3 Ways Wayne Dyer Changed the Way I Look at Things

waynedyerYesterday  a friend called to share how she had been inspired and empowered by watching Wayne Dyer on Super Soul Sunday. It made me reflect on what he has meant to my life.

It was only  later in the day I got the news he had made his transition.  I began to think back to how specific words he has shared in his books and personal appearances have expanded my mind and lead to the life I enjoy today. These are just three of them in no particular order.

 

1. To a No-Limits person, winning is an internal process.

I was always competitive. I was eager to win first place whether it was reading the most books in the summer reading program or raising the most money in the church fundraiser. When I didn’t reach these goals I’d feel deflated. When I won, I felt victorious. Yay! I wasn’t a loser.

When I learned that winning is an internal process, it took the pressure off and helps me stop judging my success by the world’s index.

I get to practice this regularly, like when I signed up recently for an art class in a process new to me called Zentangle.  The other seven students had experience with the process and some of them created amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing designs.  As a newcomer to this process, my lines and circles were unsteady and hesitant making me feel I was at the bottom of the class. By the 2nd class, tears of defeat, unworthiness, and incompetence welled up when the teacher asked us to show what we had created for homework.  I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, I was able to pull myself back by recalling that I was once a beginner at every skill I’ve mastered in this life, beginning with learning to talk, walk, and read. If I’ve mastered other skills, I could master this technique too, if chose to. Most important, I realized that I was a winner just for setting a goal and showing up to the class willing to learn and open to the teacher’s suggestions on improving my technique. I took control of my attitude and inner feelings about my experience. Yay! I was a winner without anyone needing to be a loser!

2. Follow your passion in life, but detach from the outcome and allow the universe to handle the details.

The prayers of the adults during my childhood always seemed like begging for favors from a Santa Claus in the sky. They were specific about what they wanted but felt unworthy to receive it. Some even felt selfish or guilty for asking for a better life. All the time they often focused on their current situation, not how they wanted them to be.

Each achievement in my life seemed far away when I first imagined it but I decided I deserved them:  enjoying a teaching career,  having a family, operating a tutoring program, earning a PhD, writing a book, moving to a new home, travelling the world and more.

When people ask for details on how I accomplished any of these, I can’t give them the typical specifics. Because of what I’ve learned from Dyer over many years, the journey to all of my accomplishments start with a deep desire. I  imagine how I will feel and even see myself in these scenes.  What a relief to learn that whatever I wanted already existed. I didn’t have to create it, I just had to attract it. Like a little kid who wants a bicycle so desperately that he can think of nothing else day and night, I visualize not the actions I needed to take, but how I would feel when each of these manifested in the material world.

As small clues pop up, I follow them.

For example, I always aspired to earn a PhD even as a kid when a mentor told me it was the highest degree you could earn (I told you I was competitive.)

By the time I was at the educational level to go after a PhD, however, I didn’t have the funds nor time to do gymnastic classes, science workshops, church activities, and more.  Only a delusional person would try to fit in academic studies into that mix!

Still, when I learned of the availability of full-time doctoral grants, I applied. I completed the long application process and waited for four months only to receive a rejection letter. I was disappointed, but I decided that this grant must not be the route the universe intended. I’d keep a look out for another path.

A month after having received the rejection letter, I received another letter from the grant foundation now offering me a grant. What? A number of the selected recipients had declined to accept the grants, opening up a slot for me, if I wanted it. Wow! It  seemed like magic, but I knew it was because I let the universe work out the details. Now the universe just needed to work out the details of how I would manage all this.

3. Don’t die with your music still in you.

This idea has been so powerful in my life that it has become a guiding principle. Once I understood my happiness is my choice, it became easier to make decisions about which goals  I would pursue.

Like anyone else, I’ve sometimes hesitated to take a step that seemed scary according to the world’s standards. But when I recall my imperative to live my own life, I’ve been able to move ahead. Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve, about one of those times.

The year before I retired from my teaching career, I was considering teaching for a little longer. I had been teaching at Fullerton College close to twenty years; and while that may seem like a substantial amount of time, it wouldn’t give me full retirement. I would have to teach a total of thirty years or more to reach a retirement income nearly equivalent to my salary.

During the summer of 2006, I decided to have some home remodeling done while I had ample equity in the home and so the changes would be in place when I retired. It was one of the hottest summers on record for Southern California. Then—wouldn’t you know it?—my home air conditioner broke down. The repair service was backed up with orders and wouldn’t get to me for more than a week. So for more than a week, I endured the heat all day while work crews were in and out of my house doing the remodeling. It was worse at night, when it seemed to get hotter. I got so hot it was impossible for me to get cool. I didn’t learn until later that I had suffered heat stroke.

