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!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Guest Blogger: Jane McGowan

Fading Stars: 
You’re cruising down the thruway trying to get to your business meeting, your sister's house, your long overdue visit to the in-laws and...
"Whoa! Did you see that guy? He went flying past us at 90 mph!"
"Now here's this idiot who's going 55 on a 65!"
"Now he's speeding up when I'm trying to pass him!"
People these days. Just a couple days ago I was driving with my sister and a man was bicycling in the snow to his destination. Cara commented and said, "Why is this guy bicycling in the snow? He's crazy, he's going to get killed!" I'm not sure what compelled me in that moment, but I stopped to think about that and I said, "Maybe he doesn't own a car." To which she responded, "Well that's depressing, now I feel bad."
There's so many things I've learned since graduating college and joining the real world as they say. Even though when you finally join it, you realize the world was real all along. In the working world it is so effortless to fall into routine, to zone out, to criticize, to say, "Well I just don't have time for that because I work 40 hours a week, my kids have to be at ballet class and I haven't baked those cookies for the office holiday party yet."
We are in this trend of thinking why is this taking so long! You're wasting my energy to the cashier at Wegmans who's new and doesn't know the produce codes. You're in my way to the old man on the highway who's terrified of merging. You're frustrating me slow internet and I need to download my Facebook pictures!
Perhaps our anger comes from something that we all know internally but we sometimes rarely stop to think about. The fact that we only have an allotted time to live on this Earth and none of that time is guaranteed to us.  If we stop to truly think about how much time we have left after we subtract out sleeping, eating and working...wow what little time we really have left. Our identities are so important to us but in 150 years the majority of us will be forgotten. A little boy will stumble in the snow to his grandmother's grave and on his way he'll read your name and the dates and it will hold no significance to him other than your birth year, which is the earliest one on record for the graveyard.
Perhaps this is why we idolize fame because just like we elect our politicians to represent us in government, we are electing celebrities to represent the whole of our identities. Their lives are the only ones that have a glimpse of a chance of becoming legendary. It baffles me that after 23 years of living on this Earth, I met a roomful of new people last night at the Canandaigua Toastmasters. The world is so vast. We are all like shooting stars in the night, one shooting star in a huge expansive galaxy. Only people whose paths we cross will see us shine because our light only lasts for a brief wrinkle in time. If you really think about it, we are only living life for ourselves. The people already gone never knew of our existence, the people of the future will soon forget us and only a tiny portion of the people on Earth know who we are at this moment in time and their identities will wash away with our own.
At the end of your life do you want to say that you spent 562 hours on Facebook competing for the two invisible awards on there? Because really there's only two relevant hashtags: #mylifeisthebest and #mylifeistheworst. Do you want to live a distracted life in front of a screen and spend money on a bigger house, an expansive nutcracker collection or wrinkle cream that denies our fate? Or do you want to see the Aurora Borealis, do you want to surf in Hawaii, do you want to soak in every beautiful place on this Earth before your starlight fades?

Friday, December 20, 2013

THIS person influences YOU the most!

Who is the MOST influential person in your life.... YOU are! Yes, you are! Despite the endless amounts of awesome people we have in our lives, it is always YOU that makes the decision to be influenced by another. YOU can choose to admire and emulate people who are making risky or questionable choices or, you can choose to model yourself on the admirable and upstanding individuals that are in your world.

For that reason, it is YOU that is the most influential person in your world. Isn't that reason enough to treat yourself better? Isn't that a great reason to stop the negative self talk? If you make the biggest impact on yourself, shouldn't you be healthy, happy, and advocating for yourself? The gift of positive words, love, and kindness that you give to yourself impacts everyone else as well. Let your self worth be a loving example of inspiration to others! Empower yourself with the highest level of love, respect, kindness, happiness, and peace and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We three coaches....

Join ME and my coaching friends today at noon for a special edition of "Free advice Thursday!"

Today, Jodi and I welcome fellow coach, "Tam I Am" to teach us how to find serenity in a crazy, busy world using a technique called tapping (EFT). Join the FUN and learn something new! Have your questions ready and get free advice from 3 expert coaches! We look forward to talking to YOU!

TODAY, FREE, 12:00pm (eastern time) on Spreecast:


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Buy the book for Christmas!

You don't need to shop at "Greenstar" or "Whole Foods," you don't have to do yoga, and you don't have to know how to use the word "Namaste." lol You just have to want to know how to stay happy, positive, and inspired throughout all of life's challenges!

If you would like to find peace and happiness without the fluff, then consider my 5 star rated book: "Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness!"

It's a straight forward guide for happiness in every aspect of life. Easy to read, funny, and touching stories, and quick tips at the end of each chapter!

Great for teens and adults... buy an autographed copy before Christmas! Just click on the buy now button
(on the right side) at www.liveinspirednow.com. I look forward to hearing what you think!


Heather Paris

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Replace one phrase and see what happens....

What words do you say habitually? What phrases do you repeat over and over? Are these words and phrases creating anything positive or strengthening in your life? Are they teaching your children to be empowered and confident? You can always make a change, you can always practice replacing the negative with positive. Like any habit, it takes time, but you can handle it!

