Do people try to talk you out of doing something that seems impossible? Do they tell you it's a waste of time? Well after watching this you can tell them where to go! There is no such thing as impossible...
You may have heard of the glass ceiling (the upper limit of something usually in reference to women’s wages in the workplace), but do you know about the happy ceiling? Perhaps you’ve cracked your head on it a number of times, only to fall backwards to the ground tailbone first onto the cement. Ouch.
What is the happy ceiling?
A defense mechanism executed swiftly by our Saboteur when any unauthorized happiness occurs. Unless we get control of this pattern, the Saboteur will cause repeated concussions and will implement an outright ban on increased happiness units.
In other words, if you want to get happier than you’ve been—deal with the Saboteur.
Who is the Saboteur?
The Saboteur is an aspect of ourselves (in the form of an archetype) that jumps in when you may feel threatened or afraid. Usually the Saboteur is there to protect you in some way from an imagined enemy. The Saboteur will do it’s darndest to sabotage your well intentioned plans. For instance, there was a time in my life when I was completely out of debt, so my Saboteur got me buying up a storm again until a year later I was back in the same financial position. Why? Because that’s the way the Saboteur rolls. Or mostly because I was probably uncomfortable being financially free and subconsciously I tried to go back to the way I was. In the past, we may have benefited greatly from the Saboteur’s antics, but the practice may be wearing a little thin now.
- First let’s take our usual run around the track I like to call: awareness enhancing question period.
- How good can you stand it?
- Have you ever been so happy that it hurts?
Why do we sabotage ourselves? Three factors:
- Uncomfortable—we don’t know how to feel in this new situation even if it’s wonderful. Sometimes we get into a rut where we'd rather stay in the discomfort than change.
- Uncertain—the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. This is where we feel really afraid of the unknown.
- Undeserving—do I really deserve to be happy? Who am I to be happy? I’m not really that great of a person to be this happy.
How do we smash through the happy ceiling?
- Undeserving—ask the Saboteur to come into your awareness.
You may see an image or sense a feeling. Trust what comes up. Then ask your Saboteur why it’s here or why it shows up when you’re starting to get really happy? Ask what the message is that it wants you to know. Make friends with the Saboteur. Tell them that you are open to co-creating a life of more happiness despite your fears. Ask how you can work together from now on.
- Uncertainty—acknowledge these feelings of fear and anxiety.
This is the human condition—the more comfortable we can get with uncertainty the more our lives will expand with joy and happiness.
- Declaration/intention—make a ceremonial pledge that you intend to move past the happy ceiling and open up to more and more happiness.
Make it fancy—write a flowery letter or declare it out loud. You can either seal it in a nice envelope and put it in a sacred place or burn it. Whatever you do, the intention is the most important part.
I wish you boat loads of happiness and expansive skies without ceilings anywhere in sight!
Perhaps you still have an old crumpled up job application from 2000 stuffed in your desk drawer. You meant to get to it, but somehow you just didn’t go for it. No worries! If you’re not sure why you can’t go for it, here are five practical steps that work as the salve for hesitation wounds. Try them out and let me know what you were finally able to grab by the horns (in a metaphorical way of course—I don’t recommend grabbing anything that has horns).
Ask yourself these questions to open up your awareness first:
- What am I getting from not going for it? What is the pay off?
- What would happen to me if I didn’t go for it?
- What do I need to know in order to start going for it?
Now that we’re warmed up we can dive into these steps:
- Make a list of why you want to do something
The more you get clear on why you want something the more likely you are to do it. As you write your whys down something will become abundantly clear. You’ll realize how important that particular desire is to you or you’ll see that it is connected to a deep and profound part of you. Once you see those reasons staring back at you, you won’t dare hesitate any longer! Keep this list visible—put it on your mirror or keep it in your wallet. Refer to it frequently.
