed seem strange to some that scientific studies have validated the spiritual dimension of humanity. But we are seeing with ever-increasing clarity that it is a false dichotomy that makes science and faith opponents.

The argument between faith and science

For centuries a competition has existed between science and religion for the hearts and minds of the people. There has been a long-standing feud over who will wear the mantle of the prophet to our society. Some atheistic scientists have contempt for faith write it off as mere fantasies of undisciplined minds, while at the same time many religious leaders find the devil in every new scientific discovery and are deeply suspicious of any who advocates a science-based approach to mental health.

Physicist Stephen Hawking famously pronounced himself an atheist in 2014 and went on to describe his rationale.

Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation.
— Stephen Hawking

Does it need to be this way? Or did Augustine speak correctly when he said: “all truth is God’s truth”. We can also turn this phrase around to say – All truth is a revelation of God. To this end, We need to lay to rest this false dichotomy and find incredible synergy when we both acknowledge God as the source of all truth and purpose to pursue this truth in every area of our experience.

An example of how faith and science coexist is a foundation for all scientific inquiry. Understanding the cohesiveness of the universe allows scientists to connect each piece of research to the other so as to form a unified whole. In order for this to happen, there must be a basic ontological belief that the universe has a logical order and consistent regularity. In other words, the laws of science are always in effect unless superseded by another law. For example, this principle is the basis for airplane travel – where the law of gravity is superseded by the law of aerodynamics. This metaphysical foundation for science creates the framework for all scientific discovery.

Likewise, the foundation for theology is that God has certain unaltering attributes that never change. It is this fundamental belief in the immutability of God that allows us to trust in his promises and rely upon his goodness.

I the Lord do not change
— Malachi 3:6

Another area where God’s immutable character is seen is in the area of his desire to communicate. God is love and the true definition of love is to seek the best for the object of that love. No greater good can come to a creature than to meet and experience its creator and that is exactly what God has offered us. These are the words of Jesus in the prayer to his Heavenly Father.

I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
— John 17:26

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, believes that scientific inquiry and faith in the personal God of the Scriptures are mutually compatible and in fact can produce the same awe-inspiring connection.

The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome, God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory … science can be a means of worship.
— Francis Collins

As W. Mark Richardson of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences says, "Science may not serve as an eyewitness of God the creator, but it can serve as a character witness."

Marian Westley in her Newsweek article entitled “Science Finds God” said;

Once, science and religion were viewed as two fundamentally different, even antagonistic, ways of pursuing that quest, and science stood accused of smothering faith and killing God. Now, it may strengthen belief. And although it cannot prove God’s existence, science might whisper to believers where to seek the divine.
— Marian Westley

What is God’s truth and what is scientific truth?

R.C. Sproul said: “you will not find the circulatory system in the Bible”, but neither will you find the incarnation of Christ in Science.” Science can help us explain how God made the universe but science will never lead to the why. And it is the “why” that is causing such an existential crisis in our culture. We were created for a purpose and when we lose that purpose we no longer can put in context the experiences we have nor can we find healing for our trauma. Our health (emotional and physical) is directly tied to our spiritual beliefs. We are like meaning-making machines and when we no longer can make meaning out of our circumstances we break down and cease to function properly. In other words, when we lose our purpose we also lose our happiness. In our practice, we have seen many examples of those who have what the world would consider a great life (ie. money, possessions, family, health etc.) only to be in an existential crisis because they have found that none of those things can provide them with the meaning they desire.

Why is this? Simply because we were not meant to live outside the purposes and plan of our God. This means that our physical, social and emotional lives function best when they are in harmony with God’s truth. Likewise, when we learn how our body functions at its optimal level (scientific truth) we are able to integrate these truths into our daily lives. Therefore, the study of nutrition, the brain, and behavioral science are all able to help us develop healing strategies that can bring about total wellness.

