Archive for the ‘Deep Soul Joy’ Category

Deep-Soul Joy | What It Is & How To Know If You Have It

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

“May all living beings have happiness

            And the cause of happiness;

May all be free from sorrow

            And the cause of sorrow;

May all never be separated

            From the Bliss that is sorrowless;

May all live in equanimity,

            Free from attachment and aversion.

~ The Four Immeasurables Prayer

Deep. Soul. Joy. Think for a moment about those three words. Standing alone, they each in their own right are important words and concepts, but together they are life-changing. Deep-soul joy is experienced when you live in such a way that your purpose and passion are set free; your sense of universal interconnectivity is ignited and your joy rises.

When you live with certainty and deep-soul joy, you live differently than perpetually discontented people. When I sense revelatory moments of deep-soul joy coming, I stop what I am doing and immerse myself in the moment, surrendering to the flow and allowing it to absorb into every cell in my body. Gratitude is my only conscious thought – any other thoughts make the experience disappear as quickly as it appeared.

With the proper approach and intent you can experience deep-soul joy. Whether you live in a hut in Nairobi, a rambler in Minneapolis, a flat in London, a mansion in Beverly Hills, a cottage in Nice, or an apartment in Krakow, you, too, can experience deep-soul joy. I understand how difficult and complex lives can be and how foreign this concept may be if you are a victim of bullying, a disenfranchised LGBT youth, or a woman going through a divorce or suffering from depression. But there can be a light at the end of the tunnel as you learn to Live with Certainty.

Concepts such as joy, happiness, success, and abundance can mean very different things to different people. Joy is a more profound emotional state of contentment and well-being than happiness. Joy is a deep feeling of pleasure or gladness that comes from success, good fortune, or a general sense of well-being. And to take this concept to the next level, deep-soul joy is an even higher, more profound level of joy that is spiritual, energetic, authentic, nourishing, and life-long. This deep sense of well-being and contentment emanates from your soul and serves as an intrinsic aspect of your internal instruction system which is discussed at lenght in Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy.

The universe has graced you with everything you need to experience a life of deep-soul joy; it is all inside of you now. Nothing else – besides the actions and work to exercise your passion and purpose - is required. You may, however, need to shed a few things. Releasing attachments to your ego-personality and false personas — actually mentally detaching and surrendering to the real you — is incredibly freeing and powerful. Previously, you may have felt anxious or fearful to expose the real you worried about being ridiculed or not fitting in once your authentic self is discovered. However, surrendering to your inspired soul-view and your purposeful authenticity is required. It may initially cause you to feel anxious if you perceive this as giving up control.

My Deep-Soul Joy

My deep-soul joy is the steady state from which I live my daily life – it has become who I am and how I interact with every aspect of the universe. From this state of joy and contentment, I experience heightened, intense revelatory moments – super-concentrated doses of joy that emerge from the more constant state. These moments periodically happen as I go about my day to day life; suddenly I find myself overcome with joy, wonder and bliss often to the point of tears. Deep, moving and exhilarating, surging Source love and inspiration pulse through my body literally giving me goose bumps.

In some respects, I feel that I have always known deep-soul joy. My earliest memories are of financially humble – albeit delightful — beginnings. I cannot stress enough how well-served I was by the joyful, peaceful early conditioning I received throughout those early years. For the first four and a half years of my life, I had the distinct privilege of living in extremely close proximity to my grandparents and extended family in Southern California in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Without a doubt, my family — and extended family — has known deep-soul joy for generations. Effortlessly and innately, they lived and experienced lives of peace and fulfillment. First-generation immigrants brimming with courage and hope they brought with them the belief and faith that are precisely the stuff from which inspiration and dreams are made. Some people simply call it la dolce vita, the sweet joy of everyday, no-frills life. In those Utopian years in Southern California, I spent some of the sweetest times with my family that I have ever experienced (and I’ve had some pretty sweet times since then). These early role models may not have had much money, but they were compassionate, loving and cheerful people who were very involved in their church community and had many, many dear friends. They were homeowners with beautiful yards and gardens rich with fruit and walnut trees, herbs, vegetables, roses and berries. Their neighbors were like extended family. My beautiful grandmother, Rose, was completely deaf, but had a twinkle in her eye as she emanated peacefulness. Her dream was to be a teacher, but, at that time, sadly, her hearing disability precluded this. She did not, however, let this destroy her natural state of peace and joy. My grandparents lived in a simple yet park-like landscaped setting – I recall a horse who would routinely amble up to the back fence to greet us–and Penny, the family Beagle. The sun always seemed to shine on Yarmouth Street.

