“The Happiness Switch” – featured with an author interview

the-happiness-switch-1My book, “The Happiness Switch“, has been featured on a very interesting blog:

“A blog about creativity,designs, books, music and poetry. An experiment with spirituality through the shadows of my mind…”

Shashi, the writer of the blog, is the CEO & Partner at ICUBE Projects. He is also a speaker and a Haiku poet.He is the author of “Songs of the Mist“.

The feature of my book is part of a new initiative that Shashi calls “Spotlight”: he is showcasing new and independent authors, through an interview that he conducts – on a book the author submits but also much more.

The selection process is quite thorough. Shashi asks writers to fill out a questionnaire – and then answer a few, quite detailed (and very interesting) questions about their writing philosophy, their motivations and other details related to the writing life.

I had no idea that he was actually going to make the answers a part of the Spotlight Feature so I answered the questions in a casual tone and without worrying about “being read”.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy it.

SPOTLIGHT: ‘The Happiness Switch’ by Christine Ellis

 

How successful do you really feel? A short test.

woman-1245840_1920One of the most common pieces of advice for success is “Find someone who is already successful and emulate them”.

By this people usually mean “Do what that person does – and you will become successful too.”

As always, the focus is on the doing. But how about the “being” and the “feeling” part?

If we stop for a few seconds to think about it, the “doing” is just not enough. How many people do you know who do all the right things and yet don’t become as successful as they want to be? Or, conversely, you know people who do all the wrong things and yet they find success that makes their relatives bite their nails…

What is the difference between the first set and the second set?

To me, the difference that makes a difference is this: how those people FEEL… about everything really: themselves, others, the work, the world, their “chances”, failure, setbacks and on and on and on.

Which one do you think is more likely to succeed: a person who does things correctly but is profoundly insecure, or someone who messes up here and there but has an unshakable feeling of self-confidence?

Self-confidence is just the most obvious example but there are a million others, of course.

To go back to the beginning of this post, have you ever asked yourself this question: “How does my idol/role-model feel on a regular basis?”

It would be helpful to mull a little over that one. While doing so, you will discover your own “areas for improvement” – if you are not as successful as you would like to be.

me-vs-my-idol-1The good news is that you can cultivate the feelings of a successful person before you actually have that success. Your own story will be different, of course and your own “constellation of successful feelings” will be different too.

For example, some people feel an immense sense of relief when they “make it”. For others, it is pride. For others still, it is contentment or ease.

By cultivating the “it feeling” that represents success for you, you will put yourself in the right mindset.

I’ve written a book with 33 such feelings. It’s free for download today.

success“Success is an Emotions Game”

Sunny skies and good feelings,

Christine

Want to see the result of a good childhood? Take a look at this 17 y.o. guy.

balloon-1317532

When he got to the ripe ol’age of ten, he decided that public schooling was not for him. He “dropped out” and was homeschooled thereafter.

When he was about thirteen, he decided that he was going to be a self-published author – a successful one at that. He achieved that goal in less than a year but he says that for two years he struggled because he wasn’t making much money with his writing. But three years later he started making (are you ready for it?) $4,000 a month with his best-selling books. Yes, four thousand. That is not a typo.

He is seventeen now and when you see him, you have the impression you are in front of a real, live case of body snatching: the words coming out of his mouth sound like they are coming from someone who is forty or older. But he is still a teen – clearly looks like one.

He credits his success to never giving up – he made up his mind he wanted something and then just went for it. He says he’s made lots of “mistakes” on the way but he has no regrets, because he had fun and he’s learned a lot.

I saw Mark Messick in an interview online. He baffled me with his eloquence, his sense of confidence and his results. Yes, I am impressed with his career but I am blown away by his upbringing.

As far as I am concerned, he really proved ALL of the points I was making in “Your Inner Child is a Winner“. Every single one of them!

  1. There is an inner “sap” inside us humans that guides us towards whatever is good and nourishing for us. If nurtured, this connection will lead to a happy, thriving life. If thwarted… we have depression, anxiety, mood-swings, violence, acting out… and on and on.
  2. Children are born naturally confident. There are no self-esteem issues because the self has a healthy esteem for itself! It is so natural that it is not an issue. Of course, to most adults (whose sense of self has been thwarted), children seen overly confident. Which is why they often try to bring them down.
  3. Children are wired for adventure and they are not afraid to “fail”. They are not afraid to jump in and try – and try again. This is how they learn to walk, talk, eat and just about everything else. How does it become so wrong to try and (gasp!) “fail”?
  4. Human beings are flexible creatures. This kid, Mark, wants to be funny too. Because nobody’s told him yet that he has to pick and choose, he does his writing AND he’s trying stand-up comedy.
  5. Kids are not afraid of the world. They think the world is fun. Fun, in fact, is the name of the game.

