How to Maximize your Happiness with Intention?

AustinTango180Last weekend was quite the Tango experience. We hosted amazing teachers from Buenos Aires to teach a workshop. We taught our classes Friday night, then Milonga, then workshop Saturday afternoon, then Milonga, then workshop Sunday afternoon, then farewell diner.

My business partner and I were fried by Monday morning!

That being said, we had set a very clear intention for that demanding event: we wanted to bring the teaching of those two experts to our students and friends. So each time we ran out of steam a bit, we had in mind why we were doing what we were doing. We had set a solid intention.

What I invite you to do, with pretty much everything you’re doing, is to set an intention. From time spent with friends to career and hobbies. What are you trying to accomplish?

This is really important because we want to be happy. Happiness can be easily destroyed by resentment or lack of accountability.

intentBy setting our intention before hand, we are better able to manage our emotions, our time and our area of tolerance. We are better equipped to enjoy ourselves and easily set boundaries. We can protect ourselves from toxic elements or over stretching ourselves.

The idea of pre-set intention may seem overwhelming itself, however, like anything else, whatever we do gets easier the more we do it. It’s not like we’re planning every second of our life, we just get better at making faster decisions about what is truly in alignment with our authentic self. This is where joy and happiness reside and this is what I want for you 🙂

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself

Paola

 

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What’s tolerable to you?

I’m not going to hold back on that one and give it to you straight: You get what you tolerate.

If we tolerate our friends being late and wasting our time, they’ll keep doing it.

If we tolerate our coworkers taking us for granted, they’ll keep doing it.

If we keep being passed on for a promotion and say nothing, it will keep happening.

If we let our partner treat us unkindly, it will keep happening.

All of it can keep happening, or worst, escalate in intensity.

What I invite you to contemplate today is your area of tolerance. What are you comfortable and what are you not?

For example, my definition of ‘late’ is 15 minutes after agreed meeting time. I prefer a message mentioning the delay by meeting time. Anything over 15 minutes after agreed time is officially late. Anything before 15 minutes is a delay that can be easily due to traffic, missed turn, wardrobe malfunction, long line at the coffee shop, etc.

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That’s my area of tolerance when it comes to time and meetings. I put that system in place years ago, that’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s the level of productivity I want in my life, therefore, I collaborate with individuals that match my needs which is a source of great joy.

That’s the point after all, we want to feel happy and purposeful, it will happen with individuals we invite in our area of tolerance.

Another example dear to my heart is when someone projects their anger unto others in person, through text, email or phone call. I consider all emotions to be valid and we can experience all of them freely. I draw the line at projecting negative feelings without consideration for others. Taking it out on others is not ok in my book. Some things need not be shared, we can be pissed on our own time and process it at our leisure, that’s what adults do. Children have tantrums, adults manage and process. Which will you be?

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I therefore draw a very obvious line in communication and any misdirected negative emotion is addressed in a firm and kind way. I don’t want that in my life, period.

Not tolerating certain things in your life doesn’t mean we don’t accept others. It means we choose what we allow in our life, and what we don’t. We can accept that people get angry and not allow them in our experience. We can accept that individuals are at a different stage of growth but we don’t have to be close friends or collaborators.

Being intolerant of others’ differences is being scared of them. I’m not scared of angry individuals or people that run late more than I can take. I just don’t like it and I have a choice to keep it out of my life. We don’t have to like and understand everything and everybody, we do have the choice to accept our differences and surround ourselves with individuals that are a source of joy and comfort.

So, what will you tolerate today?

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself!

Paola

 

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What’s on your bucket list?

A bucket list is not something to wait on when we’re older. A bucket list is something we nurture through out our life to allow ourselves to dream big and expand in our life.

One of my top goals as a coach is to empower women to break free of self limiting beliefs. It’s so counter productive to think small, why not think big?

As Maya Angelou said: “Don’t you know you’re a child of God?”

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I believe we can have anything our heart desires if we believe we can. Believe you can’t and you won’t, it’s that simple.

So today I invite you make a list of dreams, of things you want to do, become or have. You can start with a list of 10, or go straight to 100, you read that right, 100.

The point of the bucket list is to keep us in touch with our true desires and true self. It will also train your brain to spot what you’re looking for. The more you think about something, the more likely you are to recognize it when you see it. Think chocolate cake and all of a sudden you see chocolate everywhere!

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I invite you to write down your list with pen and paper, the idea connects to your brain more powerfully that way.

