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How to Be Happy Podcast - Finding Happiness in Life, Love, Relationships, Travel, and Health
32 minutes | Jan 26, 2014
HTBH 026: Should You Marry Him or Her?
In this episode, Jared and Emily ask the question: Should You Marry Him or Her? and other topics such as: Dating versus marriage behavior How the person your dating treats others Do they have jobs and friends Do they have secrets Marriage is an important decision (obviously) but it’s not always easy to know if you’re doing the right thing. In my first marriage, my gut told me something was wrong. I felt it even as I stood at the alter. Deep inside I knew it didn’t feel right; but we often dismiss these feelings (as I did). Chalk them up to wedding day jitters. That’s not to say that many marriages don’t make it the distance with uncertainty on their wedding day. The best advice both Emily and I could give on “should you marry him/or her” is; how well do you know yourself? Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 026: Should You Marry Him or Her? appeared first on Jared Akers.
44 minutes | Jan 19, 2014
HTBH 025: How to Determine if You’re in a Healthy Relationship
Last week in episode 24, Emily and I discussed communication exercises. As part of that research, I came across a list of ways to determine if you’re in a healthy relationship. In this episode we discuss these topics and what they mean to us. How do you determine you are in a healthy relationship? Partners have appropriate boundaries physically and emotionally. Personal space is respected, as is alone time and relationships with important others. Partners are not excessively jealous. If partners don’t trust or frequently check on the other’s whereabouts, consider that you are not in a healthy dating relationship. Excessive jealousy and possessiveness can be a precursor to violence in relationships. Partners manage negative emotions appropriately. Partners take responsibility for their own actions, understanding that the quality of the relationship is up to him/her and will not blame the other for misunderstandings. Partners keep the lines of communication open and are willing to discuss issues that are important to the other. Partners seek harmony in the relationship and feel happy when good things happen to the other. Partners don’t expect the other to solve their problems. A good partner stands on his or her own feet. Partners have healthy relationships with others. Partners have a stable residence, telephone number, job & are working on goals. Partners don’t engage in provocative behavior or engage in cyber relationships. Partners don’t engage in excessive secrecy, frequently break plans, or refuse to be accountable for their whereabouts. Partners don’t engage in illicit drug use or abuse alcohol. Resources and Related Topics from this Episode: Communication Exercises – “I” Statements & Active Listening and How to Determine if You Are in a Healthy Relationship (.PDF) Emotional Unavailability : Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 025: How to Determine if You’re in a Healthy Relationship appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Jan 12, 2014
HTBH 024: Mindfulness, Listening, and Communication Exercises
While listening to our last podcast, Emily and I realized we cut each other off… a lot. We talk over each other on occasion, especially if we’re sharing something about ourselves with others. We’re both just so enthusiastic and eager to share all the love we have for each other and our lives! I’ve noticed it before; like when we’re sharing about travel, SCUBA diving, or how we met. The poor person(s) head on the receiving end is bouncing back and forth between us both like a tennis match. It’s quite comical actually. Sometimes I laugh about it later, as the recipient of our enthusiasm is pondering “What the hell was that flurry of animation and verbal stuff I just witnessed?” Communication Exercises What is mindfulness? From Jon Kabat-Zinn, famous teacher of mindfulness and meditation: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” If you’re new to mindfulness or meditation, start here https://jaredakers.com/meditation Mindfulness for me involves emotional intelligence, being at peace with myself so I’m capable of being mindful and in the moment. I can be present and aware of my emotions because my heart and mind are in tune. I’m driven less by ego, regret, guilt or shame and more Just love. Mindful Conversation Three key components to mindful conversation (from Search Inside Yourself): Mindful Listening: Giving your full attention to the one speaking, not just waiting for your chance to speak. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back as in meditation. Looping: Closing the loop of communication. The person listening loops back by saying what he/she thought they heard the speaker say. Dipping: “dipping,” or checking in with ourselves. The main reason we do not listen to others is that we get distracted by our own feelings and internal chatter, often in reaction to what the other person said. The best way to respond to these internal distractions is to notice and acknowledge them. Know that they are there, try not to judge them, and let them go if they are willing to go. If feelings or other internal distracters decide to stay around, let them be and just be aware of how they may affect your listening. You can think of dipping as self-directed mindfulness during listening. Dipping is also useful for the speaker. As the speaker speaks, it is useful for her to dip and see what feelings arise as she is speaking . If she likes, she may talk about them, or if she