Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to get happy: put in some real effort

Again I am reminded by life that happiness is a choice, and it takes real effort to reach a happy state. 

Over the winter, I was not very happy. I was tired, sick with bronchitis forever, lonely, in pain from my arthritis, sad because one of my cats died, and feeling out of control of my life.  This is perhaps the definition of not-happiness. 

Because I choose to be happy, this was not good enough for me.  So I took action. Action that I didn't particularly want to take.  Because it took effort, and I was TIRED.  Sometimes it just is like that.  I just wanted to read books, watch TV, and feel miserable.

Actually, I didn't want to feel miserable.  After a while, misery does need company.  So I started by talking to a couple of people about being unhappy.  Immediately, I felt better - even if I didn't have any answers to the cause of my unhappiness. By taking an action, putting in some effort - because it was a real effort to open my mouth and say things that made me feel vulnerable - I felt better.  I was on my own side.  I saw that I would take care of me, so I could start trusting me again.

I have plenty of people who love me, I just have to let them know what's going on.  And I then need to listen to what they say - suggestions, feedback, ideas.  Openmindedness is a key to my happiness, as well.  "I know that" is 3 words that shut out other people, close down communication, and halt the exchange of energy that is the very lifeblood of happiness.  So I listened, and said "thank you, I hadn't thought of that." 

One suggestion was to cut out gluten, and that would reduce inflammation which would reduce pain.  That completely worked.  OMG.  I couldn't believe I had resisted the suggestion for so long.  Again, on my own side. Choosing my own highest good. 

I decided to focus on all the wonderful things I can eat, so I would embrace my new diet.  If I thought about what I can't have, I'd feel deprive, angry, and more rebellious - therefore more likely to sabotage my health.

I also was told to get back on all my supplements.  I had stopped a few.  So I'm back on them, and feel better.  I don't necessarily feel physically better - maybe a little bit - but I do feel more on my own side.  I'm taking care of myself. And I got a chest x-ray, that showed no problems, so maybe it is allergies after all. I stopped worrying, which helps a lot!

The last thing I did was get 2 kittens.  I just trusted the universe to send kittens my way if it was the right thing for me and my old boy cat (who's 15 1/2).  And I was sent Pretzel and Cirra.  I haven't laughed so much in years.  They are hilarious, and exactly the right thing for me.

It all takes effort. Reaching out to people.  Looking at the bright side on purpose. Taking the actions to care for myself.  And opening myself up to new love and laughter.

So today I'm happy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shedding Pounds Again

I hate losing weight. I like shedding pounds. I like releasing unnecessary pounds. I like freeing my body from the burden of weight I no longer want or need. So I'm back on the HCG diet. It's my third round and this time is surprisingly serene. I am simply taking it a day at a time, taking the homeopathic drops, eating according to the plan, and trusting the process. I'm using the scale as a way to record change, rather than as a scorekeeper. The second time I did the HCG diet, it was REALLY hard. I struggled every day against urges to eat. I used that scale as a scoreboard. I was obsessed with getting below a specific number on the scale. I was determined to LOSE THIS WEIGHT. It was torture. I did reach my pound goal, yet immediately on ending the diet, went back to eating sugar and other caloric things. I gained back half the weight I had lost. I found it again! This time is different. I got completely off sugar a few months ago for other reasons than weight, so I don't have that temptation or detoxing to contend with. And I guess I just am going with the program day by day instead of being focused on the end result. Whatever I release, I release. I'm good with whatever I see on the scale at the end of the 23 days. I know that if I follow the program, I will shed pounds. So I trust the process. It's the journey, not the destination, that motivates me this time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trust Your Gut

