The photo to the right shows me with one of my Visionary clients, Paula. She came all the way from Albuquerque, NM, to have her VIP Day with me in Asheville!
By the end of the day, we had gotten MAJOR traction on the things that were most important to her—a crystal clear vision of her TWO different ideal client profiles PLUS TWO different Signature Systems, Programs and Pricing—all in ONE DAY!
It was the perfect culmination of a few very FULL weeks before I take almost a week off from my business to unplug and connect with family, eat some of my favorite food, and recharge for the weeks ahead.
Yes, in the United States, we’re in the thick of the BIG holidays—the ones that we look forward to all year and have us alternating between feeling exhilarated and exhausted.
I would love for YOU to have truly happy and peaceful holidays this year and to that end I have two things in mind.
The first is a FREE copy of The (Truly!) Happy Holidays Planner, my special planner that I want to offer as a token of my appreciation for YOU. Just click here and you’ll receive it as an immediate download.
The second is my life-changing (wait till you read the testimonials!) program 30 Days to Inner Peace. Starting now and going through November 30th, I’ll be offering it with a fantastic “Positive Focus” bonus.
I know both will help you have a stress-free holiday season filled with meaning, connection, fun … and appreciation. Did you know appreciation is MATHEMATICALLY PROVEN to help you be happy in any circumstance—especially during the holidays?
Barbara Fredrickson is a psychologist who works at UNC-Chapel Hill and studies my favorite field of academic research, positive psychology.
Her book Positivity lays out the research she’s conducted that shows that there is a mathematical formula by which success (in terms of production in a business sense, or feeling happy in a more personal sense) can be predicted by the ratio of positive events to negative ones.
She has discovered that the “tipping point” where good things start to happen occurs at a ratio of three to one. That is, three positive events for every single negative event.
I think this finding can tell us a lot about life—how to perceive it and how to live it with great satisfaction. As Frederickson puts it, “If we’re aware of the tipping point ratio, (that) could make a big difference in how we choose to live our lives.”
As I would put it, making a conscious choice to appreciate three things every time you’re aware of a bad thing happening is the way to feel happy even when bad things are happening.
There are always going to be negative events in our lives, and we may not be able to do anything about them. But we always have the ability to increase the power of the positive events in our lives—and even multiply them—by focusing our attention on what makes us feel good.
Pema Chodron, in When Things Fall Apart, describes how our daily lives can feel like a confused, busy street; the traffic is going fast in all directions and we can’t find a way to cross. It’s overwhelming and frightening.
We’re so busy jumping out of the way of the speeding cars that we can’t understand what’s going on, or how we contributed to the confusion.
But if we watch the activity for a while, we begin to see that there are openings in the traffic. We can step up on the sidewalk and take a more objective look. And no matter how busy the traffic, we can understand that there’s a flow.
If we could look at it from the top of a building, we’d see that it really doesn’t have anything to do with us; it’s just a flow of energy. We begin to see the challenges as part of the deal, not necessarily good or bad, just part of life.
Now the circumstances in our lives can seem like that traffic. And we often believe that our love relationships should be a refuge from that traffic—the one place that should give us peace. But our relationships with those closest to us are really the most traffic-filled and the best place to practice looking for flow.
Aside from meditation, being in relationships is the best practice to help us see where we’re stuck and what isn’t working in our lives. As Joko Beck, an American Buddhist nun, writes in Everyday Zen:
So a relationship is a great gift, not because it makes us happy—it often doesn’t—but because any intimate relationship, if we view it as practice, is the clearest mirror we can find.
So what then? Should we simply look at our relationships as a practice—something that helps us grow stronger when we’re out in public (provided it doesn’t kill us first)? Not at all. Because the practice I’m suggesting that you introduce into your relationships is the practice of looking for the positive things that will put you into that 3-to-1 ratio.
Today, practice accentuating the positive by noticing your surroundings and asking, “What feels good about my current situation? What makes me feel lucky to be here?” Mentally registering the benefits of any given circumstance will remind you that you have the power to influence your reaction when things become challenging.
Find something to appreciate in three people today and share your appreciation with them. Bonus points if you can manage to direct a sincere compliment to someone who has really pushed your buttons quite recently. (You should be provided with at least one opportunity to do this during the holidays, don’t you think?)
Then, once you’ve got a handle on it, use this practice on your intimate relationships. Your spouse, your parents, your siblings—and work to beef up the ratio of good things and good events versus the negative things that you notice about them.
It’s not going to be as hard as you might think. After all, these are people who have stuck with you, maintained relationships with you, for years. It’s going to take an extraordinary person to have never exhibited any positive characteristics, or done any good deeds, over all that time.
And the thing is, once you’ve put yourself into the proper balance in your private life, you will find the strength to look for the positive—to find the flow—in other aspects of your life. So start at home, and start during the holidays. If you do, I think you’ll find the new year full of a promise you never expected.
If you’d like even more practices to help you feel peaceful and grounded this holiday season, click here: 30 Days to Inner Peace Program.
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