prefers, simply acknowledge them, try not to judge them, and let them go if they are willing to go. Mindful Conversation Exercise To perform this exercise, we practice listening, looping, and dipping. Basically we each take turns talking for 3-4 minutes while dipping ourselves to detect any emotions. Afterwards we repeat what we heard the other say and we continue to discuss this until the speaker feels the listener understood them completely. We also practiced the traditional “I” Statement Exercise. For example: I feel (emotion)______ when ___(the situation)___, and I would like ___(your request/need). Resources and Related Topics from this Episode: Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), Chade-Meng Tan Mindfulness and Meditation Communication Exercises – “I” Statements & Active Listening (.PDF) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 024: Mindfulness, Listening, and Communication Exercises appeared first on Jared Akers.
40 minutes | Dec 29, 2013
HTBH 023: Relationships, Setting the Rules on How You’re Treated
Whether you realize it or not, you’re setting the rules on how you’re treated. In this episode of the How To Be Happy Podcast, Emily and I talk about this theory and what this means in regards to the relationships we find ourselves in. Following are a couple of quotes and passages that bring some light to this topic: “No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt And from the amazing book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom: If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, “I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.” … In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly. Topics in this episode: How we allow others to treat us says a lot about how we feel about ourselves We attract that which we are, so finding a place of self-love and empathy for self is crucial in attracting those types of relationships in our lives We have the power to change the rules on how we’re treated What does this mean? Is it possible to change the rules without changing ourselves first? We have to be prepared for how the other person will react (e.g. they’ve been allowed to treat us this way and suddenly we’ve changed the rules on them) What’s reasonable versus unreasonable? What’s the process of actually changing the rules? HOW DO I DO IT? 1) Have the willingness to change 2) Start with self (self-love, acceptance, gratitude) – How to do it? 3) Communication with our partner or spouse about our journey 4) Follow through Resources and Related Topics from this Episode: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts HTBH 010: You are Not Your Relationships HTBH 017: Effective Communication with Your Spouse or Partner HTBH 015: 5 Keys to a Healthy Relationship Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 023: Relationships, Setting the Rules on How You’re Treated appeared first on Jared Akers.
37 minutes | Dec 15, 2013
HTBH 022: Relationship Advice; Are Arguments and Sarcasm Healthy?
Emily I rarely argue… actually, I’d say we don’t. Sure we may get snippy with each other from time to time, but we’re quick to recognize it and squash it as quickly as possible. That certainly is a contrast to many of our past relationships. Today we’re looking at the question: are arguments and sarcasm healthy? We sat down to discuss arguing, sarcasm, and a few questions we thought of along the way. Below are some we touch on in this episode of the How to Be Happy Podcast. A lot of successful couples will say that arguing in relationships is normal. But is it really? And when do healthy argument’s turn into something more? What is sarcasm? Some say it’s harmless and think it brings humor to their relationships, but what is it really doing to those involved? Is there really a way to “fight fare” and what does that mean? How Criticism and Sarcasm can destroy your relationship 1) It shows a lack of respect 2) It makes the target feel small or stupid 3) It can lead to fights 4) It causes others to lose respect for you 5) It reveals your true feelings Sarcasm (from HealthGuidance.org Psychology of Sarcasm – Dealing With Sarcastic People) simply put is when someone says something that everyone knows is untrue in order to draw attention to is ridiculousness. “They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” – and it doesn’t take much art to use this particular type of humor: Health Guidence.org Although it can be funny, it’s most often used to put another person down There’s passive and aggressive sarcasm. How to stop someone’s sarcasm: Address it by letting them know how it makes you feel. Fight back with sarcasm? Ignore them? Some people say all couples fight, is this true? Is it healthy to fight? What about makeup sex? (people say it’s great) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 022: Relationship Advice; Are Arguments and Sarcasm Healthy? appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Mar 6, 2013
HTBH 021: Stop Being So Needy
Do you have a needy partner, spouse, or friend? Or maybe you’re the needy one. In this episode of the How to Be Happy Podcast, we sat down to discuss how to stop being so needy. Whether your partner is too needy, or you feel you need a partner to be happy, “need” is a form of control. The more self-worth and love we have, the less we need to be happy and fulfilled. You don’t need anyone to make you happy. Topics in this episode: HTBH 005: Managing Expectations HTBH 007: Relationships, Effective Communication and Control Issues 5 Ways To Stop Being A Needy Girlfriend Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 021: Stop Being So Needy appeared first on Jared Akers.