My grandparents raised three children on an extremely limited income, and yet their financial status had no bearing on their joy. Every night they had a lovely family dinner. For Christmas, my grandfather’s black socks substituted for the children’s stockings which were filled with only a dime, an orange and a walnut. For Easter, the children shared one single Easter basket.  Across the street lived a well-to-do family that was not at all happy; their festive silk Christmas stockings were filled with all manner of toys and candies. And their Easter table was set with a large Easter basket at each place setting. Yet this family was always embroiled in conflict and unhappiness. Did my family notice that materially they had less than others? Yes. Did it affect their joy and the love they had for one another? No way.

Now, I completely understand that my grandparents were not joyous over not having much money; it was an ongoing struggle. Rather, these lovely people were joyous despite not having much money. They were internally at peace in a fundamental way that their external situation could not shake. They knew deep-soul joy.

Once I began living from my inspired soul-view (a life of deep purposefulness and passion), a foundational state of deep-soul joy slowly emerged and took over, forever altering my perspective. I gained peace in knowing that I am living the life the universe always intended for my soul to experience. I know at my core that I can weather any storm, I am not alone, I am loved and I am secure. Most of all, I know that I am interconnected with the greater universe, connected to Source energy, and no matter what happens, my soul will go on its essential state of grace and deep-soul joy. And this experience will continue to be mine as long as I go on living with purposeful authenticity.

When I am graced with these deep, authentic moments, I become my deep-soul joy and am completely open to the universal energetic flow and where it is guiding me. My outer world stops as I experience this very natural state of alignment. A deep sense of awareness and gratitude for this inspirational and revelatory rush of Source energy puts me in the best possible position to maintain this alignment. I never take these moments for granted for they are a gift, the ultimate experience of an Earthly life and affirm that I am living with certainty.

My responsibility for receiving this “song-in my–heart” gift of deep-soul joy is to share it with others. I once had someone tell me that they “appreciate my sparkle.Funny, when I experience deep-soul joy, I feel open, luminous (I call it sparkly) and connected. There are times that I feel so joyous that I am completely overcome with emotion and gratitude.

So you see, I am beyond deeply satisfied with my life – and I wish the same for you. Yes, I experience my share of challenges, down times, defeats, sorrows, heartaches, problems and obstacles – these experiences are part and parcel of living an Earthly life and they lurk in the background waiting to pounce on all of us in order that we may learn our next needed lesson. I readily expect these things to rear their ugly heads from time to time and am, therefore, not overly emotional or despondent when trouble appears on the horizon; never have I believed that any obstacle could stop me. It is precisely the trying times that have taught, developed and enlightened me in ways that otherwise would have been impossible. They have served as the catalyst for much needed change. Now that I live with certainty, I perceive difficulties very differently than I did before. I believe I encounter fewer negative experiences now simply because I no longer create negativity through non-inspired soul-view-aligned actions; nor do I attract and manifest the things that I do not want through self-defeating thoughts, beliefs and emotions.

Am I still making mistakes today? You bet’cha – every day, but I am constantly learning, growing and trying not to beat myself up too much. Through my own mistakes I have learned much about compassion – and for these experiences, wrenching as they were at the time, I am grateful. As you embrace every encounter as a learning and growth opportunity, you can leave anger and resentment behind. Immediately find the lesson in every difficult situation – and don’t make the same mistake twice. When you view life through this lens, you open to the experience of deep-soul joy. My innate approach to life is to place far more emphasis on the positive than on the negative. Through living with certainty, you will begin more naturally to embrace this approach, too. While living in anxiety-laden, tenuous times, I remain joyous and thankful for my life, convinced that the best days for my family and me are ahead. No matter what happens externally, I will live from this continual state of deep-soul joy.

Joy and Genetics

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The achievement of deep-soul joy is not just a choice or resolution; hard work may be required to achieve it. You may have to reprogram yourself and create new habits, patterns, and beliefs. This takes discipline, focus, time, and effort. And this is all part of Living with Certainty. Research suggests that human genetics also contributes to our ability to experience happiness. In 1996, professor of psychology David Lykken and associate professor Auke Tellegen of the University of Minnesota conducted a study on the heritability of happiness, revealing that we are born with a genetic happiness baseline to which we consistently revert. Attempting to be happier than your baseline dictates can be difficult, but not impossible.

If you’re willing to make the inner changes needed to increase your happiness, your genetic predisposition can be overruled. More commonly, however, people prefer to make the easier changes to their external situation, rather than put forth the necessary effort for internal change—thus keeping long-lasting joy at bay.

While genetics do play a role in our overall level of happiness, our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions are significant as well. You may be surprised to learn that achievements, circumstances, and material possessions have little effect on joy. If you place your focus on discovering your purposeful authenticity and become engaged in the passionate expression of what you love, your inner life and happiness level would, indeed, change. Happiness and joy have everything to do with personal fulfillment. Once we all understand that deep-soul joy is possible for all of us, we can transform our world, one person at a time.

