Happiness Found: Stacy Brice Interview

To me, happiness is a state of mind. We can choose to be happy no matter what our situations (just look at people like actor Christopher Reeves who proclaimed his happiness right up until his death). There’s no better example for chosen happiness than Stacy Brice, one of the brightest lights in the Twitterverse. And here’s why…

Stacy BriceWho: Stacy Brice of AssistU
Stacy is a visionary who helps women create strong businesses that contribute to their having high-quality lives.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
I haven’t had anything remotely like a pity party since early 2003. Then, it was due to the ending of a relationship that I’d worked so very hard to make work. And in truth, today, I can’t even remember the specifics to share with you–that’s how over it I am.

But what I did was I hired a terrific therapist who gave me some tools to use when I felt low (ways to think about things, and ways to engage myself), and it’s to the point, now, where I only have anything even remotely resembling a pity party during the first day of my period–because my hormones are a bit out of whack, and I’m not as available to myself as I usually am.

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
I don’t recall, because it’s been so very long since I had one!

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
This I do remember. I remember feeling pathetic and just so lost. Taking the action to get into therapy helped me feel empowered and a bit elated.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
This is another one that doesn’t get me.

In 1996 when I started training to be a coach, I learned well about this thing we do where we lie to ourselves by saying something like, “I’ll go to the beach when I’ve lost ten pounds and can look good in a bathing suit.”

The lie is that we tell ourselves that we have to do A before we can do B. In truth, we most often don’t, and we could absolutely do B before A happens.

When I learned that, I started applying it to my life–noticing when I did it to myself, and realizing when I’d notice it that it meant I needed to really look at whether A had to come before B, and if not, then I needed to move on to B. So now, that process is second nature to me.

Sometimes, though, I realize that A doesn’t have to come before B, but I still don’t want to move on A for either a very good reason, OR because it just doesn’t matter to me that much.

In that situation I apply another tool my therapist gave me six years ago. It’s what I call the Aliveness Test.

When I realize, for instance, that A doesn’t have to come before B, I examine B, in part, to see how NOT doing it would impact my aliveness. If it would impact it a lot, then I have to do B. If it wouldn’t impact it much, if at all, then I feel free to still not do B.

What advice would you give others seeking what you’ve discovered?
Being awake, aware, willing to take action, and willing to change the way you feel about what’s happening will move you out of the place you’re in.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, what type of help would you ask for?
I honestly don’t need anything, but would share a couple more things:

  1. Surrounding myself with other people who refuse to wallow in self-pity, and who are living a well-examined life themselves is incredibly helpful and empowering on my own journey.
  2. Realizing that everything I do, and feel is a choice was difficult at first, but empowering once I “got it.” Because if what I’m doing and feeling is a choice, then when I feel crappy (for any reason), I can choose to do and feel something different. Often, that’s as simple as going to have a cuddle with my cat–which leads me to feel unconditional love (and unconditionally loved), which then leads me to feel content, and ultimately happy. I may not be able to change my circumstance, some times, but I can choose to change how I feel, and what I do about it.
  3. I gave up trying to control other people, and resigned as Mother of the Universe. In doing so, I don’t take on things that aren’t mine to take on, and I let people walk their own paths, and experience what they’re meant to experience.
  4. Number 3 is part of a tool/way of being that I added just this year. I had believed, on some level, that struggle was part of my DNA. This year, I’ve chosen to focus on ease. So wherever I struggle, I immediately imagine myself in a boat, paddling hard upstream… and then just stopping, turning the boat around, and letting it float down stream. It reminds me that I don’t want, nor do I have to, struggle….that there’s an ease-filled way to go.
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6 thoughts on “Happiness Found: Stacy Brice Interview

  1. Oh, I just love it when the Someday interviewee is someone I know! I met Stacy at FoVA this year and it’s lovely to learn a little more about her.

    Stacy, thanks so much for sharing your story and your words of wisdom with us. I love the phrase “resigned as Mother of the Universe” – as women, so many of us seem to feel that we’re responsible for everyone else’s happiness, and it’s very freeing (but not easy) to step away from that losing battle.
    .-= Janet Barclay´s last blog ..It’s Face to Face Time Again! =-.

  2. Great interview with Stacy – I agree with “#1” – refusing to surround yourself with people who wallow in self-pity. That is hard, especially when you may have legacy friendships with these people. But it is a critical tool in the toolbox of becoming whole (in my experience). Thanks for sharing this!
    .-= Laura – The Journal of Cultural Conversation´s last blog ..It’s Not About The Horse: Lessons From Miraval =-.

  3. Yay for happiness! πŸ™‚ Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..are you living in the future? =-.

  4. Alex Fayle says:

    @Janet
    Yes, women do tend to get socialized into taking care of others before taking care of themselves – glad to hear that you too have freed yourself of that!

    @Laura
    Nearly a decade ago I cut almost all the negative people out of my life (unfortunately I also made the mistake of cutting out some positive people too, but fixed that!). And it’s amazing the difference in my life when everyone looks for solutions rather than in just wallowing (although I do love a good – short – wallow sometimes).

    @Positively Present
    Glad you enjoyed the interview!

  5. Eliza says:

    RE: “I’m not as available to myself as I usually am” I LOVE the way you phrased this, Stacy. It actually puts a wonderful spin on those days when you just aren’t connected. It’s like saying “I’m not here right now, but no worries, I’ll be back” Yes, I am definitely pulling that line out to use on myself the next time I have that fuzzy disconnected feeling.
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..Why are we so cranky all of a sudden? =-.

  6. Alex Fayle says:

    @Eliza
    And given the family you come from, I’m sure there are many times you’re not available to yourself… πŸ˜‰

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