Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Visit My New Home!

I'm moving on up..... please come visit me at my new website, full of new features, and YES, you can still read ALL of my almost 900 blog posts! The greatest feature is that all the blog posts are now categorized, so you can read from the category that interests you! Posts on topics like parenting, anxiety, love, relationships, stress, happiness, personal development and more will keep you INSPIRED for a long time! More posts are being added all the time so check back often! Now.... please go straight to my new site and let the FUN begin! www.liveinspirednow.com

Please let me know what you think! Comment on the new site! Thank you for your love and support!

Heather Paris
Inspired Life Coach | Youth Speaker | Author

Friday, March 7, 2014

What have you given up on?

Hey Everyone! Look at me... I'm "vlogging!" Thad and I are working on a whole new updated website which will include videos as well. We hope to launch the site within the next two weeks! My son Harry is going to produce my videos and make them look all fancy and professional, but I did today's video myself using my computer. I hope you enjoy it, and disregard the shine on my face from my sunny office window! lol.

Enjoy, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Love my posts, videos, inspirations, and mom's musings? Then you will LOVE my book! Buy an autographed copy today!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Freaked Out By Indecision?

Indecision does not have to cause anxiety. Take a step back, take a deep breath, give yourself a moment, and then make a decision. I watch people become frantic all the time... in line at the grocery store or at the coffee counter, or even when trying to decide which way to go while driving. People just start to freak out a little because they don't know what they want, and you can see the anxiety start to rush over them. They might get red, start breathing more shallow, self deprecate, and then they might even take out their anxiety on whomever is close by. I have seen parents yell at their kids, or angrily grab their kids because they are starting to feel overwhelmed by the decision making process.

It's true that other people may get irritated that they have to wait behind you, but that doesn't mean you have to let their impatience or rudeness influence you. If you are in a line and get completely overwhelmed you have a couple of options.

1 Step out of line, gather yourself, make your decision, then get back in line. NO, nobody is looking at you and thinking you're weird. NO, nobody is judging you because you couldn't make a decision. NO, you don't have to leave the store and never come back. The truth is, nobody cares.... they are all too busy thinking about themselves to notice that you stepped out of the line and are taking a break by the condiment counter.

2 Stay in the line, take a deep breath, give yourself a moment, then make your decision. It is OK, to take a moment to decide something. While it might be true that you have someone rude in line behind you who might roll their eyes, or huff loudly, you can choose to ignore them, and be in control of YOU! Chances are, most people are probably just waiting patiently and really not noticing you at all.

Today, don't let the anxiety of indecision effect your day. Have self compassion and allow yourself to relax. Let other people worry about their own impatience, it's not your problem. Be patient and kind to yourself and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Social anxiety can feel overwhelming but it doesn't have to be. Contact me today for some solutions! Also, check out my book, Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness! Don't wait for happiness... create it!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Raise Kids That Like Each Other!

You might have participated in team building exercises at work, but what about doing some team building at home? This weekend I had my kids do a fun project together and they loved it! I told the kids that they just inherited an island and they were the new government. Here are the tasks they had to complete:

1 Name the island
2 Design a license plate
3 Design a flag
4 Choose a national bird, and flower
5 Write a national anthem
6 Appoint one another to government offices
7 Create laws

The rules were these:

1 You must ALL participate, and no one may be excluded.

The kids had a great time coming up with jobs and tasks, and they really loved the creativity aspect. They all participated without "taking over" for one another, and allowed input from all members.

Ethan wrote and sang the national anthem. Carrie drew and colored a license plate, Mattie and Harry took senior roles and helped to manage the tasks. They all created the laws together, and even drew a schematic of the island and plan to create a 3 dimensional model. It was a lot of fun and Thad and I enjoyed watching them all work together. We were quite surprised that they created very traditional type laws, as we were expecting "Ice cream for dinner" laws, or perhaps "A pony for every household."

If you are struggling with children that don't get along with one another, this might be one exercise that can help create bonds. Encouraging group activity and team building can have a big impact on siblings. Just remember to never use "time together" as a punishment. For example, never make one child play with another as punishment, it shows the child that their sibling is nothing more than a consequence of bad behavior and is sure to make them resentful of one another. Try some fun team/sibling/family building activities and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Raising kids that get along is not hard to do. Please consider buying my book for more information on how to raise kids that like each other and how to create family harmony! Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness is available here on this page on the right side! TY!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Be My Wife, Not My Mother!

This is a topic that I find myself discussing a great deal with clients, especially females. It is important to keep the roles as adult partners with one another in a relationship, rather than falling into a parent/child scenario with your spouse.

Many years ago I learned that there are 3 people who could be present in any romantic relationship, and that understanding these roles was the best way to create change so that people could start to have more meaningful and loving relationships with one another. Here are the 3 roles and their functions:

PARENT: the person who assumes the role of taking care of the other spouse, helping them, doing things for them, and treating their spouse like a child. The parent enjoys the control but often becomes resentful of having to do everything and wishes for a more proactive partner. They may see their spouse as incapable, inept, or unmotivated. And yet, they wish they were more able to let go of things themselves. The parent often feels resentful, or of elevated importance, and most often "plays the martyr".

CHILD: the person who takes on the role of being incapable of doing things, expecting the spouse to look out for them, and refusing to take responsibility for their own actions or behaviors. They want their needs met with little concern for meeting the needs of their spouse. They may see the spouse as controlling, over bearing, or smarter and better able to take care of the family. The child often feels attacked, or entitled, and most often "plays the victim".