25 minutes | Oct 21, 2012
HTBH 020: Creating a Positive Self-Image
It’s been a while since we recorded our last podcast. Emily and I sat down today to discuss what it means and the importance of creating a positive self-image. Topics in this episode: Self-Image Self-Esteem (doing esteemable acts) Acceptance Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 020: Creating a Positive Self-Image appeared first on Jared Akers.
32 minutes | Aug 14, 2012
HTBH 019: Dealing with Unhappy People
Last week after talking to my mother about dealing with unhappy people, she forwarded me an email with a story about The Law of The Garbage Truck. After some research, I discovered the story is from the book The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Stop People from Dumping on You (Amazon) by David Pollay. Here’s the story: One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’ This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so … Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t . Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! We all have to deal with unhappy people sometimes. Or maybe that unhappy person is you? Emily and I discuss some ways of dealing with unhappy people in our lives. Topics in this episode: Legacy File / Legacy Drawer Chapter 12 of Happiness for the Practical Mind The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Stop People from Dumping on You by David Pollay (Amazon) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 019: Dealing with Unhappy People appeared first on Jared Akers.
30 minutes | Jul 25, 2012
HTBH 018: Dealing with Aging Parents
Dealing with aging parents is a part of life we should feel lucky to experience. However, in some cases, depending on the relationship we have with our parents or the circumstances involved, there can also be a lot of stress, guilt, and resentments related to such an experience. In response to a reader sharing a touching story about taking care of her mother and then mother-in-law, Emily and I discuss the topic of dealing with aging parents and steps we can take to lessen the burden for our children as we age. Topics in this episode: Nursing Home vs. Retirement Community vs. Assisted Living Are we obligated to take care of our parents? It’s OK to feel some guilt or resentment Legacy File / Legacy Drawer (next week we’ll share more about this and what it entails) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 018: Dealing with Aging Parents appeared first on Jared Akers.
29 minutes | Jul 1, 2012
HTBH 017: Effective Communication with Your Spouse or Partner
In this episode of the How to Be Happy Podcast, Emily and I sat down to discuss our experience on effective communication in relationships. One of the best ways to become a great communicator is to know who you are and what you need. What’s the difference between nagging and someone just not paying attention or listening? At some point, if you’re nagging, you have to realize that you’re putting expectations on the other person to make you happy. Topics in this episode: How to Develop Good Communication Skills (accidentally on purpose) Gene Simmons Family Jewel’s Kindness Respect (listen to episode 015) Timing Honestly Sarcasm Anger Expectations (listen to Episode #5) The 90 Second Rule Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 017: Effective Communication with Your Spouse or Partner appeared first on Jared Akers.