 

Your Deep-Soul Joy | The Purpose of Your Life

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

“Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.”
—James Wright

ARISTOTLE PUT IT BEST when he wrote, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” We are all hardwired spiritually and psychologically to pursue joy and pleasure, two of our core motivations in life. The pursuit of joy itself renders a more purposeful life, yet real joy and happiness remain elusive for so many of us. As you live with certainty, aligning your thoughts, actions, and beliefs with your inspired soul-view and purposeful authenticity, you open the door to deep-soul joy. It doesn’t matter who or where you are. The power resides within you now to live a life of deep-soul joy. Within your intention to undertake this journey to joy lies purpose and power.

 
What Is Deep-Soul Joy?

Deep-soul joy results from living a life that expresses your purposeful authenticity and is in complete alignment with your inspired soulview. This joyous state of Being is experienced as your soul is freed to blossom into its natural state. As your essence becomes aligned with, and fully enveloped in, Source energy’s universal love, you internally experience the powerful and affirming energy of the spiritual realm.

Deep-soul joy is dependent upon nothing external or material. It is a gift to us, an affirmation that we’re living the life the universe always intended for us to live. When it is the ongoing baseline of your Earthly existence, the profoundly peaceful state of deep-soul joy also holds super-charged moments that cause you to feel extraordinarily alive, vibrant, and aware of your innate connection to Source energy. Sensations of energetic euphoria and intense feelings of awe and gratitude pulse through your being as your awareness heightens of the extraordinary opportunity Earthly physicality has provided you to explore and express your potential and your purposeful authenticity. Deep-soul joy is many things, namely the following:

  • The unmistakable, powerful, rising emergence of your soul’s energetic perfection into your awareness as your mind-body- spirit merge in affirming, complete alignment with that moment’s Earthly existence
  • Affirmation that you are living a life that energetically aligns with and expresses your inspired soul-view and purposeful authenticity
  • A palpable, energetic connection with Source energy
  • Profound awareness of the here and now, along with a deep sense of being in the right place at the right time
  • Deep peacefulness, fulfillment, and joy from knowing that you’re living out your Earthly purpose while fully realizing your aptitudes and abilities
  • Recognition that you are in the optimal, high-vibrational energetic environment to co-create your soul’s Earthly dreams, the life the universe always intended for you to live
  • Heightened awareness of every aspect of your life in each moment, and deep-felt gratitude for the inherent soul-developing nature of all of your life’s circumstances
  • A strong sense of hope, faith, optimism, and personal power
  • An openness and receptiveness to powerfully flowing Source energy
  • A feeling of liberation and boundlessness as you revel in the transformational power of joy and experience your soul at the deepest, most profound level

Deep-soul joy provides proof and reassurance that we needn’t be tethered to suffering. Once you live from your soul and align with your purposeful authenticity, your perspective broadens and attaches deeper meaning to everything you do and everything that happens to you. You become infused with natural, effortless gratitude, hope, love, and reverence for every aspect of your life. Even in the midst of chaos, you remain centered in this continual, everlasting core of comfort, peace, and joy.

Deep-Soul Joy Requires Heightened Awareness

Deep-soul joy requires that you live fully in the present moment—there is no deep-soul joy in the past or future. Just being in an inspired, perfect, harmonious moment provides supreme fulfillment. It may often seem that everyone around you is constantly complaining while you have a perpetual song in your heart.

Deep-Soul Joy Requires Purposeful Authenticity

Experiencing your deep-soul joy requires the intentional and active pursuit of your inspired soul-view. Your greatest joy will emanate through the expression of your soul-view’s purposeful authenticity and its accompanying freedom, fulfillment, inspiration, and connectivity. Life will become smoother and more joyous as you begin to experience increasing levels of love and support that flow directly into your life.

Kristi LeBlanc

The New Power: Pure, Passionate Positivity for Life and Career

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Serious, mainstream discussion about the power of pure, passionate, positive energy is becoming more prevalent everywhere I go – company/client meetings, schools and universities, health clubs, churches, book clubs, you name it. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are indicating a high need for an infusion of positivity throughout their ranks. Meetings, correspondence, water cooler talk, clients/customers, and overall corporate cultures are increasingly becoming infused with negativity in attitudes, demeanors, vocabulary, and rhetoric. Whether the context is personal or professional, pervasive negativity can sabotage all of your other efforts.

As an executive recruiter and business consultant focused on the recruitment of positive leaders, as well as on the development of powerful, positive corporate cultures, I have repeatedly witnessed first-hand the command and influence of pure, positive energy. Whether I am placing an individual into an executive role, or working with an organization to plant the seeds of a more positive, productive culture, the corporate need in this tough economy has been the same for several years: recruit the most positive, resilient, and inspiring leaders possible, and develop initiatives, programs, and job profiles that will engrain a more positive attitude — and more positive results –throughout the organization.

