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Think Big & Make Magic.

February 15, 2010

If this is your first time visiting my blog, you’ll notice that I’m currently blogging about some great books—books that inspire and teach us how to improve our lives in many ways. This month we’re talking about Happiness. Enjoy….

Making time for friends is such a huge part of my life. I realized long ago how connecting with my very close friends (even in small ways, like a weekly email or a Facebook post) and being open to new friendships brings me so much joy. This is why I love Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project goals for June, which include remembering birthdays, being generous, showing up, not gossiping, and making new friends. According to Rubin’s research the most meaningful contributor to happiness is having strong social bonds.

Taking this further, Rubin’s research showed that being generous (or providing support to others) strengthens the bonds of friendship and simply, makes us feel good. However, since she couldn’t (or didn’t want to) add more tasks to her day, whether they were the feel good type or not, she did realize that helping people think big and bringing people together were a few of the ways that she demonstrated generosity. These resonate very strongly with me, and when I explored my own “generous” actions, the same seemed to be true for me. I always seek creative/idea-building environments and thrive in them. And, as a professional development guru, I simply LOVE brainstorming with colleagues,  friends, and clients and watching them follow through on their magnificent, happiness-creating goals. The same goes with introducing one person to another, who together can create magic in some way. In business, we call them “referrals,” although now I’d rather call them “gifts.” When I do these things well, I definitely feel a surge of happy energy.

Here’s Rubin in her own words:

“I’d had a wonderful experience helping people think big myself. After Eliza started kindergarten, her nursery school arranged a reunion for all the children who had ‘graduated.’ While the children played with their former classmates, the nursery school directors, Nancy and Ellen, led a parent discussion about the kindergarten transition. As always, their insights were extremely helpful. When I stood up to leave I thought, ‘These two should write a book.’ I was immediately convinced that this was the greatest idea ever. I suggested it to them on the spot…I put them in touch with my agent…In a flash they had a book contract, and now Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum’s Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years is on the shelves. Knowing that I played a small role in their achievement made me intensely happy.”

How cool is that? To be able to help them think big and make one of their dreams come true…I’ll take that kind of happiness any day.

How do you help others think big?

What people can you bring together to create make some magic?

So, yes, as Rubin understood about herself during her Happiness Project, there are so many ways we can be generous, but they don’t always have to take up too much time or money or make us go out of our way. We can identify ways of being generous that are genuinely a part of who we are and what we already do.

Here’s a take-away…look for those “generous acts” in your life that are already present that you can turn up a notch to create more happiness in your life.

Let me know what you find.

-Monique


“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened.

Happiness never decreases by being shared.” –Buddha

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

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Wrapping Up 2009

January 1, 2010

2009 was bright!

Participating in the #best2009 Blogging Challenge has been an easy and delightful way of remembering the small and simple things of 2009 that have made it special for me. I appreciate the Challenge, as I honestly don’t think I would have given myself the time to reflect on the year appropriately, thank it, and wrap it up like a nice gift! In fact, today, the first day of 2010, the visualization of me wrapping up my year, giving it away, and setting aside a nice, large box to fill for 2010 is my gift to myself.

So, I shall begin my New Year, by completing the Challenge and remembering a few more moments and people who helped to make my year.

Dec. 19 – Car Ride – Just yesterday, Dec. 31, 2009, my children and I dropped off daddy at a friend’s house and took the long way home…windows open, music kicking, and enjoying the beautiful homes and nurturing oak trees. This has always been a pastime for our family. In fact, it’s one of the ways we incorporate Visioning into our lives…imagining the perfect home for us and claiming it ours!

During the drive, Celine Dion’s “Taking Changes” inspired me further as I not only envisioned our future, but what this next year would hold for us. “What do you say to taking chances, what do say to jumping off the edge, never knowing if there is solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay. But, what do you say?” I say go for it!

The ride and the song gave me the right energy to begin 2010. And, I believe my daughter felt the same. When we arrived home, she said, “Mommy, let’s go on another ride!” Anytime, baby.

Dec. 20 – New Person – Melissa Izquierdo is not a stranger to me. She has been working in our office for many years. But, this year, she was “gifted” to me, so to speak, as my right hand in the office. All I can say is what a gift she is, indeed! Life and work become so much more pleasurable when you have a partner by your side who cares about the quality of our work, and enjoys learning and growing along the way! She is a true professional, a shining star, and I’m very grateful for her. Thanks for all you do, Mely!

Mely

Dec. 23 – Web Tool – Hands down, the iPhone!! Need I say more? 🙂 Those of you who are iPhone users get me. You can read one of my recent blogs that gives you a glimpse as to how I use it to be productive.

Dec. 26 – Aha Moment – This year was about self-discovery for me. I immersed myself in books, concepts, skills, and more so that I could reinvent myself. Why? It was time. The gift in the process was understanding that while it is essential to create a powerful vision for your life and move toward it with action and passion, your “purpose” lies in living your vision in the moment…finding joy in everything that you do and being grateful for all of the joys and lessons life brings. “Therefore, I AM, and I AM NOW. Ahhh!”

Dec. 29 – Biggest Belly Laugh – Gosh, I’ve had a lot of laughs this year and I am grateful for all of those moments, because, as we know, laughter adds more years to our lives! One that made me laugh so hard that I cried was watching my son (11) breakout into an uninhibited hip-hop dance. It was so genuine, and so filled with passion, and it was so good, too! We were all outside enjoying a cool night and a bonfire, playing music, when an old 80’s tune came on that just lit a spark in him. I wish I had a video camera to capture the moment. Regardless, it is imprinted in my heart forever.

I think that will do it for this Challenge, although there are so many more moments, people, experiences and things I will cherish about this past year. Thanks for the memories, 2009.! I’m wrapping you up and gifting you back to the universe.

I’d like to close with this great quote that inspired me today from Martha Beck:

“By creating plans and acting on them you create an energy zone of clarity and power. That alone can change your life.”

What plans, or thoughts of 2010 are revving you up? I’d love to hear from you.

Go create some great plans for 2010 that will energize you and propel you forward.

My best wishes to you and yours for a magnificent and miraculous year.

Monique

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