She's out $1360 because she didn't trust her gut. Such a sad tale and an expensive lesson. At least I hope it's a lesson. E. sold a course to someone via Craig's List. She felt something was hinky because she hadn't gotten the money, yet he was insisting his assistant had overpaid for the course and he wanted E. to send him back $1360. Finally, she got the money orders and, being the honorable trusting person she is, sent him the $1360. Unfortunately, she learned that he paid with counterfeit money orders. So she's out $1360. The thing is she knew in her gut it was a scam. Yet she listened to her mind and its logic and insanity. "Well, I did get the money so he must be on the up and up after all." "I am a good person so he must be, too." She ignored her gut that said "SCAM!!" I hope this is her big lesson to listen to your gut regardless of what your mind is saying. If your gut is saying "NO" even if your mind is saying "GO," you can take the time to gather enough information so your gut is satisfied. This means giving yourself more time to think through things, get things checked out so YOU are comfortable. That's the only thing that matters -- that YOU are comfortable. Even if other people are trying to rush you, you don't have to react to that. You get to RESPOND, which means you are coming from your solid inner place of comfort. In fact, you don't have to have a reason to not do something, other than "I don't feel comfortable with this." Whenever I react, I make errors in judgement and execution. Even as simple a thing as rushing to get into my car to go somewhere - I spill the coffee or drop the book. This of course makes more work for me - wiping things up, picking it up from the garage floor. Not to mention if I spill in the car I could ruin something more permanently. If I take the time to secure these items, they don't spill and I don't make extra work for myself. Why am I rushing? Because I think other people are waiting for me, I'll be late, they'll be angry or disappointed, and I don't want to cause that or suffer from their reactions. Rushing may or may not get me there more quickly. I probably need to look at how much time I allot myself to travel, so I don't have to rush. It gets to root causes, instead of reactions to situations I may create myself. E. just got a huge, expensive, nasty lesson in taking her time to get comfortable, instead of reacting to this guy's hysteria and extreme pushiness. She KNEW it was a scam. If she'd listened to her gut, she'd have taken different actions, like waiting for his money orders to clear before sending anything out to him - regardless of his pushiness, which was a red flag for her. Learning to trust your gut is probably an important lesson for all of us - getting out of your head and into your gut. I learned to trust mine through simple things like following my gut feeling not to go a certain way. Even if my head said "that's the shortest way," I listened. The more I practiced it, the more comfortable I became with trusting my gut. I started to see that every time I ignored my gut feeling, something undesirable happened. So I extended the practice into other areas of my life. Gut feeling, intuition, whatever - we all have this capacity to get guidance from our bodies and inner selves. This guidance is essential to my happy life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More on Twitter

People often have visceral negative reactions against Twitter. They don’t get it and thus may condemn it. Tim Berry has a great blog post on the topic Twitter Pitter Patter Twop: Hating Twitter.

People ask me “why are you on Twitter?” I tell them that it’s like the office water cooler for stay/work-at-homes like me, that it helps me make people aware of my blog and drives traffic there so I can help more people, and that I get lots of great information about my field and the world. These reasons make sense to them. When they understand why I tweet, they stop being so judgmental about it. I explain that it’s a tool that I use as part of my business model.

While they still don’t understand why THEY might tweet, every single one asks me to help them get on Twitter. It takes about five minutes. I'll explain how in my next post.

I think context is incredibly important to Twitter. If you have a reason to tweet - to drive traffic, to publicize a project or book, to hire someone, to spread news, to market a product, to handle customer complaints, to raise your public profile - then you end up embracing it.

Twitter does take time. Is it a time waster? Only if we let it be…as with every single other business tool and task there is in this world of ours.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


People ask me "why are you on Twitter?"

My answers:

1) it is like the office water cooler for work/stay-at-home people like me so I don't feel so isolated

2) Twitter helps me drive traffic to my blog so I am able to help more people with their work issues.

3) I get great information to pass on to people looking for jobs, or guidance to become better leaders and workers.

4) My universe is larger because of the people with whom I interact, who tweet regularly, who post funny, odd, interesting, pertinent and personal information.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starting with Twitter

* Go to
* Click on "Get Started" field
* Follow directions: enter your full name, then your desired user name and password. Twitter will tell you if your user name is available and if your password is long enough, weak or OK.
* Enter your e-mail address
* Type in the words you see in the box. If you can't read them, just click to get two new ones until you can read them and enter them.
* Click on the box "Create my account"

You'll then be taken to a page where you can find if your e-mail contacts are on Twitter. If you want, you can skip this step. If you want to see if your pals are tweeting, you will sign in using your e-mail user name and password - not your Twitter user name and password. Enter your password and hit "enter."

