ALT – Alternatives, You Have Them
August 4, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
You have a choice to either panic and stress out, or hit Any Key to open your windows to better options. Choose positive options that make you happy and add joy to your life. Are you truly doing what you want or are there alternatives? Realize you have a choice of alternatives in any situation to help you become unstuck. It’s your decision how to react to situations. Choose the alternative that will move you closer to what is truly important.
It’s our decisions that shape our destiny and our character. Are you choosing short-term gratification or long term satisfaction alternatives? Where are your decisions taking you? Even not choosing an alternative is making a decision to act in one way or another. Waiting to take no action forces the decision or alternative upon us. Be pro-active and research your alternatives to make the best decision for you at that time. Sometimes none of our alternatives seem like a good choice, but at least we do have alternatives, choices, and options. Take charge of yours and be in the driver’s seat of your emotional energy.
@: Move Forward From Where You are @
June 23, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
No excuses for where you have been. Start from where you are right now and make positive changes toward increased energy. Select a few strategies that seem most workable for your lifestyle and make adjustments from there. It’s never too late to make a difference in somebody’s life – even your own. You don’t have to wait for that proverbial wake-up call such as a heart attack, cancer, a stroke, termination, divorce, children going off to college, or death of a loved one; you can decide to change now.
We either take what we get or ask for what we want and have some influence over what we want. Waiting around for fate to make our decisions doesn’t give us much of a back-up plan or wiggle room to move towards what we want. So what are you waiting for?
Where do you want to go? What steps do you have to take to move forward in the direction and the end state that was mentioned earlier? Each day is the dawn of a new beginning and a chance for each of us to start fresh and use our past experience as feedback and not an excuse.
Start today to create what you need to energize yourself and your life. Don’t drown yourself in the negative energy of what happened to you in your past or the energy drain of feeling like a victim from your past experiences.
Quit the bad habits that are draining the life out of you, or may have been holding you back, or may have lead you to a negative place in the past. No excuses. Just do it because you know what these habits are and you know it’s the right thing to do. I know it’s hard; but the benefits of long-term satisfaction will far outweigh the short-term gratification.
Get yourself together, get your partner, get a friend, or get professional assistance to help you quit the bad stuff for the long haul. Just do it. While you’re at it, quit procrastinating and move on to newer and better things. Getting the inertia moving in the right direction towards more positive things helps bring energy into our lives.
Take a fresh look at what you have today and where or who you want to be tomorrow and focus on what you need to do right now to start down that new path. Just do it.
!: Live Your Life as an Exclamation!
May 23, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
Remember Helen Keller’s statement, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”? Live your life out loud, as if you didn’t have much more to live . . . because you never know what the future holds. It takes concentrated effort to avoid being lulled into our secure patterns. How would you change your behavior if you knew you would live to be 100, or for only a few more years, or months?
Because our life can change dramatically in a matter of moments, live and laugh loudly now. What have you been excited about lately? Make dates with yourself to stretch your comfort zone. By taking calculated and thoughtful risks, we put ourselves out there to trust our intuition and to go with our gut instincts. As we grow older, we tend to risk less and live more quietly. Be daring and buck this trend by learning a new sport, a new language, a new art form, or renting a Porsche 911 and driving the autobahns of Germany.
A trend sweeping the nation lately is the Red Hat Society where women of a certain age (mid-centurions) don purple outfits with red hats and get together to test drive new experiences, kick up their heels, or just have a fun outing. Check out www.redhatsociety.com for more information on these wild and crazy women and their forays into living life as an exclamation. Word has it that if you are under the age requirement, you can join in the festivities, but you must wear lavender apparel with a pink hat until you have earned your stripes and are old enough to be promoted to the proper colors.
Adventure gets your adrenaline pumping and charges you up. There’s nothing like a good adventure to narrowly focus on the task at hand and take your mind off trivialities. Excitement builds commensurate to the physical, emotional, intellectual, or financial risks being addressed. Push yourself to taste adventure more often as it will boost your energy and make you feel alive.
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes from taking a new route to work, to learning a new computer program, taking a cooking class, or walking into a singles bar alone. What constitutes an adventure is really in the eye and the attitude of the beholder. Wearing a bikini might be common practice for some, but for others it might be an adventure, or perhaps a misadventure. It doesn’t have to be exotic or life threatening to be an adventure.