ADULT: the person in the relationship who sees all parties as valuable and works with the partner to make the family function well. They are strong and confident about what they know, yet are not afraid to admit when they need help or don't know something. They like to work with their partner to meet each others needs, as well as the needs of the kids or family. They communicate effectively, without blame or shame, and they listen well to their partners. They admit faults or indiscretions, and work to make amends. They prioritize the family, and are accountable for their actions.

An adult partner is not typically successful in a relationship with someone playing the role of child or parent because it goes against the adults values to "enable the victim mentality of the child partner" or to succumb to the "martyrdom of a parent partner."

Knowing is half the battle. No man wants to be married to his mother and spend his life with someone telling him what to do, what to eat, and how to think. At the same time, no woman wants to be married to her child and spend her life wishing he would help around the house, make a decision, or take responsibility for his actions. It's exhausting living in a relationship that is out of alignment like that. If you are having challenges in your relationship, discuss these roles with your partner and see how you both might take steps to becoming "adult partners" and Live Inspired Now!

PS: I am happy to assist! Contact me today to turn your relationship around! heather@liveinspirednow.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Slavery still exists in America, more than you know....

I read this quote today: "To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him." by Shunryu Suzukiand, and it got me thinking about freedom, and how we allow ourselves to become enslaved by mediocrity but we are tricked into thinking we are free.

If you give people just enough to think they are free, you will control them! Don't fall into the trap! Don't be a slave to mediocrity. Having 100 television channels and eating out at Applebees is not the "good life!" Buying expensive gadgets that you can't afford is not the good life. Letting someone else pay you a meager stipend so you don't have to work is not the good life. Distracting yourself with tabloid drama and gossip is not the good life.

The good life begins when you can feel good about yourself and your choices, and you take responsibility for both! The good life is when you don't let the media trick you into buying things that you don't need. It's when you eat real, quality food, not mass produced garbage from a brightly colored, cookie cutter franchise. It's when you get a job or start a business that you love, and you get paid for doing what you are passionate about. It's when you are so involved in your own exciting life that you don't have time to care about what fake Hollywood celebrities are naming their babies. It's when your book collection is bigger than your television. It's when you have a passion-filled, loving, relationship with someone you love and adore.

The government, the media, politicians, companies, and the like want to keep you fat, dumb, and mediocre. They profit if you buy their goods, vote for them, or stay imprisoned in the welfare system. Break free for real! Educate yourself, stop watching television, go outside, take a trip, discover someplace new, eat healthy foods, get a new job, start a business, write a book, volunteer, avoid the news, laugh, go on an adventure, be playful, try something new, improve your relationship, spend time with your family, and don't settle for mediocrity! Take control of your own life!

Get out from under the thumb of the internet, the television, politicians, or anything else that trys to convince you what to buy, who to vote for, or what you should look like. Did you know that women in particular spend $426 billion dollars per year just on beauty products? We could eradicate hunger and poverty if women would stop letting the media convince them to look younger, thinner, and more beautiful. Don't buy the lie. You already possess everything you need to live an inspired, fun filled, loving, and happy life!

Today, invest in YOU! Invest your time in a good book or a long walk, or some quality time with the people you love. Stop being a slave to everyone else that wants to control you, your money, or your emotions, and Live Inspired and Free Now!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Other people doen't have to make you feel good........

It is not the responsibility of other people to make you feel important. Let other people off the hook and feel good about yourself!

The world is not out to get you, but it is also not out to raise you up. That is solely your responsibility. Too many people are lacking in self esteem and look for external validation to make them feel good, and this is simply not realistic or healthy. In life, we must be our own best advocates, and learn to empower ourselves. It is nice to have support and encouragement, but depending upon the praise of others to keep moving forward, or to feel good about ourselves will always leave us feeling inadequate.

Learn to really love yourself. You can do this be learning and growing through personal development or even by hiring a coach who can help you change your belief system about who you are. Take control of your thoughts too. So much of our own struggle is because of dis-empowering thoughts that are focused on past hurts, or failures. Stay focused on the present moment and don't let the past interfere with your future.

Start to trust yourself because you are still here! We have all had challenges and up to now, you have gotten through them all. Allow that experience to prove to yourself that you can, and have, handled things! Maybe not the way you have wanted to, but that is OK too because it means you have learned.

You are equipt with all you need to create the life you love. Decide to be happy and find the positive in each situation. Disappointment is part of life, but it doesn't mean that life isn't good. Just as there are disappointments, there are also magic moments, excitement, and love to be shared. Focus on what you are grateful for and put disappointments behind you as fast as possible.

Take responsibility for your own self image, and self esteem, set a higher standard for your life, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Need help with confidence, self esteem, or raising kids with these qualities? Please contact me now and start living a fuller, bolder, more inspired life! Also, check out my book: Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness available right here on my site! Thank you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Challenge, learn, grow....

Challenges create growth, and opportunity, they allow us to discover things about ourselves, and make us stronger. If you always accept the status quo, you never get the chance to learn more, take risks, try new things, and grow as an individual.

Push yourself a little, or even a lot, challenge yourself to go beyond what you know you can do, and Live Inspired Now!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's EVERYday!

