The 16 Habits of Exuberant Human Beings, by Kate Bratskeir

Greetings Happy Experimenters!

Thought you might like to see this great article about exuberance – well worth a read:

The 16 Habits of Exuberant Human Beings, by Kate Bratskeir.

And if you want to know what the ’16 habits’ are in a nutshell, here they are. (Except there’s actually 21, but we won’t quibble!)

  1. Surround yourself with other happy people
  2. Smile when you mean it
  3. Cultivate resilience
  4. Try to be happy
  5. Be mindful of the good
  6. Appreciate simple pleasures
  7. Devote some time to giving
  8. Let yourself lose track of time
  9. Nix small talk for deeper conversations
  10. Spend money on others
  11. Make a point to listen
  12. Uphold in-person connections
  13. Look on the bright side
  14. Value a good mix-tape!
  15. Unplug
  16. Get spiritual
  17. Make exercise a priority
  18. Go outside
  19. Spend some time on the pillow (or sofa)
  20. LOL (laugh out loud)
  21. Walk confidently

 

 

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We are one – scientific proof!

I’m doing some research around my program Future Self Now at the moment in order to contextualise it and attempt to  explain why the experience is so powerful. I’ll keep you posted as I go along but I wanted to share this fascinating research into ‘Mirror Neurons’ – neurons in the brain that help us empathise, copy and learn. The extraordinary thing about them is that brain scans show that even when we are NOT actually performing an action – like watching as opposed to playing a sport – we can actually experience it (and light up the same parts of the brain) as if we were doing that action.

Mirror Neurons are what make visualisation so powerful. This was illustrated in a test conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago. He split basketball players into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make.

After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour.

The second group just visualized themselves making free throws.

The third group did nothing.

After 30 days, he tested them again.

The first group improved by 24%.

The second group improved by 23% without touching a basketball!

The third group did not improve which was expected.

Now, to really blow your mind, watch this video about the power of mirror neurons. It seems science is starting to catch up to the ancient philosophies that teach that we are all one.

So this is where much of the power of Future Self Now lies – when doing the visualisation of our Future Selves we are creating a bridge between who we are being now and who we really are – ourselves at our most powerful. Mirror neurons are helping us ‘be’ our Future Selves, now.

I’m starting a new 5 week Future Self Now course at Hawkwood College in Stroud next week. There are a couple of spaces left if you are interested. To find out more visit www.futureselfnow.com

Blessings!

 

 

 

Rampages of Appreciation

It’s impossible to be grateful and upset at the same time. In the moment of appreciation – even if it is just a fleeting moment – we are free. When it comes to raising our energy, this is what makes gratitudes, in my opinion, even more powerful than meditation. Gratitude allows us to connect with abundance, wonder, love, generosity, joy. Meditation is quieter – more about stillness, contemplation and awareness – all extremely beneficial of course, but not as effective at having us climb what I call the energy ladder.

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A reader of this blog  – http://www.iamlivinginthemoment.wordpress.com – recently asked me after reading my post about the importance of putting our loved ones on a pedestal how that’s done. The short answer is with lots of appreciations! Abraham-Hicks call this practice of super-appreciating, a ‘rampage of appreciation’. This is where you just start on a subject and find every which way to be grateful for it. Here’s an example of a ‘rampage’:

The thing is that once you get going and become really conscious of what it is you’re appreciating, you find you come up with more and more to be grateful for – it kind of spirals and spirals, grows and grows. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling and when you do everything else seems to shut off as you just bathe in this delicious and abundant energy.

What can you rampage in gratitude about today?

 

 

How to Uncover Your Greatest Value

I loved this post by Leadership Freak – sometimes we don’t really understand our true value. What do others say are your strong points? Listen to these – they’re what make us unique and what we have to offer the world: How to Uncover Your Greatest Value.

 
This also ties in with this great TED video by Simon Sinek which urges us to start with ‘Why?’ and not ‘What?’

 

 

Drawing meditation

As I explore the art of paying attention I have just become  aware of Mandalas. I tried one today for the first time and here’s my very modest result.

 

Mandalas are rooted in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Native American spirituality. Modern psychologists also use mandalas to have patients explore their inner sense of self.

