Now, THAT Felt GOOD!!!!

It’s so easy to have a positive affect on others and it feels so good too.

The other day as I was helping a young woman check in for her procedure at work, I noticed a happy little skip in her step as she turned to take a seat. I liked it and it made me smile. As she was sitting and I was standing to place her paperwork in the appropriate place, I mimicked her happy little skip. When I turned to return to my desk, we shared a quiet little chuckle as we acknowledged our shared happiness in the moment.

Is it professional for a front desk person in a surgery office to skip around the office? Generally speaking, I’d have to say no, but in that moment one little skip shared between two people will leave a better feeling impression on that young woman than had I maintained a professional demeanor. I’d rather allow myself to be a little bit vulnerable, step outside of what’s “expected” and take a chance on expanding good feelings because in the end I want to be remembered for how I made you feel, not what I did for you.

My personal goal is to leave a little bit of kindness everywhere I go, because happiness is what I choose to leave as my legacy. Joy is the indelible mark I will leave on this world.

© 2017 Angel Zamudio

Want to BE HAPPY NOW?

What’s the NUMBER 1 most sought out achievement? Think about it for a moment,….

Do more people want to be rich and famous or do you think more people want to be doctors and lawyers? I offer these examples simply to acknowledge opposite ends of a spectrum, because there’s “outside the box” careers and then there’s the more traditional ones. I’m not a professional analyst or research person by any means, so this information is merely conjecture. However, what I do know is this, regardless of the most sought out career, the NUMBER 1 most sought achievement is happiness.

No matter where you choose to go, what you choose to do or how to go about it, the bottom line is, you’re making that choice because you believe you’ll feel better when you achieve it. Right? We’ve all said something along the lines of, “If I could just,… then I’ll be happy” or “Oh! I can’t wait until,… then I’ll be happy” . My question then is this, if you can’t wait, then why delay happiness until X is achieved? Be happy NOW. Life is too short to waste one more minute on feeling dissatisfied.

The NUMBER 1 most sought out achievement is right in the palm of your hand and actually it’s even closer, it’s RIGHT there in the thoughts of your mind. When you’re going over something in your mind that bothers you such as, why did this happen? why did that happen? why did he or she say THAT to me? What will happen when,…? Why aren’t they this or that?

STOP! OK? Just stop. Take a breath. Stop and think about how all that speculation makes you feel.

Speculation breeds uncertainty. Uncertainty creates fear and even the smallest amount of fear or doubt is the kryptonite to happiness. So, whether you believe it or not, the fact remains that happiness IS a choice. What are you going to do with YOUR choice? I say, now that you KNOW you can, every chance you get, reach out a grab it!!!

Wait!!! But HOW????

Excellent question my friend!!! Pay attention to yourself. Feel the infinite intelligence of your body and emotions guiding you. When you feel fear or distress caused by the thoughts you’re thinking, your body will give you signs, tighten up and prepare you for that flight or fight mode.

The truth is, there’s no real danger here, you’re simply reliving a stressful situation or speculating a potentially stressful future situation, so instead of perpetuating this feeling, shift your focus to something else. Think about a sitting by babbling brook on a sunny afternoon or whatever helps you feel better. Don’t fall victim to the aimless thoughts of your mind. Stand up for yourself, yes, even with yourself. Be the powerful victor you came here to be. Take control by talking  yourself into a better feeling place.

Remember to be gentle with yourself as you begin the practice of shifting your focus towards the good feeling certainties of your life. I promise with continual letting go of the negative or potential negative and shifting your focus to the positive, you will attain that NUMBER 1 sought out achievement and a beautiful smile will stretch out across your face.

Congratulations! You’re on your way.

© 2017 Angel Zamudio

How to Navigate Through Disagreements

Have you ever been in one of those conversations that seems to be going well and then all of a sudden someone shares something that feels like a punch right in the gut? I know you have, we all have.

What do you do in that situation? It really depends on your comfort level, but here’s what I recommend whenever possible.

Stand up and leave. Plain and simple. Just leave the conversation.

It may seem more complicated than it sounds, but I assure you, I’ve put this technique to the test and it works. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and no two people are going to agree on every single subject, therefore when it is abundantly clear that someone has a completely different opinion than you AND you aren’t  going to change your mind. Simply leave the conversation.

A diplomatic way to do this is to simply state, “Well, it looks like we’ve come to an impasse, so I believe it’s best for us at this point to agree to disagree on this subject and move on. What do you say?” If the person is unable to let it go, that’s when you can easily claim, “Ok, well I’m out” and walk away.

