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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 12

 

Welcome to Week 12 of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger today is funny guy David Suarez, also the founder and lead facilitator at Interactive Training Solutions. Today, he teaches us a few quick improv comedy tips to unlocking the humor that’s within us. Watch his video and leave a comment below!


Mary P
David Suarez
Founder of Interactive Training Solutions, LLC. 
David Suarez, MBA is the founder and lead facilitator for Interactive Training Solutions, LLC, a corporate training, teambuilding and executive coaching firm utilizing improvisation, experiential and applied learning.  An expert in business communication, Mr. Suarez has worked with many organizations and professionals to create and implement customized corporate training, team building, and coaching solutions to address critical challenges and needs.

 
 
 

Running my Internet marketing firm means I work very long, hard hours.  I lead our sales efforts, drive our creative teams and oversee program quality.  I work tirelessly on the processes we use and people we hire to become more efficient and less dependent upon me.  My hope is to work myself out of a job over the next several years.

It’s easy to mistakenly say to yourself, “When I accomplish all these things and achieve all these goals, I’ll be happy.”  That’s not the way happiness works.

A speaker at a men’s prayer breakfast I attend shared a quote that sheds some light on this.  It says,

The ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”

The spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.”

 

I’d like to convince myself that once my business gets streamlined and funded and I become successful (whatever that means), I’ll be happy.  I’ll be making more money.  I’ll have more freedom to travel and more time to spend with my loved ones.  “Of course I’ll be happy, right?”

The problem is this is it assumes you can control your way to happiness.  In this make-believe world, happiness comes to those that achieve.  You know what? I make an income today that in my twenties was far beyond my definition of filthy rich.  I now run the business I could only dream of running when I was younger.  I’ve accomplished a lot.

Yet my success to date hasn’t brought me happiness.  What does make me happy is sharing tapas and dinner with my wife of thirty years, family and friends.  It’s sitting down with my daughter to discuss a job offer she’s just received.  (She actually confides in me and asks for my input.)  It’s realizing my youngest daughter who’ll be off to college is well prepared and excited about leaving the nest and taking on this new challenge.  It’s helping an employee with a paycheck advance she’ll be using to purchase her first home.

Notice it is NOT the accomplishments that bring me happiness.  It’s the place my head is at that enables me to appreciate what happens in my life’s journey.  It’s based on awareness and the nurturing of relationships with people I love.

 

Here’s a word picture for you.  Happiness does 505697585NOT come from focusing on my mobile device GPS map thinking of the happiness I’ll feel when my car arrives at my destination. 

It comes from:

  • Opening the car windows,
  • • Feeling the rush of the wind,
  • • Holding the hand of the lady next to me who’s been putting up with me all these years,
  • • Appreciating the moon rise in front of us which I would typically miss and
  • • Keeping my mind free from tomorrow’s to-do list and mental clutter so I don’t miss out on the happiness of my situation.

 

My Uncle Max passed away recently and I shared a few moments with his daughter Adriana after the burial.   I don’t see her often because she is now a sister in the Mother Theresa order of nuns serving the poorest of the poor in Mexico.

My uncle had a sly sense of humor and really appreciated the ironies in life.  My cousin lives a very basic life with zero in the way of worldly possessions.  She explained to me the irony of riding in a black limousine to the cemetery.   A friend of hers joked about taking a picture of her in full nun garb sitting in the driver’s seat of the Porche 911 parked next to the limo.  We all smiled because we knew how this would all strike Uncle Max.  “I’m sure Dad’s cracking up right now,” she said.

 

Happiness comes when you least expect it and from the least likely of things.  Don’t miss out.

 


jdiaz-medium

Jorge Lazaro Diaz
Founder/Chief Internet Marketing and Technology Officer of Larry Jacob Internet Marketing

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the Founder and President of Larry Jacob Internet Marketing. His expertise comes with strong marketing, copy writing and technology skills delivering Internet Marketing, Infusionsoft Automation and Website Design solutions that deliver results to small and medium sized businesses.