Practical ways of deepening your spiritual vitality and improving your overall wellbeing

Toxic, fear-based thoughts are at the center of producing negative effects upon health. Therefore the most effective way to being growing spiritually is to replace these thoughts with those that will promote wellbeing. The brain has neuroplasticity which allows us to shape it with the very thoughts we think. Therefore, carefully monitoring our what we are ruminating on is essential to developing sound health. Is it no wonder that Scripture specifically address our thoughts as a means of growing spiritually?

… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things
— Philippians 4:8

Our thoughts is where the battle is found. When we are able to grow in our ability to set our thoughts upon what will build healthy structures in our brain we will increase all the beneficial properties a healthy brain can produce. This is not easy, for some of us we have spent many years teaching our brains to focus on negative, unhealthy thoughts. Trauma, broken relationships and other events in our lives have produced default neuro networks that lead to anxiety, depression and fear. But the good news is that we can create new networks that produce peace, joy, hope and joy. Dr. Leaf has outlined this process in her book “Switch on Your Brain” which I encourage you to read for those who desire to see real and lasting change.

We at Total Wellness Resource Center are committed to offering the very best empirically proven science-based methods that are informed by our commitment to our true purpose found in God’s revelation of truth through the Bible. We will not compromise either for in them both we find a successful strategy for providing healing and hope for our clients that touches every area of their lives and produces the discovery of true success.

If we can be a resource for you on your journey please don’t hesitate to reach out.

The Total Wellness Team

Learn Why Eight-Five Percent of Us Struggle to be Happy

Research Shows that 85% of us are Living with the Effects of  Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Self-Confidence, Resulting in Frustration and Unfulfilled Potential.

What's the big deal about self-confidence?

Confidence is hard to define but easy to recognize. With it, you can take on the world; without it, you live stuck at the starting block of your potential
— Katty Kay and Claire Shipman - "The Confidence Code"

The observation by William James, that most people live in a restricted circle of potential,  holds no less true today than when he made it over a century ago. The reason that so many people never fulfill their potential is not a lack of intelligence, opportunity or resources, but a lack of belief in themselves. Or to put it another way, too little self-confidence.  Without it, you can do little, with it, you can do anything!

 But what is confidence, anyway?

Often people think of confidence as something that the lucky few are born with and the rest are left wishing for, but that’s not true. Confidence is not a fixed attribute; it’s the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take. No more; no less. It is not based on your actual ability to succeed at a task but your belief in your ability to succeed.

For instance:

  • Your belief in your ability to speak in front of an audience
  • Your belief in your ability to learn a new skill set
  • Your belief in your ability to be a leader
  • Your belief in your ability to handle confrontation or manage conflict
  • Your belief in your ability to change career path, or start a new business
  • Your ability to exit an unhealthy relationship
  • Your ability to live a healthy lifestyle

It's been long established that the beliefs we hold – true or otherwise – direct our actions and shape our lives. The good news is that new research into neural plasticity reveals that we can literally rewire our brains in ways that affect our thoughts and behavior at any age. Which means that no matter how timid or doubt-laden you’ve been up to now, building self-confidence is largely what psychologists call a volitional action. Or to use layman language: “By choice.” With consistent effort, and the courage to take a risk, we can gradually expand our confidence, and with it, our capacity to build more of it!

Of course, confidence can wax and wane throughout our lives. It’s boosted when we experience a win or receive praise. It takes a hit when our efforts fall short of the mark, we’re criticized, rejected or simply feel a lack of external recognition. We’re only human after all. It’s therefore vital not to become overly reliant on external affirmation to prop up our self-worth but to take ownership for taking the worthwhile actions needed to sustain it. Which begs the question:

How do you build the confidence needed to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals, particularly when you don’t first succeed?

The following FREE eBook "How to Boost Your Self-Confidence" will help clarify several common roadblocks and help you on your journey to being more confident.

Do you want to keep informed on tips and articles on Self-Inprovement? Sign Up for our newsletter and receive your FREE book "How to Boost Your Self Confidence"  

 
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We are passionate about helping others become the person they were created to be.  Your feedback is always welcomed, simply send us a note at connect@totalwellnesscente.net and we will respond as soon as possible. 