27 minutes | Jun 23, 2012
HTBH 016: Travel Tips (Budgeting, Packing, Deals, and Expectations)
Traveling is important to us so we make it a priority. In this episode Emily and I share some things we’ve learned over the years to make traveling more enjoyable and affordable. Some topics we touch on are: budgeting, packing, airline tickets, finding deals, saving money, and managing expectations. Some places we’ve visited: Kauai, Cancun, Cozumel, St. Croix, Belize, Playa Del Carmen, Curacao. Topics in this episode: Obstacle vs. Challenge Funjet.com VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner) Travel Scale Expectations (listen to Episode #5) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 016: Travel Tips (Budgeting, Packing, Deals, and Expectations) appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Jun 16, 2012
HTBH 015: 5 Keys to a Healthy Relationship
In this episode Emily and I discuss 5 keys to have a healthy relationship. This is certainly not “the” five keys. Over the years we’ve certainly had some unhealthy relationships in our lives. We go over 5 keys which we feel have helped us maintain a healthy life and relationship. Key #1 – The 90 Second Rule When you first see someone that you haven’t seen in more than two hours, the first 90 seconds is the most important. That first 90 seconds is more important than spending hours with them later. Check out the 90 Second Rule post. Key #2 – Respect Self-respect is essential first; if we don’t respect self then it’s difficult for others to respect us. Emily makes a point that it’s important to think about what you’re saying and the consequences it may have on your partner or spouse. For example, if you feel you’re doing all the work around the house, ask for help instead of being sarcastic about it. Being patient with someone is showing respect (for example when they’re sharing a story you’ve heard hundreds of times). Key # 3 – Kindness Kindness is essential to a healthy relationship and is part of respect. Healthy relationships are built from genuine interest in the other. Key #4 – Privacy Respect others privacy and their need to have some individual time and things about themselves. This is much easier when there’s trust. It’s hard to let someone have privacy if there’s no trust. And for us, having full disclosure from the beginning is so freeing and healthy for our relationship. Key #5 – Support You need to have each other’s back. We discuss a little bit about supporting your partner when someone makes unpleasant comments about them. Topics in this episode: Alex Blackwell of TheBridgeMaker.com – His book Saying Yes to Change Get my book at GetHappyBook.com Expectations (listen to Episode #5) Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of our podcast! Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes) The post HTBH 015: 5 Keys to a Healthy Relationship appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | May 24, 2012
HTBH 014: How to Feel Happy When Everything Sucks
The question often arises of how to be happy in life when we’re unhappy with our circumstances. Whether your job, relationships, or other parts of your life, Emily and I sat down to talk about how to find happiness when everything in life seems to suck. In particular we discuss a quote from Immanuel Kant in the The Rules for Happiness: Something to do Someone to love Something to hope for Is it possible to be happy if we have none of these in our lives? At the least, the most important would probably be hope. Unhappiness can and does drain us of our energy so it’s hard in these times to think upbeat and be positive. This is where the “act as if” theory can help or as some call it “fake it till you make it.” Becoming active, helping others and being of service, is (from our experience) the most effective way of getting out of ourselves and finding happiness. This is an action and something we can almost always do. Gratitude is a key component of happiness. If we cannot find anything to be grateful for, happiness will remain elusive. Write down a gratitude list. Get out a piece of paper and start writing down things you’re grateful for. I like to make a list of 10 things, for example: arms, eyesight, mother, etc. Emily makes a great point (among many) when we were discussing the concept of having someone to love; that if someone doesn’t love themselves or is not willing to take care of themselves, how can we trust them to take care of what we share with them? Perspective is huge in pretty much all aspects of life. Accepting that things happen in life around you not to you helps change your perspective to less of a narcissistic view of the world. Finding happiness in any job is mostly about the relationships. If the relationships in the career or job aren’t fulfilling, it’s a tough decision and probably time to look into making a change. It’s important to have a plan. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing now, give yourself a time limit (how long you’re willing to do that) with a plan to do something else. Take steps in your off-time to make that happen, be proactive. Accept the fact that YOU are responsible. We talk about having to put our Westie dog, Pepper, to sleep over the weekend. It was sad and definitely sucked. We found happiness in the idea that she is now romping around heaven with our late cat Pud Pud. Yes, our cat was named Pud Pud (like Pudding) at least that’s what we called him, his given name was Armando… long story. How to be happy when your hair sucks? Wear a hat. My book is complete – but for subscribers (and if you’re not, I highly encourage you to sign up for exclusive content), they’ll be a special offer coming out soon so watch for that! The more energy and thought we give something, the more power we give it. Learn how to let things go. If we’re not getting what we want, maybe we are wanting the wrong thing. The resistance that we give to things can turn into a positive force to propel us farther (happier, more enlightened, etc.) once we move into acceptance and learning from resistance. By sharing our fears and innermost thoughts with others, we get the immeasurable value of a different perspective. Topics in this episode: Expectations – Episode 005 Emotional Intelligence – Episode 012 The Most Interesting Man in the World Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 014: How to Feel Happy When Everything Sucks appeared first on Jared Akers.