 
 
 

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 9

Are you looking to find some inner insight on your well-being? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe there is more to life than the physical? Sure, staying fit is wonderful and all, but do you ever think about the nitty-gritty of things, through soul searching, or even trying to find that balance in life to make you feel “whole”? Holistic practices have been used for hundreds of years. A holistic practice not only focuses on the body, but the entire body-mind-soul connection to help achieve a greater satisfaction of oneself. Wholeness is just right around the corner, folks.


 Bringing Your Well-Being Full Circle

How we can heal our lives through holistic practices.

Holism means that we are all connected somehow to the world and everything around us. We humans spend so much time bettering ourselves via money and indulges that we forget to thank ourselves in personal and natural ways. We need to allow ourselves to access peace and harmony to better help our spirit remain in the state of bliss and tranquility that we deserve. We can do this through holistic practices.

yoga-pose2Caring for the mind and soul are equally as important as taking care of the body. The metaphysical components of wellness should be taken into account and not be set aside. We can all benefit from getting that ol’ yoga mat out more often instead of waiting for that rainy day Yoga, one of the more practiced types of holism, not only helps to stretch the muscles, it decreases stress, eases depression, and even helps keep blood pressure in check.

Meditation is also a spiritual awakening practice that can put us in a relaxed state of mind. When meditating, we clear our minds and focus solely on slow, balanced breathing. For a beginner, it may take a few meditations before he/she can fully relax and forget those pesky daily woes that trouble us all. Meditating, even if for 5 minutes, can benefit us in the long run. So, the next time you find yourself thinking there aren’t enough hours in the day, believe that there are, take a seat, relax, and ‘om’ your way to a better, happier you.

These are merely two well-known types of holistic practices. There are many other ones that you can easily try at home, or at a studio with a teacher or professional. And, they can also support any illness you may be working through. Sometimes, medication is not enough. Holistic exercises and rituals can help heal your soul and awaken you to your true self and true needs.

The forces of our minds and our transcendental connection to the universe can make miracles! I believe holism can help anyone, if they’re willing to open themselves up to the universe—mind-body-and-soul.

I created I AM Equilibrium because holism has been in my life as long as I can remember! My grandmother taught me to always to look at the root of a situation or illness for the blockage or obstacle, and try to find the “why.”  The surface of anything tells a different story than its root. Looking for the answers within helps you evolve spiritually.

beach-yoga-holiday-fuerteventura

My tip for you is to try and do the same. This week, when you feel stress or pain, instead of masking it with pain killers, cocktails, or other quick fixes, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and ask yourself questions that can help you find the root—the spiritual cause of the stress or pain.

And, I invite you to consider expanding your well-being horizon and trying out a new and unique holistic method. Regardless of the method or practice you try, be patient and be in the moment with it, releasing any judgment for the activity and for yourself.

The art of allowing is never easy! When I began my holistic journey I decided to take it slow. I realized that to develop the habit I needed to take baby steps. First, I set a time, even if I wasn’t going to do yoga or meditate, I’d have the alarm sound ‘meditation time’ and I would be ready with some affirmations or thoughts that I wanted to manifest as detailed as possible.  For one week, it was just that! The following week I wanted more, so I would actually sit up and meditate for 5 minutes and put on some yoga clothes, never pressuring myself to do more. These small baby steps helped me incorporate these and other practices into my life, all while running two companies! I also realized that how I thought about my time was critical. Did I feel I had no time at all, or all the time in the world?  Believe you have the time and you will find it.

I wish you much success on your well-being journey, and a lifetime of mind-body-soul practices that bring you into the wholeness you deserve.

Thank you!

 


Mary P
Ivette Agusti
Founder of I Am Equilibrium
Ivette Agusti is founder of I Am Equilibrium, a Holistic Gym in South Miami focused on helping others integrate Holistic practices into their everyday lifestyle. IAE offers classes, one on one treatments and weekend workshops for the mind, body and spirit, ranging from prosperity classes to the latest healing modalities like Sound healing, etc. Recognizing always how you are your first and only healer, IAE provides simply the tools to assist in your evolution and growth.