Roses are red, violets are blue, remember the love you gave today, and do it tomorrow too!

If you treat your partner like every day is Valentine's Day, you won't ever have to worry about drifting apart. That doesn't mean you have to give flowers and candy each day; rather, give gifts of your heart. Share your thoughts, feelings, time, love, and show that you care each and every day!

Have a beautiful Valentines Day... today and every day, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Do you LOVE my posts? Then you will LOVE my book, Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness! Buy an autographed copy right here on my site! Thank you!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Have you noticed......

Have you taken any time today to notice something beautiful? A view out your window, or perhaps a gaze in the mirror? Beauty is everywhere.... but sometimes, we are so busy that we fail to see it. Take a moment to notice how when the sun hits the snow, it sparkles like glitter. Or how your eyes seem to pop when you look in the rear view mirror of the car. Or take note of the fabric on your favorite chair, the colors, contrast, and texture. Beauty is everywhere...... be willing to see it and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Regret or Rejoice... it's your choice!

You can look back and regret, or you can rejoice. I choose to rejoice, for all the choices, good and bad because they landed me exactly where I am now! I am so grateful for my past failures because they taught me what I needed to learn. I am grateful to use my past as a guide for making better decisions now and in the future!

You never have to live with regret if you choose to look at your past with gratitude. Today's happiness does NOT depend on yesterday's successes. Live and learn, choose to be happy each day, and Live Inspired Now!

Friday, February 7, 2014

This ONE tool can transform your family!

Guess what I realized yesterday? Most people have no clue what they want or what goal they are working towards. I find that this is especially true for families. Most families do not have a family "mission statement," which can lead to conflict when the time comes to make big family decisions.

Here is an example of my personal family mission statement:

"The mission of our family is to create a nurturing place of ORDER, TRUTH, LOVE, HAPPINESS, and RELAXATION, and to provide opportunities, and support for EACH CHILD to become responsible, independent, caring, generous, compassionate adults. To LOVE one another and to HELP and BELIEVE in each other and to use our resources wisely to BLESS others. The needs of the collective family are always first above the individual, but individual needs are important and will be addressed."

Thad and I created this mission for our family years ago when we first got married. We wanted the kids to understand what we, as a newly formed family, were all about. It wasn't just "Thad and Heather are getting married and let's just see how it all goes." Instead, it was about joining our families, and raising responsible and happy kids that will confidently go into the world and thrive. The kids will determine their own goals and purposes, but we will ensure that they have the best possible tools for success. We do this by teaching them self esteem, confidence, independence, responsibility, and self advocacy.

We are far from perfect, but it helps everyone in the family to understand what we are all working towards. The kids know that it is our goal to help them become independent, and our greatest wish for them is happiness. Today, try creating a mission statement for your family. Create a statement that really speaks to the specific needs and goals of your family, get everyone involved, display your mission statement prominently, and Live Inspired Now!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Are you using the internet as a crutch?

The internet is quite possibly the coolest thing to ever happen. Unfortunately, it often can be misused; the internet becomes a "crutch!" I have noticed a trend with people who are spending most of their time online... they think it's the "real world!" Recently I heard someone mention that they had spent the "entire day job hunting," when in actuality they had spent the entire day web surfing..... it's not the same!

The web really is an amazing place full of awesome stuff but it will never fully take the place of building rapport with people in real life. Yesterday, I spent the day out networking with local businesses. I did initially send emails and set up appointments, but after the initial contact, I got off the couch, got dressed, left the house, and met the real people.

Because I went out instead of working online, I got a full tour of my local public theater, recruited new members for my toastmasters group, booked myself another speaking engagement at my local book store, got a potential new client, and even made a new friend! All of this occurred because I chose to go and speak to people in person as opposed to going back and forth through email.

Don't allow technology to rob you of interactions. Almost every job I ever had before I was self employed was because I had the confidence to go out and make connections with people. Those connections turned into opportunities that were built on the relationships I created with people in my community. Emails get lost, overlooked, and ignored. So instead of having a virtual conversation, pick up the phone, make appointments to meet people, walk around your local community, get to know store owners or community leaders, and put yourself out there! Especially if you are looking for a job, or if you are self employed and looking for new clients.

Your business will only be as successful as you are willing to put yourself out there. Nothing takes the place of the relationships you create. If you have children, teach them these qualities too! I see too many kids today that do not know how to make a phone call, how to introduce themselves, and how to self advocate. These skills are far more important than academics! They could be the smartest person in the room but if they can't clearly convey who they are, or what they can do, they will be lost.

So today, consider getting out from behind the screen and make some real connections. Don't let the internet be your crutch! In today's world with people so addicted to the computer, the person who goes out of their way to connect in person stands out as someone with real initiative! Let that person be you and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Need help with confidence, self esteem, or raising kids with these qualities? Please contact me now and start living a fuller, bolder, more inspired life! Check out my book too! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

1 FUN and easy way to make your day AWESOME!

This is a picture of the dry erase board in my kitchen. Each day I write something inspirational or motivational for the kids to start their day with. The kids love it, but it also gives me an opportunity to come up with something really positive too. It really creates a nice positive way to start my day and it sets a nice tone for the rest of the family as well. It's hard to feel down in the dumps, or gloomy when you start your day looking for something positive to share with the people you love!

