Category Archives: Inspiration

3 Tips for Finding Joy in Change

Life is change. Change is constant. Growth is optional.

This has always been one of my favorite sayings and a mantra in my life. Just as the seasons changes each year, so does our life. We have cycles and patterns and it’s good to identify what those are because therein often lies important lessons for us to learn.

My oldest daughter graduated from high school in Sweden this month. Swedes have a great way of celebrating this milestone in a young person’s life. The day is a full day of activities and events all around celebrating the end of this phase of life.

As a mom watching this, I became very aware of my own feelings as well. It’s been a mix of happiness and joy, pride in her accomplishments, and an underlying sadness that has been hard for me to find words for. But I finally figured out what it is, especially for mothers.

We are the caretakers of our children for around 18 years on average (yes, I know kids are living at home longer these days for a variety of reasons but let’s stick to the average).  This has been one of my purposes in life—being a mom. It’s been one of my absolute favorite “roles.” And I see that soon, this role will be ending. I will never stop being a mom but I will no longer be the caretaker. My daughter is entering adulthood and will be taking care of herself. And I’m thrilled for that. My only hope is that I’ve equipped her well enough to manage whatever life might throw her way. And of course, I’ll be here always as her mom, as a support, and as a friend.

It’s fun to embrace life and to grow with the changes. And when you know that change is constant, it makes the ride all that more fun to be on. You can find that joy in all the constant changes. Because you never know what really might be around the corner. Science studies have shown that change is good for us. It stimulates the brain and helps keep us active.

Here are three tips that have helped me along my own journey:

  • Expect change and embrace it rather than being afraid of change
  • Trust that change is happening FOR you for a good reason. You are not a victim and there are always lessons in all challenges so look for that so that you can…
  • Learn to grow from changes. When you find those lessons you will naturally grow and evolve into an even better version of yourself!

So my reflections from this period in my own life are to love the moments. Seize those small moments that you love and try to fill your day with many of them. Because life keeps moving forward no matter what and it’s only up to us to make it an amazing journey!

Choosing Love Over Fear in the Face of a Terror Attack

 

On the afternoon of April 7th, there was a terrorist attack in Stockholm, about three blocks away from where I was working on a video project. As we were wrapping up the filming, we could hear sirens and saw several police cars driving towards the city center. We were loading up the video equipment to move on to the next location when the crew got messages about what had happened. All we knew at that time was that a truck had driven onto a busy pedestrian street and drove into a busy department store. It was chaos and we drove away from the area to get to the next location. We tried to continue filming but soon stopped as everyone was quite concerned and wanted to get home to their families so we postponed the rest of the filming to another day.

Stockholm is a small city and we probably only have two degrees of separation max when it comes to knowing people. I actually had a friend who was sitting right above where the truck drove into the department store and she felt the impact and knew something was wrong. What she told me afterwards–and what she consciously chose to focus in on—was the amount of love and heroism from all the people. I believe humanity has a natural ability to reach out and support each other, especially in times of trouble. We (for the most part!) are hardwired to care and have empathy for each other. And this event was an example of this. Because afterwards, people who lived in the city center were posting on Facebook, opening up their homes to people who got stranded in the city (all the trainings and metro systems shut down immediately) and were driving people home. There are countless stories of people choosing to help and support each other in whatever ways they could afterwards.

Someone decided to have a LOVE demonstration two days later and posted about it on Facebook Friday evening. I believe it was one of the biggest turnouts and a strong message of solidarity for Sweden that we choose love over fear. Swedes refuse to allow the insane actions of a few people ruin what Sweden stands for—an open and trusting society. I’m so happy to know that our underlying values in this country are strong. And yes, even though there are still problems, if the vast majority can choose love over fear each and every day, we will make great progress to creating a world in which we all want to live. This small little action is something to keep in mind each and every day, no matter what you do. And collectively, we can—and will—change the world!

This 2 minute video shows what happened that day at the peace demonstration. It was made by Herman Caroan, a very talented videographer, and immediately went viral.

11 Easy Steps to an Inspiring Life

Inspiration comes in many forms and from many sources. Let’s keep it simple. When you choose to be on a quest to find inspiring information, you can really change the way you look at the world.

