With a heavy heart and still much disbelief, I am letting you know that my co-author, Richard Israel has died. He has been battling colon cancer for 2 years and chose a quality of life provided by hospice for his last two months.
About 2 weeks before he died I was able to spend a wonderful day with him and his family, he was in fine spirits, telling stories as he always did. We were also able to have one of those very meaningful conversations to share, to ask, to say and to wrap up all those things you want / need / wish to. He said it was a gift to know an approximate ‘end’ date as it allowed him to complete his business here. Richard taught me so very much and was such an inspiration and unwavering support over 34 years.
Our ‘baby’ is born!
In typical form he was writing a book during his last days, it was with Mind Chi Mentor, Donna Kim-Brand, the topic is using your natural energies and what he learned from dealing with his cancer. I will inform you when it is available.
What are the lessons that I learned from Richard that I hold most dear?
1. Tell stories – make them big, expressive and funny.
2. Make sure you play every day.
3. Make time to listen and support the ones you love.
4. Even seemingly ‘crazy’ ideas can make sense if you wait a while!
5. Be sure to drink your tea in a ‘tinkling tea cup’.
6. Find synonyms for the word ‘give’.
7. Be authentic and abundant and the most recent lesson
8. Say those important things you want to say while they are alive.
Thank you, my very dear friend, you will live long in happy memories.
The last blog was ‘ Don’t worry, be happy!’ and we dealt with how to stop worrying if that was a problem for you or someone for whom you care. However that does not deal with building your happiness- so here are 8 Mind Chi steps to happiness.
Before I start, I wonder if you are you resistant to the idea of building your happiness? Some people say if they don’t expect to be happy they can’t be disappointed. This is a shame as even if things do not work out as you expect, you have filled all the preparatory time with a negative attitude which is not good for you either mentally or physically. Far better for your own wellbeing to be very occasionally let down or disappointed than to waste lots of potentially happy moments. Well worth giving happiness a ‘go’!
You might want to create your ‘happiness line’ – this will show the full range of your happiness scale. How would you arrange these happy emotions from just happy to ecstatically joyful? Where are you right now? Where would you like to be? What is stopping you? Because we can often think of many negative emotions, but happy ones are not so easy, here are several for your consideration: Mind Chi Positive Emotional Words Chart
Why not give happiness a trial? Here are your 8 Mind Chi steps to happiness:
Energy boosters – can you think of someone who makes you smile as soon as you think of them? Cultivate a few people who you can phone or meet for a coffee who immediately boost your energy and increase your happiness quotient.
99% bad – being realistic, how bad actually is it all? It must be less than 100% or you would be dead! So even if it is 99% bad, there is still 1% of good – the perfect cup of tea, the fact you are alive to see another day… so step into the 1% and start to push to make the 1% move to 2 or 4 or 8%!
Donkey story – there is a story about research conducted with two boys. One was placed in a room full of toys and the other was placed in a room full of manure and they were left alone for the day. When the researchers returned, they first went to the boy with all the toys and as they neared his door they heard him crying, when they asked him why he replied that the toys were broken and he was bored. As they neared the boy with the manure they expected it to be even worse, but at the door they heard whistling and singing and scraping sounds, intrigued they opened the door to see him busily digging away. ‘What are you doing?’ they asked – ‘With all this manure’ the boy replied, ‘There must be a donkey close by, and I want to find him!’ The moral of this story is that life may give you a big pile of manure at times, so dig for the donkey, there always is one if you look well.
On / off switch – can’t be both – one of the many incredible things about your brain is that it cannot do two opposing emotions at the same time! So you must choose between happy and sad/ angry/ frustrated. It is YOUR conscious choice, not anyone else’s!
Always someone worse off – some people find it easier to think of others who are worse off than they are. There is no difficulty in finding stories on TV or the paper of others’ suffering. Take a few minutes to think how much worse it could be and increase your own gratitude and happiness quotient.
Music – do you have some pieces of music that can change your mood as soon as the first few bars are played? Have several of those pieces available so you can access them with ease. If you play an instrument that too can be a very quick way to mood adjust.
Repay unkindness with a kindness – if someone has been rude or unkind to you – breathe deeply and choose to do something nice or kind to either them or another person. Maybe even do it anonymously. It is quite incredible how taking the high ground (rather than dropping to their level) makes you feel so much happier.
Exercise – dancing – energetic cleaning, moving your body can get rid of any anger or frustration and move you into a happier place. As can gardening, cooking or any hobby – what do you love to do? What can you lose yourself in, such as woodwork, sewing or painting? All these just transport you to another place and suddenly you find you are happy again.
OK, just one more!
Your Mind Chi Basic 8 step routine– this simple, yet very effective daily routine provides you with a most practical way to increase your happiness quotient. Steps 1 & 2 put your body and brain back under your control; steps 3 & 4 allow you to have closure on the past 24 hours – taking any lessons from the negative and acknowledging your successes; steps 5 & 6 make sure your BEAT (Body, Emotions, Actions & Thoughts) are as you want them in the now and finally steps 7 & 8 plans your future 24 hours and provides a moment of gratitude – perfect for happiness boosting.