Running To Stand Still

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Two Great Secrets to Happiness

Double Rainbow! Taken from the side of Hwy 1

Double Rainbow! Taken from the side of Hwy 1

It always makes my heart hurt a little to see people rush through their lives. Statements like “ I wish this week was over so I can…” or “ I’ll be happy when…” are toxic. They create a constant underlying unhappiness and stress our systems. Let me tell you…when the week is over…You still won’t necessarily be happy and you are in no way attracting happiness to you.
I am a busy chick. I have my hands in a ton of pies. I am the first to admit I need to cull my activities a bit and it is something I am definitely working to change. Sometimes it can be completely overwhelming but most times I am happy with it even if my level of time commitments is significantly higher than most. I have a secret. Actually I have two of them.

Secret #1:
Eliminate the sentence “I’m bored” from your vocabulary.
Yes. I am being serious. This world is chock full of beauty, amazing people and new things to learn. My mom told my when I was 10 or 11…that only boring people ever get bored. I have to say of all the Mom-isms in my world…this is the one that has stuck with me the most. I have never wanted to be boring for sure! So…the next time you are feeling bored…stop immediately. You can. Go appreciate the beauty around you. Take a walk. Pay attention to your pet. Fix one of those 10 minute things that have been nagging your subconscious. Phone a friend. Learn something new. Get ENGAGED in your life. We are not put in these bodies to sit back and let the world entertain us. We must be the ones to put ourselves in motion. Ditch the words “I’m bored” for 6 months and I can virtually guarantee that you will not go back.

Secret #2:
Be Happy NOW…and Later too!
You can be happy when you win the lottery. I will even be happy for you. The thing is….if you are not practicing being happy NOW…even winning the lottery will be a short lived form of happiness. You are relying on OUTSIDE sources to make you happy when happiness is really an INSIDE project.
Take the time to allow joy into your life. There was a time that I thought that other people’s opinion of when I ‘should’ be happy was more important than mine. I allowed their practice of dissatisfaction to permeate my being. I became silently depressed and didn’t see a way out of it. One day I ‘woke up’ and said ‘Yes’ to myself, to my wellbeing. Even though some evenings I am running kids to 3 yes THREE different towns for activities…or I have 3 million (okay, 8 but it FEELS like 3 million some days!) projects on the go…I will still take a moment to pull over and take a picture of a rainbow. I will smile at 2 year olds in the grocery store. I will drop everything to help a friend in need. I look for opportunities to create random acts of kindness. Now, people wouldn’t blame me if I didn’t…but the thing is…you have to fill your cup daily. Many of these things take seconds. Take a moment to smell the roses, literally. Stop putting off being happy. Allow it into your world NOW.
If you adhere to the Law of Attraction then you will understand that being at a higher vibration will allow good things into your world, so you are really doing yourself a favor. If you think Law of Attraction is all hokey then consider this….If you are a happier person…will you be more relaxed? Will people find you more approachable? These are natural ways you can improve your relationships. The other thing is…it shifts your perspective. If you allow yourself to be happy…you will fight to keep that feeling. Your body and mind will crave it. You will rewire yourself to look for opportunities to be happy.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all added a few extra smiles to our day? What are your best secrets to win the Happiness Game?

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2013


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The Busy Girl’s Guide to AWESOME – 7 Things to Keep You Centered

I am busy. Some would describe me as crazy busy. I have 3 kids at home, my husband works away often, I live on an acreage with tons of upkeep and I spend 2-3 hours in my car daily. I work, I run a business and my kids are all in activities, I sit on the executive of some boards, I teach, I learn and I volunteer. I am so busy giving that I often forget myself. I have a few things that help and keep me in line. This is my go-to list but maybe something will resonate for you too.

1. Take time to meditate. This is not hours long ‘Ommmmmm’ sessions. Sometimes I get 5 or 10 minutes. I set my alarm on my phone and stop to breathe. Sometimes I pop in a cd that is a guided one for say…20  or 30 minutes. Sometimes this is in a car waiting outside a rink or a dance studio. You do not need to be in lotus position or have a ton of time. It centers me and clears my head.

2. Choose an attitude. I make a conscious choice. Who do I want to be today? Not necessarily ‘me time’ but it affects my whole day.