33 minutes | May 17, 2012
HTBH 013: Faith and Walking the Walk
We all know how important it is to tell those we love how we feel, but do we live it? We had a scare a few weeks ago when Emily went into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. The experience enforced the concept of maintaining our spiritual condition. That we stay in good spiritual shape—making deposits into our spiritual bank account—to draw upon in times of need. In a brief off topic discussion, I brought up the practice of replacing the phrase “I don’t have time” with “it’s not a priority for me.” This can really change your perspective on the importance of something. This concept was sparked by the post The Illusion of Time. Emily experienced some pain on Monday, April 30th while working and realized that night she needed to go to the hospital. After they discovered some blood in her urine, we realized this could be one of those moments that change your life significantly. We discussed the concept of how we talk the talk, but now we get to find out if we can walk the walk. We made a conscious decision, together, to stay in the moment and make a choice to not buy trouble and let it be what it’s going to be. CT scans discovered an inflamed appendix and during the surgery they discovered a hematoma. Emily was in the hospital for four days and is still recovering. It’s so important to let those you love know how you feel. But even though we know this concept, do we really practice it? If not, why? Is it ego or pride? If so, we need to work on that, get it out of the way, and stop letting it hinder our emotional connectedness with ourselves and others. I went through some emotions as the spouse of someone in the hospital. Things like what’s the best way to manage time away from the hospital and being there for your spouse? Our relationship works so well because we didn’t feel as if we were losing anything by committing to each other (at least as a man, I felt in many relationships like I had to give up my individuality or time I enjoy spending alone or on hobbies, etc.) Also, even though our joy is much grander with each other, we accept that our spouse is not responsible for our happiness. Emily shares that spending time in the hospital, although not a fun experience was a great experience. EGO – Easing God Out Topics in this Episode: Lee’s Summit Medical Center Abdominal Hematoma Spiritual Training Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 013: Faith and Walking the Walk appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Apr 28, 2012
HTBH 012: Happiness and Emotional Intelligence
“Emotional intelligence as the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” – Salovey & Mayer Emily and I just returned from a trip to Belize and shared a little bit about our great vacation; diving with sharks and eating lionfish! We start off by sharing what emotional intelligence means to us. The ability to make rational decisions and not just react based on the immediate emotion felt. We talk about how to avoid emotional blind spots by feeling the emotions completely and then being able to detach from them in a healthy manner. In the past, I had a lot of emotional blind spots; emotions I avoided because they were uncomfortable since I was emotionally immature. There’s a difference in being emotional and emotionally mature or connected. Being more emotionally intelligent makes us better communicators. We can be more empathetic. By being more emotionally connected, we can communicate more through energy and pick up on non-verbal cues; people pick-up on emotionally intelligence, both consciously and sub-consciously. It’s healthy to be emotionally connected with self; we have empathy for self and thus care more about how we’re treated, both by ourselves and others. Positive thinking only works if we put things into action, it should be power of positive doing. Laughter is powerful because it forces you to be completely in the moment. Crying is good. Emotional Intelligence is awareness and mindfulness; the ability to be a witness to your emotions sometimes referred to as cultivating the witness. We can let the conversations and emotional battles go on inside our heads without being involved. This allows us to make more rational decisions and communicate more effectively. Sometimes when we feel hurt, it helps to stop and stay “it’s not about me.” And once we say that, then it isn’t about us anymore. Topics in this episode: Ramon’s Village, San Pedro, Belize Search Inside Yourself (Amazon): The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade-Meng Tan Tuesdays with Morrie (Amazon) Louis C.K. (warning, explicit) Field of Dreams Life As a House Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 012: Happiness and Emotional Intelligence appeared first on Jared Akers.
