June 2014


“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn

Thank you to all who sent me your birthday greetings and good wishes! Something that really stood out for me about this one is that throughout the extended celebration that my husband and dear friends created for me, I felt totally relaxed and fully present to every enjoyable minute.

I didn’t sweat the crowds at Disneyland nor worry about the time or my bank balance. I let go of pushing for anything to happen at a certain time in a certain way and just allowed God/the Universe to bring me great experiences and happy memories. Despite the crowds, we got on our favorite rides with fairly short waits and the time seemed to pass more slowly than usual, extending the pleasure I was feeling.

Wonderful surprises happened too: A couple we didn’t know at the next table saw my Disney birthday button and spontaneously bought our expensive wine flytes. After dinner, we stopped to listen to Alturas, our favorite street band at Downtown Disney. Band leader Raul spotted my birthday button and had the entire crowd sing Happy Birthday to me, followed by enthusiastic applause. I felt like Queen for A Day!

I didn’t DO anything to make all the wonderful things happen. I just went through the day with relaxed, receptive, grateful and welcoming energy that effortlessly attracted so many good things to me.

Long-time friends and family know that I am by nature a worrier and a control freak. I have spent the past two decades working on being more patient and “Letting Go and Letting God” be in charge of my life. I still backslide occasionally (just ask my husband), but I am much less tightly-wound, stressed-out and fearful than I used to be. And I am sure I am much more pleasant for others to be around!

I have learned that when I feel stressed or pressured, the best way to regain my composure and ability to think clearly is to take a few moments to get quiet, take a walk, or simply close my eyes, sit still and pray or read something positive. Very soon, my subconscious mind relaxes enough to receive the Divine inspiration needed to guide me to the perfect solution for whatever problem I’m facing.

I want to share with you this recent quote from the Daily Word, a little book of daily inspirations put out by the Unity church. It summarizes the essence of what I have learned about the value of patience (and I know I still have a LOT to learn) in my 61 years on planet earth so far:

“Patience is an act of confidence that all is unfolding as it should – even when the process takes longer than I had hoped or expected.

Patience is not laziness or indifference. I don’t have to push or force a result in order to feel as if I am making progress. But just as a farmer cannot hurry or worry a harvest into existence, I cannot rush results that must unfold in their own time.

True patience is a silent energy, one that restores and strengthens. I deny power to any feelings of doubt or impatience, and while I wait, I pray. I stay focused on the present moment, comforted by a quiet faith, and patiently expecting the greater good to come.

May you be made strong…and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience. — Colossians 1:11″

If you are feeling stressed about your life circumstances, pressured by others or impatient for something you want to happen faster, here’s the simple remedy: RELAX. To do so demonstrates your belief that what you want WILL come to you from the collaboration of God/The Universe and your own inner wisdom – at the perfect time, and in the perfect way. Your job is simply to ALLOW it.

Pushing and pressuring others to do what we want when we want it naturally causes them to RESIST. So if your employee, partner, spouse, sibling or child isn’t doing what you need them to do, you must first relax and stop focusing pressuring energy at them.

Then, as the I Ching taught me, you must seek to understand what they want and how they see the situation. With non-resistant energy and understanding, you can find a way to collaborate with them to create a mutual Win-Win. Believe it or not, children really DO want to help their parents and to be acknowledged for it in return. You just have to enroll them in what’s in it for THEM, as well as for you.   Adopting a relaxed, supportive, collaborative approach is far more effective than trying to force a human Ego to see what is its best interest.

One of my clients told me this week that she was richly rewarded for letting go, relaxing and allowing. After a hectic end to the school year, she was feeling exhausted, but had to embark immediately on a week-long driving vacation with her whole family. Instead of her usual M.O. of taking control of planning the entire trip and doing all the prep herself, she decided to relax and let other family members take much of the responsibility for getting there.   She even allowed other family members to drive, which she never does. By the time they arrived at their destination, my client was rested, relaxed and ready for fun. “It was like a dream,” she said. “I never could have imagined a trip like that could be so fun and easy!”