Deciding to have an attitude of an adventurer and being open to what comes your way will help you deflect some of the stress that may come your way when things don’t work out as planned. At least you will have an adventure to tell friends and family about later. What have you done lately that could be considered an adventure? Why not plan for some adventures on your own as well as with friends or family? You never know where your next adventure will take you.
I have a ritual that I need to try at least one new big adventure each year such as hang gliding, sky diving, helicopter skiing, or dog sledding. It keeps my energy up just looking forward to the thrill. What is your next big adventure?
Keeping our sense of adventure and discovery in tact helps keep us on track. Cultivating our sense of delight and honing it by introducing new and enjoyable experiences into our lives helps to keep us feeling vital. Children are naturally adept at these traits since their lives are filled with copious amounts of discovery and delight because they have not yet discovered many life experiences and everything is still new and exciting.
As adults we tend to stay with what we know and our discovery cycle diminishes with age. To keep ourselves young, try doing what the young people do and make new adventures and discoveries a part of your lifestyle. Keep your curiosity up about how things work, why things are the way they are, and what happens if. . . By putting yourself in the position of life-long learner, your energy will be renewed with each aha moment or new discovery.
Risk Taking and stretching out of our comfort zone physically, mentally, or emotionally keeps us on our toes and gets our adrenaline and our energy surging. They key is to move that energy towards the excitement end of the continuum versus the nervous and “scaredy cat” end of the continuum. Whether it’s embarking on a new career, asking for a raise, auditioning for a spot in a theatre production, walking into an adult education class, or a weight room; the act of going beyond our normal limits expands our world and expands our possibilities while it expands our energy level. Without such regular expansions, we cease to be vital in our lives and begin to live the same day over and over again. Open yourself to new discoveries and see what new energy reserves are released.
It is often uncomfortable to try new things and risk feeling foolish or not being good at a new sport or artistic endeavor or even test driving a new recipe. When we put ourselves out there to try new things and take a risk, we increase our energy and our thirst for exploring new things and trying new ways of being or behaving. Try planning for small, medium, and larger risks each year to keep your life more interesting and see where in the world it takes you.
Taking calculated risks and not throwing all caution to the wind and taking stupid risks whether it’s physical, financial, emotional, or intellectual is probably a good idea. Only you know your risk tolerance in each of these areas and only you know how much of a nudge you need to expand your tolerance. So go ahead and take a leap of faith, I dare ya.
End: Begin with the End in Mind
April 23, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By Gaia Hart
In making out your life plan as with planning a trip – know first where you are going, plot the best route to get there, then figure out what you will need along the way to make your journey successful. Take the time to figure out how you will know when you have “arrived” at your goal and celebrate your achievement. Avoid the syndrome of always striving and never arriving. Take time to bask in your arrival.
Think of how your energy rises as your draw nearer to a trip. Just imagine what will happen if you have your whole life to look forward to. When we set milestones for ourselves, we are much more likely to meet and surpass them than if we never had any point of focus. When you know your destination, you arrive sooner and are less distracted by obstacles and detours. If you do come across a detour, when you know where you want to end up, it’s much easier to stay on track and get back to your pathway to the end state.
It’s less stressful when we have our directions to safely guide us. Try scheduling something enjoyable on weekends to raise your energy for the week and plan something equally as fun on Mondays to start your week out on an upbeat note. Start making your plan now for how you want to live in the next year, five years, 10 years, and into retirement. What do you have to do now to ensure your end you have in mind is the end that you’re aiming for by your actions today?
By making a life plan and being open to changing our route, we gain clarity and personal energy in our abilities to help shape our future and bounce back when life sends us on an unplanned pathway.
Be in the small percentage who has written goals as their road map. Buck the percentages and be one of the elite few who write down their long-term and short-term goals, and review them regularly. List-makers know the thrill of crossing items off their lists.
Written goals keep you focused and remind you of the big picture. FOCUS = Follow One Course Until Successful. Maintain bursts of energy while working on different goals by savoring the rewards and feeling successful while mixing long and short-term goals. When you prioritize your goals, remember people first, then things. . . people first, then things.