3.  Do something that you are passionate about. Talk about it. Get everyone excited that you are doing it too. I love to do make-up for theater productions. I don’t do a ton, but when I d0, it energizes me and makes me remember who I am (beyond mummy and wife and all of those other hats that we wear)

4. Take time to see a friend. Sometimes a walk or a tea with a friend is almost a mini-vacation. Choose someone who makes you feel GREAT. Surround yourself with people who make you better, wiser, stronger… not ones who make you feel guilty or insignificant.

5. I gave permission to a couple of friends to remind me to spend some time with ME! They are my ‘guardians’. I admit it. Sometimes I need a keeper. They are totally allowed to call me out on being too centered on everyone else and give me that push I need for ‘me time’.

6. Take mini-me time. For me…an hour in Chapters with a latte and I feel like a new woman. If  I am out running errands I will treat myself to a lunch like Sushi that my family doesn’t like. You have to eat anyway…why not something you love?

7. Be Grateful. I can’t tell you how easily you can change your state by listing off the things you are grateful for. The more you do it the easier it becomes. By the way…this is YOUR list, no one is listening or judging you for it…so if chocolate chip cookies come before your mother-in-law…don’t worry – I won’t tell!

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2012


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Social Media for Do Gooders! 3 Ways it has uplifted me.

So in the past couple of days the opportunities to do some good deeds have surrounded me. I have been smiling at the pictures of humans helping humans and hearing wonderful stories.
Social media is being used to spread these  stories quickly. The eastern United States just suffered a terrible storm, Hurricane Sandy, and hundreds of thousands of people in New York City are without power. One guy had an idea that since he HAD power, he would share, and set up a charging station for people’s cell phones. A picture was taken and spread like wildfire. This simple, helpful idea inspired many others to do the same. They may not have had the idea themselves, but it is an easy and do-able way to help. I love the idea of posting great ideas like this and will make an effort to do it in the future.
This spirit of giving has shown up in other ways to help as well. A cousin of mine passed away at the young age of 33, leaving behind a 1 year old daughter who is deaf. Her aunt has decided to raise money to be able to get her the implants she needs and to fund all of the expenses around the travel and care of this beautiful little girl. Within minutes of posting the need for auction items I personally had 8 people offer their help. Tickets to the steak night sold out within a day.
For those dog lovers out there…I live near a small town. A gentleman I don’t know lost his beloved yellow labs. I don’t know him at ALL, but a friend of mine texted me and asked me to post asking if anyone had seen them since I have a large amount of people that see my posts. 3 people responded and 2 referred me to a closed Facebook Group they were part of and I was not. A lady had found them and posted there. These amazing connections allowed me to make a wonderful phone call to the dog’s owner and tell him where he might find his companions. Connecting them made my day.
You don’t have to actually know people to do good deeds. The opportunities surround you…all you have to do is take them.

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2012


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Ditch Some Stress in 10 minutes or Less

So today I DID something about it.

For months and months, I have been stepping on this pointy plastic piece that was poking through a hole in the rolling matt under my office chair. It hurt to step on it and I managed to do that several times a day.  I would hit it and grumble and move but I never actually fixed it. It was irritating but I lived with it. I can’t express how many times I hurt my foot on it.

This afternoon I pulled out my chair, pulled up the matt and pulled the piece out. Total effort?…minimal. Total time?… about 10 seconds. 10 little seconds and it will never ever irritate me again? What the hell took me so long?

This summer my husband finally fixed a piece of rotten wood in our hayloft that had bothered and scared me for over 9 years. It took him 10 minutes to fix it and  I was upset that he had left something that had caused me anxiety for almost a decade that was so easily fixed. This morning made me take a moment and think, “How am I any better? “

It got me thinking that that is probably the way it is with so many things in our life. What are the little things that we just live with, not fixing, not finishing, that are causing us pain, irritation or stress? What can we accomplish if we fix or finish some of those things? Do we even recognize them anymore?

What would life look like with less pain, irritation and stress?  My answer is “Pretty Darn Good.”

So…this week my mission is to get rid of some of those things and see what happens. If I can do that in 10 seconds, can you imagine if I focused a whole hour?

I am starting my list right now. 6 things that will take me 10 minutes or less to fix or finish.

How about you?

©Jolie Engelbrecht