So consider mounting a dry erase board in your kitchen and start your days off in a positive way! Incidentally, today's message about boredom is absolutely true! And with a dry erase board, if your kids get "bored," then allow them to go find inspirational quotes for you to post in the future! My favorite website for quotes is: www.quotegarden.com. I like to write my own quotes like today's about boredom, but if I am in a hurry, Quote Garden is an awesome resource!

Start your day off on a positive note, see how it changes your morning moods and Live Inspired Now!  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Use this easy tip to turn your relationships around!

Have you ever felt really angry, frustrated, or irritated and then you ended up lashing out at people because of it? There is a way to have those feelings without causing so much damage and it is really simple. Learn to explain your non-positive feelings instead of expressing them!

Explaining how you feel (in a calm tone) rather than expressing yourself (using elevated tones and body language) makes it more likely that other people will listen and actually hear what you say. How many times have you said something in anger and the other person heard it in a way that was much worse than you intended? Your voice tone and body language are far more influential than the actual words you are saying.

You might yell "I am so irritated by you, why don't you ever put the lid back on the toothpaste when you're done?" But what the other person hears is "I hate you, you never do anything right!" It sounds crazy now as you read it, but this is so common! I hear from couples all the time about this. They hear the intention in the voice tone rather than the actual words and it causes bigger problems.

If you choose to explain your non-positive feelings, in a more calm manner, you can get your point across with a better chance of avoiding miscommunications. Try talking about your feelings instead of yelling, screaming, or judging and see how your communication changes! Feel free to express joy, elation, curiosity, and other happy emotions but explain the rest! See how your life, your relationships, and your stress levels change with this easy tip and Live Inspired Now!

Buy "Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness" today and get practical inspiration for your happy life!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Got a big decision to make?

Next time you have a big decision to make, ask yourself something: Will this bring temporary pleasure or long lasting joy?

Sometimes, temporary pleasure is OK. But, often we make large, life changing decisions based on the pleasure we receive in a moment. The comfort or pleasure of having an intimate encounter, or hitting the gas to blow past your friend on the highway, or even the insult you offered that "taught them a lesson." They may seem insignificant in the moment, but can have a much larger impact after the initial pleasure has worn off.

Think about the decisions you make, opt for the choices that offer long lasting joy. Please have some fun and do things that are pleasurable in the moment, but make sure they don't come at the expense of your long term dreams or desires. The restraint you show now may yield much greater success and joy in your future!

Consider temporary pleasure vs long lasting joy in your decision making and Live Inspired Now!

Buy "Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness" today and get practical inspiration for your happy life!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

4 Vital Steps To Save Your Relationship During Rocky Times!!!

Storms are a natural and normal part of life no matter what climate you live in! The same is true in relationships.... storms are part of life. You can survive the storm if you are properly prepared. Just like making sure you have water, food, and other necessities during a weather storm, you need to know what to do for relationship storms too.

Follow these 4 vital steps to weather your relationship storms:

Awareness: Talk to one another about situations that may cause stress. You may not even realize when you are getting stressed out, so spend some time thinking about it. Maybe the morning rush is the catalyst that causes so many arguments? Or perhaps disagreements about parenting and what type of consequences the children should get? Become fully aware of where and when the storm begins to brew so you can address it.

Action Plan: During stress free times, create an action plan to follow during the storm. Come to an agreement on who has the final say in different scenarios should you come to a stale mate. Perhaps "you" have the final say on parenting consequences, but "I" have the final say on financial decisions. That is not to say that you both don't have valuable input, it's just a plan in case you can't agree. And you will eventually find a situation where you simply cannot agree on what should be done, but you can still agree on a plan that you both created for these types of situations.

Stay The Course: Don't give up on your plan, you created it for a reason and it will work if you stick to it. After the storm, you can re-visit your action plans and tweak them as needed but during the storm stay on track. Hold on to one another when the boat is rocking especially when the storm is rough! A united crew will save the ship.

Thank Your Crew: You are both "co-captains" of the ship, appreciate and thank one another. Gratitude is the antidote for anger! Celebrate the storm passing by spending time together, loving one another, and deeply appreciating that your relationship is strong enough to weather the storm!

Follow these simply steps to create a relationship that is stronger than any storm and Live Inspired Now!

Buy "Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness" today and get practical inspiration for your happy life!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Ways To Cope With The Anxiety Of Others

It can be challenging when someone you love has anxiety. You might not know what to do, or how to react during their anxiety or panic attack. Everyone is different but here are a few tips to help you cope when someone you care about is dealing with anxiety. 

1 Be compassionate: Make an effort to understand where the anxiety is coming from. First of all, know that is not about you, but rather, how they are feeling about a situation. For example, they may have parenting anxiety and get upset when they don't know what to do about a child that won't stop crying. Understand that they might be concerned for the child's safety, it may be rational or irrational, but to them it is very real.  Because they can't stop the child's crying, they feel overwhelmed and out of control. Trying to understand where the anxiety stems from and realizing it is not about you will help you feel more compassionate toward the person suffering.

2 Resist the urge to engage: Make an effort to avoid getting sucked in. No matter how much someone is stressing out, you have the choice to remain calm. Imagine if the EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) workers arrived at a car accident and they all started screaming and freaking out; nobody would ever be rescued. Picture yourself as an EMT worker, and you are there to help and remain calm during the crisis. You might not be able to "help" but by remaining calm, you can  prevent the situation from becoming worse.

