How to be Happy

How to be Happy

How to be happy is a topic that I find crops up almost every day with not only my clients but with friends, family and colleagues.  Despite being a coach, it still never fails to surprise me when during conversation, it becomes obvious that others are purposefully avoiding happiness yet openly pursuing it.  Oh, the irony!  Indeed, I myself have lived this way for most of my life, not recognising that I had the capacity to always be healthy and well because healthy and well is my natural state.  Learning of the principles behind clarity and how thought affects our experience in any given moment was my catalyst to begin to access success.  Success in my relationships, business, health, infact, in all areas of my life.  As my grounding in the principles deepens, my experiences of and in life lift, become lighter and brighter, yours can too.

Speaking to a friend of mine recently whom I had not seen for around 10 years and she was telling me, quite intently, of her dreams, her future goals and her great aspirations.  Whilst she was using such phrases as “I cannot wait until…..” and “Everything will be great when….”.   I sat quietly and just listened to her future plans and how some day, when she had everything she wanted, life would be great.  “Of course” she explained, “after such a stressful and sad time following the divorce, I know I just need to get back on my feet and then I can follow my own dreams”. Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that space to greave is definitely a good place to start following any such traumatic life event, whether it be divorce or death, I quietly asked her why she believes that ‘being back on her feet’ is a future event?  She stopped right there and I sensed her understanding shift as her realisation of the fact that there was nothing preventing her from being happy now, impacted her.  My emotion mirrored hers as I felt her heart swell, I was right there with her, connected and feeling love.

Most of course, do move forward and go on to live happy healthy lives, but, there are some who, for one reason or another, do not.  It is so easy to get stuck in resentment and pain and embody that pain as their identity.  Before they know it, they are unknowingly playing out the role of being victims of their thinking, however, would you ever dare point this out?  I would advise caution and instead, simply point them gently to their inner connection, their innate wellbeing, with love and empathy.

You see, very few people really want or enjoy being a victim or even recognise that they are.  Often, when stuck in their grief and pain, it is due to fear, guilt and anxiety rather than need or desire and the fact that we are simply feeling our thinking from moment to moment.  That is both our human gift and our failing.  Our ability to think, conceptualise, form perceptions and weigh up possibilities does not always afford us the freedom we would assume that it does.  We all at some time, lose someone whether it be death or the end of a relationship and we experience a whole host of emotions and although this is perfectly natural and normal, to stay for longer than necessary in those emotions is not healthy.

My friend for instance, her divorce was finalised over 3 years ago and the relationship had broken down 18 months beforehand.  Although there are no set rules for how long the grieving process should or can take, over 4 and a half years later, one could be closer to becoming comfortable with the idea.  There could be an element of acceptance and a mellowing of the emotions rather than the raw pain experienced in those early days.  An inability to deal with or move through grief extends stress and anxiety and can mentally paralyse the person experiencing such emotions.

An understanding of Clarity and it’s principles can help to move someone through this process and towards a settled state.  Thought is always the culprit.  Once we understand how the mind operates and that emotion is borne of thought, it easier to gain an isight into how people get stuck in their own grief. Emotions are powerful and the effects are often physical, leaving one in pain.  This cycle can feel scary and almost always leads to further pain and further thoughts.  Our thought though, is neutral and says nothing about the actual experience, until we think it does.  Thought is a perception of actual reality and not a mirror of reality as we might assume.

Being able to take a break from thought is a huge help and most people do this naturally in a reasonable amount of time.  Even the briefest break from thought can be helpful and doesn’t always have to be noticed.  In fact, often, these small breaks occur naturally when distracted by conversation with others, social events, work and so on and gradually extend themselves for longer periods, giving the mind that much needed rest from the chatter and a natural recovery ensues.  Understanding that we are only ever living in the present moment, for that is the only moment we have, can help thought to begin to drop away and bring space for fresh thought.  Along with that come new opportunities, new thought, new perspectives on experiences in the moment and space to continue to connect with our own innate health and wellbeing.

