Turn everyday tasks into a joyful practice

Every day events happen in your life. Many little actions occur that either cause some stress or are mundane. Using these little ordinary events as practices helps you continue your ability to live a life of Joyous Expansion.

The top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington

Image via Wikipedia

I rarely wear a jacket. I live in Seattle where the winter months are rainy and not very warm. A lot of people might think I don’t wear a coat because I am a bigger man and my body is generally warm, but that is actually not the case. A few years ago I came to a conclusion that I wanted to live my life at choice. In this life I am completely responsible for how I react to certain situations. An idea occurred to me that being cold was a choice. I went to college in Bellingham, a town about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. It is is kind of cold. Students from both Alaska and Hawaii lived in my dorm and both groups had completely different ideas of what is cold. Alaskans thought cold was around 30 degrees while Hawaiians were cold around 60 degrees. Each group is at choice. There is no reason for 60 degrees to be cold. Not to say there isn’t a degree of cold that is just too cold for the body. I am listening to my body when it tells me that it is freaking cold and that I should wear a jacket. I can honestly say that it has probably happened at 5 times in the last two years.

The practice of not wearing a jacket was expanded on that day. Every time I feel a chill or go outside when it is raining, I am reminded of various ways that I practice to live a happier life.

My not wearing a jacket exercise reminds me that:

  1. I am always at choice: I can be happy and in joy no matter what. I chose if I am comfortable or uncomfortable.
  2. This too shall pass: In A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61), Eckhart Tolle wrote of story about a king who was in constant stress. The king wanted a way to live his life of joy so he asked a sage to help him. The sage gave him a ring and with this ring the king was able to live a life of joy and happiness. All that was special on that ring was a saying, “This too shall pass.”
  3. I am not my body: A good way to remind myself that I am the observer. This is a nice little Zen meditation.
  4. Stand in presence to the feminine: In the book, The Way of the Superior Man
    , David Deida compares the feminine to weather. The feminine is a constant energy that flows. He says a superior masculine person is able to stay in presence when the feminine is storming all over the masculine.

From something as simple as not wearing a jacket, I am able to have four powerful practices that serve me.

Another simple practice is this one on forgiveness. No two drivers have the same idea about good driving. Instead of having a practice of getting angry and going into a rage when another driver drives in a way you do not agree with,have a practice about forgiveness. When a driver cuts you off, lane changes without signaling, stops suddenly, rides their breaks, or drives slow in the fast lane feel the anger. Then take a breath and think they are doing the best they can with what they are working with at this time and forgive them for their action. Depending on your commute, you will be practicing the art of forgiveness up to 20 times a day.

Here are some simple suggestions for practices:

  1. Set a reminder: Wear a rubber band or some kind of bracelet and each time you think about over eating, switch the rubber band to another hand. The reminder will give you awareness of what you are doing. You will be taking an unconscious act and turning it into a conscious one.
  2. Use something you already have: If you wear a necklace, watch, or a hat, every time you put it on think about how much fun you are going to have today. Every time you notice the fact that you are wearing it think of how much fun you are having. When you take it off at night think about the things that were in your day that were a lot of fun.
  3. Use an everyday occurrence: For instance, when stopping at a red light think of something that you enjoyed in your day.
  4. Use wait times to your advantage: When stuck in a line look around and do a rampage of appreciation. Look at everything there is in your life and pay gratitude..
  5. Use your mirror: Each time you look in the mirror, look yourself in your eyes and tell yourself, “I love you.”

Get creative. Think of a simple little practice that you can use to enhance your life. With simple practices used every day you too can live a life of Joyous Expansion.

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Bring joy in your personal development

One of the main faults of adults is that they take life so seriously. There are many things in life to take seriously, like doing a good job at work and providing for their family. There are many more things not to take seriously. One thing humans enjoy doing is looking for reasons to feel bad, even in personal development. Personal development is one area where you should take yourself less seriously. When you take yourself too seriously you have a greater chance of creating more reasons to feel bad. I have heard the saying, “Life is not a game.” I say, “Why not? Games are fun.”


Cover of "The Power of Positive Thinking&...