3 Take a deep breath: Simple, I know, but most people forget this in the moment. Find peace in taking nice deep breaths, it will help to keep you grounded and focused.Make sure to breathe deeply enough to make you consciously acknowledge your diaphragm moving.

4 Validate their feelings and offer to help if you can: Say something like "I see that you are upset, how can I help?" or "I see you are struggling, would you like to talk about it?" They may not want your help (and that is OK), but at least you are making an effort to understand and help.

5 Walk away if you need to: If you find that you are unable to avoid reacting, or over-reacting, then simply walk away. Explain later that you had to get away, but it's better to walk away than to pour gasoline on the fire. Create healthy boundaries, even with people who are very close.

6 Communicate: Give everyone enough time to cool down, then talk about the situation. Talk about how the situation might have been handled differently, and express how you were feeling. You can even talk about creating an action plan for future anxiety attacks. Your loved one might appreciate you just taking a step back and not doing anything when they are anxious. Or they might have a specific phrase that you can say that will let them know you are there for them. Communicate honestly and openly with one another and you will get through anything!

7 Lay your weapons down: Pointing out your loved ones weaknesses will not help them. It can be scary and frustrating when your loved one is having an anxiety or panic attack. However, yelling at them, or judging them will never help them get better. If you want to express your love for them, create a safe place for them to be honest and open with you about what is going on. Encourage them to seek professional help. Offer to be supportive and continue to encourage while they are learning to overcome anxiety. Anxiety is not something you can just "stop doing" or "just focus on something else." It takes professional help to overcome so encourage your loved one to reach out for help. Note: many people are far more receptive to seeking help from a "life coach" rather than from a "therapist".

Most of all, do your best. We are not perfect, nor will we always react perfectly when someone we love is in crisis. Don't beat yourself up about it. Do your best, ask for help if you need it, learn as much as you can, be supportive and kind without compromising yourself, and Live Inspired Now!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What does YOUR relationship say about YOU?

If you have read my book, you know how many times I have been married. Yet, I still very much believe in the sanctity of marriage. With that said, I ALSO believe in marriage education! There is currently no school curriculum that teaches children how to enter into and maintain healthy relationships. If these relationships are not modeled for them at home, how will they learn?

With today's divorce rate being so high, and single parent households being so common, kids are rarely subjected to healthy and happy marriages or partnerships. I don't define marriage, I only encourage it to be healthy. Your family definition is your business, but teaching you to be healthy and happy is mine!

Not all marriages are meant to last, and how could they be? Too many people get so caught up in the excitement of the wedding, the drama, the attention, the fun that they forget the excitement will eventually come to an end. Once that happens, if they don't know how to communicate with their partner, the relationship will suffer. When the music stops, we need to know how to appreciate the silence. Love ebbs and flows, and we need to teach our young people how to weather the storm. Not only that, but we need to teach young people HOW to choose the right person for them. Young people NEED to know: the difference between love and infatuation, how to put one another first above all else, and to be completely vulnerable and honest with one another. Until we teach young people relationship skills, we will continue to have people getting divorced in record numbers.

During one of my recent speaking engagements, a woman, in her 50's, approached me after my talk. She stated that she was unhappily married to her second husband, and that she often took comfort in the fact that he was 20 years older than her, which meant that he may "die much sooner than me." She then went on to say "Oh, I know that is awful, but I often think about it." Here is what I said to her in response: "It isn't awful to say that, it's human. But do you want to be the type of human that wishes death for your spouse just so you don't have to take action? You have the opportunity every day to make changes!" I also mentioned that she wasn't really doing him any great favors by staying with him and that he might be happier to be alone than to be with a wife who dreams of his death.

This is not uncommon folks. I hear these types of things ALL THE TIME! What I don't hear a lot of though, is people taking personal responsibility for their own lives, choices, behaviors, and relationships. How much are you really doing to make your relationship work? Have you really considered your potential spouse in the long term? Have you read any books or taken any workshops about healthy relationships? Have you learned how to communicate effectively? And most of all, what steps are you taking to ensure your kids learn these skills?

Learn how to choose the right partner. Learn how to communicate in a manner that gets your point across without hurting your significant other. Learn some simple tools that will teach you how to have a successful relationship. Then, model that behavior for your children. Learn how to create lasting love, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Please reach out to me today if you need help with your current relationship, or if you would like me to teach you how to pick a better partner going forward. I can give you the tools to make your relationships happy and healthy with the best possible chance of success! I look forward to helping you find true, lasting love! I can also teach you how to teach your children to have healthy relationships despite your current circumstances!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Did you un-learn happiness too?

Today I am off to Syracuse to teach two workshops titled "6 Easy Steps To Happiness" followed by book signings. I am pretty excited and have been preparing for a couple of days. During my preparations, I have been thinking about "teaching happiness" and the fact that there is a growing need for such a thing. People (and I was one of them) need to learn how to be happy again.

We are born fully equipped to be happy forever but through the process of growing and learning, we "UN-learn" how to be happy and joyful like a child. Growth is natural but growing cynical is not. That is something done to us by parents, teachers, media, friends, experience, and all other influences. So much so that we end up having to relearn how to be happy. Happiness is a choice. A choice that too many of us trade for security or comfort.