So this summer, won’t you join me in taking a vacation from worrying, stressing, and forcing outcomes? Instead, let’s practice sending patient, relaxed, welcoming energy out into the world. Then we can experience fun,freedom and gratitude when the perfect people and resources seem to appear effortlessly to help us fulfill our Big Dreams!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

 

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” – Maya Angelou

 Happy Father’s Day!   I gratefully acknowledge everyone who is a father or who acts as a role model/mentor for someone else. Last month, I wrote about my mother’s impact on my life. Now, I want to share the life lessons I learned from my father.

Today’s quote from the late, great Maya Angelou perfectly describes the way my Dad, Harbison Parker, lived his life. Although his years on earth were far too short, he lived each of them with maximum gusto and I am quite sure he had no regrets when he died suddenly at age 57 at the beginning of my Senior year of High School.

My mother was my source of unconditional love, whatever minor discipline I needed, and the usual “always wear clean underwear for the ambulance” practical advice. My Dad was my Playmate, Teacher, walking thesaurus/dictionary/encyclopedia, and my #1 Role Model. I don’t remember him talking to me directly about rules to live by. Instead, he just lived his life on his own terms and I learned how I wanted to live mine by observing how he did it.

Here are some key guidelines for abundant living I got from observing the happiness and fulfillment my Dad derived from living them himself:

1)     Be happy – Other than the day President Kennedy was assassinated, when I saw Dad cry for the first time, my father was invariably optimistic, cheerful and humorous. He loved to laugh at and tell jokes (especially bad puns), watched all the 60s comedy TV shows with me, and could find the hidden humor or irony in any problem. From him, I decided that hanging out with happy, positive people is the only way to go! While I got my inclination to worry from my mother, I got my sense of humor from my father. Guess which trait has helped me more in life?

2)     Be curious – My Dad was the most insatiable life-long learner I’ve ever known. He never passed a used book store without buying something. He left behind dozens of boxes of notebooks and reading materials on everything from Elizabethan poetry to paranormal science. It’s too bad he didn’t live into the Internet Age because he would have spent hours and hours Googling anything and everything. I learned from my Dad how fun it could be to know a little bit about a lot of things (which led my High School English teacher to dub me a “Renaissance Woman”). Dad never pontificated about his own views, but sought to learn from others’ opinions. His attitude set me up for career success because coaching requires listening more than talking, being curious instead of judgmental, and having a wide variety of resources at my fingertips to support my clients’ needs.

3)     Be creative – My Dad was one of the most creative problem-solvers I’ve ever known. He was an amateur inventor who came up with what he believed was a breakthrough system that was better than phonics for teaching reading. Unfortunately, he died before he got to finish it. We found a drafted letter he planned to send to Bill Cosby seeking his help with marketing it because Dad learned that the beloved comedian had recently earned a PhD in Reading. One of my favorite memories of how my Dad taught me to stretch my imagination and ingenuity was building me a teeter-totter I could play on alone, consisting of a long board balanced on an old oil drum and weighted on the other side with bricks that were equal to my weight. (This was in the days before Helicopter Parenting and Cal OSHA, you understand.)

4)     Be of service – By Dad’s example, I learned that while life can be enjoyable when we meet our own needs, it can be truly fulfilling only when we help others meet their needs. He voluntarily gave up a lucrative professorship at the University of California to teach at a community college where he felt he was making a bigger difference teaching remedial English to working adults striving to improve their lives. Dad took a personal interest in Mrs. Edwards, an elderly woman who was in night school to improve her English skills. One day he hitched a trailer to our station wagon and filled it with boxes of hand me down clothes and a used refrigerator. Then my parents, Mrs. Edwards and I drove from Orange County, California to Tecate, Mexico to give her extended family these precious gifts. I was just eight, but I still remember what the dirt-floored, one-room adobe shack smelled like and the flies buzzing about. I know those strangers never forgot my Dad’s generosity.