If you recognise that someone you know is or may be suffering in this way, one of the kindest and most loving things you can do is to reach out and connect with them.  Listen to what they have to say without judgement and really hear their message and show that deep level of understanding that they so need.

We are human, thought created feeling is one the traits of humanity, but, it can also be drawback.  Once we get a deep understanding of how our mind works, we can change our inner peace.  We then know in our essence that losing someone does not signal the end of a connection with a loved one, for that will always remain.  We are after-all, each connected to each other and learning to appreciate that we live in the present moment, we can really begin to experience that connection.

The all illusive question, how to be happy following a difficult and upsetting experience does not lie in the future, the answers are always in the present.  One of the commonest thoughts to prevent happiness is blame.  Blaming a partner for ending a relationship or blaming oneself for not being able to save it, is not rare.  But if thoughts don’t move on to acceptance, at some point, the feelings created by remaining in that blame state are often anger or guilt and or any other number of insecure thoughts and feelings.

We are always acting in accordance to what our own perceptions of the world are and perceptions are illusions.  Someone else’s perceptions of the same situation may be totally different and so how do we resolve this?  Well certainly, we can argue it out and try to work out who is right and who is wrong, however, both or all parties are right as we can do no more than act in accordance to that which we perceive to be true or correct.  Knowing this, really gaining an insight into the principles brings clarity and makes it easier to see how these misunderstandings arise and can in turn alleviate guilt, anger and blame.  In fact, we are all subject to the same misunderstanding and so in this vein, we are innocent of blame.  What you experience, perceive, is true for you, therefore, that is the only truth available in that moment.  Another or a different truth is however, only a thought away and opens up the possiblity for a whole new and different experience.

If you are interested in finding out more about Clarity and the underpinning principles to help support yourself or someone you know through a difficult and traumatic time you can email me on nicky@nickybartley.com

Becoming a Great Leader

Becoming a Great Leader

Becoming a Great Leader was not the aim of many of the worlds Great Leaders.  Most just happen to be a Great Leader and are adored and revered by their crowd for other things such as Martin Luther King, whose purpose and aim was to put an end to racial hatred, Mother Theresa who insisted on doing as much as possible to end world poverty.  Great Leaders become so by doing great and amazing things…by daring to dream

According to Forbes Magazine, the main characteristics of a Great Leader are as follows:
+Ability to Delegate
+Honesty
+Great Communication
+Accountability/Responsibility

These are fabulous characteristics, however, the list is not exhaustive and the University of Notre Dame would add things like “Being a Risk Taker”

We can then go on to look at Psychometric tests such as Myers-Briggs and they would have a complete different take on it and come at an angle of styles rather than characteristics and so words such as ‘visionary’ and ‘participative’ get thrown into the mix!!

So, are Great Leaders born or do they learn to be Great Leaders?  The answer is simple, some are born, others learn 🙂

One Characteristic that is prevalent throughout all of the different schools of thought though is that Great Leaders are “Goal Orientated”

Great Leaders set and achieve goals!! Their goals will differ hugely but they know and understand the importance of having that goal, that dream, that aim!!

Great Leaders, they focus, they strategise, they plot, they never stop until they achieve!!

Perhaps more importantly, Great Leaders have “Self Belief”!! Even in moments of doubt, they find ways, methods and means to overcome that self doubt….They melt away their limiting beliefs. Great Leaders know instinctively that they can achieve anything they want to and that there are solutions to everything. Great Leaders are not phased by problems, they are excited by challenges.  Their Limiting Beliefs act as motivating factors, as obstacles to overcome and as barriers to bust through!

Leadership is not just important in the workplace though.  Leadership is important in life in general.  That need to be accountable, to delegate, to communicate, it runs through the very being of our lives.  As parents, grandparents, friends and acquaintances, we all need to navigate the ever complex societal rules and norms which get in our way of ultimate happiness, of just being and living in a way which is authentic and harmonious.