If you are unhappy, or not feeling fulfilled in life, find your bliss again! Please, read my book, read my blog, read any transformational material you can find and get your life back! Your time on earth is uncertain; Make the most of what you have and appreciate it while you have it. Reach out to those you love, do things that bring you great joy, try new things, and take some risks. Don't settle for mediocrity: live, love, play, sing, smile, laugh, skip, dance, call, speak up, kiss, hug, run, taste, listen, and take every opportunity to truly enjoy life! Then teach your kids to do the same so later in life, they won't have to take a class to remember how to choose happiness!

“People often sit for hours, even days, contemplating the meaning of life. I think it’s pretty simple; life is about being happy and being happy is about living inspired, loving fully, and being true to who you are. Choose happiness and Live Inspired Now!” -Heather Paris

Monday, January 13, 2014

Do you make it safe for your partner to be honest with you?

Have you made it safe enough for your lover to be completely and totally honest with you? If you have read my book, you know that I believe honesty is a keystone in relationships. There is never an excuse for a partner to lie, or be dishonest, period. However, you also must ensure you are making it safe for your partner to be that open.

I often hear that one spouse doesn't feel they can be honest because of the storm that will ensue if they are. It's as if they are partnered with their parent, or their boss, as opposed to a mate, lover, partner, or spouse. I hear that they will lie just because it is "easier" than telling the truth. It is "easier" than being yelled at, ridiculed, belittled, or abused. THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP FOLKS!

Be your partners BIGGEST fan! Let them know that they are safe to express whatever they are thinking, feeling, or needing. Create a relationship that offers complete honesty, love, non-judgement, and support for one another and you will create a relationship that cannot be broken. The bond of honesty, trust, and true friendship can withstand any type of chaos!

Make sure your partner knows that it is safe to say things like: "I really don't want to be around your parents, can we come up with an alternative?" or "I was really mad when you texted me about XYZ. Let's talk about it because I don't want to start resenting you." or "I am feeling disconnected with you and I would like to do something together to get back on track." or even "So and so flirted with me at work, I ignored it and walked away but wanted you to know so it didn't seem like I was keeping something from you." If your partner can express these types of things to you, without feeling afraid of what you will do, you will have a very strong and honest relationship!

An exceptional relationship enjoys honest communication, deep connection, and true acceptance of one another. Today, be sure your partner knows it is safe to be honest. If they don't, start creating healthier habits in your relationship and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Want more advice on how to be happy, and have an awesome relationship? Buy my book 'Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness' today! Or contact me today for coaching and make all of your relationships awesome!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Exceptional things happen when you face a challenge!

Yesterday I decided to enjoy my favorite drink, a chai latte, at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I knew that my book was there in the store and I thought it might be fun to get a picture of myself with the book while I was there. I wanted to ask an employee to take the picture for me but I couldn't find one so I bravely asked a stranger. Yes, believe it or not, I am actually a little shy! Ask me to get up on stage in front of a crowded room; sure no problem! Ask me to approach a stranger in the bookstore and ask him to take my picture; totally out of my comfort zone!

I politely approached two men who were near my book and asked if they would kindly take my picture. The man in this picture, Daniel, was more than happy to take the picture for me. We talked about the book, he showed me a picture of his beautiful daughter, and then he purchased my book.... the last one on the shelf! He asked me to autograph it for him which I did, and I left the store feeling really awesome! I felt like a celebrity and it felt great! I was also thrilled that the store had sold out of my book! Later that day, a friend of mine went to the same store and she said they had put out more copies!

People often think I am so outgoing, and not afraid of anything. That is completely inaccurate. I am often very shy; I am an introvert and I am afraid of many things. I just spend a great deal of time OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. I never let fear prevent me from doing something and I practice being more extroverted. I know that the most exceptional things happen when I am challenged, so I don't run from things. I just figure out how to make them work and I keep trying until it works. My book, my marriage, my kids, my work, and my life are all reflections of this attitude! Step outside of your comfort zone and create some exceptional things in your life and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recognize good customer service!

Last week I was at my local grocery store searching for soft tofu for a new recipe. Thad and I searched everywhere but could only find firm tofu. I found a young lady working in that department and asked her where I might find more tofu. She said she didn't know and walked away. That was it. No trying to help find it, no asking another employee. Nothing. So Thad and I continued to search on our own.

I met another store employee in a different department. "Excuse me sir, there is no soft tofu in the organic department, do you know where else it might be?" I asked. Well the response from this young man was much different! "Oh, hang on, let me go check!" and he ran around to a few different spots looking for my tofu. He returned quickly to state he couldn't find it, but was now going to check in back and ask a manager, so I waited. When "Johnny" returned, he apologized because he still couldn't find any but told me of 2 other stores in the area where I might find it. Now that was customer service!

I thanked him and marched straight up to the customer service desk. I asked the girl behind the counter for a customer comment card but like the soft tofu, they were out of those as well. I asked to leave feedback and she kindly wrote it down. I told her about how Johnny in the dairy department had gone out of his way to look for soft tofu and although the store was out, he was extremely helpful and made me feel taken care of. I never mentioned the first girl who did nothing.

In today's times, we barely get customer service so it's vital that we appreciate it when it happens! Most stores have turned to computers... Thad and I even ate at a restaurant in which you ordered and paid for everything on an iPad and the server only delivered it to your table. I am sure if they could get conveyor belts, the server would have been gone too! lol. Anyway... take time to recognize great service! A positive comment card could mean a great deal to the employee, maybe a raise, a promotion, and praise from the boss! So please make time to pay a service person a compliment, and Live Inspired Now!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Today... I need YOUR help!