35 minutes | Apr 11, 2012
HTBH 011: Happiness and Awareness
In order to find true inner-peace and happiness, we first need to have some awareness. This awareness is composed of two parts: 1) the awareness that something needs to change and 2) awareness of your thoughts and inner-dialog. Early in my life I achieved my childhood dream of becoming a zookeeper and had the awareness that life was going to be an endless journey of unmet desires. Being aware that there is a problem is the first step to making a change. Vipassana mediation is about being aware of what you’re thinking when you’re thinking it. It’s very powerful to become the “witness” of our thoughts, or as the saying goes, “Knowing the knower.” This allows us to detach from those thoughts, that as the witness we don’t have to be a part of the argument and be okay regardless of how the situation works out. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein In becoming aware, it’s important to realize we may need outside help in dealing with our emotions, feelings, fears, etc. Eventually most of us (if we’re lucky) come to the realization that material or external things are not going to fulfill us completely. Emily shares about sitting in her dream home and realizing how miserable she was. But just being aware sometimes is not enough; we have to be desperate and courageous enough to make a significant change. The drama and stories we create around events in our mind are often not how they actually happened. It helps writing down our thoughts, fears, and emotions. Getting them on paper enables us to see them for what they really are; just events that happened and the universe going about its business. Emily shares what she’s been reading in the book Heaven is For Real. We discuss the concept of prayer, heaven, and how beliefs are mental and knowing is physical. Topics in this episode: Vipassana Meditation and the book Mindfulness in Plain English Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 011: Happiness and Awareness appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Apr 4, 2012
HTBH 010: You Are Not Your Relationships
Emily and I discuss the concept that you are not your relationships. We had a listener leave a heartfelt message on our podcast line about a recent breakup. To set this up, Dr. Dyer in his book Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision to Be Free, he discusses the idea of the ego and spirit living in the mother’s womb. How spirit knows there’s something greater out there. And that we (in physical form) come from no-where to now-here but then return to no-where. You are not your relationships. Certainly the love energy between you and all of those in your immediate circle is very significant, but it is not who you are. You are an individual soul that is connected to the whole, but you are not the relationship to that whole. Your identification with your relationship provides you with great frustration because every time there is a glitch in it, as there always will be, you find yourself feeling worthless. Remember that you are eternal, that which is changeless. You are in a great number of relationships, all of which have validity, but they come and go just like your life here in form comes from no-where and goes to now-here and then back to no-where. It is a relationship of coming and going, and thus it changes. There’s a difference in not knowing what to do, or not wanting to accept something. And accepting something does not mean we have to like it. Often we seek acceptance rather than Love, more precisely love for self. How to make a move when you don’t know what to do? Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing to do; which in itself is doing something. Even if we find ourselves hurt in a relationship, be grateful that we’re able hurt at all. Every negative (seemingly) circumstance, relationship, or event in our lives is here to teach us a lesson. Learning and passing these tests, gives us the positive energy to transcend these difficult circumstances and come out better (more spiritually fit and emotionally mature). It’s unfair to expect your partner in life to be there for everything. Certainly they’re there to support us when it matters, but also realize they are individuals and have lives as well. It’s important to have others we can lean on for support. We’re all connected. Topics in this episode: Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision to Be Free, Wayne W. Dyer Expectations Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 010: You Are Not Your Relationships appeared first on Jared Akers.
