Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Mission In Life Is To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." 
~Maya Angelou

I love Maya's mission statement! For one, I like the word "thrive", since it goes beyond just wanting to be happy. It makes me think of having great energy, feeling alive, pursuing things that are meaningful to us, being connected to others around us,taking care of ourselves, and being our best selves.

I also like the passion, compassion, humor, and style! I would probably substitute integrity for style, since that's one of my top values. How would you want to thrive?  

Manuela empowers women to bring more happiness into their lives and thrive! You can visit Manuela's Website for Professional Life Coaching and Personal Growth Workshops.    

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Increase Your Happiness Through Compassion

A few weeks ago, I attended the Compassion & Business Conference at Stanford University. I was curious about how people were thinking compassion fits into business and how to bring it into corporations.  In the process, I learned some very interesting insights about compassion. One of the more surprising facts is that while receiving compassion is nice, practicing compassion for others can really increase your happiness.

Wharton professor Adam Grant described one research study in which Borders Inc. created an internal “United Way” program, where executives donated money and employee donations were matched. Any employee who had a financial need could apply for a grant. Now you would think that the people who received the grants would be extremely grateful and now be more loyal and committed to the company going forward. 

But instead, they found that the employees who donated were the ones who became more loyal and committed. The explanation was that employees felt grateful to have an outlet for their compassion, and as they gave more, they got a sense of pride and saw Borders as a company with heart.

He shared another example of a call center which had 97% turnover because they had to deal with very difficult customer calls. A new program was implemented where every employee could make a wish and they created teams to make their wishes come true. The turnover rate dropped to 33% within 6 months.

Being part of a team that helps people realize their dreams has a tremendous effect. The important thing is that we have a choice about giving, feel connected to the people we help, and understand the impact we make.

The same is true outside of organizations. Psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn shared studies that have been conducted in which people were given between $5 and $20. One group was told to spend it on themselves, while another group was told to spend it on others. They found that people were happier when they spent it on others. The results were the same around the world, even in poorer areas.

In a more recent study, they repeated the experiment with a Starbucks gift card, and told a third group of people to use the money to buy something for someone else AND also hang out with them at Starbucks. It turns out that the third group was the happiest of them all, since it included 2 other happiness boosters.

First, we actually get more happiness from buying experiences rather than material things, as dozens of studies show. Second, social contact and connection increases our happiness, too.

So compassion and happiness is only a step away. And it can be as simple as treating someone to coffee! :-)

For more information about Adam Grant, see

For more information about Elizabeth Dunn, check out

Manuela believes in compassion (including self-compassion) and loves helping others bring more happiness into their lives!  You can visit Manuela's Website for Professional Life Coaching and Personal Growth Workshops.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Greatest Good You Can Do For Another

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own."
~Benjamin Disraeli
As a life coach, this is what we do for our clients all the time. We support them to uncover who they are, including their potentially hidden talents, passions, interests, values, and life purpose and help them embrace themselves for the amazing, unique, wonderful, resourceful and creative human being they are.
Yet this is a gift we can all give to each other - as a teacher to our students, as a parent to our children, as a manager to an employee, as a co-worker to a teammate, as a sports coach to a player, as a mentor to a mentee, as a spouse to our partner, as a friend to someone we care about, and the list goes on.
So next time you notice someone's brilliance, just share it with them. It means much more than you may think...
Manuela supports women in discovering their brilliance! You can visit Manuela's Website for Personal Success Coaching and Empowerment Workshops. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keep Asking Until You Find the Answers

"Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers."
~Jack Canfield

Why is it sometimes so hard to ask for what we want? It could be because we don't want to appear selfish, or maybe we don't want to rock the boat or we are afraid to be told 'no' and feel rejected.

So when we finally get up our courage and ask for something that is important to us and we hear the dreaded "no," we often stop right there. After all, who wants to get rejected over and over again?

But did you know that in sales, there are usually four or five "no's" before a "yes?" I was amazed when I found out that was the case. And I started to think about what that meant if we applied it to our life. 

What if it was proof that rejection is not something to take personally, but just the natural order of life? What if we knew and expected that there will always be "no's" when we try to pursue something that we want, but that didn't mean that we won't be able to achieve it?
Think of something you really want to have in your life. Maybe it's the career of your dreams, a Soulmate, more balance and less stress in your life or something else. Would it be worthwhile to go out and go for it (and risk hearing some "no's") before you give up on it? 

