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    6 Easy But Powerful Ways to Be in the Flow of Your Day by Silvia Bianco

    6 Easy But Powerful Ways to Be in the Flow of Your Day by Silvia Bianco

    Start your day at the filling station.

    This means to go wherever you go, whatever you do to connect with your Higher Power - whatever you choose to call such a thing. This is the power that will source your day if you ask it to. Connect with this Power - even for just a moment - and let it fill you.

    Invite this Presence to spend the day with you.

    Think of it as hanging out with the wisest of friends. Ask to see things through It's eyes today. Ask for a day of peace; a day of clarity; a day free of pain; a happy day…using whatever words feel right for you. Know that when you do, the power of this infinite Source has your back. It isn't possible to have a better supporter. Do this before you even get out of bed.

    Notice how you feel at any given time.

    It will tell you everything! If you feel bad or upset for ANY reason…simply take notice. If there's a voice in your head that's berating and beating up on you like it usually does, simply notice it. Be present with the words it uses and the tone of these words. Simply pause and notice what you're thinking and feeling without judgement. Be aware of what emotions are coming up. They're coming up because you're ready to clean them up and that's a good thing. The hard part was the awareness and you have that.

    Be grateful for everything.

    Everything is here to serve you if you let it. Accept the anger, the sorrow, the pain, the hate, the jealousy, the criticism, the feelings of unworthiness and fear, guilt and shame when they come up. We all have them. And we can't clean them up unless we're willing to allow them up. I know this can seem like a big mess we don't want to deal with…but we have help. This is the time to draw from the Sacred fuel we filled up on before we got out of bed. When we can look at our darkness with the Source that we took the time to connect with, that we invited into our day, the light moves in and takes over. Thank you is powerful.

    Choose Light instead of darkness.

    The Light is ALWAYS who you truly are, regardless of who you think you are, what you think you think or what you think you've done. When you choose to align with the light, miracles and all sorts of good stuff begin to happen…more reason to be grateful. The Light is You.

    Trust.

    The light is in you and will lead the way. You will be guided as to where to go, what to do and what to say. You need do nothing except continue to get refills. Trust this.

    ChefSilvia.com

    Holistic Chef, Teacher, Writer, Student of A Course in Miracles

    [authorbio]silviabianca[/authorbio]

    3 Important Truths About Happiness by Kristi Ling

    3 Important Truths About Happiness by Kristi Ling

    If you ask ten different people how to achieve happiness, it's very likely you will receive ten different answers. Everyone has different views and thoughts about what makes them happy, and in some ways, it's definitely a uniquely personal journey. However, there are some universal keys and skills for living a truly happy life that can make all the difference.

    Personally, I believe happiness should be a subject they teach in school, starting at an early age.

    It is, after all, one of our most important life skills, if not the most important. There are proven methods and techniques for being fundamentally happy which can be learned and practiced just like playing the piano. But, unfortunately, unlike piano lessons, happiness lessons aren't something we commonly engage in.

    Growing up, we're misled to believe that happiness comes to us through success, material things, relationships, achievements, and other external sources. While these things can be wonderful and can contribute to a happy life, they're only bricks and are not part of the foundation of happiness.

    Building a foundation for living a fundamentally happy life across the board takes deliberate effort, knowledge, practice, and the development of habits that support happiness from within, even through dark times.

    Like so many, I spent years and years of my life as an achievement junkie, chasing happiness, finding it in small, temporary doses through external sources. While these things would bring temporary highs, I would always find myself returning to a basic setting of lack and emotional mediocrity.

    It wasn't until my early thirties that I finally realized my strategy wasn't working.

    I finally changed course, turned within, and through dedicated practice and working with some wildly inspiring mentors, I discovered how to change my core emotional setting to one of overall happiness and peace. Since then, my life has drastically changed. I no longer go through long periods of darkness, there are more good days because I have learned to create them that way, and I have a much easier time bouncing back from setbacks and hard times.

    While there are many elements to building a foundation for lasting happiness, including the practices of mindfulness, gratitude, self-acceptance, and love, there are three important truths about happiness that have stood out to me as things that often go unrecognized, but once understood, can change the way we think about and approach happiness.

    The first is that being sad now and then is actually part of a happy, balanced life.

    It's a complete myth that truly happy people never feel depressed, defeated, or distraught. On top of this, we often tend to beat ourselves up for having these feelings instead of surrendering and allowing them to flow through. It's about learning to recognize that there are valuable lessons to be learned from any life situation, and knowing that underneath everything you are guided and loved. It's also about going within and feeling grateful for those opportunities, and learning how to deliberately find joy, even in the smallest doses, during the tough situations.

    People often ask me how I am so damn happy all the time.

    The answer is I'm not, but I have leaned to find joy, peace, and lessons within the sad times, which helps me bounce back that much faster. And, I always know my happiness is the foundation of my life, even on the not-so-great days.