 Why not give it a go? It’s very soothing and your inner child will have a ball at the same time!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to do it.

 

 

How conscious do I dare to be?

So, it’s now Year Two of this Happiness blog and, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve taken on the fresh challenge (hence my new tagline) of daring to be more conscious. This is why….

Reality – the ‘what’s-so’ of things has always appeared to me as a bit of an inconvenience – something to be tolerated whilst I get on with the more serious business of dreaming my life into existence. I’ve shied away from anything that smacks of that ghastly word ‘discipline’ because I have a rebellious-child’s resistance to it. Why should I do anything that feels like a ‘should’  – surely I’m the one in charge of my own life?

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s work ‘The Artist’s Way(and in fact I run workshops on it). Well now she has a new book out called ‘The Prosperous Heart‘ and in it she asks you to count evey penny you spend and receive in a little book. “What? No way! I don’t want to be wading around in the mud of my finances. And surely that’s all rather anal and sad?” I’ve also thought that in Law of Attraction terms this kind of attention to the minutae of things is misdirected – keeping your life small.

I’m realising now that I may have been missing a trick or two.

  • My weight and health have always been best when I’ve been counting what I eat and how I exercise.
  • I am very disciplined around organising my children’s school life, feeding the family, running my workshops, working with my clients etc. – it’s just I dont see it as discipline.

Abraham-Hicks talk about the importance of “loving what-is whilst reaching for more”. I’ve always read this as being OK with things not going the way I want whilst dreaming big. Not quite. I see now it’s about really meeting my reality honestly – i.e. not avoiding it – interacting with it, whilst maintaining a full expectation of growing into my desired future.

By avoiding the tricky subject of money and body weight in the name of attracting better things I was in fact only keeping resistance in place.

So now I am resolved to spend a year exploring this new concept of consciousness – being with what-is – even though I sometimes want to fight it in the name of positive thinking.

The name of the game is to ENJOY being with how things really are. I’m not embarking on this exercise of counting everything I eat and every penny I spend as a way of wallowing in lack and self-loathing – on the contrary I’m doing it to say: “This is worth paying attention to. This matters to me and I value my relationship with it.”

My very wise friend and coach Karen Hood-Caddy said to me this week: “It’s all about understanding how things work and then working inside of that.”

Yes! I think I’m starting to get it. Money, body weight etc. operate in a certain way. When I pay attention to that and work inside the parameters of that I, paradoxically, experience much greater control and therefore greater freedom.

I’m reminded of Stephen Fry’s great descripton of poetry. It is not, he argues, a restrictive form. When you write a novel you have so much choice about how you structure and shape it, it can be utterly overwhelming to begin; but with a poem the rules (mostly) are laid out and, now that you don’t have to worry about the structure of it, you can enjoy the freedom of playing with it as you will.

So constriction, discipline – whatever you want to call it – can be freeing. Yet more evidence of the Universe’s love of Paradox – (my favourite being: in order to have something you have to let it go). Paradox is everywhere and that makes being a human being so fascinating and wondrous.

I embark on this year’s challenge with excitement!

Who’s your travelling companion?

I heard this great metaphor today which I thought I’d share with you. It’s about the way we treat ourselves and a great reminder to be kind.

Imagine that you are about to go on a 5 day road trip with someone who’s recently been fired from their job. You really like this friend but right now you’re dreading this journey because you know it’s going to hard for her/him not to spend the whole time going over the pain of it all. This is your holiday and although you want to be supportive you’d also hoped to have a bit of fun!

Now imagine going on the same journey with a friend who’s feeling alive, frisky, joyous! You can’t wait because you know that this friend will bring a whole new dimension to things and above all make the holiday the fun ride you’d hoped for.

So often it’s the former friend we take along on our life’s journey. We put up listening to all our internal woes and anxieties when really we want to tap into that part of ourselves that is childlike, exuberant, excited and wise.

So we need to ask ourselves, ‘Which travelling companion do we choose?’

And …. shameless plug here …. if you’re interested in being with this joyous side of you more often, why not get in touch with him/her through my program, Future Self Now!

 

 – With thanks to Abraham Hicks –