Cover of The Power of Positive Thinking

g to Abraham has taught me two important lessons in life. 1) Life is meant to be enjoyed and 2) do not create new reasons to feel bad.

Self help is an area where people love finding new reasons to feel bad. An example of this is positive thinking. A vast majority of self help books include the power of positive thinking. In fact there is a book called The Power of Positive Thinking
One of the dangers of just positive thinking is that there is a chance of using positive thinking as a reason to feel bad. An example of this could be practicing positive thinking for a few weeks and not noticing any changes. If immediate results aren’t seen then having the thought that positive thinking is horse pucky or cannot help. People can also get upset with themselves every time they have a negative thought. This totally negates the whole point of positive thinking. If you think of a positive thought as matter and negative thoughts as anti-matter then positive thinking works by the person having the negative thought and then they use the positive thought to cause a matter anti-matter explosion. This sends the positive energy throughout the body and totally destroys the negative thought. What people do instead is think the negative thought, then think negatively about the negative thought and then think the positive thought. Some of the negativity still remains and they wonder why it isn’t working for them. They also like thinking more negative thoughts about that as well.

Another way people in self help LOVE to make them feel bad is with the ego. Look out for the Joyous Expansions take on the ego here soon.

When you are tense you create a wall that does not let in goodness. It is like you are the starship Saddy and your forward shields are deflecting the smile rays being shot by the Happylons. Yes I realize that was super corny. Seeing the humor in what you are doing is a great way to create space to let in the goodness of life. Either see the joy of what you are doing or the results you are going to accomplish. You can also fake it a little. Smiling has a lot of positive effects. Laughing is also a great way to help with your personal development.

Looking at yourself and thinking about why you are on this journey is extremely important. Are you on this planet to enjoy yourself, live the best life you can, and be excellent example ? Or are you going to be someone who uses personal development as a reason to feel bad, look for new reasons to feel bad?

Here are some tips to help bring joy in your personal development:

1.Laugh and smile about it. The more you laugh the more you will learn to love yourself.
2.Relax. Taking deep belly breaths are good ways to relax when things feel like they are just not working out for you.
3.Look at where you are going. Looking at the end point is a good way of keeping you on track. Especially if you are not where you want to be at a given point.
4.Let it go. There might be days when you do not feel as good as you would like or that a problem that you thought you were over pops back up. If you are on a journey of self-development then you have picked up some tools to help you on days like this.. Being upset about a bad day would just exacerbate the problem.
5.Remember why you are doing it. Never forget the values and the reasons why. Joy is a fun way to live. Being happy feels so good. It will make the quality of your life better.

Want to kick your personal development up a notch? Want to make sure you stay on track and keep working on living full of joy?

Contact me at brettdupree@joyousexpansion.com to set up your free 30 minute “Joy Development” one-on-one coaching session. Together we will:

Clarify your vision for your personal development
Identify key strategic milestones
Uncover hidden challenges that are sabotaging your personal development
Leave the session renewed, re-energized and inspired to living a life full of joy!

Act today to live the life you want to live!

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Worry is for suckas

During my development, the first thing I did was greatly reduce the amount of worry that I do in my life. There is no reason to do the activity of worry.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The brain’s job is to think thoughts. There are many thoughts in the brain. According to Google Answers the brain thinks about 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. Worrying is taking one thought that causes pain or stress and thinking it over and over again.

When a person thinks a thought that they do not like over and over again it is like loading the Song of Worry on their mp3 player and putting it on repeat. The brain starts the emotions and releases the chemicals that are inspired by the Song of Worry. For example, if someone loads the song, “My Child Is Smoking” into their mp3 player and plays it once, the song is not a negative. The thought can lead to some positive actions, such as the parent deciding to set a good example and take care of their lungs themselves, having a talk with their child to see if they have good influences on this subject, or encouraging their child to make positive choices.. The parent could disregard this thought, use the law of attraction and visualize their child making excellent decisions and decide to wait until the child smokes to actually feel bad about it.