 

Warmest,

The Total Wellness Team

5 Steps to Finding the Right Career for You

5  Steps to Finding the Right Career for You

I was one of the rare lucky ones to know what I’d be doing with my life before I turned 21. Although I was never a wiz in school, I could calculate numbers in my head faster then most of my friends could help with their calculators, and no I didn’t become an accountant. But I did focus on my love of numbers and realized I could calculate down to the decimal point regarding the cost of individual processes, and then figure out a more efficient and cost-effective way to make things flow. 

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Happiness Truly is a Matter of the Heart

What do you really desire in life? What keeps you up at night and gets you up early in the morning? What do you clutch onto so hard that you will protect it with your last ounce of strength?

That is your treasure and that is also where your heart is.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
— Matthew 6:21 NIV

In my work, I see a lot of people who are desperately trying to hold on to something that is not giving them the life they desire. It could be money, relationships, a career or score of other things that seem to melt away the tighter they clutch on to them. The problem is those “things” never satisfy the deepest longings of our heart. I am not advocating quitting your job or leaving your relationships, what I believe we need to do is to no longer see those things as the fulfillment of our desires. In fact, the more we try to make them do that the more miserable we make ourselves.

An example of this is money.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs
— 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV

The point Paul is making in this verse is that when we pursue (love) that which cannot satisfy our souls we end up doing ourselves harm – akin to stabbing ourselves.

God knows we need money, and careers and homes – but we were made for something much more satisfying than this stuff. We were made for God himself.

When we “wonder” it often starts innocently. We become delighted by some new toy or someone strokes our ego. Pretty soon we’re saying this feels good … I want more. So we start chasing this new shiny object and then it happens. That object becomes our treasure rather than the one who ultimately gives all good gifts.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
— Matthew 7:11 NIV

Is there anything that we need that he is not willing to give us?

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
— Romans 8:32 NIV

This is a call for deep reflection. I confess I am guilty of seeking the gift rather than the giver – of longing for the resource rather than making the source of all blessings my heart’s desire.

Could this be why there is so much depression, anxiety and relational brokenness in our lives? Could we be deceived into believing the lie that something other than our Creator can satisfy our deepest longing?

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Blaise Pascal

"There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.” 

So are you saying, James, that we’re not supposed to desire anything but God? No, I am saying that we are not to desire anything MORE THAN God. And when we receive what we desire we are to immediately thank him for what we have received.

God has no problems with us asking him for … whatever. But like the excellent father he is, he withholds the right to give us only what is best for us. If we become enamored with the shiny things of this world and he knows that they will cause us to wander off into places that will cause us harm, then like any good father he will withhold these things. Wouldn’t you?

Ask for whatever you wish and if your dearest desire is to honor the Lord and bless him with your life, it will be irrelevant whether you receive it or not because he will give you the ultimate desire of your heart. Your soul will be abundantly satisfied. And isn’t that what we truly crave?

Prayer of reflection

O Lord, I come to you seeking to open my heart to your gaze. Look deeply into my longings Lord and see if there is anything that I desire more than you. Search my heart Lord and reveal any attachments to whatever is not you. You are my source for all that I need. You have promised to graciously give me whatever is necessary. Help me to take my eyes off of all the “shiny things” in this world and fix them upon you. I confess I am so easily distracted. You know all things and you also know that my deepest, passionate desire it to bring you honor and glory in my life. Create in me a steadfast spirit that will live this desire in every area of my life.

As always if we can be of any service to you don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’d like to receive all our updates then just sign up for our newsletter below.

The Most Important Thing to Forget

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Are you looking for the key to happiness? If you aren’t you really should be. I am not saying that we should invest ourselves in some kind of spiritual treasure hunt because there’s no single truth or life skill that will produce perfect happiness, joy, peace or love. But if we are not continually striving to learn new truths and grow in our character then … well, we might as well be dead.

