My interest in coaching and personal development was sparked in 1993 when I attended Tony Robbins ‘Unleash The Power Within’ 3 day seminar. Walking on burning hot coals was a brilliant metaphor for teaching us that we can do anything we want in life – if you can overcome fear, there’s nothing holding you back. I took my teenagers to the same UPW seminar in London in 2004 as I thought this would be the best investment I could ever give them in their future. It was at this seminar that I discovered the importance of hugging – we had so many hugs from strangers and it really touched my heart. My marriage had ended 4 months earlier and I realised how much I’d missed my hugs, so when I returned to my hometown of Burnley, I vowed to keep up the hugs.
I formed Global Hugs Ltd in 2005 and left my secure full time job as Executive Director of an Enterprise Agency to follow my passion – helping other people to feel better about themselves, achieve their goals and increase the joy and happiness in their lives.
I developed a keynote speech and workshop called The 7 Steps to Happiness because there is no need for anyone to feel down unless they choose to. Love and Joy are higher vibrational states and I want to help people live in the higher vibrations rather than in the lower vibrational energies such as anger, guilt and fear.
The 7 Steps to Happiness
Step 1 – Happiness Comes from Within
Life is an emotional roller coaster, we have ups and downs. You can’t rely on external factors for your happiness such as your relationship, children, work or material possessions otherwise your happiness is conditional upon these circumstances. In reality, happiness is a decision and you can choose happiness at any time.
Step 2 – Let Go!
Everyone has a history and some people carry the world on their shoulders – they keep all their burdens in sacks which they drag around, constantly weighing them down. Many have a selective past and focus on the bad things that have happened whilst forgetting all the positive things. The past does not equal the future. Accept what has happened, forgive and let go. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not the other person – the person most affected by keeping hold of past hurts is you. It can also damage your relationships with others so decide to let go and move on.
Step 3 – Watch Your Words
The words we use are so important – they create how we feel. When someone asks ‘How are you?’ how do you respond? OK, fine and not bad are common replies. How about changing this to more positive language such as fantastic, brilliant, marvellous, or outstanding? What words do you use when talking to yourself? Are they positive or do you beat yourself up? Catch yourself doing good things and praise yourself. Tune in to how you talk to yourself and monitor your thoughts. Ask yourself empowering questions: What have I got to be happy about right now? What have I got to be grateful for in my life? Or if things have gone wrong ask, what can I learn from this situation?
Step 4 – Physiology and Focus
Over 50% of your emotional state is determined by your physiology. What do you do with your body when you are feeling depressed? How shallow is your breathing? What do you have to focus on to feel depressed? What meaning are you giving to things? The quickest way to change your emotional state is to make a radical change in your body. If you are sitting in a slumped position, stand up and move your body in an energised state, breathing deeply. Change your focus to something positive by asking empowering questions. Reframe situations where you can feel down. For example, when I found out my husband was planning to leave me for someone else, I searched for an empowering meaning and came up with “He’s set me free and I can now become the person I’m destined to be!” I felt very differently about the situation by that one meaning and it made a massive difference to my emotional state. Put a big grin on your face and look up at the ceiling – now try to get depressed – you can’t! You have to do certain things to feel down, and you do different things to feel great – so do the things that make you feel great and choose happiness.
Step 5 – Gratitude
Gratitude is one of our most powerful emotions because is the antidote to all negative emotions and stops you feeling self pity. Knowing this really got me through a bad time when I was going through my marriage breakup. Make gratitude part of your daily ritual – I start and end each day thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for in life. I feel so blessed.
Step 6 – Make Happiness a Habit
It’s like building a new muscle – you need to condition the new behaviour and reinforce at every opportunity to stop sliding back into your comfort zone and old ways. You can have daily rituals – appreciate yourself, love yourself even more each day, keep a gratitude diary. Hang around with people who inspire you. Some people light up a room when they enter, and others turn the dimmer switch to low. You become the expectation of your peers so choose your friends wisely. Find a happiness buddy – you can support each other if you find you’re at the bottom of the roller coaster and need a lift up.
Step 7 – Have a Higher Purpose
Life isn’t just about us – ask yourself how you can make a difference to others. One of our 6 needs is contribution – giving beyond ourselves. That can be helping people in your extended family, your friends, your community or the wider world. Everyone can do something to make a difference in the world – this is where true fulfilment lies.
So now that you know the 7 steps, choose happiness!
The Power of Hugs and Unconditional Love
One of the vehicles for my higher purpose of spreading unconditional love around the world is through the power of hugs. Physical contact is vital for humans. Babies who don’t receive physical touch and love can die through the Failure to Thrive Syndrome. Everyone needs a hug. Virginia Satir, family therapist said: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
I created International Hug Week and Hug Events take place annually between 1-7 May. I’ve also recently worked as a Hug Consultant helping to raise money for Children in Need whilst teaching shoppers how to hug (left cheek to left cheek which means you have a heart-to-heart hug). Hug events are great and can really make a difference by helping people to feel loved. Some comments we’ve received include: “I really needed that, I haven’t had a hug since my husband died 6 years ago” and “I didn’t realise how much I needed a hug till then – I haven’t been hugged since my wife left me”.
Sometimes, people don’t want to be hugged and we must respect that. Instead, I send them unconditional love by projecting my energy and visualising it surrounding them. This is also a very powerful technique to use when people are angry or fearful or when there’s a conflict situation. It can make a big difference energetically.
When I attend business networking events, I offer hugs which some people readily accept. The formal handshake is also available for those who prefer not to hug – it’s important not to impose hugs on people! My job title of ‘Director of Hugs’ is always a talking point when people meet me for the first time and I tie it in with my business as a coach using HUGS as an acronym, meaning ‘Hunger for Unlimited Growth of Self’ as my business is in personal development.
You can see videos of Debra’s Hug Event by visiting her youtube channel: www.youtube.com/DebraBrown
My Coaching Philosophy
I love coaching and training and bring in universal laws such as the Laws of Intention and Attraction to help my clients understand a different way of manifesting their goals. I work very intuitively with clients and delivering added value is important to me. I work from the heart space and genuinely care about people.
Six months ago, I went through an incredibly powerful coaching system called Energy Diamond Coaching developed by an amazing coach in London called Jazz Rasool. I was blown away with the accuracy of the Lifescan profiling tool which reads between the lines of your perceptions to enable you to see where your focus and energies should be to achieve your purpose. In fact, it helped me so much personally that I’ve been going through the intensive training myself so I can incorporate this into my own coaching practice.
Energy Diamond measures your VQ (vitality quotient) which is a combination of IQ (intelligence) +EQ (emotional) + SQ (spiritual) to give a measure of how alive a person feels and how much of their potential they are realising. The Lifescan profile generates a roadmap showing your top challenges and top opportunities. Using the energy mapping system, you get in flow by doing things in the right order which builds your energy rather than depleting it. You learn how to contain your energy to support your present and future, then energy overflows to make a difference to those around you rather than being drained away by not getting closure on past issues.
As a special offer for readers of the3rdi, you can get a free sample profile by visiting www.energydiamond.com/lifescan and entering the referral code ‘debrab’ at the bottom of the contact details form.
Anyone interested in helping with the hug mission can:
visit Debra at www.masterygym.org
and at www.globulhugs.com