    The second truth is that being happy is a way of life that takes deliberate hard work, concentration, and practice. Sometimes you even have to struggle and fight for it by defending personal boundaries and making hard decisions.

    The good news is that the more you work at it, the better you get and it will begin to come naturally.

    There are happiness muscles, and the more you work them and keep working them, the stronger they get and the more they will support you. This is a concept I wish I'd come to know much earlier in life.

    You can learn to be a happier person just like you can lean to play a game of chess.

    In chess, you learn and develop skills and strategies for setting yourself up for success, deciding exactly what to do when pieces are lost, and how to bounce back when the going gets tough. Being happy works very much the same.

    Finally, being happy is much more physical than you would think.

    It's true that it comes from within, but everything physical, from what you eat to physical activity to simple physical acts like cracking a smile affect energy levels and brain chemistry, directly impacting our level of happiness. Aristotle said, "Happiness is a state of activity." He was absolutely right.

    Happiness is not just something we feel, it's something we do.

    Next time you feel down or anxiety ridden, think activity. Start working on a project you've been putting off, get some exercise, meditate, put on some music and do a happy dance, down some ultra healthy food, even just move around a bit and do some stretching. The results are immediate. Do these things daily and your level of overall happiness will increase drastically.

    Take on the challenge of building yourself a solid foundation of happiness practices and skills that will be there to support you in living your happiest life. Ultimately, being happy is a conscious choice we must make on a daily (and sometimes even moment by moment) basis.

    You can absolutely change your internal setting to one that idles regularly on happiness and joy, but it does take effort.

    Be willing. Make it a project. Start with small changes. Read books on how to be happy to see what resonates with you. Create practices in your life that make you feel happy, keep them up, and don't beat yourself up for not being perfect at it. We're all works in progress, which is part of what makes life a beautiful adventure.

    KristiLing.com

    Kristi Ling, Happiness Strategist, Transformational Life and Business Coach, Podcaster and Author

     

    How to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness by Sylvia Huang

    How to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness by Sylvia Huang

    We all want to be happy.

    It's a desire almost as strong as our need to breathe. Some would rather not be alive than to be alive and miserable. Our instant gratification generation is obsessed with chasing happiness, like it's some kind of achievement or ultimate goal in life.

    With such high expectations for being happy, it's natural to feel that we'll get there only through monumental effort. It doesn't have to be so. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple mental shift to set us on track to a happier and more fulfilling life. Below are six ways we can reframe our thoughts to feel happier.

    Ditch the "I'll be happy only if…" mentality.

    This common mindset traps us in the vicious loop of constantly waiting for the ideal conditions to be happy. When we do get what we want, we'll be happy for a moment. Soon we'll be dissatisfied again with the new normal. It's human nature to keep wanting more. Avoid setting rigid expectations for what it takes to finally be happy. That way we can open our lives to new possibilities that can make us happy.

    Stop trying to escape stress; focus on creating happiness.

    Life always will throw unforeseen problems and obstacles into our path. It's impossible to escape stress. Instead of trying to eliminate it, work on creating sources and moments of happiness to balance out the tough times. The more difficult life gets, the more we need at least one outlet to release the stress and recharge us for the battle.

    Redefine your criteria for success.

    The traditional definition of success is a recipe for unhappiness. It ties happiness and fulfillment to a specific outcome. Life rarely bends to our will and a terrible outcome today can well be a great blessing tomorrow. Rather than determining success by results what we achieved, make success failproof by defining it as the completion of a challenging process. It's our commitment to the goal that counts, not our bank balance, job title, number of social media followers or entitlement to a luxurious lifestyle.

    Stop catastrophizing and challenge your negative self-talk.

    We set ourselves up for unhappiness by making mountains out of molehills and engaging in binary all-or-nothing positions. Such thought patterns often lead us to overreact or be uncompromising. Each time you find yourself caught in these negative thought patterns, challenge the validity of your perceived reality. Get yourself back on track by asking yourself, "Is this the whole picture?, " "Am I being fair in my judgment?, " "Will it matter a year or five years from now?" and "Is there something I can do?"

    It's okay to say no or to ask for a compromise.

    Often we believe that we can't say no to the conditions imposed on us or negotiate for more acceptable terms. We see the situation as something cast in stone and ourselves as prisoners with no hope for reprieve or escape. We might get a positive outcome if we try to speak up for our needs in a reasonable and nonaggressive way. An example of such communication would be "I need (insert request here) because…".

    Remember what you have now is what you once wanted.

    We create our own unhappiness by obsessing about money, career progress, social status and appreciation. We forget what we now have is what we previously desired either at a conscious or subconscious level. With time and focused effort, we can achieve what we want and also be grateful for what we have received in our lives so far.

    Author's Facebook

    Sylvia Huang, Author, Entrepreneur, Investment Management Professional, Yogi and Avid Traveler