 

Ocean

Meet Ocean, our brand new Labradane puppy, whose been in our lives for only two weeks. I wrote about her in my blog last week, and I want to write about her again today, because having her join our family has brought up so many great memories, as well as both joyous and challenging moments. Keeping up with my well-being habits has not been easy these last few weeks, and as a good student of my own teachings, I decided I had to broaden the way I not only looked at our new situation, but also how I could transcend it, bit-by-bit.

In thinking of transcending the challenges, I immediately am taken back to a time in my life when my grandmother, Amelia “Mami”, moved in to our childhood home, together with my sister and her family, as well as with my grandfather, Mario “Papi”. My sister had a Yorkshire Terrier named “Rambo”. Rambo was a very loving dog, despite his hyper tendencies. He loved to cuddle and be spoiled. My grandmother hated the idea of living with a dog in the house and complained to no end about it. But, she had no choice in the matter. Rambo wasn’t going anywhere.

Because my grandmother didn’t work, she stayed home all day. Her role was a very traditional, maternal one. Cook, clean, babysit, sew, etc. But, it was a lonely life during the day, because she was not interacting with others and had no young children to care for. Little by little, she let Rambo get close to her. He really seemed to fill a void for her, one that no one else could. Sometimes I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, listening to her conversations with Rambo! Before you knew it, she and Rambo were inseparable! She even made home-cooked meals for him!! I mean, really??

My grandmother’s demeanor changed. She was more bubbly, and giggly. When she wanted to be funny she didn’t have to try hard, she was hilarious, mostly because she laughed at herself so hard that we laughed at her! Rambo became her daily companion; her everything. Loving him and caring for him was a high priority for her. So, you can imagine how difficult it was when Rambo died. Mami was so depressed; unconsolable for months. Watching her suffer was very hard for all of us. We saw my grandmother’s overall well-being soar because of her very close relationship Rambo. It was a true wellness lever for her.

I share this story, because I’ve had a few moments over these last two weeks when I have noticed that how I have been thinking about our new life with Ocean has not been supporting or allowing my well-being to be optimal. I have found myself reacting too much, complaining, and feeling sorry for myself (when I can’t sleep, or have to clean my rugs- again!, or take the puppy out on wet grass, or in the rain every 1/2 hour). Thinking of how much joy Rambo brought to my grandmother’s life, and also how much love and joy our former dog, Cousteau, brought to our lives, has helped me to become more intentional (I’m learning how to puppy train!), set realistic expectations (yes, she’s a puppy and will poop and pee a lot and cry at night!), and really forgive both Ocean, for doing what she can’t yet understand and control, and forgive myself, for being an emotional human!

I’m also really enjoying her and focusing on who she is naturally– a pup who offers so much unconditional love, which is not always easy to find, and I’m imagining how amazing our lives will be with her as she grows up. Day-by-day it is getting easier. And, well, I just can’t get enough of her puppy breath! I’m learning so much about training puppies now (instead of just complaining and feeling like a victim), that I can probably offer you a few tips if you ever need them! LOL.

Shifting a bit to well-being at work, companies that are putting the well-being of their employees first are understanding the important link between pets and their owners’ happiness and productivity. More and more we are seeing employers adding pets at work as a benefit. I just came across this video interview with Dr. “Woody” Woodward, who serves on the board of our Center for Leadership, sharing this trend.

What part do pets play in your well-being? Are they enhancing your well-being? If so, how?

I, for one, am looking forward to going on longer, faster walks with Ocean, which I know will enhance my wellness plan. And, there is simply no way to measure the amount of love that a pet can bring in your life. It can be priceless.

I’d love to hear your stories!

If you’ve missed any of our Summer of Well-Being blogs, you will find them here.

