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Keeping our Ego in Check

The ego at times gets a bad reputation. And it’s not at all bad. It gives us our personality, our passion, our drive, our desire to help others, create and participate in the world.
It can be the source of problems when we believe it’s desires will bring us happiness. Things in life can encourage our happiness, but no-thing in life can make us happy. Not even my handsome hubby. He’s really pretty perfect for me, and if I rely on him for my happiness, i’m in big trouble. Who would want that responsibility anyway?

Our ego is taking over when we become attached to it’s insatiability. When we believe “I’ll be happy when…” we are allowing our ego to be in charge. Temporarily, we may experience an elevated level of happiness, like when us ladies get a new pair of fabulous shoes, finally buy the car we have had our eye on, get that dream job…yes, all those things can bring us joy, yet the joy will be fleeting. You know what I mean. I’m sure you’ve all had had the experience of getting that thing you desire, feeling really psyched for a little while, and then returning to that same level of happiness you had before you got the ‘thing’, now desiring a bigger one, or a newer one, or a different one. Why? Because things don’t bring us happiness. Happiness comes from within.

So how do we keep this insatiable monster in check? We recognize when it’s ruling our world. As long as we’re aware, the ego is no problem. Like I said, it does provide us with passion, drive, desire and creativity.

Here are a couple of simple ways to check in to see if what you desire is ego driven, or authentic.

1)Check in with your heart:

Is it good for me?
Is it good for others?
Is it for the greater good?
Is it coming from a selfish space?

2)Look at the situation from an objective standpoint.

Take yourself out of the equation.
Would you still respond in the same manner if there are no strings attached?

3)When it comes to love, does the love come with conditions?
I only love you when you buy me flowers, I only love you when you love me in a certain way. I only love you if you have a good job. I only love you when you are in a good mood.

When we are not concerned with gaining approval, being right, having the last word, or gaining a certain title, we not letting the ego get in the way of our happiness. There is nothing wrong with desires and goals, it’s just a matter of being aware of the source. Being aware takes the pressure off of yourself and others, creates healthier relationships, and more authenticity.

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Self-Acceptance

There was a time in my life when I was super hard on myself. I was convinced I had to be a size 2, have the approval of others in order to be OK, and stayed in toxic relationships for fear there was nothing better.

This unhealthy behavior caused me a heck of a lot of stress, and kept me quite busy. I was afraid to gain a pound so I would decline invitations to parties for fear I would not be able to control myself (exhausting), I worried all of the time what others thought, and spent most of my time babysitting my relationships for fear they might shatter. And, I stayed in friendships and romantic relationships for all of the wrong reasons. And then I stopped. I stopped when I realized my self-acceptance was lacking, and I was at the mercy of others for approval.

My life has become a heck of a lot easier now that I know I’m OK as-is. The only approval I need is my own, and I’m always one thought away from self love. As-is gets a bad rap because we think there’s something wrong with just being OK with yourself regardless of our circumstances. But here’s the truth, the most important life-philosophy is the philosophy you have about yourself. How you view yourself has everything to do with how you view others, and the relationships you create, what you feel you deserve and don’t deserve, what you get and don’t get. You see, not accepting yourself is like building a house on quicksand. Good luck with that! In order to build a solid house, you must have a solid foundation. The same goes with life. In order to have a happy life, we must build a foundation of self-love. If we are constantly beating ourselves up, we will find we beat up our relationships too and spend most of our time cleaning up a mess that we created due to our feeling of self lack. So, the million dollar question is, how do we begin to be alright with ourselves after a hundred (I’m exaggerating) years of dis-approval?

Stop the lies and start praising!

A few tips to begin on your journey of As-Is is ALRIGHT!

1) First thing in the morning, write a list (keep it by your bedside table) of 3 things you like about yourself. Each day find 3 more things that you can stand by and be proud of…yes…about you! Don’t be shy…brag…get silly with it. If you have really good nail beds and that’s all you can muster up one day…cool!

2) At night before bed, write a list of ‘what went well today’. My husband and I do this together most every night. Write at least 3…see if you can get to 5. So often we focus on what’s going wrong in our life. When you remind yourself what went well, you put yourself in a good frame of mind before bed, and you feel good…and that’s the goal! (feeling good!)

3) I am enough! Put this everywhere! On your mirrors, post it notes at your desk, screen savers, reminders in your phone…plaster this sentence all over the place and say it out loud. I AM ENOUGH is an incredibly powerful statement, and it’s a fact! Most of us just don’t believe it. SO, with reminders everywhere, it’s possible to change how we feel about ourselves.

Try out these tips to get rid of the old stories and welcome in some new, fresh, clean thoughts. When you change how you feel about yourself, the world around you changes. Remember, you can’t give away what you don’t have, so if you want to have loving relationships, it’s got to start with loving YOU!