Caps Lock: Capitalize on What Life Throws Your Way
March 23, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
You may not be able to control what comes your way, but you can control what you do with it. You know the old lemonade poem “if life hands you lemons, yadda, yadda, yadda”. Your confidence and energy will increase each time you successfully handle one of these situations. Take stock of your uniqueness, your strengths, your experiences, and your options to create the best opportunity for yourself. Capitalize on your circumstances to make a difference in the world or in your local community. Don’t dwell on what has been in the past; start fresh from today to make a difference in your circumstances.
Look at what you can learn from each of your experiences. It’s up to you whether you see each of your experiences as positive or negative and your choice of perception has everything to do with the outcomes of you capitalize on your experience. When you find yourself in the middle of a life lesson, learn from it so you don’t have to keep repeating it in order to get the lesson. Instead of saying “why me”, ask yourself what can be gained or learned from the experience. Your brain will answer any questions you ask it, so make sure you are asking the right questions in order to capitalize on your situation.
Delete: Delete Internal & External Clutter
February 23, 2015 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully, Wealthy Woman | By Gaia Hart
Have you ever known somebody who could just light up a room . . . when they left? Sometimes known as energy vampires, delete the people from your life who are overly judgmental about you, are not supportive, take more than they give, or who don’t believe in you. They will suck energy right out of you.
There are two types of clutter, internal clutter and external clutter. External clutter is anything around you that “bugs” you such as dusting, people who take more than they give, dirty laundry, unread newspapers and catalogs piling up, the tacky souvenir your neighbor brought you, or other stuff laying around that is visual pollution. This type of clutter distracts you and drains you by taking up your space. Especially draining is clutter left on the floor dragging you down with negative energy.
Internal clutter is such things as dishonesty, secrecy, deceit, debt, unfulfilled promises, worry, anxiety, fear, miscommunication, obligations, or any other “messalanea” which is clogging up your circuits to think freely and be charged up. Delete this emotional, intellectual, or physical baggage and watch your energy soar. There are umpteen books on Feng Shui and the art of de-cluttering and aligning your space to make the energy flow more freely. Check out the perpetual calendar in the back of the book Organized at Last: a Tip a Day to Keep Clutter at Bay by Pat Moore, The Queen of Clutter. Also see Appendix B for other things that drain our energy. Until you plug up some of those energy drains and delete them from your life, no amount of refilling and refueling will have any staying power. Take a good look at your internal and external clutter and delete those energy suckers in order to have a lasting affect on your personal energy and your stress levels.
Unload your excess baggage. Unburden your heart, your mind, and your space by unloading extra emotional and physical baggage you may have been carrying around. Take stock of philosophies, beliefs, behaviors, and the stuff that may have served you in the past that doesn’t make sense today. Take a look at the reasons why you do what you do – can it be streamlined? Review the reasons why you prefer a way of thinking or behave in a certain manner. Is it just a habit (perhaps a bad habit?) or a learned behavior taught by somebody whose behavior may or may not fit your personality or your lifestyle?
Letting go of material items or self perceptions that no longer fit you or benefit you allows for a fresh start and can also lighten the stress load. Be prepared that a change in patterns may cause some uncertainty and stress at first. Sometimes the excitement and enthusiasm for creating a better way and a lighter life outweighs the stress that may accompany the change. Moving through the change at a pace that you are comfortable with and at a pace where you can assimilate it easily into your life will help ease the stress of the change and newfound energy will be a benefit to your life.
Simplify your life and toss out stuff associated with bad memories or junk. Better yet, don’t buy it in the first place and you will save your money/life energy and help the cause against unfettered consumerism and overuse of our natural resources. The same goes for junk food, over-packaging, and junk mail.
Contact the direct mail and telemarketing firms to have your name taken off their lists. For pre-approved credit card offers, call 888.5.OPTOUT to cancel solicitation from all three credit reporting bureaus for two years or permanently. For direct marketing solicitations, including catalogs, coupons, and sweepstakes offers, sign up for The Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service at www.the-dma.org for $5 or for no charge if you send your request to Mail Preference Service, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512.