Learning to overcome your limiting beliefs is integral to leadership and to happiness.  Whatever your goals, dreams and aspirations, being aware of your limiting beliefs and finding ways to overcome them is imperative to your success.  I would love you to comment below and tell me about your Big Dreams and how you’re planning to achieve them

 

Nicky x

 

Increasing Your Confidence

Increasing Your Confidence

Increasing your confidence may seem impossible right now but have you noticed that your confidence changes? On a day to day basis or even hourly, regardless of what activities you are doing, who you’re hanging out with. what shows you’re watching or listening to and what you’re reading,  our confidence can shift very quickly.

Maybe you are like I used to be? You don’t always notice this happening, it’s just a natural flow.  Sometimes you feel good, sometimes you don’t but you have never actually connected the dots.  Our lives can happen so quickly as we move deeper into the digital era and we don’t always have time to be still and reflect on where we really are, how we are feeling.  So much get’s in the way doesn’t it?  How many things have you got on your to do list today for example? I can bet it’s ton’s and actually reading this blog is taking up your valuable time isn’t it? But you know this is important, you know that somewhere, sometime, somehow, you have got to get on top of this!

That was my life for so long, I mean actually years until I made myself slow down and reflect.  I knew I had to ease up on the self talk and condemnation of all the things I was doing “wrong”.  In hindsight (Ohhh it is a beautiful thing isn’t it?) the things I was doing wrong were actually right, or at least, they weren’t harmful, they weren’t imprisonable offences or anything like that but they weren’t serving me.  What I discovered was that, it was actually me that was hiding and shying away from my inner light.  I didn’t really appreciate that I had an inner light.  I really believed that my feelings were my guide, that they were an indicator of what I should do, so, I lived my life in accordance with my feelings and the result was hit and miss.  At that time, I had no inkling that my feelings new nothing of the outside world, of the people around me, or of my circumstances and so, I spent much of my time people pleasing.  Is this you?

  • Always  putting every one else first!  Regardless of whether it was work, family or friends, I was always last on the list.  My boss would call at 8.30am as I was on my way out of the door and ask if I could go to court as so and so had called in sick and Ohhhh Noooo, she had no one else that was free. “Ok” I’d say” but, I have a diary full of appointments with kids and families and if I don’t do them I’ll be way behind” bla bla bla.  You know what? She nearly always found someone else to meet my appointments.  Funny that since I was apparently the only one she could call on to fulfil Court Duty? So off I would rush, back into the house to change into my Court attire and hope that I would be back in time to at least meet my afternoon appointments.  Bad mood or what?  I would sit worrying about my schedule and the families that I was letting down AGAIN simply because the service that I worked for could not get their act together.  I always put the blame at my own door though, however, even if I had blamed my Employer, blame is a BAD place to be in.

Blame causes resentment and hurt and guilt and self condemnation and I could go on but we know this don’t we?  Blame also keeps us trapped and this is the worst part, blame keeps us in that vicious cycle of saying yes when you want to say no.  Each time we get asked or expected to do something that we actually do not want to do and we accept, we make it more likely that we will do so again.  That blame intensifies and so does the guilt and we become victims of our own good nature because ultimately, we blame ourselves for not doing what we really wanted or knew that we should do.

How do we get over this?  By seeing what the feeling of guilt, blame and self condemnation is actually pointing us to…..the nature of our thinking in that moment.  The feeling is telling me that I am having guilty or blameful thinking.  The feeling in itself, has no intellect, but, it is a great indicator of our state of mind.  When this started to make sense to me and I noticed my feelings, I was no longer a slave to my feelings.  This alone, frees me up to not have to alter or control my outside circumstances in order to try and change an unpleasant feeling.  In other words, Im free to say no!  The amount of space this began to free up inside my mind was fascinating.  I went from feeling manic and panic, to calm and resilient.  I was spending less and less time send guessing the feelings of others too, as, if its true for me, its true for them too.  It dawned on me that their feelings had nothing to do with me either.  Not in the sense that I don’t care about others, but in the sense of, I know that whatever feelings they experience, are a reflection of their state of mind and not a reflection of whether I am good enough

Finally, saying “Yes” becomes so much more fun because it is without resentment.  You will say “Yes” when you want to help out, when it is not going to throw you into the worst mood ever and this feels good. Saying “Yes” and meaning it is such a gorgeous feeling and lifts our confidence, our self esteem and our energetic vibration to a whole new level.