Looking back, our relationship reminds me a lot of the relationship between Atticus Finch and his young daughter, Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird. Like Atticus, my Dad was older when I was born, so we didn’t do much physical stuff together; our father-daughter bond was more spiritual and mental. And luckily for me, like Atticus, my father demonstrated by how he lived exactly how to be self-confident and stand up for my principles, while remaining respectful of the different abilities, lifestyles and opinions of others.

In short, Professor Parker was my #1 Role Model for how to “love life, engage in it and give it all you’ve got.” And I feel richly blessed to be his daughter.

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” – Hugh Downs

What would you like to have more of in your life right now — Money? Love? Fulfillment? Adventure? Acknowledgment? Health?

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy,” so if we want more of something, we must begin by experiencing thoughts and feelings that are in alignment with what we want.

Experiencing positive energy of ANY kind will attract more positive people and circumstances to you.   If you FEEL optimistic, grateful, compassionate, confident, etc. –your positive energy PLUS the corresponding actions you will take that are in alignment with your feelings – will attract positive new people, opportunities and resources to you.

But exactly how can you get yourself into a state of positive energy on a daily basis, especially when your current outer circumstances may be anything but positive?

Even the U.S. government accepts that regular meditation is a very beneficial practice. A recent story on the national news showed Marines being taught to meditate for a few minutes each day to help relieve the stress of combat. Even the toughest, most skeptical among them who practiced mediating daily eventually became enthusiastic believers.

But honestly, I find meditating very challenging. Like anything else, it takes consistent practice to master. Although I know the mental, spiritual and physical benefits are very real, I have just never been motivated enough to consistently practice following my breath, repeating a mantra, or any of the other simple techniques for stilling my mind. Past attempts to meditate for even a few minutes have only produced feelings of impatience and annoyance in me.

If you feel similarly meditation-challenged, I have some great news! If you “want the potential mental and physical health benefits of meditation without the work of chasing away all those intrusive thoughts and feelings, try laughing,” writes Melissa Healy in the May 10, 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

“Laughter – the real kind, associated with genuine joy and mirth – sets off brain wave patterns quite similar to those generated when experienced meditators ply their mindfulness skills, a new study finds.”

Machines that measure electrical activity among neurons in the brain indicate that experienced meditators are able to achieve the highly-desirable gamma brain wave state. “It’s the brain wave pattern associated with cognitive ‘flow,’ with being ‘in the zone,’ with the highest state of cognitive processing…. And the gamma brain wave state is as pleasurable as it is powerful: The neuro-chemical dopamine, the fuel of the brain’s reward circuitry, flows freely when gamma waves prevail. That makes gamma, once experienced, a state we want to return to again and again.”

Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine, proved that student subjects who watched humorous videos producing “unfettered laughter” showed brain waves that consistently put them in a “mock-meditative” state. As soon as they began laughing out loud, cortical regions of their brains began registering gamma frequency waves. In contrast, when they were shown excerpts from distressing videos like Saving Private Ryan, which depicts soldiers dying in World War II, their brains showed a numbing “shutting down reaction.”

While he admits that the established benefits of meditation may not be accessible to everyone (like me), Dr. Berk asserts that “humor is certainly within reach for all of us, and in the interest of our health we should dose ourselves regularly.” So the old saying “Laughter is the best medicine,” turns out to be 100% accurate. “We need to tune into it and reap the reward,” says Dr. Berk.

Whenever life presents some daunting challenge, I instinctively call my best friend, Lisa, who can be counted on to get me laughing out loud in no time. But if she’s not available, I can always put in one of my cherished comedy DVDs or watch one of the hundreds of funny You Tube “cat videos” and just sit back and laugh for awhile. Doctor’s orders!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!