This was a few years ago, my friend Carrie and I at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. And although it appears we might be at a rock concert, we were actually there to see the Dalai Lama! Carrie and I had so much fun! We piled into the stadium with everyone else, it was cold, we were tired, and we could barely hear from where we were sitting high up in the stadium, but we had a great time! Carrie and I have been friends since the mid 80's, we met in 9th grade in Romulus, NY and we remained friends throughout the years. We did have some arguments and stop talking here and there, but we always seemed to come back together, and it is always like no time has passed when we talk.

My friend Carrie is now facing the biggest challenge of her life. I will let you read the story in her own words on her site, but basically she is trying to heal herself from cancer. She has decided to take the holistic approach and I want to support her efforts. Holistic care is not covered by insurance so it all comes out of pocket and I would like to ask for your help! Carrie has a page set up to accept donations. Please consider visiting Carrie's page, reading her story, making a donation, and sending loving thoughts and vibes to her and her family.

Here is a link to help: Carrie Norton; Alternative Cancer Treatments

Thank you so much for your help!

With deep gratitude,

Heather Paris

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside!

Oh baby it's cold outside! Today is a great day to get some things done around the house! With most of the schools and local businesses closed here in the Northeast, it seems we are all in the same boat... at home with the kids on an icy cold snow day! What else can you do besides make the most of it?

I have decided to take the day off from working, and make some delicious homemade goodies! Homemade bread, vegetarian corn chowder in the slow cooker, and some homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert. Now THAT sounds good and it's a great way to keep the kitchen warm too.

Days like today are great opportunities to complete indoor tasks that have been piling up. Maybe you have some household projects to finish, or some long over due paperwork to file, or maybe like me you can try some new recipes out. Whatever you choose, stay warm, stay safe, and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is your mental age?

You will never be as young as you are today! Stop saying things like "I'm not as young as I used to be," or "I'm too old for that," because you are using words that create limitations in your head! You alone create your mental age and it doesn't have to match your years. I am 42 now and just published my first book, I live with passion, I love to try new things, and I feel about 22! I know senior citizens who jump out of planes, travel the world, and really get the most out of life. I also know very young people who are wise well beyond their years! It is all about the attitude! Create an attitude of energy, youthfulness, excitement for life and Live Inspired Now!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Young ladies under 18, especially under 15:

Dear Young Ladies,

Do you know what it means to "jump the gun"? This saying refers to a runner who starts the race before the starting gun fires. The runner is then dis-qualified and kicked out of the race for starting too early.

Would you take an opportunity to "jump the gun?"

What if someone offered you Christmas early? Would you take it? Say I could offer you Christmas today, months and months before anyone else. You would get great presents, yummy food, special attention, but you would be the only one. Then, when Christmas comes around for real, you would get nothing, and would not be able to participate. You would have to watch as others enjoyed the holiday together, without you. Would you take that if it were offered to you?

Ladies, we are often temped to engage in things too early. In fact, many of you will contemplate "jumping the gun" in your relationships. Many girls do this because it feels good to be "wanted" or "needed." However, the truth is, that when you get too involved when you are too young, you risk jumping the gun on something that would be far more special if you waited to share it.

Having intimate relationships when you are in your early teens might get you attention now, but you will lose out in the long run. The attention you get now from a 13 year old boy will NEVER compare to that of a loving, committed man when you are older. Please don't trade tomorrow's happiness for today's comfort.

You do NOT need a boyfriend to prove that you are worthy. You do NOT need someone to like you in order to like yourself. You do NOT need "likes" on your facebook selfie to prove you are pretty. You do NOT need to show your body to get attention. You are loving, caring, worthy, beautiful, smart, talented, funny, and impressive young ladies and you deserve the best... just because you are YOU! No matter what grades you get, no matter how many friends you have, no matter how many tweets get shared, no matter where you live, no matter what you look like, no matter your size... no matter what.... YOU MATTER!

So my dear young ladies, your time will come; don't jump the gun. It is absolutely OK to like boys, to talk about boys, and to have age appropriate relationships. But avoid getting into sexual or intimate relationships too early. Wait and be excited about what's to come when you get older, enjoy the milestones of your youth, make lasting friendships and Live Inspired Now.

PS: If you need help, please message me today! You can find me on facebook as Inspired Heather Paris, or you can email me at: heather@liveinspirednow.com. Even if you have "jumped the gun" in some area of your life, you can recreate your innocence. You are not broken, messed up, or damaged. Contact me for help and start thinking more highly of yourself... because YOU matter!
PPS: Parents, if you are concerned about your daughter, please reach out. I help young people learn self worth, self confidence, and self love. Don't wait until it's too late, get help now if your child is in crisis.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Parents: It WILL be OK... ignore the haters!

I spent years listening to the opinions and unsolicited advice of others about how to parent my children and I thought I would address some of these things here. Now, I never said anything in the past, maybe I should have, but I am saying it now in an effort to help other parents. Parents who listen to the barrage of opinions, advice, criticism, and judgements of others. Parents who quietly go about their business without ever saying anything yet feel hurt inside. Parents, like I was, who need encouragement and support, not fear and manipulation... from anyone!

Here are some of the things I endured from others. Does any of this sound familiar?