Start increasing your confidence today by doing this one simple thing; putting yourself first and understanding what your feelings are really telling you.

I would love your feedback!  Where in life are you a slave to your feelings and emotions?

Love Nicky x

A World without Borders

A World without Borders

I dream of a world without borders, in fact, I am demanding this of all of our world leaders.  Can you imagine that? Can you imagine their squabbles, frustration and anger at the thought of them losing their power, their home comforts, their status and ultimately, riches?

My heart is actually hurting at the sight of the rising refugee crisis and the hurt and pain that they are experiencing.  I am absolutely sick of the utter sh*t being spouted by politicians, the public and actually some of my friends and my loved ones about the rights and wrongs of allowing people who are fleeing torture, hunger and war, into our country.  Why not? Why not help those in a less fortunate position than ourselves?

The arguments are vast and endless and I am going to be completely honest here, I have bought into these arguments myself in the past.  I was a child of the  70’s and thus born into an era where racism was still tolerated.  An era where it was common to hear people make racist jokes in the media, where discrimination was still tolerated and people of other nations were made to feel unworthy.  I had fights on the school yard and arguments with my peers because I too have used racist words and language, not appreciating the harm I was causing.  Why did I do that? Siting here and reflecting upon that now, I feel total shame.  I almost don’t want to publish this post, knowing the judgement that I may face because of my past thinking and behaviour, but I have a responsibility.  I have a responsibility to actually take responsibility and own up to my past mistakes and errors of judgement.  I have a responsibility to my children and grandchildren, my community, my country and in fact the whole f*cking world and so do YOU!!!  I have responsibility to be human, to be humane, to reach out to my fellow humans with love and compassion and do whatever I can to support their wellbeing and so do YOU!!

I was a sum of my thoughts and consequently those thoughts bring about emotions.  If you have any doubt about this, educate yourself.  Educate yourself on the origin of those strong surging emotions you have. Emotions always follow thought, not the other way round.  It is easy to mistake our true nature, to believe that we are our emotions because emotions are so powerful.  Our emotions often drive us forward and if not controlled or understood can lead to behaviour which is damaging.  In essence, we get our thoughts from others, from the experiences of our friends, what they tell us and from our family, from the media. Although some of those thoughts may be from our own experience, most are not.  We take on the views of others, we allow these thoughts and they become our beliefs.  I am fortunate, I learned this a long time ago and it has impacted upon my own true nature immensely.  It has enabled me to understand that if we strip back those emotions, thoughts, beliefs, we are all exactly the same.  So what gives us the right to turn away, to ridicule, to sit self righteous and in judgement of those in need right now?  So called World Leaders are debating what when discussing this crisis?  Money? Wealth? War? blahhh blahhhh blahhh.  Yes they would have you believe that we are a poor little nation who cannot afford to “feed our own”….I have actually seen this term used, really? What the hell?  Are these people actually not our own because they so happen to be born elsewhere?  Are they not part of mankind?

David Cameron, I do not care about your political beliefs, they are not real, they are the sum of your thinking and we have already established that your thinking is not totally your own but is mostly the result of those around you who have, or, have had the most influence over you and so in that respect, you are forgiven for getting caught up in those thoughts.  So, as a fellow human being, stripped of that thinking, stripped of those beliefs…if you would be so kind as to do that for a moment, why are you creating a frenzy of panic and having your fellow human beings believe that it is the right thing to be cautious with charity? Why are you creating such arguments about lack of jobs, the National Health Service, the pensions and oh yes, what about the terrorists we may accidentally let in?  Can you not for one moment reflect upon those people that so need refuge right now and reach out to them?  When has our nation become so selfish? What is the point of those laws that protect people against discrimination when as a nation we are discriminating on a vast scale?  Can we not put aside our fears for a moment and reach out?  Fear belongs in the future!! It is an emotion that stems from what we believe WILL happen, based on the experiences of the past.  Fear is not a fact!!