The collective consciousness, or culture, of your organization – its intrinsic values, attitudes, rhetoric, and behaviors — infuses the business and its employees. Positive, affirming corporate cultures are dynamic, energized work environments that proactively drive employee behavior creating better teamwork, and, overall, a more productive, engaged state of mind for all of your employees. Your leaders and managers set the tone for your organization’s culture. And if they are not putting forth a conscious, clear, and consistent effort to be positive these days, the slide will inevitably be toward negativity.

Through Thousands of Conversations…
In almost 15 years as a retained executive recruiter, I have had the privilege of interviewing and assessing literally thousands of the globe’s most successful, purposeful, passionate, fulfilled, and joyous individuals. A guiding, intrinsic positivity and passion for what they do are defining traits of the “best of the best” executives — their work is more to them than a job. It is also interesting to note that the executives in “transition” who tend to rebound the fastest — not only securing a challenging and personally fulfilling role, but building an impressive and lasting network along the way — are innately positive individuals with a strong sense of resiliency and faith that they will land on their feet. People – including potential employers – are attracted to them and want to be around them.

Defining Positivity
Specifically what constitutes positivity and positive energy as I describe here? Well, this is about a great deal more than merely smiling, posturing, cheerleading, or repeating positive affirmations. This has more to do with a palpable optimism, confidence, faith, encouragement, empowerment, vision, and resiliency in your interpersonal and communication skills, values, beliefs, actions, demeanor, relationships, expressions of gratitude, and overall leadership style.

Profound positivity and positive energy – the kind that carries with it the potential to transform lives and organizations — is substantial, inspiring, and contagious, even in the worst of times. It can’t be faked. It is intrinsic to who you are and how you live your life, personally and professionally.

And it all starts with feeling passionate and purposeful about what you do.

If you are in a leadership role, ask yourself: Do my thoughts, choices, emotions, attitudes, approaches, actions, and belief system all positively align every day in the pursuit of my passion and potential? Does every day bring for me the opportunity to optimize my greatness and success? It is through the daily, personal application of an integrated, positive alignment between your purpose and passion with your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and expressions of gratitude that you will create a life of great reward and fulfillment.

The Power of Living All Aspects of Life with Positive Energy
Despite the depressed economy and market conditions, there are those people and organizations that are not merely surviving, but thriving. According to a Stanford Research Institute study, 88 percent of success is about attitude and only 12 percent is about education. Those people who live and work from a baseline of pure, passionate, positivity live fuller lives and enjoy myriad other benefits, including improved health, affirming personal and professional relationships, enhanced joy, productive choices and decisions, effective leadership, greater resiliency, enhanced professional accomplishments and success, and more effective problem-solving abilities.

Your ability to maintaining a positive mindset in both your life and work is a determining success factor, particularly in the toughest of times when so many people are being asked to take on added responsibilities and work longer hours. Everyone has felt the pressure brought on by restructuring, downsizing, upside down life-work balance, external uncertainty, and reduced budgets. The repercussion of these business adjustments is a resultant pervasive attitudinal and cultural slide toward apathy, pessimism, and outright negativity.

The demand for positive leaders has never been greater. You will always be challenged and tested, and an innately positive mindset serves as the bedrock of an iron will and the ability to prevail. To live a truly productive life and have a successful career, you must consistently rise to the occasion when faced with adversity, roadblocks, or negativity. Yet finding individuals, teams, and organizations that have at their core an unwavering positivity is rarer than one might think.

Without the internal fire provided by living and working everyday with purpose and passion, you won’t have the fuel to keep moving forward in the toughest of times. This is the secret of life-long positivity, fulfillment, and joy: irrespective of your specific circumstances, if you first believe that your own life has purpose, you follow your passions, and you live with an abiding faith and perspective that a master plan exists for your life and its inherent lessons, then you tap into a self-actualized personal power and internal certainty that empowers every aspect of your life, including your career.

What Does It Mean to Live with Certainty?
I am frequently asked to define what it means to “live with certainty.” It means that the internal faith, belief, authenticity, purpose, passion, and positivity with which you live ignites an internal certainty, power, and influence greater than any fears or anxieties you may have. Self-actualized, high-achievers live and work each day with purpose, passion, and gratitude which serves to further fuel their positive attitude and productivity. Positive leaders understand that while they cannot control every aspect of their lives, they can control their mindset and attitude. They possess an unyielding faith and confidence in their vision and ability to ever-create a better future, personally and professionally. They trust in themselves and their abilities. Pessimism and negativity are not part of their mix.

Make no mistake; this is not the Pollyanna-Sunnyside view of life. Rather, it’s one of the most profound and effective ways to “cowboy-up” — when things get tough you must have the positive belief in yourself and your ability to prevail to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep trying. And as a leader, you must model this approach for your employees every single day.

Positivity as Key Leadership Trait
In this challenging business environment, positivity as a key leadership trait is a highly sought after attribute that is increasingly finding its way into every job description I write. Increasingly, when I am retained to replace a senior executive, it is because the incumbent was not a transformational conveyer of positive belief within the organization, but rather was perceived as entirely focused on the financials, unapproachable, overwhelmed, overstressed, and underwater.