There’s no need for anyone to be offended. You have your opinion and I have mine. I can still love you as a person. I mean do you quit a relationship over the fact that I like pink and you like green? No. Am I offended that you have a different opinion? No, because your opinion has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.img_434744ef1cf2-1

© 2017 Angel Zamudio

Snowy Reflections

I love realizations and clarifying moments. I’m not a huge fan of winter weather, especially when snow falls in the city and causes such a stir of emotion and uncertainty in the people around me. I choose to believe that everything will be ok and that everything happens for a reason.

I feel BEST when I remain calm and rest on my beliefs that everything is always working out for me. A couple of weeks ago we had some snow in the Portland metro area causing closures of schools and businesses. My office closed early and I was able to arrive home safely with the help of a chipper co-worker of mine and one of my bosses. They happily and rather quickly helped me put the chains on my tires and that simple gesture of kindness allowed me to drive home with confidence. Thank you my friends.

fun-in-the-snowOnce I arrived home my wife and our puppy where ready to get out in that snow and romp around (mostly,…well completely the puppy’s idea). We went to the park and Marbles got his time to run around the park, romp through the snow and be his adorable fun-loving self. On our walk home, Marbles was in the lead of course and Keri was holding the leash, leaving me last in line. Our walks often happen this way for a couple of reasons, 1. Keri is usually holding the leash and is on the task of getting exercise for the puppy and 2. I’m usually lagging behind gazing up at the sky and the clouds or checking out flowers, leaves, trees, or kids playing soccer or skateboarding. I usually have to jog a bit to catch up throughout our walks.footprints-in-the-snow

On this snowy day I was focused on all the foot prints in the snow on the sidewalk and even though we were the only ones there at that moment, it felt as if the sidewalk was busy with people as I was walking and watched their footprints go by. It gave me a good feeling inside to think about all the people I wouldn’t necessarily think of otherwise because there’s no way to note that they had been there, but with their footprints left in the snow, I felt a warmth and a sense of connection knowing we’re never really alone. We’re all on this path of life and I like to think that if any one of those people appeared where their footprints were left behind that we’d walk together and enjoy each others company.

© 2017 Angel Zamudio

Are You Living an Authentic Life?

I don’t know if you’ve heard or know of this song, but it’s called, This Little Light of Mine,… I sang it as a kid and it’s super easy to recall once you’ve learned it, but knowing the words and maybe even the hand gestures is one thing, living the meaning of this song is a totally different thing all together.

If you don’t know the words, they’re super simple to learn. I’ll provide a YouTube video here just in case you haven’t heard it. The significant point of this song that often seems to go over looked is that WE ALL have this little light within us. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to let it shine or not.

It’s easy to hide behind walls that we put in place seemingly to protect ourselves from harm. We all do it, so don’t feel bad. We put protective walls up for fear of being hurt, rejected or ostracized, but what we don’t realize is that these walls we erect to protect ourselves really keep us isolated from sharing our authentic selves.

The true happiness of life is to share our whole selves, our 100% authenticity. I understand it can feel scary, because when you share your whole true self, your whole true self can be rejected. The really amazing thing though is when you dare to be authentic, you quickly realize people really dig authenticity.

I strive to live my life unapologetically 100% authentic to myself. Do I stumble? Do I miss a beat? You bet I do!!! I’m only human and I mess things up, but people are people and the imperfect seem to be reasonably understanding of imperfection in others. You may not know this about me if you only know me through this blog or social media, but sometimes I stutter. As I was wishing someone Happy Holiday over the last week or so I stumbled pretty hard on the double “H” of Happy Holidays. I can’t really describe how it actually came out, but I followed it up with, “Well, you know what I mean” and laughed it off. One of my co-workers gasped with dismay and perhaps a bit of embarrassment as she jokingly asked, “What’s wrong with you? Are you broken?” I had to laugh because it was a funny question, but I say up straight and proud as I responded, “Nope, I’m perfect just the way that I am”.

img_3b944c1279ae-1This light of mine, I’m gonna let it SHINE. I love connecting with people. I love creating warmth and a sense of belonging. We’re all in this together and we all have a light within us just waiting for us to step up and be brave enough to let others see our sparkle. Let down your walls. Let people in. Share your sparkle and shine with the world. It feels amazing.