Seriously, if you are reading this and getting angry, feeling frustrated that I dare to wish the borders of the world to be eliminated, check yourself!  It is those borders, fights over territory, religion and all of the institutions of the world that are perpetuating your argument,  so just sit for a moment and ask yourself why?  What are they protecting?  Wealth? Status? Power?  An interesting concept isn’t it? Are they protecting your wealth, status and power?  Do you feel empowered right now?  Do you feel safe? Do you know wholly and completely that you will not one day face the very same harrowing problem that those seeking refuge are facing?  Do you feel totally confident in a system that is already struggling to feed, clothe and house people? I don’t, so why not take this as an opportunity to change?

The world is being ravaged by war and actually, this has been so for hundreds of years, nothing changes. There will always be some ‘Big Man’ sending his minions out to do his dirty work, to protect HIS wealth, HIS status, HIS power.  Isn’t it about time that we stopped joining in and saying actually, I just want to make sure that my neighbour is well, that my friends and family are well, that my fellow human beings are well?

Of course, wealth, health and all of the other things people need to survive are important but honestly, do you really believe that if we melt the worlds borders, every person in the world will flock to the UK simply because we have a National Health System? And if this is true, why can we not get a better system? Apparently it is failing anyway.  Ahhhh but yes, that is due to the immigration policy isn’t it? Hmmmm that is odd, since my recent experience of the NHS is that the system is flawed to the hilt.  Staff are overworked and so many have lost their love of the job.  I could go on endlessly and no doubt so could you but the fact is, allowing ourselves to open our hearts and our nation to people who right now, need us, is NOT going to throw us into despair, we will deal, we are grown ups right?

What will ultimately throw us into despair is the perpetual arguments about why we should not help, why we should ignore this and let every other nation deal.  This is shameful, this goes against everything our laws and values stand for….freedom.  What gives you the right to choose who should be free to live and who shouldn’t simply based on the idea of where you happen to live or are born?

My wish to have borders diminished may seem idealistic to you.  It may feel scary, or make you angry. What do you really think is going to happen?  Many will leave and go elsewhere, don’t fool yourself about that.  Greater freedom brings about greater freedom, it is that simple.  You can even argue that I haven’t any political or economic basis for how it would work and yes, that is true.  I have a desire based on trust, love, kindness and compassion….what about you?  Do you wish for conscious living too?

Loving Yourself

Loving Yourself

Loving yourself isn’t a cliche, it’s a necessity! Or at least it is if you want to be happy and avoid the compromise

I used to cringe a little when I heard that.  How can anyone love themselves? Isn’t that a little arrogant? I thought that only aesthetically pleasing people loved themselves and that yep, they were entitled to. But somehow, I would get by just thinking of myself as ‘ok’.  Life events appeared to prove me right too, I mean, I had been in abusive relationships, I then got married to a nice decent man who later left, I suffered from depression, in fact a whole list of things that seemed to prove me right.  Then 2 years ago I got real, I woke up, I had a ahaaa moment!!

I had spent years working with young offenders and their families within the community and prisons and actually, I was damn good at that!! I knew how to make people happy, how to help them change their life and become the person they knew they were deep inside.  I helped hundreds of kids and their families break the cycle and move on and now it was about time I did that for myself, right?

Fast forward and here I am!!  You see, if you’re a giver like me, it is so easy to forget to give to yourself, to overlook the most important factor in the mix that is ‘loving ourselves’.  So now I want to pass this on to you and to enable me to do so, I have created a new program so that you can learn exactly what I learned and benefit in the same way.  If you want to learn more you can click here

You see, I have always loved the universe and how it keeps me safe.  I have always known that it gives me exactly what I need whether in lessons or people, but until I learned to truly fall in love with me, thats exactly all I got, lessons and usually in the form of people.  I wanted to manifest what I wanted and I read so many books, articles and blogs to help me do so but every time it got to the point where I had to love myself, I skipped it.

