Some of the happiest people I know are ‘poor’, at least by white, middle-class standards.
Some of the smartest people I know did not graduate from high school, much less college.
And some of the most incredibly healing people who I have been blessed to sit before have not one degree or one letter after their name.
What they each DO have is shared amongst them, and multitudes of others, who are successful, content, peaceful and living their life to the fullest.
They have left the world of trauma, even if they were born into it and lived there for decades, and, they have entered their own world of healing, authenticity, and purpose.
They break the mold. They play with their dreams, they follow their bliss and their inner voice. They understand that the universe absolutely has an abundant and infinite amount of joy, loving relationships, peace and even money to be had and the universe is not picky about who gets them.
When you find YOUR passion, not the passion of your parents, boss, partner or professor; but YOUR passion, you will never feel like you are working again. Whether it is at home raising children, serving others, or in an office on the 20th floor, or in a shelter, on the streets or in the sky.
When you discover your purpose, your reason, your ache, you will begin to create, design and fulfill the very reason you were born. And, you won’t hide it, lie about it or cover it up fearing what others will think and say about you.
This is YOUR destiny.
I spend countless, AMAZING, energizing hours developing employee well-being programs, coaching high-level executives, and individuals from around the globe, organizational teams struggling to rebuild trust and comradery and first responders who are burnt out, stressed, anxious, depressed, lacking sleep and healthy routines because THIS is what I was meant to do. To help others heal by finding their own journey, their own path to bliss and their authentic true self.
Over the past 30 years of exciting and fulfilling service, these clients have taught me some invaluable lessons that I want to share with you.
I imagine that you will find these behaviors familiar. You will recognize them once you read them and acknowledge that they get in the way of your well-being too. Once you recognize them, then, and only then, can you change them.
10 Things You Do Almost Every Day To Sabotage Your Own Well-Being
1) We Lie to Ourselves
I don’t know who I am, why I am here, what I am supposed to do.
I hear this every day in my new clients who have forgotten their truth. It is not that they don’t know, it is that the truth has been buried under their life. Their stress-filled days have been consumed leaving little room for curiosity, playfulness and fun. “Too Busy” is one of the most damaging lies they tell themselves. The messages they receive from others who don’t value them as individuals and want to force them into the cog on the wheel of standardized living, the societal norms and expectations, living up to family demands and our parent’s idea of success can take its toll. They forget what they have known since they were created; that there is a reason they are here and a gift that they can choose to share. When you find YOUR reason, YOUR purpose you can fulfill that resulting in success, pride, and peace. So, stop lying to yourself.
Are you happy, fulfilled and content?
Do you love what you do or do you do it because….?
Do you have passion about what you do every day?
What do you REALLY care about?
Start here, honestly and see what unfolds.
2) We Put it Off
Why? Why do we put it off?
Because most of us think we have all the time in the world. The truth is, many of us do have time. But boy does time fly! And, some of us have no time, we just don’t know it, yet.
What are your dreams and aspirations? Do you want to hike Machu Picchu (I am on my way as I write this!!) or become the lead singer in a band? Do you want to teach others about the lessons you have learned in life? Do you want to be a coach, a consultant, a group leader or healer? What is it that you’ve always wanted to try, do, see, explore?
We wake up one day, realize we are about to turn 60, that’s me, and panic, that is NOT me, because we thought we had Way More Time to follow our dreams—but procrastinated and squandered it away instead. Well-being requires action, even if it’s difficult or if we are unsure.
If you want to dive into your true calling and create the space for well-being and happiness, let’s do some coaching!
Fear is the number one experience, emotion, and reaction that sabotages our own happiness
Fear is the natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. OHHHHH, read that again. We convince ourselves that because we are afraid we should not do it.
Fear is a natural response in life. Everyone feels it. The tiniest insect feels it. You are not the only one, you are not alone. Your fear is not a reason to not do what makes you happy. Look at the fear that keeps you stuck. Say hello to it, ‘hello fear, there you are again.’ And then, invite fear to go with you. Be afraid if that is what you feel, but do it anyway. This is a non-dual response to fear. It is not one or the other. It is both. Be afraid, and do it anyway.
“Hello my oldest friend, fear. I am terrified to take the time and spend the money to go hike Machu Picchu with my adult children, and what if I can’t??? But, I am going anyway, I am going to see what might happen since I will never know if I don’t go; so fear, you will just have to come along. I don’t have much room left in my backpack but I will squeeze a little bit of you in with me….exhale. c’mon, let’s go.”
And when you are really ready to dive into your fear, to learn where it comes from, and how to live with it instead of it controlling you, connect with me. Let’s work that fear into its rightful place and create the space that you need in order to create your own well-being and happiness.
4) We stay indoors:
We look for an excuse to go outside, instead of a reason to stay inside.
Regardless of the weather, the season, the time of day or night, being outside and connecting with mother earth, the sky, nature, birds, wildlife and fresh air is good for us. Staying inside, sitting in front of a screen blocks happiness if we don’t give it a break. We need the sunshine to hit our skin, to warm our soul and the fresh, crisp breeze to enter our lungs. Inside is routine, boring. Get out, get up, move a bit and as often as you can. A 10-minute brisk walk outside changes your nervous system in healthy ways improves your mood and brings happiness. So why don’t you? In 10 minutes, you could be breaking the habit of sabotaging your own well-being.
5) We let the chores and junk pile up
When our environment is a mess, so too is our spirit, our heart, and our mind a mess.