Positive leaders generally tend to be more motivated and productive than less positive individuals. They inspire others with their belief and faith in a better future in a way that is contagious. A truly positive leader first believes in the grand potential of his/her own life, which only then can transfer to his/her career through the expression of a passionate and achievable vision for their company, employees, and customers. Whether personally or professionally, the positive leader believes that he/she will successfully tackle the next challenge, climb the next mountain, make that next sale. 

Your goal as a leader should be to uplift the beliefs of your employees. As a leader you establish your personal style and “brand,” in part, based upon the level of positive energy in your actions, reactions, vision, beliefs, interactions, relationships, progress, and expressions of gratitude. If you truly want to set yourself up for the next big job or promotion, begin by being the most positive, optimistic, faith-fueled visionary in your organization, particularly during the most challenging times.

Without question your demonstrated belief that you can succeed in a down market will go a long way in bringing out the best in others. This belief should be palpable in everything you say and do, so that when you do have to make the tough calls, your employees will have greater trust that your actions are in the organization’s best interest. The great contributors and great leaders have the ability to remain optimistic and fueled by positive energy even in the worst of times. Particularly when the going gets tough, they maintain positive energy through an optimistic attitude that they control much of their destiny and the best is yet to come, as well as an unflinching belief in a greater purpose which inspires powerful action.

The level to which you feel and express positive energy will directly affect the depth of your relationships and, as a leader, the ensuing level of respect and credibility you receive. Throughout my career working with organizations of every size and sector, I have witnessed the tremendous impact one positive leader can have on an organization. This is especially true with sales leaders where it is said that a lack of positive attitude plays a role in the failure of up to 50 percent of all salespeople. If you can’t successfully overcome rejection and navigate the left turns, hurdles, and roadblocks, you’ll never really understand your own resilience and personal power (or inspire anyone else), nor will you achieve your greatest potential and success.

Do you as a leader, or do the leaders in your organization, understand the impact you/they have on the beliefs, confidence, and goals of your employees? Do your employees believe that you care about them? Do they find you to be inspirational and positive? Do people love working for you? Do you have a reputation for bringing out the best in others? What you personally believe and project — and the limits you set — are contagious and affect the degree to which your employees actually engage and feel loyalty toward you and your organization.

Positivity Begets Positivity
I know for certain that positivity begets positivity. As you extend the best of yourself and release positivity into the world, you invite more positive energy into your life, and goodness will ensue. I recently heard Oprah Winfrey say that you must believe that great things can happen in your life. When you are the recipient of goodness or positivity, recognize it, give thanks for it, and hold it in your heart. And then with every opportunity – how you live, how you give, what you do, and who you are, release that goodness and positivity back out into the world as it was given to you.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead about the power of positive energy and how to inject more of it into your relationships, leadership and team-building approach, and corporate culture. Whether in your career, family, school, sports team, or church group, you can become the positive difference-maker who characteristically reveals your best self and shines. The results will be inspired and engaged family members, children, friends, co-workers, team members, and customers who will in turn feel unleashed and inspired to allow their own best selves to shine. This is the stuff that transformation and success are made of. I invite you to become an active participant in my Positivity Blog — strategies for life and career — by sharing your comments at http://www.livingwithcertainty.com/blog.

Kristi LeBlanc is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director, N.A. Consumer Practice with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,” which was named Best New Non-Fiction Book of 2010 by USA Book News,  and the founder and CEO of Living with Certainty ™ LLC where she is a workshop presenter, keynote speaker, and organizational consultant with a focus on developing positive leaders and positive leaders and corporate cultures. To learn more visit http://www.dhrinternational.com/consultants/consultantsviewbio.aspx?consultantid=329,  http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.

Work can provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal, as well as financial growth. If it doesn’t, we’re wasting far too much of our lives. — James Autry

85 Ways To Lose REAL Weight This Summer | Lighten Your Load

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I work hard to keep my life as simple as possible. Why? Because when my life is simple, I feel good – at peace, joyous, lighter, and more centered. The less I have to do that isn’t in some way related to the expression of my intrinsic purpose in life (or somehow related to the creation or maintenance of my deepest joy) – and the less that unnecessary burdens and complications weigh me down — the happier I am. This isn’t to say that I’m not extremely busy – I am. Nor is it to say that I’m not constantly stretching myself and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I am (and that’s the real secret to my success). But I know my limits, I know what really keeps life simple (a pure, purposeful, and authentic life of the highest integrity…in a nutshell), and I know when to retreat and recharge. And by keeping my focus on having a focused, simple, pure, and loving life, I can then (with relative ease) retreat to that place of pure rejuvenation and centeredness whenever I need to.

