How to Catch A Case of "Spirit"

As I learned in my recent radio interview with him, Rev. Haywood Holderness is not a man with outspoken opinions until you ask him if it is our responsibility to feed each other. Suddenly this gentle giant gets fired up and if you aren’t donating food to your local food bank my advice is to run and do so quickly. In a world full of food, his answer is a resounding ‘yes’ and he means it. 
Perhaps the “Rev.” gave you a clue that Haywood is a clergyman. Unlike many of his ilk, in addition to a degree in Theology, he also holds an MBA from Wharton School of Business, oh, and I should probably mention he was a code breaker for the US military. Far from a man with his head in the theological clouds, he is a man of God, living in the real world with homelessness, drug addict, and greed. Because we are created in the likeness of God, he believes we will triumph over all of these things and he takes daily steps to make that happen by finding resources for non-profits. Haywood is a man with a great case of Spirit.
Regardless of your personal title for spirit, I am referring to the driving force in life that compels us all to strive to make the world a better place. To me, the word spirit has some energetic implications, for example when I think of a spirited person, I think of someone who is engaged, passionate, and opinionated. Spirit drives us to make ourselves better, pushes us to be responsible, and is a manifestation in love. Spirit is non-judgmental and compassionate and Lord knows, patiently persistent. It is found in the nudging we feel to find the right type of work so we can be at peace with ourselves. It is the love we feel when looking at the world as the most beautiful place we’ve ever seen and embracing our role in taking care of it through our stewardship; it is the power we feel surging in our veins when we seek to right the big and small injustices being perpetrated around us.  Spirit is what moves us into action if we embrace it and it speaks to us constantly, perhaps even the loudest when we are the quietest.
To catch a case of Spirit there is no way around it, you must engage, flex, nurture, and be guided by the heart muscle. You absolutely must care and in some cases, care so greatly that you are willing to give your life for whatever you truly care about. As Haywood says, “You must give to live.”
In my work, I truly get to see the variety of life in working with clients. Some people care about making the world beautiful through art, others are passionate and find joy in working with businessess.  Sometimes the interests are specific like male/female workplace communication, or composing jazz music.  It is important not to judge yourself by what you care about but to let it flow from you naturally. I’ve seen more people loose their fire because they’ve judged what brings them joy as not being of value to soceity and, for example, go to law school instead of art school only to find themselves hating their life and in need of career counseling later. Don’t do that.  

Let your creative vision for the world and the Spirit within you, move you deeply to the edge of your possibility.

3 Tips to be Happier or Make Someone Else Happy Now

For many of us, happiness is like a unicorn, something exquistly beautiful that is just beyond our reach.
Whether it is more money, a more supportive family, a healthier body, or fill in the blank with your personal desire, many of us have this idea that happiness is just around the corner.

While it is true that people who live below the poverty line report less happiness and more stress, for the rest of us the research does not bare out that winning the lottery will change our lifelong happiness line – though for the first few days you just maybe in a state of bliss. So let’s talk about what we do know:

1. Happiness is a lot like being physically fit, you have control over it. It may surprise you to learn that happiness is not just something that randomly happens, for those who report the highest levels of happiness (which happen to the be the Amish and Tibetan Monks) happiness comes from the way you orient yourself to life. Both of these populations share a strong belief system in which life is seen as a loving expression of their respective God. This belief leads to a tremendous personal responsibility to create a loving, compassionate, and forgiving world – after all if you are going to manifest God, you have to act like God yourself. Tip one: Act like a loving, compassionate, forgiving god.

2. Managing our focus is the another way we can create happiness. When we force ourselves to look for what is right in the world, we will find it. The same is true when we look for things that are not right. Both exist. In my radio interview with Heather Toppen on Creating Gratitude and Creating Change, she shares how starting a daily gratitude journal on Facebook helped her laser focus and, in a way, completely changed her life. For example, she learned to appreciate the sunshine coming streaming through her window and not focus on the dust on the table or chipping paint on the door jam. Tip two: focus on and celebrate what you have.

3. Junk in/junk out. We cannot depend on our media to deliver happiness to us. Any cursory look at the news will show a propensity for focusing on doom and gloom. Murder, mayhem, markets crashing, etc… dominate our headlines. It may shock you to know that great things are happening too. Governments are taking care of their citizens, people are taking care of each other, people’s minds are being opened through education, individuals like Elizabeth Dearborn-Davis and Ryan Allis are doing amazing things with their lives.(You can hear radio interviews with both of them here) If these examples are covered at all, the story is often buried. Think about how incredibly powerful we would feel as individuals, as a community, as a nation, and as a world if all we saw was what great progress people like us are making. I think it would change over core view of ourselves and of our potential. Tip three: be the most positive person you know, build others up with your words and thoughts.

Like with anything, practice makes perfect. If, for every negative word or thought out, we spend the same amount of time building up another we reach a neutral balance. If for every negative word or thought out, we spend twice as much time being loving, supportive, and compassionate, we move into the space of where true happiness lies.