© 2017 Angel Zamudio

Say HELLO to 2017

Yes, the end of 2016 is here and you’ll be seeing a great deal of media coverage regarding, the best of, and the worst of 2016 in the upcoming weeks, As you watch, read and reflect on the past,…. I implore you to remember where it took place. Yes, that’s right ALL of 2016 (with the exception of the remaining hours of this day) is where? In the past and yes, there were some amazing things that happened in 2016 and some not so amazing things, but we’ve already lived all of those moments. We’ve already felt all those emotions and where did all of that experience get us?

It got us to where we are now, which is the new and improved, expanded versions of ourselves in the NOW. There’s nothing we can do to change what has happened in the past. Regardless of what has happened, good or bad, it has helped clarify in our NOW what we want and don’t want for our future. We have a choice to utilize everything we’ve learned and expanded into, right here in this red hot moment of NOW. Right NOW you can positively affect your life. Right NOW you can change the course of your life. Right NOW you have all the power to make this day exactly what you want it to be. Making a choice today to focus your attention on the good of each moment will have an growing positive affect on the days to come.

Here are a couple of examples:

1. You encounter someone who’s in a bad mood, when you greet them they’re not exactly in a friendly mood, their response to you is short and a bit gruff. DON”T take it personal. It has nothing to do with you, with this knowledge you’re able to graciously grant them the time and space they need to process their feelings and be in whatever mood they choose. Maintain your happiness and move on. #1 they’ll appreciate you for allowing them to be authentic to themselves. #2 they might be inspired by your maintained happiness to make a choice to let go of or find resolution to whatever it was that made them grumpy, but if they don’t, that’s their business and you can continue on with your day in your happy mood.

2. Someone is confused about something you have complete clarity about and they come to you for help. You explain what you know to be true to help provide the clarity they’re seeking, but they seem to be stuck in confusion. They keep asking questions, your choice to maintain your inner poise knowing you have clarity will allow your inner calm to help guide them out of their confusion. #1 They’ll appreciate the fact that you care enough to take the time to explain, subsequently creating an opportunity for their resistance to subside with their elevated mood. #2 They just may reach the clarity they’re seeking as you’re guiding them with compassion. #3 You both walk away a little happier for encountering each other.

2017 OpportunityEvery encounter provides an opportunity. So, yes, you have the power to positively affect 2017. How will you tweak your perspective, your thoughts, actions and reactions to improve your future?

 

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

How to Create Space for Happiness

Have you ever felt not quite yourself? Have you ever squirmed with discomfort in your own skin during a conversation or a particular situation? Have you ever had a strong emotional reaction to something someone else did or said without even attempting to understand their intention?

You don’t have to answer, we’ve all had these feelings. We’re all human and we all come equipped with emotions. Sometimes,… well, let’s just be honest here, most of the time we allow ourselves to get entangled and imprisoned by these mix ups of emotion and misunderstanding. I know it’s uncomfortable, I’ve been in those situations and all I’m trying to do here is to raise awareness, because what I’ve come to know without a doubt is this,

The circumstances of your life exist because you allow them to exist.

img_3962When you think of yourself in a frustrating situation you see yourself as powerless and that is because you’re keenly focused on the problem. The way to gain power in your life is to take a deep breath and then take a few more deep breaths. When you can feel your emotions subside a bit, step back from the problem, loosen that kung fu grip you’ve got on your emotions and see if you’re able to actually set your emotions aside. Then you can evaluate the problem from a fact based position. Focus on a solution and even if the solution you come to places you in a position of approaching someone who you “feel” has “caused” you discomfort, when you approach them with the intention of understanding their perspective and intention, with a clear mind and an open heart, you may very well be surprised to find the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. It always is a misunderstanding. The question is are you poised enough to guide the situation towards a solution? With desire, determination and practice, I promise, you will gain the poise needed to guide any willing participants towards a viable solution.

Now, not only have you made steps in the direction of creating more space for happiness in your life, you may have just freed up some space for someone else as well and that feels a whole lot better than squirming around in your own skin, don’t you think?

You have power in your life, will you dare to be brave enough to use it? I believe you will. The reason I believe you will is because we all came here to be happy and happy feels SOOOO much better than, well,… anything else.

© 2016 Angel Zamudio

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

It seems to me, it’s been a while since I’ve shared a funny story and sometimes you just want a little humor in your life. Right? So, here we go,….

