I was part of a group book discussion a couple of weeks ago and I was so inspired by the six happiness tools mentioned in the book that I thought I would share them with you today. The book is called What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better by Dan Becker and Cameron Stauth. The six happiness tools are; appreciation, choice, personal power, leading with your strengths, the power of language and stories and multi-dimensional living. Although I would love to write in detail about each one of these tools, I am only going to focus on the second one…choice.
As the group was discussing how having a lack of choice leads to depression, I could not help but reflect on my personal journey along with the hundreds of women’s parenting journey’s I have walked alongside. Many clients arrive to me thinking that the one way that they are currently trying is the only way to accomplish their goal to motherhood. They often are afraid to consider other ways and have a lot of anxiety as they push past their fears of the unknown.
I believe that having choices along my path to motherhood helped me remain calmer than I probably would have been if there was only one way to accomplish my dream. When we first started our journey, my husband and I sat down and discussed how far we would go on our path and worked out a plan that included a lot of different options. There were spots we had to compromise on, but in the end we stuck with our plan. We also created a timeline, which at times got stretched out due to needing to process emotions or we had to work with other professionals and their own timelines. Having a plan along with a timeline made our journey more efficient and less emotional (notice I said less, I certainly had a lot of tears along the way too).
When I start working with a new client, I ask them a bunch of questions to understand what they’ve tried, what they are willing to try, and what they are not open to exploring. Sometimes there is a strong no and I respect that decision and we move along, and yet at other times I sense hesitancy and as we explore another option further she is willing to take the risk to learn more about it.
The name of my business came about when my husband, who has a background in marketing, began to ask me questions about what I saw myself doing as a coach. I shared with him that I have all this professional knowledge about infertility and also about adoption and that one way or another I can help a woman to achieve her dream of motherhood…and that’s how One Way or A Mother was born. I knew that there were multiple ways to accomplish the same goal and that it was extremely helpful to have a guide to bring them through the forest of choices. “Life can be brutal…but if we always have options, we’ll always have hope. “1
1 Becker, Dan and Cameron Stauth. What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better, (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin), 121.