Happiness

/Happiness

HOW TO DEAL WITH AN EMOTIONALLY SICK PARENT

I didn’t ask myself ‘Is she emotionally sick?’ I was eight years old and like many other kids, I just wanted to go play outside and make sure I had a clean pair of pants to wear to go to school the next day. Plus, what does ‘emotionally’ even mean to a kid?   I didn’t even ask if she was sick. I mean, she looked fine on the surface.  She could walk and talk, though she said and did things that even I found strange by moments. Like that time she put my hands on her tummy and told me she had a baby inside. She said she was the Virgin Mary and she was going to give birth to the child of Jesus Christ. As strange as she sounded and behaved at times, my mother was not running a fever or having a drippy nose.   When I

HOW TO FEEL YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

I couldn’t believe he had done it again. I was so angry that I didn’t even take the time to ask myself what could be wrong with him. Instead, I marched right over where he was, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and threw him unmercifully on the cold concrete of the back patio. This was the nth time that day that the kids’ puppy, Snowy, had pooped in the living room. I had enough!   I watched him as he pawed the glass door, crying to be let back in. I yelled at him to go pee and poop as if a four month old puppy could have complete control over its bodily functions. He looked at me with pleading eyes. I pretended not to care and told him in a stern voice to go do his business or stay outside, his choice.   Snowy was a

HOW TO DEVELOP A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEENAGER

“Do you wanna know why I am the way I am?” My fifteen year old daughter screamed at me one evening. Frozen on the spot, mouth open, I was unsure if I really wanted to hear her answer. Somewhere in my head, I believed she was ‘just’ another angry teenager who was about to unleash her wrath one more time.   Tears rolling down her face, she wiped them swiftly with the back of her hand. “I’m the way I am because of you! You’re such a hypocrite! You pretend you care, but you don’t! Want me to prove it to you again? What did I just say before what I just said?”   She had me again and she knew it. I went deeper inside my head to remember what she had just said prior to her rant, and my mind drew a blank. I looked at her, moving

HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN WITH INTEGRITY

When Sally* came to see me, she was finding herself in quite the pickle jam. Her relationship with her husband was at such a level that she had jumped the fence and committed adultery. She said she felt horrible about what she had just done. She told me adultery felt yucky to her and that she never wanted to put herself in that situation again. She made it clear to me she needed my coaching assistance because she wanted to be able to live with herself again. Listening to her, I saw how Sally seemed like a decent person who wanted to live in integrity.   Through my talking with her, I found out her relationship with her life partner had been deteriorating for years. She said that when she wanted to talk to him about their relationship, he either got angry saying it was ‘all’ her fault or he

THREE WAYS YOU ARE ALREADY CREATIVE AND DID NOT KNOW IT

“I want to be creative!” blurted Mark* when he came to see me. Mark is a professional in his early thirties who feels there is more life than just sitting at a desk drawing rows and columns of numbers for his boss. When I replied that he is indeed creative, he looked at me, mouth open.   Like many other professionals perhaps, Mark had not realized yet how his level of critical thinking marries well with his creativity. I understand… like many of us, he had been taught from a young age that logic and creativity apparently make poor bed fellows. But is true? Is it always true that critical thinking and creativity can never rally for the same cause?   Let’s find out…   When it comes to….   #1: PROPORTIONALITY The great painter Leonardo Da Vinci and other Renaissance masters are known to have used the mathematical ratio

HOW TO TELL BETWEEN SADNESS AND DEPRESSION

  I was sitting under a tree. It was early morning and the area was deserted at this time of day. It suited me just fine, this isolation, because I now felt safe enough to let tears run down my cheeks. I was feeling sad inside and this so-called sadness seemed to have swallowed my entire life. Touching a tree root with my left hand, I begged it to help me move forward, to give me energy, for I felt tired, wary, drained.   This tree where I hid from the world was located in a kids’ park of all places. To my left were swings with sky blue seats. In front of me were earth brown curvy slides. To my right was this kind of roped knitted dome where little ones exercised their climbing skills.   A little boy accompanied by an adult comes running into the park. He

THREE WAYS IGNORING YOUR CREATIVITY IS BLOCKING YOUR DREAM JOB

When Joy* came to see me, she was dressed in black from head to toe, not because she found that colour trendy, but because, as she said, she thought it camouflaged her body fat. Looking at the ground as she said these words, she retreated deeply into her seat. This behaviour of hers told me a lot about Joy, how her life seemed to lack the vibrant colours of creativity.    Through my talking with her, I found out she did not like her job and wanted a new position because she felt unseen and unheard by upper management. When she wrote her boss yet another memo about an ongoing problem in her division, she claimed her words landed on deaf ears. Ever been in that situation?   When I asked her if she had provided her boss with a viable solution to this ongoing problem, she quietly said no,

HOW TO OVERCOME MONEY CHASING SYNDROME TO FIND TRUE HAPPINESS

When Cassie* came to see me, she said money was practically everything to her and money was driving her crazy.    Through my talking with her, I found out she mostly determined the importance of people based on the money they made, the financial savings they had, event the type of food they ordered in restaurants. Defensively, she added she also paid a close watch to her own bank account. When hungry for her favourite food in a restaurant, if the price was not right according to her (meaning, the item could be found cheaper elsewhere), she refrained from ordering it, choosing instead to deprive herself of happiness from eating her favourite dish.   Have you ever been in a situation where you deprived yourself of happiness?     Though she and her life partner were professionals who made good salaries, she dressed simply, barely any make-up or jewelry on,

HOW TO STRAY FROM ANXIETY TO LIVE FROM A PLACE OF WELL-BEING

  When Dixie* came to see me, her hands trembled a little as she talked about her husband’s anxiety. She shared how he apparently often sat in their apartment’s living room feeling overwhelmed, his eyes sort of absent, all because he seemed not to know what to do next. Dixie continued by saying she was getting fed up with her husband’s perceived inability to ‘get a grip’ over his life and she was now coming to see me to find ways for him to deal with his anxiety. What I asked her next became a game changer for her. I asked,   What about your anxiety?   Dixie’s mouth opened in a big O. I could tell she was trying to grasp what I was asking her because she said, shaking her head, “No, it’s not about me, it’s about him!”   Once again, I turned her attention back to

HOW TO ELIMINATE A OO7 DOUBLE LIFE

When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’    On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.   Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is