Posted by: tiggerproject | May 14, 2012

Changing careers: following your passion and authentic self

For over a decade I  worked in elementary education as a Montessori trained teacher and finished a Masters degree while working full-time.  I found my work very rewarding and fulfilling.  I love children and realize that being with them helps me to lighten up and laugh more.  When I left my teaching position last summer to work for one family as their private tutor/personal assistant, I quickly found out that my new job was not in alignment with who I wanted to be and what I wanted to contribute.  Working for this wealthy family as one of several staff members, was the equivalent of modern day servitude.  The word “no” was unacceptable and putting boundaries in place created resentment in my boss’s wife.  None of the staff members I worked with (except the private chef who worked part-time and loves to cook) was particularly happy or satisfied with their work.  In fact, all of them were quite stressed out.  One of the housekeepers dreamed of becoming a hair stylist so I helped her look up schools she could attend part-time.  When you’re terminated from a job, you find that no one prepares you for the awkwardness (and anxiety) of unemployment.   But when you surrender and can find some humor in these experiences, it allows you the space to consider new possibilities.

As I contemplated what I could create for my life going forward, I got in touch with my passion for empowering people to fulfill their purpose, their goals and live lives filled with greater vitality.  To further that passion and intention,  I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach and will graduate in May 2013.  I picked IIN because the program’s philosophy is about teaching clients how to nourish all aspects of their lives while supporting healthy habits.   In the meantime, I’m working odd jobs, substitute teaching and writing this blog.  If I can re-invent my life after calling off a wedding and losing a job, so can you.

It has always amazed me that folks will be exceptionally picky about who they date or marry, but relegate themselves to jobs they despise.  When did we decide we were not worthy of offering our greatest contribution and living with passion?  Why do we “suck it up” instead of taking the steps towards something more fulfilling?  You may have several mouths to feed, mountains of debt, or feel yourself to be too old to start over.  They are all excuses holding you back from creating your very best life.  Excuses will simply keep you from being a large player in your family and your community.  Inaction keeps you safe from the risk of failure, and it also keeps you from your own success and happiness.  What gifts are you yearning to share?   If you’re unsure where your passions lie, I recommend you look at the magazines you are drawn to purchase as well as the non-fiction books on your shelf.  Who do you admire? Learn more about their story and get inspired.

There are always creative ways to re-purpose your life to a more rewarding situation.  Quitting work is generally not an option for most people and neither is taking a year-long pilgrimage to Italy/India/Bali like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love.  Nonetheless, consider going back to school part time.  If you have extra hours, volunteer at the place you are seeking to work (I know someone who did this at Save the Children and then was asked to join the staff).  If it’s a creative endeavor that you’re longing to express (like writing a book or singing in a band) by all means dedicate some time to it each day!  You can measure your progress in small, incremental steps.  As you look back, you will see how far you have come.  Following your passion requires courage and dedication, but your contributions are valuable.  Believe that you are worth it!

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 12, 2012

Designing a compelling future

In order to design a compelling future and live powerfully in the present moment, it is an absolute necessity to complete the past.  We are shaped by past events but we do not have to be ruled by them.  The most powerful human beings take ugly situations and use them to teach, lead and inspire others.  Our pain often comes from believing a circumstance shouldn’t have happened the way it did or replaying alternate scenarios.  As a result we feel completely disempowered.  But taking a journey towards authentic happiness by slapping on a smile and leaving our past incomplete, is like taking poop and covering it up with ice cream.  Making peace with our past is the breakthrough we need to create anew.

If you’re feeling stuck or unresolved in any area of your life, I’d like to recommend a three-day experience called the Landmark Forum that will radically change your life  for the better by offering you a powerful new perspective.   The $500 cost of the course was completely worth every penny as what I got out of it back in 2010 remains 100% priceless today.  Knowing how powerful a great workshop like this can be, I’m looking for one that meets my criteria of “re-invention.”  Tony Robbins is one of my idols, and what is truly calling me is his week-long retreat called “Date with Destiny.” He is offering this retreat in December 2012 in Palm Springs, CA but unlike Landmark Education’s programs, the price tag is staggering.  If I want to go, it’s going to require some extreme creativity on my part.

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 10, 2012

The Happiness “Set Point”

In 1996, David Lykken of the University of Minnesota published his findings about happiness.  By studying 4000 sets of identical and fraternal twins, he found that satisfaction with life is approximately 50% genetic, regardless of economic standing.  Whether we experience highs or lows, we eventually return to our happiness “set point” much like our weight set point.  The good news is that our set point can be increased (like our metabolism) and therefore alter our natural state of being.

This is what the American Psychological Association writes about Lykken’s work:  “Dr. Lykken demonstrated how nature and nurture work to affect our sense of well-being and how, within wide limits, people can determine their own happiness. Many of the things we suppose will make us happy are illusory, while the things that really work turn out to be simple and accessible to nearly everyone. He shows that people with high IQs are no happier than the rest of us, nor are the rich, the famous, or the social elites. Winning the lottery may make us happier for a month or two, but soon we’re back at the level of contentment where we were before the big event. Dr. Lykken suggests that one way to extract the most enjoyment from life is to become an epicure of experience, by learning to think about and savor each pleasurable occurrence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

If we can truly alter our happiness set point, this is truly great news for all of us.  While circumstances may be beyond our control, how we navigate this reality is in our own hands.

Posted by: tiggerproject | May 7, 2012

The Journey Begins

Welcome to the Tigger Project!  Are you ready to feel more alive, vibrant and joyful?  Tigger, the bouncy character from Winnie the Pooh, embodies a playful, light-hearted and abundantly confident way of being that delights in life.  You have met “Tigger-esque” people, haven’t you?  They simply radiate joy and positivity even when circumstances are challenging.  These powerful individuals have the transformative ability to alter moods and uplift those around them (even the surly, curmudgeonly types).  Tiggers offer exuberance, positivity and “joie de vivre” that is truly inspiring.

On these pages you are encouraged to join me in a process of having more fun and experiencing greater wellness.  We are here to live life by design rather than default.  When we feel peace, abundance and perfect joy, we radiate our positivity outward like beacons.  The effect of our moods, actions and words can stay with another person for a day, a week, months and years.  When I get hijacked by a foul mood (often caused by poor sleep, nutrition or stinkin’ thinkin’) I know that it impacts others in a negative way.  The questions we all need to ask ourselves are: What kind of impact do I want to have?  What am I contributing to others? Am I leading my optimal life?

Personally, I am in a state of re-invention.  As I write this, I have a lot of uncertainty in my life.  I called off a wedding just a few months ago and I also lost my job.  My family has been upset with me for withdrawing from them during these past few months.  Clearly, the times I’m going through are more than difficult, but I accept responsibility for my part in creating these experiences.  The Universe called me to change and I’m answering the call.  2012 may bring significant changes to your life as it has to mine.  How you choose to navigate those circumstances is up to you.

If you join me in the journey of personal transformation, you will be encouraged to live a juicy life.  The Tigger Project is simply a metaphor for cultivating joy, wellness, and vitality.  Courage is required!

In health and radiance,

Kristina

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