- Make a list of your fears and worst-case scenarios
Write down a fear then on the next line write: then what? Write down what would happen if the fear came true. Then keep writing “then what?” until you’ve reached the end of the line. Hint: you’ll know it’s the end of the line when you die or your house blows up or the world explodes. Once you get to the end on that fear move onto the next one until you’ve purged all the biggest fears you have. The point of this is to see how silly our fears can be or how deeply rooted they are. The more we voice our fears the less they grip our subconscious. It’s like shedding light on the dark scary stairway—the stairs are just in need of a good coat of paint. In other words, our fears needn’t run our life. We can look at them, accept that they are there and make peace with them. At least you’ll know what you’re working with. Keep this list visible and handy like the previous one and refer to it when you feel some anxiety coming up.
- Prepare and intend
Put some ritual into your go for it. This is where you make a declaration with your quill pen and seal it off with hot wax, frame it and salute it. Make it official. I intend to xyz on such and such date. Declare it. This is the way to give your heart’s desires a voice and the attention they deserve. Better yet declare it on your Facebook page. There is no way you’ll change your mind once it’s in Facebook land. So, think about what you really, really want to go for and then make a ritual around intending to do it. You’ll be amazed at the power behind it!
- Gather your forces
You need your team around you for this. By team I mean people, pets, those on the other side, your other worldly cheerleaders, whomever stands as a support system for you. You are going to tell them what you want to do and then ask for their support. Whether it’s a phone call, a prayer, a ceremony or a huddle, gather your forces and let them know that you need them!
Whether you got the job, the date or the spot on the Amazing Race is irrelevant. The point is to celebrate the act of going for it. You went for it! No matter what the outcome was you did it. This is definite cause to shout your accomplishment from the rooftops! Go out for dinner, put your feet up or buy yourself the new juicer you’ve always wanted. You deserve it.
I hope these five tips help you get out there and go for it! I would love to hear about your experiences—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you prefer listening instead of reading, here is the link to my podcast on this very same topic :
How much fun do you have? If you said, “Eleanor, I always have fun” please empathize with me for the rest of this post. I come from a long line of ancestors with a record that skips like this: “work hard, get things done, roll up your sleeves, don’t be afraid of a little hard work, laziness is a serious offense, rest is not in our vocabulary, and what are you sitting around for don't you know there's work to be done?”
Of course, some of my family members manage to relax a little and get around the background theme song, but it’s in there like a well-worn brain pathway. Recently, I realized that i put forth a lot of energy “working” and not a lot of energy “fun-ing”.
Since, I don’t want to end up looking like an old sea captain with a leather purse for a face, I’m determined to change this! (I picture an old man in a wool sweater working his fingers to the bone every day with not a second of non-work related energy expended). If you can relate lets change that today!
Here we go, let the fun-ing begin:
- Schedule in some fun.
As ridiculous as this sounds, according to an astrology reading I had, not only do I work hard, but I also approach fun with the same hard work ethic. In other words, I sit down and say—Ok, some fun needs to go on this week. How do I strategically insert the necessary amount of units? So I am gently reminding myself that I can just say—I’m taking the afternoon off to hit the streets of downtown—either walk the Lake boardwalk or go for a hike through a beautiful park or meet up with a friend for lunch. Check.
- Put a boundary around work times.
This is a similar thing but with more specific instructions. For example, I don’t work weekends. I only work until 6:30 pm at night as a general rule, except for evening meetings. I limit the amount of evening meetings. Being self-employed can turn into one long work day—from January to December—if you’re not careful.
- What do I love?
Beaches & flip flops, cooking classes, cute furry animals, the forest, documentary films, good conversation over wine & snacks. Now I have some tangible things to work with. I can take a vacation where I wear flip flops...look up the latest cooking class online...arrange a night out with friends...go to the hot docs fest! What’s on your list?
Joy comes in all shapes and sizes. Fun can simply be the time I give myself to go within and re-calibrate my frazzled nerves. I make time for this ever day. This also opens up the ideas on how to have more fun!
This one is tough for me and not natural. It takes practice for me to say yes to things that pop up. I promised myself this year that I will say yes to all invitations that come across my radar. Like the Jim Carey movie! I’ll let you know how it works out.
I hope you enjoyed my list of ways to insert more fun into life. Think about how this sits with you and make your own list or use the suggestions I have here. Excuse me it’s three o-clock: fun time!