For the 40+ crowd, it was easier to do this when we were kids, – to naturally recharge our batteries – because we purely flitted from one pleasure pursuit to another…the next laugh, the next smile, the next popsicle, the next great adventure. As adults, however, many of us have so aimlessly created so many activities, circumstances, and responsibilities in our lives that really have nothing to do with the expression of our purpose — or the creation or maintenance of our deepest joy — that many people are experiencing little – if any – satisfaction in their lives. Not at all what was intended for our lives.

NOTE: I’m talking here about practical, doable ways to simplify and experience more joy in your life if you’re one of the many mature, hard-working people –parents and professionals — who I routinely speak with who are stressed, burned out, mired in negativity, and in need of some relief. However, there is a new generation (or two) of surly young individuals who have made selfishness and the pursuit of surface pleasures – not integrity or purpose — a way of life. And that’s a different issue altogether (and these individuals in many ways contribute greatly to the stress and negativity that others are experiencing today).

But the opportunity is still there for all of us – to varying degrees — to return to lives that are as easy and simple as possible. We can create adult lives that provide comfort, joy, and peace to us when we need it. That’s not to say that we won’t have circumstances and complications in our lives that we haven’t asked for or created. Without question, there are bad breaks and tragedies that are not of our own making. And in these circumstances, it’s all the more important that we take care of ourselves – mentally, spiritually, and physically – or we can drown in our valid pressures and worries.  

So, how do you start un-complicating – at least to some degree — a complicated life of your own making? How can you shed unnecessary burdens and stressors that are weighing you down and stifling your hopes and deepest joys?

Ask yourself, do I still view my life, my potential, and my future through the same hopeful, positive lens through which I so naturally viewed the world when I was younger? If the answer is “no,” it’s time for a paradigm shift — because no matter what you face in your life, you deserve to experience as much joy, hope, and belief in a better tomorrow as possible.  When you consider the negative circumstances in your life that are of your own making, what specifically have you created or included in your life that is so spirit-draining? Bad career choice? Too-large of a mortgage? Toxic relationships? Over-spending?

In days long gone by, the living was easier. As a child, you moved in the direction of what was fun, what thoroughly engaged you, what brought joy, what felt good. There was no overthinking, no politics, no conditioned fears. There wasn’t even always a plan. Who was kind? Who was nice? What was fun? Who was fun? Who laughed a lot? Where were the best popsicles, the best pools, the best friends?

I rode my bike, picked blackberries, plucked vegetables from the garden and rinsed them with the hose, swam in the neighbor’s pool, jumped rope, played hopscotch, laid in the grass, drank Kool-Aid, ran with the dog, explored, and napped when needed. Ideal. And, as it turns out, even after many left turns and failed experiments, these are still the activities that bring me joy and center my soul (with a great bottle of wine thrown in every now and again). Why did I let my favorite activities go for so long? Sure, my teen years and young adulthood brought different interests. But at the same time, I allowed a core part of who I was to evaporate, as many people do. Why do we as adults allow the things we loved as children to become irrelevant, esoteric, and arcane aspects of who we once were?

Conditioning, pressures, expectations, difficulties, experiences, circumstances, coping mechanisms, etc. all kick in and change the extent to which we feel we can live freely and trust ourselves. We no longer view our choices, our activities, and our world through a simple lens. There is so much else to consider now. There is not enough balance.

We began orienting our lives differently and making choices that seemed safe in helping us to avoid what we don’t want, but that no longer necessarily move us toward what we do want. We do this as adults as naturally and effortlessly as we used to — in days gone by — gravitate toward bomb pops, smiles, and sunny playgrounds.

Think of the little ways every day that you “have to” avoid creating what would really make you happy because you are too busy prioritizing the avoidance of potential trouble or conflict. For example, for all of us, a loving, safe  atmosphere in our homes should serve as our lives’ foundation, but you may feel the need to avoid conflict with your spouse, parent, or child and so you avoid being at home altogether or you avoid engaging with others in your home by working more, talking on the phone more, spending time on the computer more, drinking alcohol more…everything but really creating the loving, safe, peaceful, and joyful environment – a soulful baseline — that could feed your soul and move your life forward in all the right ways. And all of these meaningless activities and time-wasters complicate your life in ways that remove you from your center of mind-body-spirit balance.