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When You Least Expect It…

This is the book Tommy the healer, who happened to be in the office today, wrote.

Today I had an OMG moment. It was a reminder that whatever we need is always here for us, and the universe responds promptly in ways in which we could not predict.

I woke up this morning with a headache, and by noon, the darn thing was still nagging at me making it very hard to concentrate. I was finishing up leading a group with my husband and saw my aunt, who is the queen of holistic remedies, walk into her office which is attached to the group room. I barged in the room completely ignoring the fact that my aunt had a guest, and said, “I have a headache. Do you have any secret remedies with you?” She stopped me and said, “This is Tommy. He is a healer.” I shook his hand and and he grabbed hold of my right hand with his left, and started breathing slowly and deliberately. It was like watching the wave at a football game. I could literally sense the energy coming from Tommy, flowing through him, through me. Yep, not your normal handshake. After a minute or so he asked me if my headache was gone. He also asked me if I went to bed late, and said I was dehydrated (which I knew) and my adrenals were working over time to compensate for my lack of sleep. All of these things added up for sure and made sense. He was correct on all accounts. Then he mentioned that I was carrying a burden which was causing the stress and trouble sleeping. He was right there too. I was just given a large task to handle at the facility where I coach, and it felt quite daunting, and I was feeling uncomfortable and resistant. Tommy did a great job reading my mind and detecting exactly what was out of alignment. And I was super happy that I felt better and the headache was M.I.A. I had heard about Tommy. He had just written a book and apparently is the healer to the stars. He works with sports teams and celebrities, and he healed my dear friend from Leukemia, and consequently opened her portal to her innate gift, she is a medium and em-path with incredible abilities. So this guy is the real deal. He was hit by a car at 40 miles an hour 18 years ago, and after he died and came back, he woke up from a coma telling the doctor exactly what was broken in medical terms, and gained the power to heal others, and himself. He was given a year to live. Did I mention he used to be a plumber?
He has since healed thousands, and hasn’t aged a bit. By holding someone’s hand, he can tell exactly what is wrong, and if not immediately, in a few short sessions, cure it. What completely amazed me was that about an hour later I went into my office to do notes from my group, and reached for my pocketbook to grab my readers (ewe, that over 40 belief that I created!), and realized as I grabbed my bag, my tennis elbow didn’t hurt. In fact, it was gone. I had had tennis elbow for the past six weeks and had been not giving it much attention, just doing some stretches and sticking to my mantra “what you focus on grows”, so I did not focus on it. I trusted it would go away in it’s time. And I jumped out of my chair, raised my hand to the sky several times with my pocketbook just to make sure I was really healed, and ran out of my office to tell the nearest breathing entity what had just happened. I texted my husband in complete delight, and found my uncle to share the good news. Both were very nonchalant about it. I was ecstatic! I did not mention the tennis elbow, nor was I thinking about it. This dude’s energy did some serious magic, and I was the blessed beneficiary. So as the story goes, trust and believe and you will receive! I was looking for peppermint oil to cure my headache and a miracle showed up in it’s place. I’ll take it! The universe is a really cool place. :)

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falling in love…

In the midst of turmoil, love came to town in the most amazing, unexpected way.  I had been working at a rehabilitation center coaching and leading groups.  The owners called me in to a meeting to talk about their vision and moving forward.  They were importing their nephew from England to work at the center, lead groups and create an identity program.  I was told said nephew was a leader for Anthony Robbins, and a long list of his pompous  accomplishments, and we would work nicely together.  I had a vision of this obnoxious Britt invading my comfy space I had created at work, and changing the atmosphere from a loving, peaceful environment to a ra-ra freak show, Tony Robbins-esque.  I was not excited.
A few weeks went by and I had completely forgotten about the nephew, caught up in my own drama and happily moving forward in my new life.  I was in my office, it was a Friday morning and I had just finished coaching a client.  There was a knock at my door, and in walks Molena with her nephew from England.  I nearly froze.  I’m pretty sure my jaw was on the ground, as a combination of Tom Cruise and 007 introduced himself to me as Lee, the nephew.  I believe I didn’t even filter myself.  I said something like, “THIS is your nephew?”  He was the most gorgeous man I had ever laid eyes on, and on top of his charm he had a British accent.  I got up from my desk to shake his hand.  Our eyes locked and I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  I might have been drooling.  We had a quick chat, and at the end of our tete-a-tete, he asked me for a six-second hug.  I nearly melted as his strong arms wrapped around me.  Molena forgot to mention that her nephew was a personal trainer as well, so those arms were strong and well defined.  Yum. 