Just when I felt better and the remodeling was complete, I returned to the fall semester, still not sure whether it would be my last year. My doctor had been urging me to get a colonoscopy ever since I had turned fifty, but I had neglected to do so until that fall. I made an appointment, did all the body-cleansing prep, and went to have the colonoscopy, accompanied by my youngest daughter.

After I regained consciousness, the doctor told me she had removed three polyps from my colon, one of which was cancerous. Although the polyps had been removed, my doctor suggested that I should consider colon surgery to ensure that the cancer had not penetrated my colon wall.

It was then, after my heat stroke and the possibility of colon surgery, that it became clear to me: I was going to retire right now and get busy doing things I had put off for retirement. I decided to forgo surgery and improve my eating habits and lifestyle instead.

Even though I had traveled and already done many things in my life, many things remained on my list. Postponing these things in an effort to ensure that I had a few more dollars in my retirement fund seemed ludicrous. I chose to live, love, and play more.

So I retired in May 2007 and immediately traveled to two places I had long wanted to see: China and Italy. I took several domestic trips as well. After gallivanting around the globe a bit, starting new websites and blogs, I also began writing [the first edition of] this book.

We are blessed that Wayne Dyer did not leave us with his song, dream, and books inside him. They are now part of our lives, empowering and inspiring us to live the lives we came to live. More important, Dyer insisted that we each have the power to inspire others. By living our own authentic lives we are doing just that. What better way to honor his legacy.

Tell  me in the comments how Wayne Dyer impacted your life.

Article by Flora Brown

4 Ways to Thrive as an Adult if You Survived Your Upbringing

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

“The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.” Anonymous

We spend more time planning our dinner than we do planning our lives.

That’s a fact.

Many of us live as if we’re floating on a raft being tossed about by the
currents of other people’s opinions and agendas.

But it’s not entirely our fault.

Many of us spent our childhoods being told what to do, being discouraged
from expressing opinions, and even being told by the adults in our lives that our feelings and desires weren’t real.

As a matter of fact, when I was a kid you never questioned an adult even if
they were lying through their teeth.

I remember my mother angrily asking me when I called her on something,
“Are you calling me a lie?”

It was an awkward position to be in since I was taught to tell the
truth, except when it applied to my mother or other authority.

To answer “no” would mean to lose a bit of my authenticity, but it
would save my hide.

To say “yes” would mean the dreaded spanking, now considered child abuse
but then was considered good parenting.

It’s no surprise to me that many clergy and other authority figures got
away with unspeakable crimes against children.

What protection is there for children when they are not believed or are too
afraid to point the finger at someone who is placed on a pedestal and
considered above reproach.

When we somehow survive childhood and move past that murky area called
adolescence, we arrive in adulthood suddenly expected to think for
ourselves and decide what we’re doing with our lives.

How can we thrive as adults  if we weren’t encouraged as kids to think for ourselves?

Treat it the way you get up to speed on a job for which you have no
training.

1. Learn from the people who are where you want to be.

Locate and seek out people who are in the career you want or are living the
lifestyle you want.

Talk to them, get to know them, ask questions, hang out with them in person or build relationships through social media.

Successful, confident people are willing to share with you, maybe even
mentor you.

But don’t just follow successful people blindly. Choose your way based on your values and goals.

2. Get the skills necessary to get where you want to go.

Discover your own interests. What do you enjoy doing? What activities do you
enjoy? What are your strengths and weaknesses? And what about your values:
what matters most to you?

“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in
your life.”  Harvey McKay

And then when you find what you love to do, add the skills and practice
that will move you to expert status.

3. Learn to love yourself just as you are now.

After you make a self-assessment and find what you want to do, you may be
hit with bouts of doubt. It happens to all of us, and may cause you to
question whether you’re too young, too old, too tall, too short, or some
other “too.”

Replace those negative thoughts with positive affirmations pointing you to
the goals you are now after. If positive affirmations are not to your
liking, see how others pulled themselves from despair or depression to
learn to love themselves. In his book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It”
Kamil Ravikant, tells how he got his life back when he changed his
relationship to himself.

You may also experience fear, but remember that F-E-A-R is False Evidence
Appearing Real.

If you feel the need to get help with building your self-esteem or coming
to terms with the past, get the loving and professional help you deserve.

4. Decide where you want to go and take the first step.

The great thing about deciding where you want to go is that you don’t have
to know the full route, just the destination.

When you have passion, determination and skills, all you need to do is take
the first step. The next series of steps will appear as you go forward.

And don’t make the mistake of playing small, or only going after what you
think is within your reach.

There is no benefit in going after less than what you want or deserve.

Nature loves motion, the Universe loves bold action,and humans love to step aside for the person who knows where she is going.

That could be you.

If you enjoyed this article, share it with others and leave a comment. To get more tips and encouragement like this, subscribe to the Color Your Life Happy newsletter at the top of the page. You’ll even get a great free ebook, “It’s About Time: Managing Your Time to Create the Life You Want and Deserve.”