AND…you won’t want to miss our guest blogger on Thursday…the amazing Mina Shah! Catch you then!!

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Monique

 

baby-with-lemon

Change is inevitable – after all, nothing really stays the same.  But in today’s challenging times, it seems like we’re on “uncertainty” overload, never knowing what will happen from one moment to the next. Here today, gone tomorrow – or, at the least, very different tomorrow.

Uncertainty brings stress and confusion, and while most of us would be quick to say that we want less stress and more certainty in our lives, what we really want is less of a stress reaction to what life is throwing our way.

We can’t choose what happens to us – but we can choose our responses to the situations we encounter.  Let’s take a look at five different responses that people have to stressful situations. As you read through these five responses, you may want to think of a recent stressful event or news that you have received, and see what your reaction to that event can teach you about how you habitually respond.  You may have one type of response at work, and another at home, or you may react differently depending on who else is involved.

The first, and unfortunately all too common response to stressful events is to suffer and be a victim to it. People who respond this way don’t take action. Things happen TO them – and though they may complain and be generally miserable about it, they don’t take any steps to do anything. They allow life to control them, instead of the other way around. This way of responding is certainly not recommended, and eventually, it will take its toll on one’s physical and mental health.

The second type of response is to accept it the situation, and to get some perspective on it.  Someone with this response may say “so what,” or perhaps get some perspective on the situation by asking if it will it matter in a year – or a week – or even in a day.

The third way to respond is to actually take steps to change the situation – taking action to bring it to resolution (or at least move toward resolution). This is a very powerful response, and one that many effective leaders employ.

The fourth way to respond is to avoid the situation. People responding this way make a decision not to get involved in a situation that they don’t see as concerning them, or upon which they can’t make an impact. For example, someone may choose not to get involved in a dispute going on within their office if it doesn’t directly involve them.

The fifth and final way that people generally respond to stress is to alter the experience of the situation. When we look at a situation differently, the experience itself changes. Changing perceptions is probably the most challenging of the responses, because we tend to be stuck in our own interpretations and assumptions about what’s happening, but it is also perhaps the most powerful of all.

It’s your life, and you can create it and lead it as you wish. Remember, what one person sees as stressful, another person barely notices, or sees as exciting and full of opportunity.

So, when life throws you lemons, how will you choose? 

Please comment below and keep the conversation going!

Namaste,

Monique

 

 

The Music IS Me

January 3, 2012

Yay! A new year! I’m feeling quite invigorated. How about you?

Just a few weeks ago I offered an easy way to connect with your Child Within for a powerful new year. Did you give it a try? If you did, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. If not, I hope that you took  some steps, large or small, to set some intentions for a great year.  So whether it was creating a vision board, setting goals, symbolically letting go of what didn’t work, or saying a prayer, I congratulate you for making time for yourself and getting your inspiration on!

Haven’t had the chance to prepare? You still have time! 

In the past I’ve discussed how important music is for me. It is definitely one of my power tools. I love the simplicity of music as a tool, just like the simplicity of choosing a single powerful word (another great tool to use before a new year) to set you on a clear path in 2012. Although I have many great songs in my arsenal for different things, this one, for me,  is a great “do it all” song. It lifts me up, allows me to let things go, and reminds me of some of my power thoughts that guide me. They include:

  1. You only have two choices  in everything, love or fear. Choose love!
  2. Freedom is always yours if you want it.
  3. You have 100% responsibility over your life and how you feel.
  4. Don’t feel like a victim, ever. Find the positive in everything.
  5. Be proactive, not reactive.
  6. Being grateful every moment makes a difference.
  7. I am perfect in every moment. Everything is exactly as it should be right now.
  8. Always be professional and open-minded.
  9. Everyone is a student and a teacher.
  10. Your life is NOW. Live in the NOW. Enjoy the pleasures of life NOW.

YES…I got all of this out of this one song! My power song is Just Fine by Mary J. Blige. See why it’s one of  my favorites? Not only does it remind me of how I want to live and feel, but I can’t stop dancing when I hear it. BINGO, I’ve got my song! You can see the video here and read the lyrics here.