I then invite you to transfer that list to a virtual format so you can keep it updated. Replace every item you accomplish with a new one. The point is not to get to all the items all the time rather than training your brain to always be searching and being alert.

I also encourage you to read that list as often as possible, daily if you’d like. The more you do it, the more those items will come into your life. It seems magic but, really, it’s science. You’re training your brain to recognize what you’re looking for and for ways to get there. That’s it.

Not sure? Just try it and let me know what happens. I know it works because I do it all the time. I’d love to hear from you though, do share your experience with me 🙂

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            Reach for the Greatest Version of yourself!

Paola

 

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Do scents have an impact on your thoughts and emotions?

I am excited to be guest blogging today for Paola, such an inspirational friend. We have collaborated over quite a few things and it is always fun to keep on collaborating. So thank you Paola for inviting me over to your blog.

One thing I am very passionate about is cooking and creating with natural things. and I know Paola is passionate about her essential oils. So today I am going to be mixing those two things together.

The beauty of essential oils is that you use such a small amount and the effect is stunning. Using them in recipes allows you to keep the consistency you want and still power pack the fragrance. We have been doing a YouTube series of recipes, so do check out each of our YouTube channels.

Below is that time we had so much fun making raspberry and lemon ice cream

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neonbrand-263851Does you home have a certain fragrance? if you were wearing a blindfold and you were taken into your home, or handed newly washed clothes- could you tell they are part of your house? I think we can. The home is a complex feeling – if you think about holidays, we are always excited about going on them, but there is a  special something to coming home. Essential oils play a big part in our house. They are used to calm down excited children, as flavors in food, fragrances in play dough, for the dogs, the cleaning. there are so many ways that they help all the family. and family is what it is about.

andrew-branch-106877We all have a family– they do not need to be the biological ones, but those we care for, interact with, turn to in times of need or share our jubilation with. Creating that bond is not just physical it is using all the senses. Food plays a big part in that as pretty much ever occasion has food at the center of it, birthdays, holidays, graduation, illness, funerals and weddings. So many memories being created when we gather – and then we eat, while we chat and catch up. That is what home and family is all about.

 

timothy-buck-309898Fragrance is also a huge memory stirrer – it might be the smell of air outside your home’s windows, or in the kitchen, your mums hair when she cuddled you or the dog while it snuggled in when you were ill in bed. Smell is a trigger point for many memories – good and bad, so surrounding yourself with positive fragrances, has a positive impact on your health, well being and mood. Taking control in  positive way to how your clothes, home, car etc smell will be a step towards a better balanced lifestyle.

I look forward to seeing you over on my blog as well –  where you can check out my recipes and ideas to engage the whole family in the kitchen.

Tamzin Cochrane

 

  Tamzin Cochrane

www.tamzincochrane.com

 

About Tamzin

Food activist and childhood nutrition advocate Tamzin Cochrane helps the busiest of people to cook up something healthy and delicious, even after a long day. She also helps companies and schools educate around—and create a culture and environment that truly supports—healthy eating.

Decades in the food service and hospitality industry have given Tamzin a well-rounded perspective on mealtime. She is passionate about bringing back the lost art of families and friends cooking together, and she loves seeing people enjoy the amazing tastes and textures of their communal effort.

She shares this message through virtual coaching and video courses, by speaking at corporations, schools, and events, and through her recently-released video courses, Kitchen Basics. Tamzin was born in England, grew up in Scotland, and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband (who incidentally, is Scottish but grew up in England) and their children.

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Are you grateful for the people in your life?

I have a new challenge for you, if you choose to take it on 🙂

How about raising our happiness level through a 21 day gratitude challenge for the people in our lives. It’s easy to forget, in the midst of to-do list, work and other obligations, how precious the people in our lives are.

We’re social animals after all. We need each other to survive and thrive. Showing appreciation is very important to creating connection and bonding.

When was the last time you felt unappreciated? Did you enjoy it? Did you wish to be around that person or group any longer or did you long for a different type on interaction?

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I believe that we give what we want. If we want appreciation, we need to give appreciation. Otherwise, everybody will be waiting forever for the other person to do it first. We’ll never get anything done like that, including connecting with each other. Somebody will have to start.

I invite you, for 21 days, each day, to write a paragraph for somebody in your life you’re grateful for. You can post it on Facebook, email the person or write a letter. You choose!

