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  • Pat­rina M. Clark, SPHR, HCS, RACC
    Speaker | Trainer | Con­sul­tant | Coach

Face it, food is an impor­tant part of cul­tures around the world. In Texas, where I’m from, we start talk­ing about the next meal before we’re fin­ished eat­ing the one in front of us. We love to eat!

It’s been said that we should eat to live, not live to eat. While I gen­er­ally agree with this advice, I’m also a huge fan of fully liv­ing and lov­ing the moment we’re in. The chal­lenge can some­times be actu­ally being fully present — actu­ally pay­ing com­plete atten­tion to the moment — what we’re doing, how we’re feel­ing. And, yes, what and how much we’re eating.

So, my coach reminded me that today truly is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s such a sim­ple truth that is all too easy to for­get. With each new day, we have yet another oppor­tu­nity to cre­ate for our­selves our great­est pos­si­ble life. The key is to be inten­tional in, with, and about our lives. Be con­scious — mind­ful in thoughts, words, and deeds. Know exactly what you are think­ing, doing, say­ing … and be clear about why. You are the cre­ator of your real­ity — send­ing and receiv­ing energy. Be a mag­net for all that is won­der­ful and good — and repel those things that are not aligned with your high­est pur­pose. Be fully present in your today — and keep in mind that a lit­tle pos­i­tiv­ity goes a long way! #TheJoyfulDiva
It takes con­scious effort to act from the place of know­ing that we all expe­ri­ence things accord­ing to our unique per­spec­tives. And, these per­spec­tives have been cul­ti­vated over the span of our life­times and are unique to each of us. That means it is impos­si­ble for me to know how a par­tic­u­lar expe­ri­ence causes you to feel or really under­stand the depth of a par­tic­u­lar emo­tion you have. How­ever, we are able to cul­ti­vate empa­thy through shared or sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. It is impor­tant to remem­ber, though, that empa­thy is not the same as expe­ri­ence. So, no mat­ter how much I may believe I can relate, because I’ve not walked even a sin­gle step in your shoes, I can not pos­si­bly know how it truly feels to be you. The best that I can do is to con­tinue liv­ing my own life, trav­el­ing my own jour­ney, one pre­cious step at a time and remain­ing open to the rich­ness of the expe­ri­ences brought by those with whom I am blessed enough to travel a part of the way.

Peace can some­times feel so elu­sive and hap­pi­ness fleet­ing. How­ever, this is only because we seem to want to con­stantly search for peace and hap­pi­ness out­side of our­selves. True peace and true hap­pi­ness are not depen­dent on exter­nal cir­cum­stances. Rather, they come from an inner self assured­ness that says “I am enough,” “I have every­thing I need,” “I am truly the mas­ter of my own fate.” It is really only in this gen­uine know­ing that true peace and hap­pi­ness exist. When we learn to rely upon our­selves — to trust in our Divin­ity — we can be com­pletely at peace no mat­ter what the exter­nal cir­cum­stances are. And we can have a hap­pi­ness that dri­ves us to con­tin­u­ally move in the direc­tion of our high­est dreams while mak­ing the absolute most of each day. Learn to lis­ten to your heart and heed its unfail­ing counsel.

Life passes in stages. Our child­hoods are often a care­free time where we are open to and eagerly explor­ing the world around us.

As we get older, many of us develop a sense of invin­ci­bil­ity – the know-​it-​all teenage years – where we believe we know all there is to know about life and what it will take to make us happy.

As we tran­si­tion into adult­hood and begin to have very grown up expe­ri­ences (home pur­chas­ing, mar­riage, get­ting a job), we often­times become more and more com­pla­cent. We set­tle into our rou­tines and rarely ask our­selves the ques­tions “Who am I?” and “What makes my spirit soar?”

It’s not that our lives our “bad” … we can some­times be left won­der­ing whether there isn’t more to life than the into which we’ve set­tled or long­ing for days gone by when we felt truly alive.

The three ideas (as well as some tips I shared in an ear­lier blog) that fol­low can help in the quest to redis­cover and be our authen­tic selves. These tips can help reignite our pas­sion for life and get us actively engaged in liv­ing our lives to the fullest.

Accord­ing to LinkedIn, today marks the 2-​year anniver­sary of my leav­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to start my own coach­ing and con­sult­ing busi­ness. To that I say, WOW! As I reflect on this anniver­sary, I share the fol­low­ing observations:

1) Time flies when you’re hav­ing fun … and even when you’re not. So, you might as well be hav­ing fun.

2) There is no sub­sti­tute for peace of mind … and peace of mind is not a per­son, place or thing … it’s a state of being that is ever present. So, we can change jobs, rela­tion­ships, and res­i­dences. But, those changes in and of them­selves will not bring peace of mind … that must come from within.

3) The more aligned we are with our authen­tic nature (which goes well beyond the char­ac­ters we con­vince our­selves we are), the eas­ier it is to main­tain peace of mind which opens the flood­gates to joy in abundance.

And, on this won­der­ful anniver­sary, my wish for all of you is JOY IN ABUNDANCE.

Have you ever been in the mid­dle of doing some­thing when you sud­denly stop and won­der why you are doing it? Some­how in the chaos of every­day liv­ing you real­ize that you’re rarely actu­ally pay­ing atten­tion to what you’re doing. You aren’t liv­ing inten­tion­ally, but rather on auto-​pilot.

Func­tion­ing on autopi­lot rather than inten­tion­ally focus­ing can leave us feel­ing unin­spired. Being present for our lives – liv­ing inten­tion­ally – can dra­mat­i­cally increase our energy lev­els, enthu­si­asm, and over­all enjoy­ment because we empower our­selves to do the things that mat­ter most to us. Mak­ing even small changes to our daily rou­tines can cause a big shift from a task-​driven exis­tence to a passion-​driven one. So, try these five ideas and see what a dif­fer­ence you feel.

A piece of choco­late cake, a new TV, a week on the beach. We spend so much of our lives try­ing to achieve one sim­ple and wor­thy goal: hap­pi­ness. Most of what we do is moti­vated by this aim. But how well are we doing? This slice of cake may bring us hap­pi­ness for a few moments, and the first few foot­ball games on the new TV are great. But this hap­pi­ness is tran­si­tory, stay­ing with us for only a short time. We begin to take the TV for granted and the relax­ation we took home from the beach fades as we get back into our daily rou­tine. Chances are, if you clicked on this arti­cle you feel there could be at least a lit­tle more hap­pi­ness in your life.

The trick is to use our energy and effort in the pur­suit of authen­tic, last­ing hap­pi­ness rather than momen­tary plea­sures. But, how do we do this?

This weekend’s I Can Do It! Con­fer­ence at the Gay­lord Hotel and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter was a giant buf­fet with seem­ingly end­less delec­table life-​enhancing choices. There truly was some­thing for every­one, from sci­en­tif­i­cally sup­ported lec­tures on a deeper under­stand­ing of our human expe­ri­ence from Gregg Braden and Bruce Lip­ton to acoustic musi­cal per­for­mances by Alex Woodard’s For the Sender. It was a won­der­ful way to get a taste of the best of Hay House and delve into the art of liv­ing our great­est lives – one pre­cious soul at a time, one pre­cious moment at a time.