So I’m going to propose a life-skill that, if it is not at the top of your list, it really should be.  I have found neglecting this is responsible for massive heartaches and destroyed countless relationships. It is summed up in this one statement by the Apostle Paul:

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
— Philippians 3:13-14

What I have discovered over and over again in my life is I can not press on toward the goal if I am not willing to forget what is behind me. That goal is not merely a quest for money, fame or a comfortable life, it is a heavenly goal ordained by God.  For Paul, that goal was to, “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”. What he needed to forget was that in his former life he was a murderer and persecutor of the Church. I am sure it was very difficult for him to forget the pain he had caused so many people.

But what about you and me? What do we need to forget that is impeding the goal? For me, it is pretty much everything. I must let go of hurt feelings, broken promises, angry and cutting words, and anything else that will cloud my spirit and keep me from being free to pursue the heavenward call.

This forgetfulness is a decision to be free from bitterness and resentment. But let me be clear – forgetfulness does not mean our emotions are suddenly healed or our relationships are magically restored. Emotions have their own timetable for healing. The decision to forget a past injury (whether it is self-inflicted or caused by another) will mean that you will always act in a way that is counter-emotional. This skill is rarely taught in our “do what you feel” culture but is an absolute necessity if you are going to achieve the ultimate goal that calls you heavenward.

Take a moment and assess your current state of forgetfulness.

  • Is there any past situation that caused you an injury that you are holding on to?
  • Are you beating yourself up for a past action or decision you made?
  • Is there someone whom you harbor resentment and anger toward?

If you have confessed the wrongs in your life then the next step is to forget – because God has.

If someone else has hurt you and you are holding on to anger and resentment then the next step is to forgive – because you have been forgiven for much more grievous sins by God.

But if we are unwilling to forget what is behind us then we will find those past things will plant themselves firmly in our future and keep us from experiencing the beautiful life we were meant to live.

If we can be of any help along your journey please don’t hesitate to call. We would also love to have you get all our blogs and announcements so just fill in the box below.

Find Your WHY and You Will Discover Your Purpose

Your Feet Are Not Glued to Your Current Path

Find Your Reason For Change

 

If you are like so many people, you've set out on a course in life only to discover down the road that you're not passionate about what you are doing. You're working, maybe you even have a "good" job, and from the outside looking in, it appears that you've got it made.

But you know within yourself that something's wrong. You're not happy. Going to work every day feels like a punishment. You can't wait to get off for the day, and you just dread the thought of going back the next day.

 STOP - It is time to identify what is creating your "self-defeating" paralysis. 

 There's a myth that the course you set out on in life is your forever path. People change. What you thought was going to be a sure thing back when you were younger can be different today because you're different. You’ve grown and matured.  Maybe you see things that you don’t like about your career, or maybe you don’t like the path you are on as a whole.  Don't be the one of many who ends up trudging to work every day stuck in the life that you can't stand. 

What you do with your life should reflect what you love - within your passion lies your purpose
— Unknown

Just know that if you have been unhappy in your job for a period of time the unhappiness will bleed into every corner of your being: mental health, physical health, financial, and all relationships.  

GREAT NEWS: 

YOU CAN MAKE CHANGES AT ANY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE AND FIND PERSONAL SATISFACTION AND HAPPINESS

It just takes the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and discover your WHY.

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What is your "WHY"?  It is your passion, your dream,  your reason behind your actions. 

If you don’t have a strong REASON behind your actions, your actions are less likely to create worthwhile results.

BUT ... If you have a strong “WHY” you have all the FUEL you need to drive you forward – to find your freedom, to live your dream, and to fulfill your purpose

You see if you don’t know what your why is, if you don’t know what DRIVES you, what INSPIRES you, then you have NO REASON to improve your life as you know it.  Seriously, why would you try to improve your life if you have no REASON for change?  So ask yourself these hard questions, 

  • Why do I exist?
  • Why am I unique from everyone else?
  • Why do I wake up and get out of bed each morning? 