You can find Mark at www.torchtherules.com.

Christine

What do you do with all that cardboard from Amazon?

cardboard farm dog house

‘t is that time of the year – the time to be jolly, to be happy and to be looking for presents. Lots and lots and lots of presents.

With lots and lots and lots of presents come lots and lots and lots of cardboard boxes. Especially if you do your holiday shopping on Amazon.

It can be a problem! The space in the garage is already taken by the two cars, the wheelbarrow, the tractor and my husband’s motorcycle. The pile of plastic bottles is already pushed in a corner.

Really, there isn’t much room for all that cardboard.

The other day I had an idea though. I took a couple of boxes, a pair of scissors and a tape gun. I asked my son if he wanted to make a farm. He looked at the cardboard, then at the supplies, then at me and he said… nothing. He is three. He did not understand.

I set to work. The moment I sunk the scissors in the cardboard, his eyes lit up. He loved that “scrush-scrush-scrush” sound so that was joy reason #1. With squeals on top.

Then, I made shapes. Two rectangles, a triangle, a circle…. Joy reason #2. Who knew cardboard could be so interesting?!

I set out to make the building of a railway station. He loves trains and we have some wooden tracks that could have gone very well in front of it. Thomas the Tank Engine included.

But when I got done with the “railway station” my son squealed (joy reason #3): “Farm! Farm, mama! Farm!”

Okay. So it turned out to be a farm.

After the farm house came the dog’s house. Oh, the screams of joy for that… you can not imagine! (joy reason #4)

IMG_3344After the dog house came the shed for the tractor (joy reason #5).

We had so much fun the whole afternoon that I wondered why we bothered buying him toys at all!

I’m joking, of course. Toys are good. But joy out of “nothing” is part of the miracle and wonder. Blessed be.

Sunny skies and good feelings,

Christine

The feeling of a good feeling

stones in flowing river brook“What is it like,” someone asked the other day, “to live without depression?” They could not remember.

How do you describe an apple to a starving person?

I told him to try and remember a time when he tasted apples. That’s what I say to myself when I feel off or I have one of the, as I like to call them, “power drops” (the electrical “good feelings” grid shuts down and I’m in the dark). I say, “Remember other times when you felt good.” But I can acknowledge how infuriating that can feel when you’re nowhere near that kind of feeling.

The other thing I said was to try and find something that feels a little better. And then another thing that feels a little better than that. And so on. From depression to indifference. From indifference to neutrality. From neutrality to curiosity. From curiosity to excitement. Slowly, gently, with no fuss and no hurry. That, I can do and I have been doing for a while (thus this website).

That was the end of the conversation but, for some reason, it stayed with me. I couldn’t tell why until tonight when a thought popped into my head as an answer to a question I was not aware I had.

The question was: “How do you explain to someone, who does not remember and cannot do it on their own, what a good feeling “feels” like?”

The answer that came to me tonight was this: being in the midst of depression (or a bad mood) is like being in the middle of a fast river, looking for a stepping stone to go to the other side. A good feeling is like one of those stepping stones: stable and solid and reliable. It carries you across, no matter how small and far from the other shore.

To feeling better and better,

C.M.

 

When you get the blues, look for the reds!

girls in tulips fieldI started out wanting to write a post about getting over the holidays blues.

What I meant to talk about was the kind of blues that borderlines (or spills into) depression and that comes after stirring family dramas, old fights and scars, sticky situations and uncomfortable moments.

While ruminating over my topic of choice, inspired by recent encounters with my own ghosts and gargoyles of holidays fame, I tried to find a picture that matched my thoughts.

I went to pixabay.com (which is an amazing resource of royalty free images by the way) and typed “blues” in the search box. This is how I ran into this gorgeous picture of two girls running through a field of tulips. Don’t you just want to turn into a giant and scoop those sweet children with an armful of flowers for a hug?

That’s how I lost my oompf. The ghosts and gargoyles were defeated. I felt no need to talk about them anymore.

