The Year Ahead

Hi everyone, I just wanted to offer you a few of my thoughts around life for the year ahead.
Happiness is a general state of wellbeing, satisfaction and joy. It is something that many people seek, yet very few find. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” True happiness is not something that you can look for and eventually discover. It is a condition only achieved through inner development and mental clarity. However, there are a number of core personality traits that happy people tend to share. These attributes, once developed, will open your ability to receive the good that life already has to offer.                                                                                                                                                        
Happiness is not found in perfection, but in making the best out of what you are given. Everyone, at some time, will experience heartache, frustration and disappointment.
Resiliency is the ability to recover from setbacks and challenges in a way that supports your individual growth and wellbeing. A certain sense of self-satisfaction emerges each time you successfully navigate a new dilemma. People who develop this capacity to bounce back from adversity tend to be happier and more at ease with life.

Meaningful Goals                                                                                                           

Human beings are goal-oriented creatures. This means that there is a reason behind everything we do. Motivational author and speaker Earl Nightingale said that “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.” Indeed, it feels good to know you are moving toward the achievement of a dream or personal aspiration. However, the goal must be one that is truly worthy of your effort. You, above all others, must believe in the value of whatever you do. Otherwise, any victories will seem hollow and insincere.
Try this exercise at home when you have a moment to yourself. It’s called The Future You Exercise            
The “Future you” exercise
Find a comfortable position, and close your eyes, (or stare at a spot in front of you if you feel more comfortable doing that).Take a few, slow deep breaths, and notice them with openness and curiosity.
You are about to do an exercise in imagination. Some people imagine in vivid colourful pictures, much like those on a TV screen; while others imagine without pictures at all, relying more on words and ideas. However you imagine is just fine. Now think of something in an area of your life that you are struggling with right now. It might be a problem in a relationship; a problem at work; a struggle with yourself or with your health. Try to select something you are giving yourself a particularly hard time about.
Imagine the thoughts you are having around this struggle and the feelings that you are having. Now imagine yourself getting into a time machine, you are travelling to the future. You get out of the time machine and you meet the “future you”, 20 years older. Imagine what your future you would advise you about how you are handling, this situation. Now let your future you tell you that he/she cares about you; and is there for you; and is available to help out with all your struggles, now and then. Imagine your future you reaching out to you with genuine compassion and kindness; radiating genuine acceptance and caring towards you. Now imagine he/she gives you some useful advice about your current struggle; about how to deal with the situation, or how to handle the feelings, or what to stand for in the face of this challenging situation. Once you have heard the advice, come back to your breathing. Push your feet into the floor, sit up in the chair, open your eyes and ears, and engage with the world around you.
About Helen Reese
Helen Reese has worked as a health practitioner for the past 30 years in hospitals, community settings, private organizations and with DEET and other public sectors. She also works in private practice with children, adolescents and adults in physical and psychological crisis. She has been counselling young people and adults for 25 years.
Having a Master of Counselling, being a Registered Nurse and with post graduate qualifications in Paediatrics, Hypnotherapy, Pain Management and Education she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her counseling and training. Rebates are available under the mental health care plan, and free counselling may be available for those who are not working or caring for someone with a physical or mental health problem. PH 0400991346 or
More articles from Helen:
How to Strengthen Your Relationship and Make Love Last after Children Arrive
Resolving Conflict in Families Around Holiday Time

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