Is your WHY your family? Is it to prove the doubters wrong? Is it to change your corner of the world? Or is it to fulfill what you have been called to do by a higher power?  Regardless of what your WHY is - it is critical to find it and claim it.  

So, What is your Why?

Write it down and carry it with you everywhere, FEEL IT DEEPLY, and promise yourself everyday you WILL live out your WHY with NO EXCUSES!

 Once you know your why - It is time for action.  Take the next crucial step to understanding the "WHAT"  

  • What legacy do I want to leave behind?
  • What does my current support system look like? If you are being weighed down by negative, toxic nay-sayers, it is time to kick them to the curb.  
  • What is my life mission statement?
  • What actions do I need to take in order to accomplish my mission?
  • What time frame will I need  to accomplish each task?
  • What measurable will I use to monitor my progress? 
  • What motivation strategy will I use?

 And finally - 

  •  What will I do with all my new found freedom and happiness?  

It is hard to make changes.  In fact,  it can be down right overwhelming,  but when you discover and live out your "WHY" the benefit outweighs the risk every time.  If you are feeling stuck I would love to help you move forward.   You deserve it! 

Sign up below for your 1-hour FREE  Discovery Session

value $250.00. 

Limited slots available so sign up Today.  

 

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Cheri Tillman

 

 

Executive Director Co-founder MBA, CLC, CWNC

Is Your "Hair" Hindering Your Happiness

Letting Go of Your Obsession

I am a cleaner … I like things clean. But compared to my wife I am a rank amateur! She cleans things like the top of door frames. (Who does that?) And when she’s done the house smells of bleach (Her cleaning weapon of choice) When house cleaning time comes my assignment is the bathrooms. Don’t know why this is but I seem to have a gravitational pull toward the toilet. In fact, in a former life, I received a mug award from Starbucks for my toilet cleaning prowess. And that would be fine with me but there is one thing, the bane of my cleaning existence, which I can’t seem to defeat. That one thing is hair!

My wife has an abundance of hair and we have a dog that never stops shedding. So I get the white porcelain spotless, I have floors gleaming and I step back to survey my handiwork. Bam! I spot it, strands of hair casually draping themselves on the toilet seat giving me that “you can’t get me” look! So I take out my rag prepare to do battle when I notice that my rag has hair clinging to the fibers. So I go to wash the rag in the “clean” sink and bam! The hair attaches its self to the sink. At this point, I choose the surgical approach and pluck one by one the individual strands and when I do they seem to magnetically attach themselves to my fingers. So I shake my fingers violently over the trash can only to have them fly off and land again on the toilet seat. It’s discouraging and demotivating, after all, if I can’t get it really clean what’s the use?

Have I told you how much I hate hair? I am seriously considering a Shandade O’Connor/ Yule Brenner look in our home! 

Why do a few strands of hair bother me so much? The bathroom is 99.99% clean – so what’s up with this obsession with 100%?

Then, I think about the “few strands of hair” in other areas of my life that I may obsess about.  The areas that aren’t perfect and will likely never be perfect. Some of these strands  are the people around me. These “strands of hair” mostly consist of my desire for others to be, think or act a certain way. 

But most of these “strands” consist of my internal focus on the way I think I “should” be. You know what I’m talking about. I should be more disciplined, focused, social, productive and on and on and on. I am constantly finding strands of hair on the white porcelain of my soul and I can’t seem to pluck them off. That’s because they are always going to be there. For just as I have hair messes in the bathroom because I am a living breathing imperfect being who lives with other living breathing imperfect beings who produce hair!  We are always going to have areas in our lives that are messy.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to work on cleaning up the messes but when we fixate on the “strands of hair” in our lives we end up losing perspective and sacrificing our happiness because - perfection is impossible.

So I’m going to make a new resolution. I am going to celebrate the beautiful parts of my life and not fixate on the messy parts.  I am going to pluck the hairs when I see them but not obsess when they are not entirely eliminated. I am going to give myself grace and mercy and the confidence that life is a journey, not a destination.