It really seemed rather funny… like some sort of cosmic joke, as if there was an angel assigned to my case who said “Oh, you’re looking to rap on the blues? How’s this red for you?”

After the laughter simmered away a little, it occurred to me that this is a great response to my unanswered question: “How do you get over the (holidays) blues?”

The answer is: “You look for the reds.”

Red roses.
Red carnations.
Red socks.
Red cherries.
Red dresses.
Red umbrellas.
Red trucks.
Red cars.
Red comic books.
Redheads.
Red strawberries.
Red hearts.
Red lips.
Red paints.
Red crayons.

There.

C.M.

2016: The year of soaring

New Year Resolution seagulls soaringI have many goals and plans for 2016. I want to spend a lot of time with my family, write many books, take lots of trips, catch up with all of my friends and generally have a lot of fun.

But what I want most of all is to enjoy what I already have and realize, each and every day, how happy I already am. This, I am sure, will make it all grow – and truly make 2016 the year of soaring.

May you feel good and loved, may you feel showered with blessings, may you feel the goodness that is all around you and may you soar high this year. Happy 2016!

So what do you really, really want for Christmas this year?

So this is Christmas.The other day I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas. He thought for a second, then said “Nothing”. And added, “The older I get, the less I need.” I hadn’t really thought about it but it is the same for me. I had a hard time coming up with a thing that I want. Because I don’t want things anymore.

Sure, things are nice, don’t get me wrong. There is joy in things. I can’t live without things. But what I really, really want the most are not things: what I want the most is to feel a certain way.

For example, I have been struggling with a little postpartum depression and the new mom anxiety. Mothers know what I am talking about: inadequacies about my mothering; intense fears about the well-being of my child; you get the idea. I would very much like Santa to bring me an enormous box of joy, safety and comfort so I can get filled up with the certainty that everything is and always will be fine.

Also, I would like to put in a request for an amazingly successful year with my writing, in which I get to finish all my books and they turn out to be wonderful and touch the hearts of many people. I want to feel successful now and allow success to come to me. I’ve surely been on the brink of it on more than one occasion and managed to masterfully sabotage it.

So this year what I want for Christmas is a new me. Well, I like the now-me just fine. But I’d love some tweaks here and there in the way I think and feel. Can I? Can I?

Merry Christmas to you who celebrate it and may your deepest wishes come true.

C.M.

Good Feeling Movie Review: “The Painted Veil”

Painted-veil-poster“The Painted Veil”

good feeling stars

 

5 Good Feelings Stars

There are very few love stories that have touched my heart the way “The Painted Veil” has done. It stars the beautiful and talented Naomi Watts, her husband, Liev Schreiber and the wonderful Edward Norton.

The movie came out in 2006 (has it been 10 years already??) but it is a classic and it has staying power.

In a nutshell, this is the story (from IMDB’s website): a British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

This very short description does not convey the depth and intricacy of the story.

The plot starts in the 1920’s in England. Naomi Watts plays a bubbly, frivolous young British woman who, at a “certain age”, is pushed by her parents to marry. So she accepts the proposal of a seemingly dull, but stable and serious medical doctor. They marry and move to China where she quickly finds a lover. Hurt by her behaviour, her husband drags her to a remote part of the country where he takes on an assignment to tend to a cholera epidemic.

This is where their love story begins. As this frivolous young woman finally sees the realities of rural China, of poverty and hardship, as well as her husband’s dedication and talent in caring for people, she begins to transform. She takes an interest in working with orphans at the local orphanage and helping others in any way that she can.

She begins to understand the kind of man that her husband is and, instead of seeing him as dull and uninteresting, she sees the dedicated, caring doctor and strong man she married.

I will not tell you the end of the story. The movie is well worth seeing if you like love stories. It is far more than that though: it is a movie about growing up, about finding strength and dedication and honor, about giving of yourself and about loving and caring for other people.

5 Good Feeling Stars

Buy the DVD on Amazon

The Painted Veil

FREE BOOK: Merrily Happy: 10 Good Feelings to Focus On to Keep Your Sanity and Survive the Holiday Season

Focus on So You Can Keep Your Sanity and Enjoy the Holiday SeasonAre you stressed during the holidays? You shouldn’t be. It is supposed to be a season to be jolly. Download my free book of 10 good feelings to focus on to relieve stress and put yourself in a better mood, no matter what is happening around you.

“Merrily Happy” – Download the FREE PDF