I remember I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face for the rest of the day.  I was floating on a cloud.  How in the world was I supposed to work with this guy?  Was she kidding?  She forgot to mention that he was drop-dead gorgeous,  had been studying personal growth since he was a teen, so we could actually have an inspiring conversation, incredibly well read, kind, and had a similar vision as me. Small details in the big picture.

I don’t think I wiped the smile off my face for at least two weeks. I had a constant grin hoping I wouldn’t end up looking like the joker. My now uncle, Phil tells a very funny story of a slow motion love story every time we locked eyes coming in and out of the elevator. I literally felt as if I was in a dream.

We were both very busy at the center and one day decided to go for coffee after work to get to know one another, as we had intended on doing groups together. Coffee turned into a full evening as we were never at a loss for words. It seemed to me this meeting had a Divine plan.

Within the next year we were married. My now husband Lee had never been married before, and my mom calls me Elizabeth Tayor. Read between the lines. I believe in love, marriage and not letting difficult relationships get in the way of following your heart. And my heart said yes to this beautiful man, and I am very happy. We still work together. We even share an office. Many of our clients and co-workers ask us how we spend so much time together and still enjoy each-other’s company. Well, we love the same things, have the same vision in our own unique way, and coaching together just works. Oh…and we communicate. That’s a big one. We both strive to be the healthiest version of ourselves, and I believe that is the key. We’re not afraid to speak our truth and look at ourselves, even when it hurts. It is meant to be, I do know that for sure.

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Empowering your life with Happiness

I am very blessed to be working with amazing people at Lifescape Solutions, a recovery center for addictions and traumas. The owners have built this loving space from the ground up, and in just a few years it has established itself as having one of the lowest re-lapse rates. They are doing quite a few things right! Where do I fit in? A happiness coach in a rehab center? This is a spiritually based recovery center where the owners are passionate about giving the clients the self-help tools to leave the center empowered, hence the low re-lapse rate. They have formed a team whose initiative is to find the missing link between recovery and RECOVERY, and empower the clients with the skills to be confident in the real world so they can handle what life brings them without using. One of the things that I emphasize as a happiness coach is self-help and self-love. It’s easy to get quite cozy here and become reliant on therapy, coaching, and all of the support available..but what happens when the bird is ready leave the nest? Fear, anxiety, the stress of the real world and responsibilities…those are all triggers for entertaining old habits, hence the need for self-help tools.
Happiness is our natural state when we give up our story. Self love is our ticket to freedom. When we love ourselves and recognize we are perfect just the way we are, with all our perceived flaws and inadequacies, we enhance our ability to live free from our judgements that tell us we are not OK…a BS story. That crazy BS story holds us back from living our best life, and holds us back from being truly available to love others. How can we love others if we don’t love ourselves? We can’t…at least we can’t do it authentically. One of the things we discuss in groups is the ability to recognize that self-love is our choice. When we stop judging ourselves all that is left is a clean palette open to love and peace. But who are we without our stories? This is a inquiry that begs us to get real and explore our truth. Our stories give us purpose and identity. And is this identity serving us or hindering us? If it’s hindering us from love, it’s time to create a new story. And since we are the authors of our life…what a fabulous tale we get to write!

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What is Your Vision?

I am alone this morning and it is very rare that I get to spend time with just me. It’s really pleasant. It’s early morning, the rain is humming in the background, my candles are lit, and I am thinking about how blessed I am. Today I get to go to work.
Yes, I get to go…in good health, surrounded by loving people, supported and encouraged by my employer, counting my blessings. I was poking around on Facebook and was inspired by some quotes and encouraging words. I decided it was time to write again. I haven’t written in a while.
I have these fantastic coasters (I’m going somewhere with this) in my living room. My coffee cup is sitting on one of them. They all have inspiring quotes on them. “Put all anxious thoughts aside and be at peace’ holds my cup. Imagine doing that for a moment. Just breathing and letting the world love you as-is. That I find is the challenge for most of us…loving ourselves unconditionally without strings attached. I work with many woman (clients) who find self-love the most challenging. These beautiful, courageous woman have been conditioned to believe their happiness is outside of themselves, and the past defines who they are. The past is tool for us to learn from, to use as an experiment to show us what we like and don’t like, what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. It is an opportunity to learn about ourselves. It only defines us if we choose to act from it and continue to play the role.
We can choose again. We can re-create our lives and live from a place of happiness, joy, love and appreciation. It’s all in our vision. Our vision creates our life. Choose a happy, positive vision. Remind yourself of your strengths, your blessings, and recognize how you have been held by a force you cannot explain. See how you are loved. I am counting my blessings today that I have time to share this, and that in my few moments of me time I choose to focus on what I have, and confidently know that focusing on my blessings brings more blessings, and that feels good!

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