Success: Why Everyone is Not Happy About Yours

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We all seek success, whether openly or secretly.

But there is one thing most of us are not ready for when it comes.

The backlash.

When you finally get the job you trained for, the house you dreamed of, the relationship you attracted, you can bet that everyone will not be happy for you. Some will even hate you and speak evil of you.

Others will even go so far as to praise you one week and be a willing party to your crucifixion the next.

What causes this reversal?

1. You had to make choices.

When you make choices, you invariably leave behind the choices not made. Mixed in among those choices are people who are still back there at the crossroads you left behind.

In a television interview Whoopi Goldberg once shared how surprised and saddened she was by the friendships she couldn’t hold onto once she became famous. She remembered when she was a struggling comedian beset with many life challenges, she and her buddies always said they would treat each other to a fantastic dinner and invite each other to their mansions when they became wealthy. Once Whoopi became successful, however, some of her buddies from the old days would not allow themselves to enjoy her success, so they declined her invitations.

2. You took action.

People who are unwilling to take the actions that lead to success often feel betrayed by you.

Many years ago I took a writing class that was offered free as part of a community services program. In one class session the teacher offered us leads to magazines that were looking for writers. The next morning I called the editor and got a writing assignment. As soon as I finished talking to the editor, I got a call from my teacher congratulating me, not for getting the assignment, but for following up on the lead. She indicated that she always followed up on the leads she gave her students. I was the only one in that class who followed the lead.

3. You changed.

Those who want to keep the status quo are afraid of how your changes will affect your relationship with them.

A number of my returning college students shared stories of marital upset brought on by their return to school. One doctoral candidate, for example, indicated that her husband was supportive of her the first semester, but by the second semester began to withdraw his support. He was so threatened by her determination to complete her degree that he threw up as many roadblocks as he could. First he refused to babysit their two children on the evenings she was in class. Increasingly he withdrew more and more support. Eventually he threw out the ultimatum: “It’s either the doctorate or me.” She chose the doctorate, and successfully completed her degree three years later.

The backlash that can follow success is not about you at all. It’s about the inner turmoil of those who wrongly believe that your success in some way diminishes them. It doesn’t, of course.

Even though the weak and fearful will not be able to share your joy, continue to progress toward your goals, make good choices and enjoy your success. Some people you will never meet will be inspired by you, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Have you had something similar happen to you? Share your experience.   Click Leave a Comment right under the title.

Want Success? Decide the What, Let the How Take Care of Itself

riskLife is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.
~John Lennon

When you go after a goal, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want or where you want to be when you succeed. But you don’t need to be overly concerned about how you will get there. The details of  how to reach your goal will unfold as you go. Even if you listed every single action step, unexpected results, people and events will occur along the way causing you to alter your course.  If you’ve ever have to take a detour from your carefully charted route or GPS guidance, you know what I mean.

Here are five ways to proceed that have worked for me and others.

  • Learn from people who have already accomplished what you want to achieve.

Just one conversation with another mom who was working on her doctoral degree gave me the courage to begin my own doctoral studies. It’s best, if possible, to have a mentor or supportive group with whom you can exchange ideas and get encouragement. It’s fortunate if you meet in person, but when you can’t, grasp the wealth of encouragement available from books, movies, and information exchange on the internet.

  • Be willing to concentrate so hard on what you are doing that time seems to stand still.

In his book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this optimal experience “flow.”  He described flow as

The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.

When I’m engaged in writing an article, for example, I sometimes get so caught up in what I’m saying that my fingers seem to fly trying to capture the thoughts rushing out of my head. At these times I reach such a peak of exhilaration and joy that I forget to eat. When this period subsides, my stomach growls, reminding me of my negligence.

  • Be willing to do what it takes to reach your goal.

This may sound too obvious to even mention. But it’s true. Many years ago when my kids watched Mr. Rogers, one of his popular songs was “You’ve Got to Do It.” The gist of this seemingly simple song was that you can make believe, wish or daydream about what you want, but for something to happen you’ve got to take action. You have to know every single step to start. Just take the first one and the second one. The remaining steps will become apparent as you progress.

  • Be willing to be alone.

I love having dinner parties, travel, and going to live theater. But I also love my own company. It’s only when all outside stimulation is silenced that some of my best ideas surface.

Some of the activities you’ll need to complete on the way to your goal must be done alone. If you feel the need to have a buddy, helper or ride-along with everything you do, you’re going to slow down and maybe even derail your progress.

  • Be willing to fail or quit.

The unwillingness to fail or be rejected is what causes us to procrastinate or stick with things longer than we should. We keep holding back waiting for things to be perfect or cling to a failing project long after it’s dead. It’ s wise to research and think things through, but you must let these ideas, projects, or activities be born, no matter what the outcome.