Here are some of the positive things I say often and on a daily basis:

"God bless!" - to the kids before bed.
"What's good?" - instead of "How are you?"
"I love you!" - not just to family, but to my friends also.
"I'm excited!" - instead of "I'm nervous."
"I know you can handle it!" - instead of telling people what to do.

Words only have power if you believe them and what you tell yourself or your kids... you believe. So replace the negative and limiting words with more empowering words. Words can make things better, so use them optimally! Create more positive verbal habits, even if it is replacing only one negative phrase with a positive at a time, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to get my book 'Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness' today! It's autographed, it's awesome, and it's going to change your life!

Monday, December 16, 2013

What makes humans the happiest?

If you have some extra cash, put it in an envelope and give it to someone in need. If you don't have extra to give then make something to share. If you don't have extra to share, then offer kind words. There is always something we can give to others to brighten their day, and to feed our souls.

I truly believe that we as humans are happiest when we are helping, giving, or serving others. Someone I know posted a charity chart on facebook yesterday. It told how much money actually goes to those in need when you donate it to charities. Some gave 100% of what they received but others gave little or even none! Supporting your favorite charity is wonderful but you don't have to go through an organization. You can just find someone in need, and give to them directly. If you are not comfortable doing that, then drop an anonymous check in the mail, or even a box full of goodies from Santa! You could even have a friend that doesn't know the recipient deliver for you.

There are many ways to give, help, support, or serve others and I promise that the feeling you get from doing so is amazing! It is like a natural high so get the whole family involved if you can. Teach your kids to be generous. Give money, food, time, encouragement, hugs, or love.... give from the heart, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Buy an extra autographed copy of my book and share with someone who is going through challenging times! Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness will brighten your friends day and make you feel GREAT for sharing! I will be happy to send to your recipient on your behalf or anonymously. ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to destroy any relationship!

Unexpressed emotions lead to anger. Anger turns to resentment. Resentment kills relationships. People come to me all the time saddled with heavy emotional baggage that they have been carrying around for far too many years. Their relationships are suffering and they feel angry all the time but, don't really know why. People use anger as a "go to" emotion for a multitude of reasons. Often times, this is because they don't feel safe expressing sadness; they think it is a weakness. Or, because they don't want to say something and "rock the boat."

In order to maintain long term, happy relationships, you must make time to express your true feelings. I would add, that you must allow your partner to feel safe enough to be completely honest. Feelings or emotions that go unresolved will always lead to resentment if you don't find an outlet to discharge. Talk open and honestly with the people in your life, if you don't feel safe enough to do that, then perhaps you should re-think the relationship.

For example:
Your spouse makes a rude comment that they thought was funny and not meant to be hurtful.
It hurts your feelings but you say nothing.
The spouse learns (by your silence) that this is an acceptable way to joke and continues.
With every joke you feel more sad, hurt, targeted, isolated, frustrated, until it all turns to anger.
You are re-stimulated and remember ALL the rude comments every person ever made to you.
Your anger becomes overwhelming until you lash out.
A fight ensues (usually with a topic other than the original comment).

This could have been avoided if you expressed that your feelings were hurt by the first rude comment.

For example:
Your spouse makes a rude comment that they thought was funny and not meant to be hurtful.
It hurts your feelings and you express it: "I know you didn't mean to, but that comment actually hurt my feelings."
Your spouse gets the opportunity to apologize and make things right.

Expressing your feelings before they turn into anger is the key! You might not always get the response you wish for in exchange for your openness, but you will be able to leave the baggage behind you and know that you didn't let yourself down by failing to acknowledge your feelings. When you express your feelings, you unconsciously acknowledge and validate yourself as a person of worth.

So today, don't let emotions go unexpressed. Boost your self worth, strengthen your relationships by saying what you feel, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: There is an entire chapter in my book about discharging emotions and leaving the BS baggage behind! Buy an autographed copy today.... on the right hand side of this page!

Monday, December 9, 2013

9 Ways To be More "Likeable"

I am all for "being yourself," and being true to who you are. However, if you are having a hard time connecting with people, or maintaining relationships, then perhaps there are some personality tweaks that you can make that might help people relate to you better. Sometimes, we put people off without even realizing it and by following these helpful tips you will notice a big difference in your interactions. People may be more drawn to you, or perhaps long time friends will notice a real change in your energy and how they feel when they are around you! Give these a try and create deeper relationships with people in your life!

9 Ways To Be More Likeable: 

1 Like yourself! If you don't put much value in who you are, neither will anyone else. Take care of yourself, your health, and your surroundings. No one will ever treat you worse than you treat yourself. You set the standard for what you accept, be sure you have a high enough standard!

2 Get your attitude in check grumpy! People do not like to be around someone who is always angry, cranky, or complaining about things... well except other people who are angry, cranky, or always complaining. Gratitude is one of the best ways to get rid of the grumpies. Focus on the things you have to be grateful for, start with waking up today and go through a list of all your blessings.