Manuela teaches women life strategies to find success in their careers and personal lives! You can visit Manuela's Website for Personal Success Coaching and Empowerment Workshops. 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Feel Less Stressed, Anxious and Depressed, and Happier, more Resilient and Optimistic

If you had never felt stressed or anxious before, you would be alone in this world. One of the most common complaints I hear from my clients over and over again is that they are feeling overworked or overwhelmed and trying to find balance in their life. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something simple you could do that would help you feel less stressed, anxious and depressed, and happier, more resilient and optimistic instead?

Well, it turns out there is!  It is… the practice of Self-Compassion.

What is Self-Compassion?  Self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness and understanding, like a best friend would. Instead of criticizing yourself or judging yourself, when you are having a difficult time, feel like you made a mistake, or don’t like something about yourself, you are supportive and encouraging toward yourself.  

But if I am not hard on myself, will I be motivated to get things done or to do better? Yes! Self-compassion is not letting yourself off the hook and be self indulgent. It’s using our desire for happiness, connection, and love as our primary motivation, as opposed to using guilt, shame and fear, which makes ourselves feel bad and adds stress and anxiety to our life.

If we are able to be more compassionate toward ourselves, we can approach things that give us joy and meaning and hold ourselves accountable.

But how can we increase our Self-Compassion? Here are a couple of ways to begin practicing.

1.       Give Yourself a Hug
That’s right. An easy way to calm and comfort yourself when you’re feeling badly is through soothing touch.

Research shows that self-compassion may be a powerful trigger for the release of oxytocin. Higher levels of oxytocin strongly increase feelings of trust, calm, safety, generosity, and connectedness.

Next time you notice that you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or self-critical, try giving yourself a warm hug, or tenderly stroking your arm or face, or gently rocking your body. Convey love, care and tenderness with your gesture. Notice how your body feels after receiving the comforting touch.

2.       Be Your Best Friend

At the end of the day, think about the worst thing that happened to you.  Write a paragraph to yourself about the situation with self-compassion. What would you say to your best friend in your position? Show understanding and kindness for yourself, and include what you need to hear to feel nurtured and soothed.   

For example, let’s say you found out that you didn’t get the job you interviewed for.  You can write something like: “I can see how upset you are. You really wanted that job. It is difficult to receive a rejection. But you really did your best. There is a job out there that is a good fit.”

It may feel funny or strange at first, but with practice, self-compassion will feel more and more comfortable and will come more naturally. As we become more self-compassionate, we feel happier, more resilient and more optimistic. And it not only benefits us – it gives us more emotional energy to be there for others and give more support to our loved ones. 

How will you practice Self-Compassion today?

For more information about research on Self-Compassion, I highly recommend Dr. Kristin Neff’s Website.

Manuela teaches women life strategies to find meaning, balance, and personal success! You can visit Manuela's Website for Personal Success Coaching and Empowerment Workshops.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cherish Yourself

"You are beautiful. You are capable. You are strong.
Cherish you can cherish others."

Guess what? We don't have to wait for someone else to tell us! We just need to remind ourselves, so we don't forget. The beauty is, we can take responsibility for our own happiness. :-)

Manuela empowers women to bring more love and happiness into their lives! You can visit Manuela's Website for Professional Life Coaching and Personal Growth Workshops.   


Friday, May 3, 2013

You Are Flawed And Beautiful

"You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, you become carried away with yourself. Indeed you are quite impossible in many ways. And still, you are beautiful beyond measure. For the core of what you are is fashioned out of love, that potent blend of openness, warmth, and clear, transparent presence."
~John Welwood

Accepting ourselves completely is the first step toward loving ourselves. 

We are all works-in-progress. We all have weaknesses. And we are still beautiful, loveable, and wonderful. 

Once we can accept ourselves fully, with our strengths and virtues as well as our flaws and limitations, we can love others more fully, too, including their imperfections and weaknesses. 

You do not have to wait until you are perfect to love yourself.  

Manuela is helping smart and creative women bring more love and happiness into their lives! You can visit Manuela's Website for Professional Life Coaching and Personal Growth Workshops.