Archives for June 2010

Want to be Happier? Stop Struggling


This story of unknown origin has been made its rounds many times because it bears a powerful message.

A man found a cocoon for a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened.

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

Not only that, we could never fly.

What is helpful to me from this story is the importance of accepting what we call struggle, and viewing it instead as part of the activity that leads to growth.

When we view our challenges as struggle, we tighten physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and restrict the fluids of growth.

Or, as parents when we step in to rescue our children from experiencing pain and conflict, we deny them the growth that solving their own challenges brings about.

In a recent interview with Ali Bierman, psychotherapist and author, she said that our struggling and suffering result when we are separated from the Divine. She believes that to live in happiness you must discover and love your True Self – who you were at birth before caretakers and society implanted programs into your subconscious mind creating the false self of the ego world. Enjoy this interview and share what resonates from it for you.

Five People You Should Have in Your Life

Photo by eecue on flickr

Photo by eecue on flickr

We are often encouraged to hang out with people who share our interests and activities. This is certainly a great idea and is a source of much fun.

When we widen our circle to include people who have different interests and areas of expertise, however, we increase the quality of our lives and deepen our happiness.

There are five people I believe we should all have in our lives.

1. The researcher

Whether you are shopping for a new car, the best coffee shop in town or a good tailor, the researcher can usually help you.
This person loves to search the Internet, network with people and keeps notes, business cards and relevant links.

One of my friends is so resourceful that I can count on her to either know a source, or seek one out on the computer while we are still on the phone.

The best thing about the researcher is that she has often tried out, read reviews and drilled down through stacks of information to get their final choice. This kind of friend will save you time, money, but most of all energy.

2. The computer geek

This person can not only answer your computer questions hands down, but loves doing it.

Think you’ve lost data, need help with setting up a new software or can’t understand that error message you’re getting?

The computer geek is delighted to solve the very computer issues that strike terror in your heart, sometimes with just a few words of advice by phone.

3. Devil’s advocate

This is the person who forces you to take another view of a problem or situation whether they believe in it or not. The benefit is when you examine a situation from a different angle you can often spot the weakness in it or see a better alternative.

When I was trying to decide on a new laptop, for example, I was set on certain features and could not see beyond them. But all of my features could not be found in any one model. By questioning the value of some of my must-haves, my friend helped me flush out the flaws in my thinking and loosen my rigid thinking.

By posing situations where one feature at a time was present or absent in a laptop, I was able to reorder my preferences to see which ones were most advantageous in most situations.

4. An experienced cook

Have you ever gotten ready to prepare a meal but realized you didn’t have the necessary ingredients?

Before you dash out to the store, call an experienced cook. This person can tell you exactly what to substitute for the missing ingredient or how to take your recipe in a different direction using what you have.

Or perhaps you are planning a dinner party but don’t want to risk springing an untried recipe on your guests. You can be sure of impressing your guests with just the right dishes by consulting the experienced cook in your circle. They will know the no-fail recipes and may even be able to give you presentation tips.

5. The entertainer

The entertainer knows how to make any occasion fun.

Planning a holiday party, a church social or a family reunion? No problem.

The entertainer has an arsenal of fun ideas and often even the games and accessories to go with them.

Need a helium tank to blow up balloons?

The entertainer owns one or know where to get one.

Need a dj?

The entertainer has one on speed dial.

These are the five people I think you should have in your life?

Did I leave out someone? What do you think?

The Higher You Soar The Clearer View You Have

eaglesoaringWhen I read this article by Gladys Anderson, it resonated with me on several levels. I can remember many occasions when it was hard for my husband and others to see my vision. It also reminded me of times when I had to hold to my vision and go after my goals.
I know you will be inspired by it too.

This is a guest post by Gladys Anderson of Coach for Your Dreams.

Several years ago on a cruise to Alaska, I took the opportunity to take a helicopter tour and walk on glaciers that have been forming for thousands of years. It was an amazing, once in a lifetime adventure and I’m so glad I did it.