I decided to simplify and go minimal when I was forced to make a move that I did not want to make. There are some very happy people at thrift shops and women’s shelters in my area. But seriously, what is with all the stuff?? When my parents died, and when my partner died, I had to clean up a lot of stuff. One of the gifts of the heavy loss I have suffered is having learned that I will not leave stuff for my kids to have to clean up. I have and am continuing to clean it up myself. I feel wayyyyyyy happier knowing what my kids will find, and what they won’t. Why do we keep so much stuff, for DECADES? Having clutter around your home and office clutters your mind. When we purge our homes, our to-do lists, our sacred spaces and offices we clear the path and create space for renewed energy and creativity. When we keep a clean home, neat office and sacred space for meditation and for sleep, we feel happier. When you love your space, you will experience a sense of peace that cannot come from anywhere else. Look around, are you sabotaging your own well-being by living and working in a mess?
6) We watch far too much toxic, repetitive news and junk TV
Even reality TV is unhealthy. We watch other people living their lives instead of living our own. We get entertained by other peoples fights, arguments, sex, problems and joy instead of facing what we have created for ourselves. We get in bed and watch tv together as we fall asleep instead of connecting, talking, hugging quietly and just being together. We get wrapped up in the lives of movie stars, reality TV contestants like we used to live for General Hospital in the ’70s. When we immerse ourselves in someone else’s version of reality, we waste precious moments in which we could be creating our own well-being. Sorry friends, but it is a guilty pleasure like candy, drugs, alcohol, and sex. Too much of that stuff is bad for us.
I have though, found one channel that I do watch every day; GAIA TV. If you have never heard of it, check it out!
7) We live in the future or in the past but have not learned how to just live right now.
It is true that right now is the only moment you really have; so why not start here?
Take a deep breath and hold it around your heart. Put your hand on your heart. Exhale.
Repeat. Take a deep breath into your heart space, hold it, leave your hand there, and slowly exhale. Can you feel yourself come back into your body, your mind, your spirit? Can you feel your thinking brain slow down and your attention returning to the present moment? Only when we mindfully live in the present moment can we make conscious, well thought out decisions about what to do with THIS moment. Look around, right now. Breathe that in. Is there something you can do in this moment to increase well-being? Do It! There is NOTHING that you can do, NOTHING, about the past, other than learn from it for this moment. There is NOTHING that you can do, NOTHING, about the future moment that is not here yet, other than create the most happiness you can in THIS moment. This moment will lead to the next moment. Start here. Right here. Let’s leave the past, no matter how bad, in the past. Let’s bring a smile to this moment, right now, so that the future moment, may also, have a smile.
8) We don’t have a code to live by.
We are existing day by day and not truly, intentionally and consciously living.
I remember my parents teaching me about the Golden Rule, if you have nothing kind to say, say nothing at all. I remember teaching my kids that I wanted to hear everything they have to say, kind or unkind, but in a way filled with grace, compassion and gentleness. I live to bring peace to others by kindling peace in me. That is my code. I live to learn, evolve, grow and become more loving each day. I live to bring peace to corners of your mind, body, and spirit and to corners of the world where there is little. I live to learn more about myself so that I can help you learn about yourself. My code is this: your stress will not become my stress because I am Peace. I know that I am here to bring peace. I live by a peace code. Peace first, no matter what. And, Peace, Last.
9) We are judgmental, so judgmental and most of us don’t even know it.
We gossip, we compare ourselves to others, we discriminate and live in negativity bias that we are not aware of. As I was learning a peaceful way of living and making the transition from chaos to calm, my coach first introduced this to me. I was indignant. “I do not judge, I am open and accepting and loving of all.” She smiled gently, as she does and asked me to spend an entire day making note of any thought, comment or emotion that was about someone else. What they said, did; how they dressed, how they spoke, how they acted in a staff meeting, how they treated the clients of my practice, And how they live their life in general. Ok, she won. I judge all day long, and so do you. Becoming aware of those judgments and using them to help us learn the lesson of compassion, grace, and understanding will bring us well-being. Only in an open, non-judgmental space can we acknowledge what we are feeling. Only in an open space where we are not all caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others really are which allows us to be with them, to communicate openly, and remain in a relationship. This brings happiness. This brings peace. This brings well-being.
10) We waste a lot of time on things that don’t really matter.
When this day is done it will never return.
We say we want to eat healthier and exercise, but it is often easy to make excuses. We allow our excuses to overrule our intended priorities. We say we want to spend time with our loved ones but instead, we hide behind a screen or a cell phone. We say we need to budget until we see that awesome pair of shoes. We say our relationships are the most important things in our lives yet we spend the fewest intentional moments nurturing them. This entire blog has been about discovering who you are, what matters, why you are here and fulfilling your life purpose. That brings well-being. If you are doing anything other than that, if you are not clear about what really matters, your life will come to an end and it will be too late to do anything about it. If you are reading this, you still have time. Use this list to stop sabotaging your own well-being and when you are ready for a deep dive personal transformation, I am here waiting to help you, discover you. Connect with me.
When we consistently block our own happiness by engaging in these practices, we are essentially blocking our own lives and well -being. Human beings are meant to live earnestly and well. We are meant to find joy in the endless possibilities of each new day and to savor the time we have been given. We need to get up, get outside, get away from the television, keep our wallets in our pockets, keep harmful words and thoughts from leaving us and most of all, discover and prioritize what matters most.
Jules Alvarado is an intuitive healer of the masses and fully embraces that gift in front of 100’s or 1.
She is also the founder and Sr. Clinical Consultant at the Alvarado Consulting and Treatment Group. Jules consults with organizations and coach’s executives and individuals around the globe. Developing effective, employee well-being programs for large and small companies, and teaching us how to be kind, caring, compassionate in the face of toxic stress is Jules service. Jules can help you discover your capacity too. Ready? connect with Jules.