I’ve learned on my journey that we need to be discerning about the information we take in, especially the visual images and what we read. It’s a concept I call “Feed Your Brain,” because like all things, we must nuture to grow and be the best versions of ourselves.

If you are constantly bombarded by negative news, images, and information, it brings you down. It’s hard not to be depressed by that. And our mainstream media thrives on bad news. As they say, if it “bleeds, it leads”. Defaulting to our fear based instincts worked back in the cave days when our lives depended on paying attention to the threats of our environment. It was our survival instincts that kicked in and kept us alive.

Our societies have moved on from this. However, our automatic reactions haven’t—unless you actively work on it. When you become aware that most things are not a threat to your survival, you can choose to respond from an entirely different perspective. You can recondition your brain to look at what’s going well, instead of always looking at what is going wrong or could go wrong.

This brings me back to our quest for inspiration and joy. Here are 11 easy tips to change your mindset and start to recondition your brain so that you can have an inspiring life:

1) Stop watching the news. Read the paper or news online. It’s easier to skim headlines and choose to take in what is of interest to you. Choose to read good news instead. Imagine that any information you take in is like food for your brain. Feed your brain inspiring and positive things and you will feel so much better!

2) Spend time in nature. Get connected to the natural beauty that is abundant in our world. Walk barefoot whenever you can, this is called “earthing” and studies show that just a few minutes a day connecting to the earth this way helps reduce stress and lowers blood pressure. It actually helps get your electromagnetic resonance in tune with the earth.

3) Pay full attention when having a conversation. Often we listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. We are thinking about the next thing we are going to say instead of truly listening and understanding what the person is saying to us. Practice conscious listening and you’ll feel a difference in the connection and relationship.

4) Know what inspires you – and then act on it. If reading books makes you feel good, do it. Going to conferences, do it. Listening to good music and dancing like a manic in the privacy of your home, then DO IT! Whatever you love to do, put these things into your daily life.

5) Laugh, laugh, and laugh more. Laughter is the best medicine. It raises your energy, makes you feel good, and releases endorphins, helps you deal with stress, breaks up the tension…the list of benefits goes on forever with this one. Watching babies laughing on youtube is one of my favorites here. Just don’t take life so seriously anymore. It’s all going to work out for the highest good for you.

6) Be aware of how you are feeling. Using the Joyometer (www.Joyometer.com) is a great tool to help you check in on a regular basis to monitor your feelings throughout the day. If you can stay in the positive emotions coming from love 51% of the time on a minimum, you’ll be bringing your dreams and goals into your life.

7) Choose love over fear. All of us have a choice in how we respond to circumstances and situations. Instead of allowing our survival instincts to drive our lives, we can pause and ask, how can this situation serve me? What can I learn here? What would be the best response? You may never have control over circumstances, but when you understand that always have control over how you respond, you become very empowered. You become the creator of your life instead of the “victim” of circumstances.

8) Surround yourself with supporters. It is said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Often times, we have some of our toughest relationships that serve to bring us the greatest lessons. Be aware of who you spend time with most—are they living the life you desire to experience? Are they giving you energy, or do you feel drained just by spending time with them? You can minimize the time spent with those energy drainers (I call them energy vampires because they suck your energy out of you) and make an effort to find those who make you feel happy, inspired, and joyful.

9) Do what you love to do. The great equalizer in life is time—we all only have 24 hours in a day. If you aren’t doing work you love, you are not living fully. Figure out your passions. Know your values. Discover your true purpose. And then find work that allows you to express that. Our work is an extension of ourselves, it is our opportunity to create and bring into this world our talents and gifts that no one else has.

10) Be playful and imaginative. As children, we have wonderful imaginations and know how to play. As we grow up, we lose that sense of playfulness. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Richard Branson is willing to dress up as a flight attendant on a dare. What can you do to bring more playfulness into your life? And spending time day dreaming is a great use of your time. Every man made object in this world first started as a thought in someone’s mind. Dream about the life you want to have and the experiences you desire. Before you know it, you’ll be living it!