3 Chill out and allow other people to manage their own lives! I know, I know.... other people are doing things that annoy you, or they are doing things wrong and you know how to fix them. Well guess what? It is NOT your responsibility so let it go! How much easier would your life become if you only had to worry about living your life and not others? Let other people experience and learn from their own journey.

4 Compliment others and appreciate a job well done! If you notice someone doing a good job, take a moment to compliment them. People are drawn to others who make them feel good. Make time to recognize even small things... a co-worker's new haircut, or a child's completed project. Say something nice!

5 Smile!
You don't have to plaster a fake smile on that never comes off. Just smile when someone walks by. If you are the type of person where people are always asking you "what's wrong," then you may just need to smile more. You might be perfectly content but your body language is sending different signals. Make an effort to smile at people so they know you are approachable.

6 Listen!  Too many people think about what they are going to say next rather than actually listening. People like to be truly heard, so truly listen! You don't always have to "solve" the problem, just show you care by being fully present and listening to the other person.

7 Don't gossip! Everyone knows, if you talk about other people, you will also talk about me when I walk away. Nobody likes a gossip so don't say anything about another person that you wouldn't say in front of that person.

8 Don't take that tone! It is not just what you say, but how you say it.Take note of how you use your voice. Do you sound sarcastic, annoyed, indifferent, mad, or unsure? The words mean far less than the tone you use to say it.

9 Love who you are with! People like people who like people! If you genuinely like the people you are with, it will show. If you can't like them, at least find some common ground that you can appreciate. Maybe you can appreciate that you like the same football team, or that you have kids that are similar ages. You can always find something to appreciate if you just take the time to notice.

Relationships are the most important factor to a quality life, so be sure to have quality relationships. Try to connect with more people on a deeper level and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to get my book 'Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness' today! It's autographed, it's awesome, and it's going to change your life!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Change it or accept it..... it really is that easy!

I have a knack for simplifying things. I prefer life to be simple but in today's world, people seem to like to make everything difficult. Everything can really boil down to two things; change or acceptance. If you have a challenge, you can either change it or accept it; it really is that simple.

What exactly can you change? YOU! You are the only solution to all of your problems! You can change your attitude, behavior, feelings, and your beliefs. No, you can't change your boss and make him nicer. You can't change your parents and make they less judgmental. You can only change you, and how you feel about all of those people and circumstances. You just have to decide if you need to change or accept what is.

If you decide to make some changes for yourself, here are a few tips:
- Be specific about what you want to change.
- Create a plan with a timeline that is not open ended.
- Be accountable for only your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. What other people do, say, think, or feel is none of your business.... even if they do, say, think, or feel it about you!
- Surround yourself with supportive people, friends, or family that will support your changes.
- Hire a coach to keep you on track, hold you accountable, and encourage you.

Now, for the acceptance. If you absolutely cannot change something, then make peace and accept it. You don't have to like it, love it, or agree with it, but if you don't accept it, your own feelings will make you miserable. Let's say, for example, your husband decides to cut down your favorite fruit tree while you are at work. While this may be upsetting, the tree is gone and cannot come back. Feel free to express your feelings about it but then you must accept it and make peace with what is. Choosing to remain upset for years about things out of your control will merely make your unhappy.

So, you can either change yourself or make peace with what is. Either way, you can handle it! We are solely responsible for our own happiness, for the changes we make, and for what we accept. Make some decisions about whether to accept or change things and Live Inspired Now!

PS: My book is in stock and shipping out in time for Christmas! Buy an autographed copy today!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Less is the new more!

Yes, that is ME...eye patch and all! I think I must have been about 4 or so and I was visiting Santa at the Army base.

Some of my favorite memories growing up are of the simplest things. My favorite Christmas memory was in the early 80's. Dad had just been stationed back in Germany shortly before Christmas and our household goods had not arrived yet. We were in an apartment in a high rise on the 18th floor and we had no furniture, no toys, nothing but what we had with us on the plane... and it was Christmas time.

I am sure times were tight financially but I certainly had no idea at my young age. My parents went and bought us a plastic bowling set, a couple of board games, and I got my first paint by numbers! They bought a miniature tree that had a stand attached and we decorated with popcorn and aluminum foil balls. My parents put one strand of lights on the little tree which we did not light in honor of the hostages being held in the "Iran Hostage Crisis." I didn't know what that meant, but I did know that we were honoring Americans who wouldn't get to have Christmas with their families. 

My parents played games with us and, since we had no furniture, the living room made an awesome bowling alley for our new plastic bowling pins! We didn't have much, but we had fun and it is one of my fondest memories.

Isn't it time we stopped creating debt and started creating memories? I promise you that the kids will remember the times you spent with them and appreciate your time more than your gifts. They will also remember any acts of charity you do together and they will likely make that part of their adult life as well.

Less is the new more... give less, feel more. Cry less, laugh more. Complain less, honor more. Buy less, love more. Create your children's favorite future memories this year and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I made the news?!?

What an incredible article that The Citizen posted about me in this Sundays newspaper! It was so cool to see myself in print! Here is the online version so you can read the article! Thank you!!

Handbook for hard times: Port Byron life coach releases book of advice, stories

Heather Paris