31 minutes | Mar 24, 2012
HTBH 009: Happiness and Aging
Aging is just a hard fact of life. Inescapable. In this episode of the How to Be Happy Podcast, Emily and I sit down to discuss our outlook on aging. We share our experience on resisting aging and how to accept it gracefully. One important aspect of finding happiness in aging is acceptance. A major part of that acceptance is finding gratitude for the person we have become. And finding a way to use our life experiences to make us better and ultimately to help others. With age, also (hopefully) we learn what’s really important in life. That life is about learning, not winning. We discuss a little bit about the physical aspects of aging. How exercising (being able to run, swim, and compete in triathlons) is my way of reminding myself that I’m not dead yet. Emily suggests that there’s no real work involved in aging… “Just keep waking up.” I have to admit when I was listening back to this episode I laughed out loud at that one. Gravity plays a large part in aging. With aging also comes the acceptance of death, and finding ways to cherish life more and realize we’re just lucky to be here. We discuss a little bit about how we micromanage each other, and having motives in getting our partner to take over and do something for us when we don’t actually want to do it. Some topics mentioned in this episode: Patricia Briggs True Blood Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 009: Happiness and Aging appeared first on Jared Akers.
34 minutes | Mar 11, 2012
HTBH 008: Happiness and Change
Emily experienced a change recently at work and we sat down to discuss how to be happy in times of change. We discuss the challenges when dealing with change and how it’s up to us to make any change positive. Even when change is thrust upon us, and we seemingly have no choice, we can still embrace change and let it take us to where we’re supposed to be. Life is simply easier when we learn how to not resist change. Sometimes in life, as in swimming, you need to just take a break and float on your back. We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell Some topics mentioned in this episode: Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. How to Be Happy Managing Expectations (episode 005) Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 008: Happiness and Change appeared first on Jared Akers.
32 minutes | Feb 24, 2012
HTBH 007: Relationships, Effective Communication and Control Issues
Effective communication is vital in relationships. But how do control issues play into communication? We discuss the importance of getting to our root emotions and how they play into effective communication and control. Emily shares an experience with a friend and how her (friends) emotions were making it hard to communicate with another. Specifically, instead of trying to control the situation by giving advice, try sharing our emotions and/or fears. People change when they want to and more effective when it’s their idea. It’s better to lead by example, attraction rather than promotion. I share my confusion about artificial flavors and blowing my own mind. What is at the root of the communication problem? First just try and be honest about what you’re feeling rather than tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do. We talk a little about emotions, men versus women. Control is a façade. The only control we truly have is over ourselves. If we’re trying to control someone, are we trying to change them? We discuss the concept of projection. And seeing characteristics in someone else that we may not like; do we have those same traits in ourselves? People that annoy us can be our greatest teachers. What’s really going on? What’s at the root (emotion) that’s causing us to feel like we need to control someone or something? Is it selfishness, low self-esteem, etc? If we’re trying to control something, do we lake faith in some way? How doing the right thing and acting in a way we’re proud of (going through tough experiences) we discover we do have faith; faith that we can go through life and come out on the other side still in one piece. Be Understanding Rather than Understood from the Prayer of Saint Francis. The best way to become a better communicator is become emotionally connected with self. Being more emotionally in touch with ourselves allows us to better relate to others. To become a better communicator, spend some time alone and figure out who you are. Getting in touch with your emotions and knowing it’s OK to feel what you’re feeling. Emily shares an experience of sharing something and becoming vulnerable. What is jealousy all about? When you’re jealous you’re telling the person you don’t trust them. If we find people “just don’t get it” or “just don’t understand,” then maybe we’re not communicating in the right way. Communication has a lot to do with personal energy and non-verbal cues. Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates: Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes! Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) The post HTBH 007: Relationships, Effective Communication and Control Issues appeared first on Jared Akers.
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