Sandi Leyva Training Solutions for Accountants

May 3, 2020

Zap energy sappers

Filed under: Happiness,mindset,positivity,stress management — 1o49d @ 7:00 am

I bet I’m not the only one having a challenging time keeping up with everything I need to do in one day.  Besides work, there suddenly seems like there are more chores – cooking, cleaning, and even sewing! (My grandmother would be so proud.)  If you are time-challenged to the point it’s affecting your energy and mood, then learning how to zap the energy sappers is for you.

Here’s what I mean by energy sappers:

  1. What does your desk look like right now? Is it clean or messy?  If it’s messy, that’s an energy sapper.
  2. How about your dining room table? Stacked with stuff or a beautiful bowl of fruit or flowers on top?  If there’s clutter, it’s an energy sap.
  3. Go around the rest of your house: laundry on the couch, unmade beds, dirty dishes in the sink, dead plants that didn’t get watered, stacks of paperwork, books, or bills.  Identify these sappers.

When you pass by these items every day, you look at them and what happens?  Your inner critic says “I am behind.”  “That needs doing.”  “Why can’t I keep up?”  A little piece of your energy escapes each time you look at these items and feel deflated.

How can you get your energy back?

  1. Clear the clutter, especially those items that have been sitting there for six months without moving. The world hasn’t fallen apart because you haven’t been able to get to this task.  Put it in the closet to get it out of sight.
  2. Get help from other family members, or if your state’s shelter-in-place rules allow, hire a housekeeper. If you feel that “help” is a 4-letter word, consider reframing that thought to a more powerful one:  It’s a gift to let people help us.
  3. Create an environment that supports and nurtures you. I buy a bouquet of cheap flowers at Safeway, then cut the stems off and place the flowers and buds in glasses around the house for an uplifting, beautiful (and low-cost) look that lasts a week.

Transform your energy sappers into energy boosters and watch your energy and happiness grow.

May 2, 2020

What Is the Happiest Man in the World Like?

Filed under: Happiness,mindset,positivity,stress management — 1o49d @ 7:00 am

Matthieu Ricard is still smiling.  The happiest man in the world has just finished up a two-day retreat in Washington DC with the Mind and Life Institute which brings neuroscientists and contemplatives including the Dalai Lama together to study the effects of meditation on the brain.  He spoke at an Emory University fundraiser headlined by Richard Gere and then flew across the US to my old backyard, Silicon Valley, where he now sits at another fundraiser for Tibetans.

Matthieu doesn’t know it, but I was watching him at all three events.  Other than the Dalai Lama, I don’t think you’ll find someone more relaxed and yet passionately engaged in the present moment at the same time.  Matthieu takes my hands, smiling, and greets me.  He’s not only joyful; he’s approachable and real.

I have been following the Venerable Matthieu Ricard since 2003 when Daniel Goleman wrote about him anonymously in one of my favorite books, Destructive Emotions.    That’s when I first heard his story.  His father is a well-respected French philosopher who socialized in heady circles of Nobel prize winners, successful artists, and genius scientists.  Matthieu earned a PhD in molecular biology and almost immediately after, joined a monastery and became a monk.   Today he resides in Nepal at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Kathmandu.

The most amazing thing about Matthieu is that when Dr. Richie Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, took an fMRI scan of Matthieu’s brain, his capacity for happiness registered off the charts.  That’s how he earned the title of the happiest man in the world.  The thousands of hours Matthieu has meditated has actually changed his brain makeup (neuroplasticity) so that he has 7-8 times the capacity for compassion and happiness than any other person measured.

I asked Matthieu if he would give me an interview.  He said, “I would love to, in joy.”    Matthieu spends 70 days a year on airplanes, is one of the top Tibetan monks in the world, must get asked to come to every benefit, show, interview, and conference there is, and not only said yes to me, but said, “I would love to do it, in joy.”

There’s so much we can learn from Matthieu even before interviewing him.  How can we be “in joy” more often?  How can we add meditation to our lives for the benefit of our brain and our happiness? (Studies show just after three weeks there are fMRI differences, so you don’t have to meditate for 30 years to get the benefit.)  How can we calm our negative emotions?  And how can we greet perfect strangers with a smile, a warm clasp of the hands, and a “Yes.  I’ll do that in joy?”  There’s much to contemplate about the model this master contemplative is for the world.

You can find out more on his website,, or watch one of many of his TED talks,

May 1, 2020

Happiness in the Time of Coronavirus

Filed under: Happiness,mindset,positivity,stress management — 1o49d @ 7:00 am

It’s easy to be happy when everything is smooth and easy.  Enter COVID-19, with its myriad challenges.  How can you be happy with all the changes and fear that it’s brought?

We have some peace- and happiness-generating tools and tips for you.

  1. If your house is full, agree on ways to enjoy each other’s company without getting in each other’s way.
  2. Stay on your exercise schedule, no matter what.  You’ll feel better and be happier.
  3. Schedule in some personal time just for you, whether it’s a spa, meditation, or a walk in the woods.
  4. Start a family ritual that everyone can look forward to. Rituals are such an important anchor for kids and provide them with an identity and a story to hold onto. Your ritual(s) can be anything from a weekly gratitude ceremony to a daily walk to a Saturday morning wakeup call.
  5. Get out of your rut with your relatives, and ask them meaningful questions you may not know: 1-What was the happiest moment of their lives?  2-What were you passionate about when you were a teenager?  3-What is the change you want to see in the world?

If you do get into some squabbles, keep in mind the big picture view.  They’re family and you love them.  Make a bold statement like, “All I want is a relationship full of love, laughter, and light.  How can we get back to that?”

These are just a few tools you can practice during the shelter-in-place rule to make this time more special and less stressful.  If you have ideas, send them to us and we’ll post them.

Powered by WordPress