If you skip that step, you'll reach a page titled "Look who else is here. Start following them!" You also can skip this step by clicking "skip this step" at the bottom of the page. If you instead hit "finish" you will have automatically followed everyone listed. The people listed are either celebrities, news organizations or tweeters with lots of followers.

The default is to "Select All" so if you want to select only some, you need to click on the "select all" button to unselect everyone and then scroll through to manually the people (or tweeps, twitter peeps) you want to follow. The reason to select at least some people to follow is to begin getting tweets on your Twitter page (also known as your Twitterstream).

If you don't select anyone to follow at this stage, you still have many opportunities to find people to follow. I'll describe the mechanisms later in this post.

Click "finish" when you are done. You will then be taken to your very own Twitter page.

There will be a default avatar (picture icon). Click on it to be taken to a page where you can add your own picture. After uploading and saving your preferred photograph, you will see that you can also look at "Settings" and change the color or design of your background.

Once you are on your home page, you can begin "tweeting." Tweets are the name given to your updates. Updates are 140 characters long. That includes spaces and punctuation.

On the Twitter home page is a large text box underneath the question "What are you doing?" On its upper right is the number "140" in gray. As you type your message, you will observe the number declining. As you approach the 140-character limit, the color of the number changes gradually to bright red until you reach "0" characters remaining. If you exceed the 140-character limit, you will see a negative red number. As you edit your tweet, the number will reflect the number of characters you have left.

Great tweets are any length. When I started, I used up all 140 characters. Now I try to keep my tweets at 120 characters or less.

The reason for tweets shorter than 140 characters is to allow my followers to "Retweet" or "RT" them. When someone retweets my tweet, they are passing it on to their network of followers. The retweet includes the characters RT, my user name preceded by the @ sign (as in @juliaerickson), a colon and a space. It looks like this: RT @juliaerickson: followed by the message. That takes up 19 characters right away.

If I want someone to get the full meaning of my tweet when they see it retweeted, I need to keep my tweet at 120 characters or less. Less is good because then the retweeter (RTer) can make a comment, such as "Yes!" or "ditto" or "I agree" or "fun" or whatever endorsement or additional thought they have.

Tweet topics range from the ridiculous to the sublime with the mundane and useful being most common. Because I want to drive traffic to my blog helping job seekers, I have a standard message that I tweet several times a day. It is "job search tools and guidance that really work at (" with no period at the end (why waste characters?). I also tweet about a charity that I support, at least once a day. It is "click 2 feed hungry + help child health, literacy, rainforest, animals, mammograms - no cost 2 u" also with no period at the end.

These two tweets tend to be retweeted often, I think because they provide some kind of value or good to the "twitterverse." Other things that are often retweeted: funny tweets, inspirational quotes, hot news items (e.g. lots of tweets and RTs today and yesterday about the Iran election), contests, and charity-related tweets.

Why is retweeting important? It's a way to expand your twitterverse, specifically to increase the number of followers you have. And why do you want more followers? To reach more people with your messages.

Retweeting is also a way to develop relationships. If you RT someone, they usually thank you for RTing them, because you are spreading their message and identity/brand to your network of followers. It's like doing someone a favor or them doing one for you. You start to develop a sense of people, who they are, whether they are generous or not, whether you want to interact with them more often.

“You Need 4 Things to Profit from Twitter”

You need followers.

No matter how compelling your Tweets, if nobody is following you, nobody will read them. To create a steady flow of visitors to your site and profits, you need thousands of followers.

You need readers.

Having followers only builds your ego, not your bank account. If you want to make a profit you need to have followers that are actually reading your tweets.

You need credibility.

If you want people to respond to your tweets and take the actions that put money in your pocket, you have to be someone those readers trust.

You need products.

Nobody makes a profit until someone buys something.;jsessionid=BMUEDS3SZECJ4QSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN Dissecting Twitter's Role In Tech, Society, Politics 140 Characters Conference in New York, led by entrepreneur and tech pioneer Jeff Pulver,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

9 Step Road Map: How to Find Your "Right Fit" Job