I decided long ago that when I’m sitting in my rocking chair stroking my gray Afro, recounting my life story, I’d much rather talk about the many things I had tried that didn’t work out than about what I wanted to do but never had the courage to try.

In his book, The Dip, Seth Godin points out that successful people quit many times. The key is knowing when to quit before you spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy on a goal or task that’s not going anywhere.

When Jia Jiang’s plan to create a to-do list app fell through, he was crushed. Not only did his major investor let him down, but now Jia had to disappoint his four employees and ask his wife to keep supporting the family while he pursued his dream. He was angry, plagued by fear,  and felt sick at the stomach. He decided that if rejection is part of success he should build up resistance to it. That’s how his 100 Days of Rejection Therapy began.  The plan was to make outrageous requests, video the response and blog about it. On Nov. 15, 2012 his began by asking a security guard for $100. The answer was “no” and although Jia was nervous, he continued his project. Check out his many requests and results on his blog at www.entresting.com.

You may not be brave enough to stare rejection in the face as Jia did, but don’t hesitate to start a project for fear of failing.  Instead of thinking of failure as the end, think of it as the cost of succeeding.

Set your vision and be willing to do what it takes to get there. The “how” will unfold in wonderful and amazing ways.

Share about a time your plans changed for the better as you moved toward a goal. Have you asked for something outrageous? How did that work out?

Choose Happiness Even If It’s Raining Crap and You Can’t See the Sun

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Everywhere you look there seems to be upset, conflict and events that threaten your peace of mind and happiness.

How can you remain upbeat and content under such circumstances?

Research, such as that done by David T. Lykken, noted geneticist, famous for the Minnesota Twin Study and author of Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment, discovered that about half of your sense of satisfaction with your life stems from your genetic makeup.

Your mother was right

Yep. Your mother was right, at least in part, when she said you’re just like your father.

But what of the remaining half?

According to Lykken, eight percent can be attributed to circumstances in your life such as your upbringing, education, marital status and income.

The remaining forty percent is a reflection of your attitude and the choices you make.

There is good news

In other words, you have control over a huge chunk of your happiness.

“Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. … Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.” Bertrand Russell

The happiness that emerges from the research is not that giddiness that comes over you while skipping through the meadow.  It’s the well-being and sense of satisfaction you create as a by-product of your choice of thoughts and outward actions.

Happy people have their share of troubles, problems and heartbreak. What sets them apart and enables them to enjoy happiness are the choices they make.

Dance teacher, Adrianne Haslet-Davis, 32, suffered the unimaginable loss of her left leg in the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. But three weeks later, on May 1, 2013 she appeared on the TV show, Dancing with the Stars, did ballet stretches and vowed to dance again, according to this Sun article.  Although the host and several of the contestants were in tears, it was clear that Adrianne has made a positive choice in the face of a personal tragedy.

Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, is best known as a Holocaust survivor who showed us by example that even though we cannot control all circumstances, we can choose our attitude toward what happens to us. His book, The Search for Meaning, chronicles his experiences as an inmate in a concentration camp. He discovered that the inmates with the best chance of surviving those horrible situations were the ones who found a reason to live.

In this 22 minute interview, Frankl explains how having a meaning to live brings about happiness.


From a large body of research conducted by psychologists such as Martin Seligman, Jon Haidt, Edward Diener, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Sonja Lyumborisky,  people who describe themselves as happy

  • Engage in meaningful work
  • Believe in a higher power
  • Trust their ability to overcome adversity
  • Express gratitude
  • Build on their strengths
  • Discover their weaknesses and get help for them
  • Surround themselves with nurturing relationships
  • Restrict the amount of television and news they watch
  • Eat healthy diets
  • Get physical exercise
  • Feed their minds with uplifting and enriching thoughts
  • Avoid brooding over their mistakes and failures
  • Focus on the present and what they can do here and now

Everyday-Happiness-Cards-FrontBack

Happy people use tools and strategies

Most of all, happy people identify tools and strategies to restore balance, harmony and positive feelings.where-is-happiness-set

To encourage you to awaken the power within you to create a life of mindfulness, meaning, gratitude and joy,  I created Everyday Happiness, a set of inspirational cards designed as gentle reminders to take and keep control of your happiness.

Add these cards to your happiness arsenal and consult them daily for inspiration. Each card presents a cartoon on one side and words of advice or inspiration on the reverse side. Read through all the cards, noting which ones resonate with you. Or pick a card at random, letting that message speak to you.

The cartoons and messages are based on my book, Color Your Life Happy: Create the Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve, available in paperback and Kindle versions.

Once you get your own deck of cards, you’ll want to get them as gifts for the folks you care about in your life.

If this sounds exciting to you, grab your Everyday Happiness cards at http://florabrown.com/products-classes/everyday-happiness-cards now.