You can avoid this vicious circle now by learning how to love yourself.  It isn’t as hard as you might think. There are no secrets to uncover other than the one that your innate self already knows but your busy mind may have forgot….you are enough

 

I’ll be happy when

I’ll be happy when

I’ll be happy when I have enough…..have you ever said that or thought that? Or maybe ‘Everything will be ok when……” or “If I had a penny for every time someone said that” which is in fact a personal favourite of mine.  There was a time when I spoke or thought these phrases without even realising what I was saying, a time when I gave it no thought as it was the norm for me to think that way.  I really believed that my happiness was dependent on some future occurrence or event.

Most of us get caught up in this kind of thinking don’t we? It isn’t an unnatural or unusual way to live life.  If though, like I was, you are still seeking that ever changing and illusory thing and it is attached to happiness, please take a moment to stop now and contemplate this….you can be happy regardless!!

 

Clarity

Clarity can feel like an overused phrase if you are a personal development freak like myself.  Almost every modern author and coach talks about that thing we are seeking called Clarity and I jumped on this bandwagon too, until I realised that what I was seeking was already within me.

Have you ever had a moment that completely stopped you in your tracks? A moment that felt so complete, so absolutely right and perfect that there was nothing you needed to do other than sit in that moment and enjoy it?  There can be various triggers to moments like these if you aren’t yet a seasoned ‘Clarity Pro’ 😀 Some people describe nature as being their trigger, others music, others exercise and so on.  It’s that moment when maybe you are in the shower and a solution to a problem suddenly appears or maybe you have an amaze balls idea that you ‘know’ that you have to put into action.

This is a process of knowing, a process whereby our mind forgot the problem and the thoughts and feelings around that problem in order to find the solution.  This is Clarity, your innate knowing,  guiding you to the right conclusion.  The conclusion that all is exactly how it should be :).  Try to search for Clarity and you’re often met with confusion, dissatisfaction, an endless stream of mind blurb resulting in feelings that are negative.  The result? I will be happy when…….

You see, no one has Clarity 100% of the time, ( well maybe Buddha 😉 ) but the majority of us? No, we have active minds and busy schedules and muddled thoughts and we seek to meditate these away in order to quieten the thought train.  If however, we wait, do something else, distract these thoughts with other things, clarity gently rises to the surface again.

So how do we use clarity to be happy in the now? You know this answer don’t you? As you’re reading this, you can see how futile it is to delay being happy until some future event?  If everything you need to gain clarity is already within and all you have to do is allow it, it makes sense to allow happiness. Learning to step into your power, tapping into your innate knowing, being able to conjure clarity means that given time, you can find all of the ways and resources you need to achieve your goals and so delaying happiness, inner joy and that sense of peace, doesn’t serve you.  You can be happy knowing all of this.  You are enough!! <3

 

The inside out theory

Add to the concepts of clarity, the fact that your feelings (in this case happiness) are created by our thoughts, you can see that the only thing now preventing you from feeling happy, regardless of your present situation, is your thinking.  We don’t think our feelings, although I know it can seem that way, we feel our thoughts.  It follows then that if your thoughts around happiness are that you already have it within, you can begin to feel it.

Some may find this alien and I am certainly not minimising any person’s individual situation or circumstances.  I too have had deeply unhappy moments at various stages of my life.  I have suffered with bouts of depression that at the time, took me out of the game of life….almost!! And then I found clarity and I gained the understanding that I had the power, the ability, the knowing, to live in this very moment and be happy with it.

Unhappy relationships, sad events, they are fleeting, they don’t hold your power, you hold it.  Of course we miss those we love who are no longer with us, clarity doesn’t take that away.  Of course we worry about unpaid bills, clarity doesn’t pay them for us.  What clarity does in such situations is allow these feelings to pass.  It honours these feelings as being created by what we think and knows that we are human and being so means we are capable of being caught up in that thinking and feeling as though it is a tangible thing we can touch!!

Our emotions, they are powerful, but equally, we can tap into positive emotions by thinking our way there. I would love you to try this now, for now is all we have isn’t it? Now is the only time we have guaranteed and all that you are worrying about is usually in the future and the future has a way of self correcting by allowing clarity into your life 🙂

I am happy now!!! I want you to be happy too 🙂

 

Nicky x