Somehow, when I do this it gives me greater strength to deal with the messy parts and lifts the heavy load of expectations off my shoulders so I can truly enjoy the awesome beauty of this precious moment.

What “strands of hair” are you living with in your life? What things are you fixating on and making a condition for happiness? 

We would love to be a part of your journey toward Total Wellness. Let us know if we can help.

 

If You Want to be Happily Married You'll Need to Get Real Good at This!

Forgiveness is not an option to sustain a healthy relationship. Research has consistently shown that those who experience forgiveness in their romantic relationships achieve a greater sense of closeness and satisfaction than those who hold on to past offences.

First let me state what forgiveness is not:

  • Forgiveness is not trust. Trust is earned through actions that consistently demonstrate integrity. We can forgive an individual for what they have done but we do not necessarily need to trust them.
  • Forgiveness is not a feeling. If we wait until we feel like forgiving someone we probably will not … and if we do that forgiveness will be shallow and easily taken back.
  • Forgiveness is not circumstantial. Forgiveness cannot be tied to any other action or attitude on the part of the one forgiven – if it is then it can (and probably will be) withdrawn with the next offence.
  • Forgiveness is not primarily for the forgiven. When we forgive it is a great kindness we are giving to the one forgiven but it is an even greater kindness we are giving to ourselves. There are several reasons for this but primarily it is because we take ourselves out of the place of judge, jury and executioner and leave that to a greater and more knowledgeable court. As a Christian I find great comfort in the fact that my meager understanding of human affairs and hearts is not what determines the final outcome of anyone. I let the One who “judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart” be responsible for the rewards and punishments. And even if you don’t believe in a personal God who will judge humanity most people believe in the law of sowing and reaping also known as, “what goes around, comes around”. Or as one old salt told me “the world will kick you in the A#@ much harder than I will”.  I also recognize that my opinion is very often clouded by my personal perspective which is usually based upon my needs and desires. So most offences are about me not getting treated the way I think I should be treated and are inherently selfish. Even if I could on some rare occasion be totally in the right why not just forgive it all and be done with the crap that harboring resentment produces?
  • Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Forgiveness is a key component to being reconciled with another but when it is given it does not automatically produce reconciliation. Reconciliation requires several steps which include repentance, atonement and reconnection and is not unilateral because a true and humble awareness of the offence must be achieved and trust restored.   
  • Forgiveness is not easy. It can often be the hardest thing you will ever do and something that you will need to work at because it doesn’t come naturally. It is not an emotion it is a decision.

So here is a definition of forgiveness:

Forgiveness is a unilateral decision to free an offending party of all personal retribution for their action against you.

In an ongoing relationship there will be many times when we are inadvertently offended by our partner and we exercise unilateral forgiveness without our spouse even recognizing it. It is the sign of a healthy relationship to let go of small offences without letting them become the seeds of bitterness that blossom into full blown resentment. However, to maintain an intimate relationship, we must be willing and able to talk about our hurts to one another. Out of these conversations arise the intimate insights that make good relationships great. The willingness to forgive is at the core of these conversations for if we are unwilling to forgive then what is our ultimate objective?

Here are the benefits of forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness opens the door to restoring relationships. Like I said forgiveness does not automatically restore relationships but without it restoration is impossible.
  • Forgiveness reduces anxiety and harmful ruminations. Who really suffers when we hold resentment in our hearts? That’s right we do!
  • Forgiveness promotes genuine humility. When we forgive we naturally reflect on how many times we too were forgiven and that is humbling.
  • Forgiveness removes ammunition from the next relational conflict. It is common for old relational wounds to surface during the heat of an argument. This is truly like throwing gasoline on a fire. When we forgive we take away this flammable material and it is much easier to focus on the problem at hand.
  • Forgiveness most closely aligns ourselves with the heart of God. If you want to have a rich, powerful, deeply satisfying relationship with God then get good at forgiveness because that is God’s primary message to us.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you
— Colossians 3:13 NIV

I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if we can ever be of assistance. We are here for you!