Put yourself on the national Do Not Call Register to avoid those pesky telemarketers by calling 888.382.1222 or visit www.donotcall.gov. The cost of saving junk is skyrocketing and takes its toll on your emotions and your wallet. Save your sanity and your spare time from their clutches. How much excess is in your life? What have your purged lately?
Pause/Break: Take a break to enjoy yourself, your partner, your pet, your co-workers, your family. . .
January 23, 2015 | Posted in Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
A pause for the cause does wonders for your productivity and your soul. Slow down on that super highway or get off the beaten path and find a trail. The mind, body, and spirit all need downtime to refresh, relax, recuperate, rejuvenate, recreate, and regenerate for what lies ahead.
After the pause, you will come back with more vigor and vitality to take on life. Employers have found that allowing workers to telecommute, job share, or have a flexible work schedule to accommodate other facets of their lives will improve loyalty, dedication, productivity, and focus at work. Work-life balance and mental health breaks are critical to our health and the health of an organization. Performance research from the Swiss Polytechnic Institute shows that when workers perform a task for longer than 20-30 minutes straight, the time they need to solve the problem increases by 500%. It would be wise to take a short break at least each hour to improve your concentration, your productivity, and your problem solving ability.
Other studies have found that if you perform an activity that uses the opposite side of the brain than the side you have been using for the task, the benefits are even greater when you come back to your task because you have let that side of your brain take a break. Studies out of the National Recreation and Park Association show that even short leisure moments in your day build resilience to future stress.
Why not incorporate your pet into your break. Animals significantly contribute to your peace of mind and playfulness. Pet popularity has been on the increase and their psychotherapeutic affects are long-lasting. Our “best friends” can give us a boost like no other with their unconditional love and affection. My newly-adopted doxi, Fozzi, is proof positive of the positive affects of pets.
Research indicates the positive effects of pet therapy and the calming, yet energizing effect pets have on the people around them. Stroking them and being around their happy dispositions create a positive connection, adding joy to people’s lives. Their only reason for being is to enjoy life. Why not take a queue from our animals? Have you ever noticed how excited your pet is to see you after you’ve been gone all day? Do your kids, your spouse, or your family members exude a similar reaction? Why not try being as enthusiastic with your greetings as your pet and watch the reactions to your newfound energy.
Matt Weinstein’s book How to Work Like Your Dog is a great read on how to lighten up and be more like your pet.
-: Negative Energy is 11 Times More Powerful Than Positive Energy
December 23, 2014 | Posted in Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully | By Gaia Hart
It was Einstein who said that negative energy is 11 times more powerful than positive energy, so we must work very hard to overcome the negativity which would naturally take over. The law of entropy states that everything will break down over time without work or force applied to it (i.e. cars, relationships, communication, and mechanical items). Just look at what would happen in your garden if it were left unattended. The weeds just take over, while it takes careful cultivation to grow flowers or fresh produce.
Watch out for those weeds in your head and cultivate the positive forces that it takes to overcome the energy drain of negativity. Worrying and fear exhaust you and take their toll on your physical and emotional well being. Acknowledge that the negativity is alive, but don’t become a slave to its powers. Become aware of those whose outlook is negative and prepare statements to deflect their negative energy such as gossipers, nay-sayers, or worry warts.
Better yet, try to avoid these types of people if at all possible and surround yourself with positive, supportive people with a different perspective and upbeat outlook on life. The synergy is amazing when the positive forces of people collide.
Courage and confidence to deal with negativity get your juices flowing when you take on a risk and successfully navigate a positive outcome. Cultivating confidence to meet your challenges is very powerful and a successful bout brings on even more adrenaline. Start with what you’re good at, then keep expanding, learning, and practicing to increase both courage and confidence.
Positive self-talk instills courage, then take the leap . . .feel the fear and do it anyway. Sometimes others have more confidence in you and can give you courage and support. Enlist their honest assessment for energy interventions. These supporters can keep you going strong. Whether it’s an official mastermind group, a success team, a personal board of directors, or just an informal circle of friends who care about you. Asking for input and inspiration from your support network can help you gain the courage, confidence, and clarity to move you forward past the powerful stressful issues that may be blocking you.