The other day Keri, Marbles and I were walking around the Northwest District of Portland. We had gone to that part of town for our favorite coffee. We call it “special coffee” and in a town full of green crosses, I should clarify, No, not THAT kind of “special”. LOL. It’s special to us because of the flavor, it’s a hazelnut cream. YUM!!! We get it at an adorable little coffee shop called The Dragonfly Coffee House. They have yummy foods too. I love the full of love living room feel of this place, there’s always a community cross word at the counter while you wait for your coffee or yummy pastry and they’re always so friendly and kind.

Anyway, we had placed our order for coffee and decided to have a piece of zucchini quiche as well. It all was super yummy and none of these details really have anything to do with the story I’m telling, but I thought you might like a bigger glimpse into our morning and now you have a coffee place to check out if you’re local or visiting.

Once we finished our quiche, we proceeded with our second intention of the morning, get Marbles on a walk. We had our special coffee in to-go cups and we headed out. Marbles was doing his usual doggie thing, sniffing all around, watching every dog who passed with his indelible question, Wanna play? We all had places to go, things to do and if we wanted to provide an opportunity for him to play, we would have taken him to a park or buddy’s house. We were “on a walk”.

Marbles seems to understand this concept and after a minute or two of watching a potential wrestling buddy continue their walk in the opposite direction, he resumes the sniffing about in our intended direction. There are always 3 practical reasons for a walk with Marbles; exercise, pee and poop. The added benefit for all of us is joy. I always enjoy looking at the sky, looking at the plants and the sunshine.

This particular walk provided an additional level of joy, as we were in the process of providing exercise and had already checked off, pee from our list, Marbles assumed the production position. We call him our little producer. When one of us takes him out at home, upon returning we always ask, “Did he produce?” Anyway, the answer for this walk was yes and boy howdy was it a stinky one. I said to Keri as she was being a responsible puppy momma, “Whew, that’s a stinker!!!” She wryly responded, “Well, I haven’t pick one up yet and thought to myself, What have you been eating? Candy canes? Your poop is so fresh!”

OMG!!!! This wife of mine keeps me in stitches with her quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor. She’s so funny and you never know what she’s gonna say next. The following drawing is a representation of came to mind when she responded.candycanepoop © 2016 Angel Zamudio

WHAT? No beer???

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is when some one starts talking about a particular challenge in their life and they are totally ready to be inspired. You can totally tell when someone is ready to be inspired because every encouraging thing you say to them makes perfect sense to them and they are nodding in agreement the whole time you’re talking to them.

I encountered this delightful situation this last week when one of my friends and co-workers started talking to me about starting a new eating regimen for the purpose of reversing her lactose intolerance. I can not speak to the validity of this cleanse because I’ve not done any research on the subject, but what I can speak to is this young woman’s enthusiasm for making a positive change in her life.

Her name is Courtney and she is the one that has done the research. She is the one that has decided to make a change in her life. She was talking to me about the restrictions she has decided to place on herself in an effort to reverse her intolerance and was sharing some of the details. The next 5 months (starting after Christmas) she will cut out breads, sugars (even natural sugars (so no fruit), no beer or wine, and honestly, I don’t remember all the details, because once she said, “No Beer”, I kinda went into shock.

I’m kidding about the shock, but serious that I don’t remember all the details. Once Courtney mentioned how hard it was going to be, I shifted into inspiration mode. I said, “It will be as hard or as easy as you decide to make it on yourself”. She agreed and came back with, “That’s right and if I don’t ever do it. I’ll be lactose intolerant for the rest of my life”.

Yes, that’s right. As long as we remain unwilling to make a shift, we can only hold ourselves in place of responsibility for the circumstances that exists in our lives.

We talked about situations that are out of our control, such as people bringing treats to the office. I told her about when I had a clarifying moment a few years ago. Some very sweet well intended person brought some yummy goodies to the office and I said to myself, “Who’s the son of a bitch that keeps bringing in the goodies?” and then as if divine wisdom was whispering in my ear, this question came to me, “Well, who’s the son of a bitch that keeps putting it in your mouth?”

Ahhh HA!!!

It was really a very cool conversation. I am very excited for Courtney and the change that she is planning to make for herself. 5 months really is not that long at all. I believe in you. I am not saying there won’t be challenging moments, but with the right mind set it’s going to be much easier. It’s all about choices and how much you really want the change you are seeking. You have control over yourself, your thoughts and your actions.

I believe with the right attitude and desire any one of us could make any change we desire for our lives. We all have the power to make it as easy as we’d like for it to be.

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