Your Happiness Factor

Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sunday Reflection - On Being A Child of Light

Our ancestors must have feared the darkness of night terribly. Oh how they would have loved 
daylight and those nights when the moon shone bright. Most of all they must have loved the full moon. It is all too easy to see how they came to worship the sun and the moon. But then, of course, they discovered fire. At first it was probably a natural fire; perhaps, a bush fire following a long hot summer. Those fires would have inspired awe. And keeping alight a flame from a natural fire through the dark winter must have been a very special responsibility - the sacred flame.

In time, the secret of making fire was discovered. The Greek myth tells how Prometheus defied the gods by stealing fire and giving its secret to humanity. He was sentenced to eternal torment for an act that enabled human progress and civilization. Life in the cave without fire would have been pretty constrained, if not impossible. It was the coming of light in the form of flame  that led to man's greatest creativity and those cave paintings.

Of course, untamed fire could so easily consume life. The power of light and the energy of fire could be misused and weaponized. Many of the inventions and discoveries of science can be used for evil as well as good. And the weapons we claim will be used for defense become the means of offense again others. Those who wish to resist oppression become the oppressors.

For me, being a child of light means trying to see things as they are really. That isn't always easy or  pleasant. And I think it means to observe them with goodwill, love and compassion. It means, as well, trying to can banish the dark and sometimes shining a light perhaps where no light has been shone before.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Night, night - my poem of Remembrance 2018

I have a new poem on my Dreaming in Purple and Grey poetry site. It is written in remembrance for the 100 years' anniversary of the First World War armistice.  You can find it at this link.

I wanted this poem to sound like a nursery rhyme despite the gruesomeness. For us growing up in the fifties, the First World War was not very far away. My Grandad was a wagonner when the war began. He was called up with his horses. My Mum could remember those horses being dressed in horse ribbons to be paraded through the village before they made their journey to France. Grandad drove a water wagon at the start of the war and a water truck by the end. I don't know what happened to the horses. I know he lost a brother and, I believe, a brother-in-law, on the Somme. All they told us kids about his experiences in the war was about the lack of clean clothing. And,how each night in the trenches, Grandad and the other soldiers would kill the lice in their vests by running a candle flame up the seams. Each night Grandad would send us to bed with the words, night, night, sleep tight, mind the bed bugs don’t bite. For me as a young child, the memory of killing lice and the poem got mixed up.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Sunday Reflection - Just Listening

 

When you think about it, it seems strange that so many people use sound to help them sleep. Surely most people prefer silence. But do they?

During long periods of silence in sensory deprivation experiments, people have imagined some pretty strange sounds. Being robbed of sensory input doesn’t suit the brain - it needs to fill the silence. The brain just craves sensory input. So, to sleep better, some people listen to white noise machines. Others love the sound of waves or a tropical forest.

What about meditating in complete silence? Well, the first challenge is to find somewhere completely quiet. That isn't easy in the modern world. And, the countryside is certainly not quiet. Of course, you have then to sit in silence and quiet the mind. That in itself requires the strongest mental muscles. So, gentle rhythmic sounds or chants can help us meditate more easily. 

There is a practice that I love - meditating on sound. To do this, sit quietly with your eyes closed and take some gentle conscious breaths. Next, focus on what you can hear. Listen to what is closest. Most buildings have some kind of sound going on all the time. If you are outside, what can you hear buzzing nearby. Then, gradually listen further out. What can you hear from the street outside the house? Listen in wider and wider circles. I love to hear a distant train. Let the sound be all there is. I find a few quiet minutes listening can be incredibly relaxing



Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Sunday Reflection - Glass Half Full

There are two ways of looking at most things in life. When you face a new challenge, you can think;

"Oh no, I'm not going to be able to this. It is something I've never done before. It means I have to learn new skills. And I'm probably going to fail."

Or you can think;

"Yes, this is a challenge. But I will get the chance to learn more skills. And I'm going to give it my all and do my best to make it a success.

You will find lots of advice around about the power of positive thinking and expecting success. There is a lot of research that shows how having a positive approach to life improves health and happiness. Try looking at the Greater Good Science Centre  website for more information. 

But, with so many people jumping on a positive thinking bandwagon, it easy sometimes to lose sight of what it is really about. At its simplest and most powerful, it is about seeing half a glass of water as half full and not half empty.

How you view the glass varies between people and circumstances. Some people see pessimism as protecting them from disappointment. But it cuts them off from opportunity. Often they have learned pessimism from their parents and they think they can't change. Others may be mildly depressed or lacking in confidence. With help from a coach or counsellor they can change. With support, both groups can learn to challenge their thinking.

It is important though to be realistic about the power of positive thinking. Learning to think positively will help increase your resilience and mental health. But, there are some events in life that are beyond the power of positive thinking to heal. I'm thinking here mainly about bereavement. Trying to persuade someone to think about the glass being half full in those circumstances is usually just crass. Though having the strengthened mindset that comes from positive thinking, does help most of us cope better even with life's nastier moments.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Happiness is When the Cat Purrs

Someone once told me a story. A woman had been living a miserable life. Her husband was a bully who tried to control her completely. Over the years her creative spirit slowly eroded away. She couldn't see how she would ever be happy. How could she find the confidence to leave and make another life? 

One of the few joys in her life, was her cat. 

The family lived in small flat in a large city. Husband insisted they kept the cat inside. The cat seems healthy enough but the woman noticed she never purred. Circumstances changed and they moved to a new flat. It was much larger, light and airy. There were two balconies. The woman loved the new place and so, apparently, did the cat. One day the woman heard a new sound - her silent cat had begun to purr. And the purring became a habit. With more freedom, light and fresh air, the cat was much happier.

It took the woman a little longer to find her happiness. But one day she met someone who inspired and supported her. That was enough to help her start a new life. And she too found freedom, light and fresh air. 

The woman thinks often of  that little black and white cat with a pink nose. That small cat taught her a very large lesson about happiness. And just in case you too find the sound of purring rather pleasant and relaxing, here's a little recording - thanks to YouTube



Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link