Do you have a power song to take you into 2012? Here’s a tip to finding one:

  • ID those songs that you love and make you feel good
  • Ask yourself, “Why do I love this song? What does it make me want to do or stop doing?”
  • Read the lyrics to the songs and determine why they mean something for you. Are your values instilled in them?

By doing these three things you are well on your way to finding the Music that IS You.

If you have a power song, I’d love to know what it is. Please share it with us all.

Enjoy the dance of 2012. Dance full-out!

Happy New Year,

Monique

Projecting Happiness

May 12, 2011

It occurred to me today just how easy it is to project onto others our disappointment and unhappiness as well as blame and guilt. The sad part is that I saw how quickly it can happen without the slightest pause; mostly unconsciously.

Today it almost happened to me with my children. Scary! Yet at the same time it wasn’t scary because I cherish these moments of awakening. On an almost daily basis I speak with others about living consciously and understanding the patterns that we continue to live with. There’s no question that we pass along beliefs, expectations and our own patterns to others, especially those we are close with. Yet, if we make a concerted effort to see our patterns– our default tendencies, then we can stop the past from reliving itself in the future, from generation to generation.

Yeah, I know, you want me to tell you what awful thing I almost did, right? Okay, I’ll spill the beans.

This morning wasn’t the smoothest “get out of the door and off to school” morning. My son’s pants didn’t fit right (and we couldn’t find any others!), my hair wasn’t doing its thing, my daughter refused to stop watching SpongeBob to brush her teeth, my bacon caught fire in the microwave, and then my son topped it off by turning on his X Box when we should have already arrived at school. We were super late!

As is certain, however, they were both mad at me for rushing them and being “mean.” I should have been laughing, really, but I was seething in that moment deep inside. To make things worst, they wouldn’t even look at me or speak to me in the car.  Seriously???

I’m laughing now as I replay the entire scene in my head as it is the kind of classic example that I would give in one of my workshops. I was so angry, and I also was feeling sorry for myself. “How could my children treat me this way; I didn’t do anything. Poor me!” Interestingly enough, I’ve had similar mornings where this kind of scenario wouldn’t have phased me at all. Thankfully, the advisor in me spoke loudly inside before I spoke out to my children, potentially projecting the following, “How dare you be mad at me! What did I do to you? I should be the one ignoring both of you! You were both mean to me! etc….”

Scary, right? Yet doesn’t this happen all the time? What if I hadn’t had the uber conscious moment to understand what I was about to do and say to them? My projection would have taught them that it’s better to blame and make others feel guilty and sad instead of just dealing with my own emotions and shifting to higher, more productive thoughts…thoughts that would help the reactive emotions subside, ultimately not affecting my children and others in their path that day (or mine for that matter!).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m human. I do project, probably more than I’m aware.  But what I know for sure is that being more conscious is a way of life; a way of life I am choosing to follow.  Challenging? Yes. But, worth the work.

I read this today which made me feel more secure in my desire to stop negative patterns from holding us back:

Your happiness does not depend on what others do, but only upon your own vibrational balance. And the happiness of others does not depend on you, but on their own vibrational balance, for the way anyone feels, in any moment, is only about their own mix of energies.

More on this concept of happiness and what we can both internalize and project onto others…

The greatest gift that you could ever give to another is your own happiness, for when you are in a state of joy or happiness or appreciation, you are fully connected to positive Source energy that is truly who you are. And when you are in that state of connection, anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention benefits from your attention.

What if you can’t choose happiness in that moment?

Well, then, do the next best thing:

  1. Be AWARE of your emotions
  2. ACCEPT them for what they are (Your own mix of energies!)
  3. CHOOSE to not project them onto anyone

When you feel ready to shift, tap into the happiness in the new moment, for each moment provides us with an opportunity to feel different and great.

What might you be projecting?

Stop the pattern.

Namaste,

Monique