11) Practice gratitude. All successful people have a high degree of appreciation for life. They are able to take the challenges and see the opportunities that lie within them. When you focus on what is going well by using gratitude, you can shift your mindset and get yourself to a positive frame of mind. For every complaint, come up with 3 good things to counter balance the situation. All situations serve us on some level so look for the lessons and move on.

You have the power and everything you need within yourself to be the best that you can be. Get inspired and you’ll inspire others too. So what is your next step?

Love With a Scientific Twist

Love is the essence of who we all are. It’s the one thing we all have in common that we want and need to have in our lives…and often feel like we are lacking the most. Love to me is an acronym: Living On Vibrant Energy. Because love is vibrant energy flowing through you and into your life.

In the Bringing Joy series of picture books, Joy shows how we can “plug” into Source energy, which is the same as love. When we are feeling like we are lacking in love, it is only because we are “unplugged” in some way from that vibrant energy.

We can’t see electricity but we know it’s there and that it words for us. It’s the same with Source energy or love. We can’t see it but we know when we feel it or have it in our lives.

The Institute of Heartmath has been studying the heart and its mysteries for almost 20 years. Their findings are fascinating. Did you know that:

  • The heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions
  • The human heart’s electromagnetic field can be measured up to several feet away from the body
  • Positive emotions create physiological benefits in your body
  • You can boost your immune system by conjuring up positive emotions
  • Negative emotions can create nervous system chaos but positive emotions do the opposite
  • The heart has a system of neurons that have both short and long term memory, and that their signals sent to the brain can affect our emotional experiences
  • In fetal development, the heart forms and starts beating before the brain is developed
  • The mother’s brainwaves can synchronize with her baby’s heartbeats
  • The heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa
  • Positive emotions help the brain in creativity and innovative problem solving
  • Positive emotions can increase the brain’s ability to make good decisions
  • That the heart’s electromagnetic field is approximately 60 times stronger than the brain

The Institute of Heartmath is teaching about coherence and how to reach it. This is essentially when your heart is open and you are experiencing a state of love and gratitude. Love and gratitude are the strongest positive emotions.

Another book I highly recommend is Hidden Message in Water by Emoto Masaru. He looks at the world from the camera lens of capturing crystals as they are forming on freezing water. He has also discovered that love and gratitude create the most beautiful crystals.

It’s very exciting to see so much research happening about love, our hearts, our emotions, and how we can learn to use all this knowledge to better our lives.

What is Your Great Vision?

Having a vision, a goal, and staying focused on it is one of the most powerful creation tools we can use when we want to proactive create our lives. Our minds are incredible.

Our imagination is a tool that we can use to create anything in our lives! Being able to visualize and actually see and feel yourself experiencing a better life will help you to bring it into reality. Our thoughts are charged with a frequency that we send out into the quantum field and that brings into our life that same experience. Anything is possible when you understand how to work with the spiritual laws of the Universe!

We are energy magnets creating our lives all the time. We have the power to choose our thoughts. That is the key to manifesting what you desire. Your vision is you placing an order with the Universe. And the more often you can see yourself there with the strong feelings of it being real, the more powerful your dream will become, and the sooner it will come into being. However, it is important to release any expectation of time and allow it to happen in the perfect time.

This is why visualization is such a powerful tool for us. Seeing things in our minds helps us to believe it is possible and it is proven that the brain cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. Then we must take the next step and truly believe that it will come to pass (faith). After that, we must release it and trust that it will come to us in the right time (acceptance and allowing).

As soon as we put an expectation of time onto a desire, we can set ourselves up for disappointment or discouragement—that’s when we are lacking in patience and higher understanding. Know that everything will resolve itself one way or another. And believe in that immense power that we all have within.

Even in my biggest moments of doubt when I was separated from my family for so many years, I meditated and continued to see myself going home—the answer I kept getting was that I was going home.

I held onto that vision and believed in it with all of my heart. But I had to learn to let go of time and of any expectations. It had to happen in its own time. This was a hard lesson to learn. Acceptance of this certainly came in handy during that time and now is one of the ways I can manage my life now.

My question to you is: what is your great vision now? What dreams are waiting to become your reality?