Your life can be as simple and balanced — or as complex and off-kilter — as you choose to make it. Here are some suggestions for finding your way back to simplicity, balance, and joy. Make a habit of as many of the following approaches as you can and you will see your life begin to change for the better:

  1. Don’t make things so hard – the moments when you feel at peace, calm, and balanced are those times when you are doing what is right for you. Trust this feeling. Strive to make the circumstances and activities of those times the predominate themes in your life.
  2. Maintain your health. Nothing will work right in your life without it. If you’re not focusing on being healthy, start here.
  3. Give your body the sleep it needs. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, your body needs to operate from a place of balance, and sleep is an essential aspect.
  4. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Avoid starting your day off by rushing or being late.
  5. Catch yourself comparing yourself with others and feeling competitive and jealous. Shun those thoughts – shut them down, as they are completely wasted time and mental effort.
  6. When you’re wrong and you know it, just quickly say so, apologize, and allow everyone to move on. Don’t allow stupid things to fester. We all make mistakes; we’re all wrong at times.
  7. Stop being a people-pleaser and stop trying to make everyone a friend.
  8. Stop being offended when everyone doesn’t want to be your friend. You can be kind, a nice neighbor, a compassionate human being, and helpful co-worker without having to be friends with everyone. Many of us already have a boat-load of significant relationships that we’re not paying enough attention to. I am extremely selective about with whom I’ll establish a personal relationship. There should be a values-match with the people you allow in your life. They should support you and you should support them. If they don’t make you feel good about you, question that relationships place in your life.
  9. Don’t talk incessantly about yourself. If you’ve been visiting with someone and all you’ve done is talk about yourself, trust me, they won’t want to visit with you anymore (and this may explain why everyone doesn’t want to be your friend).
  10. De-clutter your primary living and working environments – office, home, car, etc. Clutter is damaging to your energy – mental and spiritual.
  11. Forgive those who have hurt you – do it for you. There are many great books on learning to forgive. Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy also provides a strong approach to beginning the process of forgiveness.
  12. If you don’t know the answer, ask for help – be it directions, advice, instructions, etc. Get the help you need and move on. Asking questions or for clarification politely is not confrontational and is not belligerent. Getting answers will help you do things right the first time.
  13. Figure out where your life’s primary frustrations and time-wasters are, and put a plan in place to fix it. Get help, eliminate, put processes in place…fix it…now.
  14. Don’t assume …just stop making assumptions. Ask questions, clarify, converse, communicate.
  15. Don’t expect others to make assumptions. If you want something done a certain way, say so. You are not being aggressive or out of line when you politely state what you want.
  16. Take control of your temper by remembering to pause and breathe when you are about to say something nasty or rude. Stop yourself – pause — before a single word comes out of your mouth. You’ll save yourself a lot more time and heartache if you don’t speak out of anger.
  17. Always, always, always live below your means. Don’t make big impulse purchases….ever. Think about it first.
  18. Never, ever forego your monthly savings plan unless for a catastrophic emergency.
  19. Really do surround yourself with people who are smarter, funnier, and healthier than you. It really motivates you to raise your game and also comes in handy when you need help or guidance.
  20. Remember…what you do to others has already been done to you. There is no avoiding karma. Allow karma to serve as a self-governing system for all of your actions and words.
  21. Do what’s good, what’s right, what’s true for you. Always. Even when it’s not popular. Follow your own internal instruction system. And I don’t mean, if it feels good, do it. I’m referring to getting in touch with your spirit core and living from this place of pure, purposeful, high integrity. There is only one kind of authenticity – and that’s spirit-driven. Only the “Ego-You” is suggesting that you get tattoos, dress scantily, be rude, and so on.
  22. When stressed, anxious, or angry, go workout, go for a walk, physically burn off some energy.
  23. Never drink and drive.
  24. Be trustworthy. Honor all commitments and be known as an honorable, responsible person. Follow through, follow up, be impeccable in word and deed.
  25. Know that it’s never okay to say, “I’m always late.” (It’s very character revealing.)
  26. If you feel love, say so — frequently. “I love you” is a good thing to say.
  27. Use prioritized “to-do” lists every day/week if you really want to get things done and see forward progress in your life.
  28. Incorporate technology into your life wherever and whenever possible. It should expedite and simplify, not complicate, a lot of routine tasks.
  29. Never lie. Never steal.
  30. Avoid long daily commutes.
  31. Be honest with yourself. Living from a place of denial will prevent you from being deeply, truly happy.
  32. Live authentically; embrace your unique spirit-self. Allow others who are important to you to know who you really are.
  33. Only multi-task if you are someone who can get things done.  If you only really accomplish things one task at a time, then, by all means, do one thing at a time as expeditiously as possible. 
  34. When packing for a trip, take the time to plan out what you will really need, and limit yourself to that.
  35. Clean as you go.
  36. If a job isn’t worth doing right the first time, then why do it at all?
  37. It’s not cool — male or female — to be proud that you can’t cook. It just isn’t. Learn to grill, learn to make a few simple things, but please don’t brag that you can’t cook.
  38. Shop when you need to, not just because you want to.