The fluffy white clouds seemed to beckon me to reach out and touch one as we lifted higher. Slowly the landscape below faded into a blur as we soared closer to the glaciers.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect. The sky was clear and the views of the breathtaking azure sea-colored ice had a calming effect despite the loud, persistent noise from the helicopter engines. After about a 30-minute ride, we stepped out of the helicopter on the glistening ice.

What an exhilarating experience! It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined!

And to think, I almost let my husband talk me out of taking the tour because he didn’t want to go. But after some serious “negotiating” on my part, he eventually agreed to accompany me.

Now, as I recall the excitement of my eagle’s-eye view of those spectacular glaciers, it reminds me of how we sometimes allow other people to talk us out of what can be a once in a life time experience, taking a risk or doing something we really want to do.

Sometimes, you just have to soar above your comfort zone, stand up for what you want and make the choice to do what your heart says will bring you joy!

And, here are some tips to help you make the choice to soar:

1. Make sure you clearly make your desires known. If people don’t know what you want, you end up getting what they want for you.
2. When an opportunity presents itself, don’t over analyze it. As long as it’s not harmful, you just might enjoy the adventure. Take the risk. More than likely, you’ll be glad you did.
3. Sometimes you have to soar above your comfort zone. I’m not even comfortable flying in a commercial plane let alone a helicopter. But I choose to leave my comfort zone for a chance to experience something exhilarating and magnificent.
4. Be open to new experiences and opportunities. Become a participant and not a spectator in your own life. Reach out and grab the brass ring, it just may take you on the ride of a lifetime.
5. Do some things you wouldn’t ordinarily do just because you can, it’s fun and will give you unspeakable joy.

What will you do this week to soar towards your joy?

Until next time…

Gladys M. Anderson, M.Ed., CTACC, LMFT
Empowerment Life Coach/Marriage & Family Therapist
Empowering women globally, one step at a time…
To learn more about how you can live your best life now with confidence, courage and clarity, please register at to receive a subscription to my bi-weekly ezine, “Insightful Living”, filled with thought-provoking articles, tools, tips and strategies to assist you as you journey on the path of self-discovery.

And, as a bonus, you will also receive a complimentary special report “The Fear Factor – 5 Easy Steps to Triumph over Fear”.
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping women balance the many demands on their time and energy, create limits that shift balance from overwhelm to energized, and live lives of courage, confidence and clarity. To get more information about Gladys and her program offerings, please visit

A Happy Puzzle for You

Are you Stuck in Preparation Mode?

3649 Chicago Arlington Park Starting Gate 06-08 by chicamguy from flickr

3649 Chicago Arlington Park Starting Gate 06-08 by chicamguy from flickr

A popular inspirational speaker once commented to her audience that she recognized a number of them from previous seminars.

Although she was glad to have their support, she cautioned them not to get stuck in taking nonstop seminars, but to get busy putting into practice what they had learned.

Many students take classes and pursue degrees, always preparing to live life later.

Unlike school, in life the test comes first, then the lesson. Get busy living and learn as you go.

It’s like believing you need to read the manual to your new computer or digital camera thoroughly before you can start to use it.

Just the opposite is true.

You can only learn to use something by trying it out, making mistakes, and then finding solutions on your own. No manual can cover every contingency.

Young people subscribe to the theory that technology should be easy enough to understand without a manual. I think this is the basis of the term “user-friendly.”

By the time we finally understand that it’s okay to live without “reading the manual,” many of us have wasted our young years in a never-ending state of preparation.

We take classes and attend seminars, but we never really live.

Sadly, some of us make it to adulthood without having left the starting gate. As Wayne Dyer says, some people “die with their songs still inside them.”

Don’t let that be you.

Take classes, build your skills, read articles, books as well as instructional and inspirational information.

Then take action.

Put into practice what you learned.

Make adjustments.

Correct your course.

And by all means, get out of preparation mode, leave the starting gate and get on to living your life to its fullest.

That is the point after all.