The unfortunate person will decide to worry by clicking the repeat button on their mp3 player for the song “My Child Is Smoking.” What this entails is first imagining their child in a situation where they are tempted to smoke. Chances are this picture in this parent’s head is probably dark and scary. People rarely use rainbows and Care Bears when they imagine their children making bad choices. This by itself will cause negative emotions. After that this loving parent will lovingly imagine their child making a poor decision and start smoking. Then, with all the love in their soul they will think of their child with lung cancer and other smoking related problems. o. This will cause this loving best intentioned parent to become angry and sad. As the parent listens to this thought over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, each time they will feel sad and angry at their child all while losing trust in their child. For all their hard worrying work, the parent will also be hurting their immune system , as worrying can cause headaches, stomach issues, high blood pressure, chest pains, fatigue, depression, diabetes, obesity, skin conditions, anxiety and sleep disorders.

Which parent do you feel will handle the situation better? The one that makes a plan if their child smokes and decides to deal with it when the time comes or the parent that worries about their child smoking all of the time. The obvious choice is the parent who has decided to deal with the situation when the time comes. That parent will make a better decision at the time they learn their child is smoking. They will have less chance of blowing up at their child.

What does worry get you? It gets you a bunch of health risks and lessons your ability to deal with serious situations.

How to change?

One of the first things I listened to was Dr. Paul’s mindOS on a DVD collection called Inner Game. He described worry as a form of suffering. This stuck with me for years and I still use it to this day. He said that suffering used more energy than dealing with the issue. Since I wanted to use my energy more efficiently, I decided that I no longer wanted to choose to suffer. To me, worrying is akin to water boarding myself. If I am going to suffer it is going to be because I don’t have control over the situation, such as a car wreck or actually being tortured. Why should I get up, go over to the sink, lean back and run water over my nose to simulate drowning? That is what you are doing every time you suffer.

How I got off the worry train:

Step 1: Realize that worry is a choice. Running the same thought over and over again in my head is a choice that I have. It is easy to realize this. Think about a frog jumping up and down. Now think of a cat playing with string. Were you able to stop thinking about the frog jumping up and down and start thinking about the cat playing with the string? Changing your thoughts is that simple.

Step 2: Having awareness. Awareness is an amazing tool for changing and self growth. It is almost always the first step to change. Becoming aware of each time, I chose to suffer was a good start. If I am feeling negative, I will ask myself, “Am I choosing to suffer?” Not only does that question bring awareness of my feelings, it reinforces the fact that worrying is a choice.

Step 3: Stopping. In elementary school, I went to an assembly where there was a man who talked about a person who was shopping. All of a sudden he heard the guy said, “Stop it.” The assembly giver asked the guy why he yelled that. The man replied to him that his brain was thinking negative thoughts and he wanted them to stop. I have learned that this actually works. Especially if I say it enough times in my head. It is also much more effective when I say it out loud. It might give some weird looks my way. The weird looks are much better than spinning the record of worry in my brain. NLP co-founder Richard Bandler suggests using the mantra, “Shut the **** up!” That can work as well.

Portrait of Byron Katie

Image via Wikipedia

With those three easy steps you will be able to break the habit of worrying. It is how I did it. There are many more ways to give up worrying. Another way is to keep a little book with you. When you have a troubling thought write it down. If the thought is something that is worth following up then file it away to be dealt with at a good time. Thoughts worth following up on include the child smoking example. If the thought is not something that you can control (drunk driver hitting your child), very very silly (meteorite coming down to earth and hitting your child), or a thought you already decided how to deal with, tear up the paper or, better yet, burn it.

If you are interested in learning more about ending the cycle of worry, there are many other methods including the Sedona Method, therapy, the Work by Byron Katie, EFT, and NLP.

There is a quote that I just cannot find who said it on the Internet or remember where I heard it from that I believe states it perfectly:

There are things in life you can handle. If you can handle them, why worry about them? There are things in life that you cannot handle. If you cannot handle them, why worry about them? Why worry?
-anonymous (If you know please leave a comment.)

There is a quote that made me laugh while I was looking for who said the quote above.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
Robert Frost

Isn’t that the truth Robert Frost?

Homework of the Week:

Think of something that you worry about. STOP IT!

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