What is it about pregnancy that makes people crazy? Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to harm or kill your own baby. I was told not to put my arms up over my head or I would cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's neck. I was told what to eat, what not to eat, how to sleep, walk, and even work. My favorite by far though was the constant advice on how to feed my baby once she was born. I had half the population telling me that I was irresponsible and not giving my baby the best chances in life if I didn't breast feed. Whilst the other half of the population, mostly family, telling me that breastfeeding was disgusting and an embarrassment. How was I to succeed?

The next hurdle came when I was to have a son. I do not believe in circumcision and so the obvious choice for me was not to have my child circumcised. This was clearly the worst offense I ever committed as a parent. I was berated, insulted, and even yelled at. Someone close to me actually told me that "one day your son will come to you as a teenager and tell you that he hates you for what you have done." Wow, just wow.

Madison, my first child, was a bit of a wild one! She was fearless, spontaneous, and very strong willed. She was a handful and often I was told by friends and family to "hit her." I was told that my discipline style was not severe enough and that she was sure to turn out like an uncontrollable monster who would most likely be "knocked up" by 16, if I didn't "spank her ass." Regrettably, once I did actually try spanking her little bottom which left me in tears, while thankfully, Madison was completely unscathed and unaffected by my attempt. I was told that clearly, I didn't hit her hard enough. I never tried again.

I was also a terrible parent for teaching my children about "choices." I used to use the phrases "that was not a good choice" or "it's your choice, but there are consequences," as opposed to "your bad!"  To the "choice" comments, I was told that kids don't have choices, it was up to ME to make their choices, and I was giving them too much control, and my approach was "stupid."

I also made it safe for my kids to talk to me... about ANYTHING. So while their friends were sometimes engaging in really risky behavior, our house was the safe zone. Our house was the place where kids could come and speak with "another Mother" (me) who would help and encourage without the judgement and ridicule. For the safe haven I offered, I often had a target on my back. Not many people, especially friends and family, want to offer you praise or thanks for doing the job they couldn't.

I am here to tell you my children have turned out wonderfully. Now, not all of them are full grown and out of the house yet, so I supposed they could still hate me someday, but I am going to go ahead and take a chance to say that they have turned out awesome! Madison is 19, in the Air Force, and happy. I am happy to say she wasn't "knocked up" at 16, nor did she sprout horns and become a demon. Harry is happy, successful, creative, and he likes me. Carrie seems to make really good "choices," and is a very compassionate child. I have applied all of my "horrible parenting techniques" to my step children as well, and they love me too.

So my dear readers, parents, friends, family, and others: Don't listen to the negative offerings of others. Don't let someone else scare you into parenting in a way that you don't agree with. Don't let the hurtful words of others convince you to do something you think is wrong. Please follow your own hearts, heads, and higher selves. Surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage, and offer support. Believe me when I say that it WILL all work out. Do your best, love your children, never compromise yourself or your kids and Live Inspired Now.

PS: Would you like to learn more about my work with kids, both my own, and the kids I work with? My book 'Live Inspired Now: A Field Guide For Happiness' is full of great stories, life lessons, and quick tips about everything from parenting, to relationships, to finding your perfect mate, and more! Get an autographed copy right here on my site! Happy New Year Friends! :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Advice for having the best relationship possible.

If you want love, then love has to come from you! All to often I hear people telling me what they want in their relationship yet they are unwilling to give what they wish for. A young woman told me recently that she wanted a man that would respect her, treat her like a queen, listen to her, and introduce her to his family. A "nice, relationship like you see in the movies, with flowers and passion and stuff" she told me. 

My advice to her, as well as to anyone looking for certain things in a relationship was this: Love must always come from you. You will never find someone to really love you if you don't love yourself. You will never find your "king or queen" where the court jesters hang out. You will never get respect if you don't respect yourself. You will never have that nice relationship if you settle for attention.

Stop posting half naked pictures of yourself online. Stop swearing and posting negative comments on facebook. Stop hanging out in bars or clubs. Stop falling for superficial flattery. Stop living vicariously through celebrities that have no interest in you at all. Stop making the business of others into your own. Stop flirting with people if you are in a relationship.

Instead try: Posting pictures of yourself doing great things like serving food at a shelter. Post uplifting quotes and complimentary comments on facebook. Hang out with other volunteers, church members, or people in community groups. Make friends and be a good friend; the best relationships evolve from friendships. Admire people who do good in the world. Ignore and avoid negative people. Make someone feel really special. Let your special someone feel like the most important person in your entire world.

Be the type of person you want to be in a relationship with. Be love, show kindness, express gratitude, live with purpose, speak gently, leave the world better than you found it, and Live Inspired Now! 

PS: Like this post? Buy the book: Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness! Get your autographed copy now, right here on this site! I can't wait to hear what you think! :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Avoid long return lines and make someones day!

Merry Day After Christmas!! Every year I take up a collection of clothes after Christmas that need to be returned because they are not the right size, or someone just didn't like them. Then, I donate the clothes to a local non-profit that provides business clothes to people who are looking for jobs. Sometimes people just don't have the right type of clothes required to look professional and, unfortunately, that can prevent them from getting hired at jobs they desperately need.

Isn't that a better idea than standing in long return lines at the store? Today, go through your piles of goodies and see what you can donate in order to help someone become gainfully employed and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to buy your autographed copy of my book Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness right here on my blog! Thank you!