I help women get happier and more successful. 21 days is all that’s needed to develop a new habit or new outlook on life. I’ve done it, and it works!

Are you ready to change your life for the better? You can do it!

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself!

Paola

 

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Do your expectations spoil your experiences?

One of my main focus is to help individuals increase their level of happiness in life, while avoiding sources of disappointment, frustration or sadness.

I found that it is very important to have high standards. I encourage to set the bar as high as desired. I want people to reach for their dreams, not settle for less.

Having high standards and expecting everybody to reach them is not realistic though, that’s setting ourselves up for disappointment. I believe it is very productive to keep our standards high all the while having low expectations. By expecting less of life and others, we are more likely to be delightfully surprised by an outcome, satisfied, grateful and appreciative.

I also urge individuals not to lower our expectations so low that we put ourselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe position.

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A few months ago, I was relating to a friend of mine my frustration while booking a hotel stay out of town. I also shared that that particular chain was lower in the industry ladder and that there were only so much I could expect from that company. After all, it would be like expecting organic vegetables at a fast food chain restaurant. My friend agreed with me, to a certain extent. He said, and I’ll always remember this, he said: “Even at a fast food restaurant, they give you a cup when your order a drink.”

Touche!

That was the perfect example of me setting my expectations so low, because I wanted to experience joy and gratitude, that my basic needs for respect and comfort were not met.

This is a gray area that will be different for everybody. As I mentioned, I want people to feel fulfilled and happy. I also want them to stand in their power and speak their truth.

I invite you to proactively evaluate what your area of tolerance is for certain situations. It may be an interaction or a product you’ve been using for years. Does it still meet your needs? Does it still meet low, acceptable expectations, or does it need to be reevaluated.

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            Reach for the Greatest Version of yourself!

Paola

 

Do you want healthier relationships? Solutions are in my new book 🙂

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It’s not about the butter knife, Netflix or the toilet seat

What do the butter knife, Netflix and the toilet seat have in common? They’re the disguise of something much more profound that can destroy relationships.

The toilet seat, up or down, used to be the number one reason stated for a divorce. Some people would justify either which way a toilet seat is supposed to be, at the end though, it was a disconnect ending with a divorce.

The top reason for a divorce was soon replaced by Netflix when some couples shared a queue for DVD delivery and the queue would be rearranged without communicating with the other party. The choices for the upcoming movie could have been negotiated, again, a disconnect was created.

I’m in the business of human dynamics and connection so I pay close attention to things that may go unnoticed by others.

So what about the butter knife?

I was visiting a friend one evening and we had decided to stay in, cook dinner and catch up. My friend offered to play some music and asked me for my preference, I said blues, I love blues music!

As I began cooking, I soon heard yelling and a raging crowd coming from the speaker, not blues music. My friend was watching a political rally and the crowd was mad. The noise bothered me but I said nothing wanting to brush it off, and telling myself the music would be on shortly. But the music didn’t come, the yelling got louder and I lost patience. The noise was feeling like an aggression to me and I snapped at my friend harshly asking for it to stop. My words were along the lines of: “not now, I’m sorry!!” And I’m pretty sure it was accompanied with hand movement and cooking utensils.

My friend obliged and soon after turned on the blues music which lowered my blood pressure.

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We sat at the table and as a good French girl, I put the butter on a small plate, with a butter knife. We started eating, my friend used his knife already covered with food and dug into the butter. I made a sarcastic joke: “Would you like another butter knife?” which didn’t go over well. My friend got mad at me, I was blindsided and the atmosphere in the room got really heavy.

We could argue the relevance of the use of the butter knife, how dirty my friend’s knife was/wasn’t or how relevant it is to be French while leaving in the U.S. We could do that, and then what? It wasn’t about the butter knife.

By the time we sat for dinner, my friend was still triggered by my reaction about the political rally. He needed to feel seen and heard about the political climate at the time. Instead of checking in with him I reacted in an emotional manner and created a disconnect. My friend didn’t sense he had a safe space to express himself so he bottled his emotion up, the same way I had done earlier. That’s a very counterproductive thing to do.

My friend and I talked it out, figured it out and developed a system to be aware of ourselves and each other’s trigger. It’s all about awareness and being there for others. It’s not about the toilet seat, or Netflix, or the butter knife after all.

I invite you to develop that awareness of emotions, triggers and our reactions. They can show up in counterproductive ways and create disconnects. Connecting is a lot more fun!

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                  Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself

Paola

 

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