  39. Use cash, not credit, as much as possible. If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy an unnecessary item on credit.
  40. Mind your own business. Nobody really likes a nosey-nose.
  41. Don’t be a sounding board, or whipping board, for crazy, negative people.
  42. Never forget…where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
  43. Spend time taking good care of your most significant assets – your body/health, your relationships, your home, your vehicles, and so on.
  44. Smile – doesn’t matter who smiles back. Putting out more love and good energy in the world can only be a good thing.
  45. Avoid bad people as much as possible. If you can cut them out of your life, do so. If you have a crazy, evil, addict neighbor – or someone else distasteful in your life, i.e. a co-worker whom you would never choose to associate with, but have to be exposed to everyday – limit your exposure or ignore them to the extent that you can. A daily dose of evil can only hurt you – ignore it. You’re better than that.
  46. Avoid doing things that make you feel bad about yourself as much as possible.
  47. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
  48. Be optimistic. Positive people rock.
  49. Treat the elderly with respect. If someone is frustrating you by moving slowly or otherwise impeding your path, imagine it’s your grandmother, grandfather, or other beloved elder. Show the same respect and patience you’d show – and want shown — to your own loved ones and family.
  50. Expect to forget things. Write things down. Commit to staying organized.
  51. Commit to learning something new every…day, week, month. Be a lifelong learner. Be curious. Engage in interesting moments and contemplate the relevance or applicability to your life. How can the learning of everyday moments be incorporated into your life in ways that can make you better?
  52. Give compliments.
  53. Say please and thank you.
  54. Hold the door for others behind you.
  55. Drink LOTS of water every day.
  56. Got a great idea. Pursue it. Pursuing talents, dreams, and passions is what your life was meant for.
  57. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. It’s going to be tough nowadays. Start-ups were never easy – and they’re even harder today. The people who innovate, persevere, and hang in there today will rule the world tomorrow.
  58. Spend time in nature as much as possible.
  59. Don’t be afraid of the sun….just wear sunscreen.
  60. Stop texting and driving.
  61. If you meet someone you like and would like to develop a relationship, let them know.
  62. Never stop building your network.
  63. Don’t repeatedly ignore people who reach out to you and then call them when you’re out of work or when you need something. Ever.
  64. Be bold. Be courageous. Don’t base your life, your choices, your actions on what you think other people will think.
  65. Never eat when you’re not hungry.
  66. Incorporate 30 minutes of activity into your every day schedule. How many days should you exercise…Well, how many days do you eat?
  67. Remember, people are what they do…not what they say.
  68. Give thanks every single day for all that you do have. Make gratitude for what is going right in your life – for what you do have—the foundation from which you approach your life. I give thanks for all that I have every single morning upon waking and frequently throughout the day. I learned through my cancer experience last year to take nothing – not a single day – for granted.
  69. Write out your life’s priorities. Create a life “purpose plan” and allow it to guide your priorities, decisions, and choices. If a major decision or choice doesn’t move you toward what you ultimately want, why do it in the first place?
  70. If you can’t change something, learn how to live peacefully with it.
  71. Remember, “luck” goes to the hard workers.
  72. Be a great problem-solver. Think deeply and move toward the solutions that – upon considering them – immediately lighten your load emotionally.
  73. Be a great friend. Be the kind of friend that you’d like to have.
  74. Don’t try to be older than you really are. Relish every age. The sweet times pass quickly.
  75. Find the lesson in everything…and then move on. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t be a victim. Live in the here and now and create your future moment by moment.
  76. Make sure you choose a vocation that you truly love, that doesn’t feel like work. Love your job. If you don’t, figure out what you do love and get about the business of doing it. Get a foot in the door. Volunteer. Hang your own shingle. Life is too precious to unnecessarily spend it doing something that sucks the life out of you.
  77. Don’t allow anyone to discourage you when you are following your heart and dreams…go for it!
  78. In the midst of the hardest times, tell yourself, this, too, shall pass.
  79. Take time to smell the roses….literally. Breathe deeply the fresh air. Take in the sunset/sunrise. Gaze at the stars. Soak up a sunny, blue sky. Don’t lose your sense of wonder. Listen to the Lee Ann Womack song, I Hope You Dance.
  80. Give yourself a pat on the back, a toast, and “three cheers” when you have even small victories.
  81. Laugh…hard and often.
  82. Give affection, allow yourself to receive affection.
  83. Focus on what you’re good at – and then strive to be very, very good. This brings pride and satisfaction, and helps to eliminate frustration.
  84. Don’t defend or overlook out-of-line, incompetent, or incorrigible behavior. Better to say nothing than to defend or protect evil.
  85. Meditate, meditate, and meditate. Did I mention that you should meditate? Meditate.

Kristi LeBlanc has spent 15 years as a retained executive recruiter with the globe’s largest, most prestigious executive search firms, including Korn/Ferry International where she was a Senior Partner.  She is currently an Executive Vice President with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of  the award-winning, “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,” and the creator and President of Living with Certainty™ LLC where she is also corporate keynote speaker and organizational and personal consultant. To learn more visit http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com, http://www.dhrinternational.com/consultants/consultantsviewbio.aspx?consultantid=329, or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.