Chakras & Chardonnay

Ep. 25: Joy Unlocked: Untangling Happiness with Rebecca Morrison

November 29, 2023 Maria Mayes
Chakras & Chardonnay
Ep. 25: Joy Unlocked: Untangling Happiness with Rebecca Morrison
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 25 delves into the elusive quest for happiness.  Whether you’ve found yourself successful by the world's definition yet still unhappy, or just want to uplevel your joy quotient, this episode is for you. Maria Mayes chats with guest Rebecca Morrison, a lawyer turned leadership and happiness coach on a mission to spread joy by helping people discover what they need to live happier, lead happier and build happy businesses.  Author of "The Happiness Recipe," exploring how to find joy even after reaching success, Morrison shares a simple yet powerful well-being practice  - focusing on acknowledging three good things daily. The conversation transitions from mindfulness practices to their shared love for wine, making it a delightful, insightful, and lighthearted exchange. If you're seeking a blend of practical happiness advice and casual conversation, this episode offers a refreshing perspective on finding joy in life's simple moments. Maria shares a little insight on what Meritage wine is and a review of one of her favorites from Sonoma California. Be sure to stick around for the guided relaxation at the end.

Featured on this Episode: 

To learn more about Rebecca Morrison and her work:

Talk Dirty to Me Wine: 
Tank Garage Winery 2021 Talk Dirty to Me, Red Wine, Sonoma County

Learn more about Maria and her work at Take5.Health and subscribe to receive tips and free Guided Meditations each Wednesday. Connect with Maria on social:

Ep 25 "Joy Unlocked: Untangling Happiness with Rebecca Morrison"

Maria Mayes:
[00:00:00] All right. Well, welcome back, Chakrath and Chardonnay listeners. I've got a big question for you this morning, and that is, or this afternoon, whenever you're listening to it, but it happens to be morning when I'm asking it to you. What do you do when you've achieved your goals, yet you still don't feel happy?

Have you been there? I know I have. And my guest today, I'm so excited to introduce her. Rebecca Morrison was there. She was a happily married mom and a lawyer with a two decade career in big law and finance, but still felt there was something missing. And that feeling led her on a quest to figure out whether it's even possible to be both happy and successful.

So now a happiness coach and the author of the happiness recipe, a powerful guide to living what matters most. Rebecca has successfully helped unsatisfied high achievers find their happiness recipe so that they can live happier, [00:01:00] healthier lives and build happy businesses. So she's a graduate of Wesley College and Georgetown Law and also a UC Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute grad.

So she's a certified executive coach and certified applied positive psychology practitioner. So in addition to all that, let me share a little bit about how we met. We met earlier this year. We both enrolled in a positive intelligence coaching program for coaches and Uh, from there have continued to stay connected through a mastermind group.

And I have to tell you, one of the reasons I'm really excited to have her on Chakras and Chardonnay is she's actually one of the people that encouraged me to start this podcast. But more importantly, whenever I'm communicating with her, she has this way of making me feel really heard and seen. And I think that's all we're looking for in life, right?

So I'm just so grateful. Um, to have you on today, Becky, thank you so much for saying yes. And for [00:02:00] sharing some wisdom with our listeners. 

Becky Morrison: Well, thank you for having me. And thank you. I couldn't have asked for a better compliment. I mean, you know, it is my, one of my, um, goals is, and one of the things I've learned in coaching is the power of truly witnessing people.

And, um, it's something I try to do. So say, so you noticing that means a lot to me. 

Maria Mayes: Well, I'm, I'm very grateful. So let's, uh, let's get into the wellbeing tip. But before that, did, is there anything I missed? I mean, you've got a lot in your background and that with a short intro, anything that the listeners should 

Becky Morrison: know?

No, I mean, I think you hit the high points, right? Uh, there's a whole life in there with, you know, raising two kids who are now 19 and 15. And, and that's been an important part of what I've been doing. Well, I've been sort of figuring out this balance between happiness and success. Um, But no, I mean, I have dogs.

I love them. But yeah, I think you hit the big one. 

Maria Mayes: [00:03:00] Sounds good. Well, take us through a tip that we can put into action to support our well being. I mean, happiness is such a huge part of that, right? So how do we 

Becky Morrison: get there? Yeah. Um, I mean, gosh, I could offer a couple different things. Um, and I, I want, I think where I want to go is one that might sound super simple.

It's one you've probably heard before, but it's one that when I learned the research on it, blew my mind. And so you hear a lot about sort of having a gratitude practice, right? And, and taking time every day to notice the good things. And now even there's like on Instagram, what are they calling it? The sparkles, like noticing the sparkles in life, right?

Noticing the good stuff. Um, but there is a intervention that comes out of the world of positive psychology, and that was tested in, like, at a very high level with a high volume of people by the sort of. Godfather of [00:04:00] positive psychology, Martin Seligman. And it is called three good things. So it is very much like a gratitude practice, but it is a little more specific and it looks like this every day.

Take note. And by take note, I mean, you could write it down. You could text it to a friend. You could text it to yourself. You could say it at dinner. It doesn't, the, the format is not super relevant. It's the action or the noticing and the savoring that matters, but three good things that happened today.

And the reason that I like that question is because a little different than this sort of generic gratitude, right? Like, I'm grateful that I have a house or a place to sleep or safe safety or, but it's specific to what happened today. And the way I think of it is like, how can I juice the good from today even more, right?

Like, how can I squeeze a little more juice out of the positive? Um, and there's two things I want to add, two modifications I want to add. For people listening. One is extra credit. And there's a lot of people I know who really like to get extra credit. So if you want extra credit, um, something you can do is [00:05:00] three good things that happened today and how, what role you played in them.

Because I think it's interesting to notice, right? And the good thing could be like, I had this really awesome interaction in line at the store, right? What role did I play? Well, I was present for it. I actually let myself talk to a stranger. I mean, sort of noticing these, the ways that we open ourself up to the positive can be powerful.

The other modification is when you're having like one of those days, the bad ones, the crappy ones, if you can't think of the, the quote unquote good thing, then it's enough to say three things that made you smile. I see. Yeah. And it could be the silliest things right it doesn't have to be. And I think this is a nice reminder that like to sort of squeeze the good out of the day to find the happiness and every day it's not about like it doesn't all have to be deep and meaningful.

Like my dog. I took it. So for me, it's a little later than you and I had to get up really early this morning and I took a nap and I woke up from my nap and my dog was like [00:06:00] on top of my legs and upside down. He looked like such a goofball, right? And that could be one of my three things for today very easily.

Because it just like I woke up laughing because I looked down and I'm like, what, what is this knucklehead doing anyway? So just, just a reminder that, you know, when it's a hard day, it's not, you don't have to go mining so deep. You can actually just think about like, where did I even feel a little bit of good today?

Maria Mayes: Yeah. I love that keeping it light because we, we make things so complex and so serious all the time. It's part of that human predicament, right? But I think, especially as the world continues to get more intense and go at a faster speed. Like just knocking it down to just three good things, three things that made me smile.

I mean, even on the shittiest of the shitty days, we can usually pull something out. So I love that. Where do you find, uh, where do you find your clients getting hung up the most 

Becky Morrison: with this type of practice?[00:07:00] 

So, I mean, where, where don't you get hung up? So number one place people get hung up is if I don't do it today, then I failed at doing it. Therefore, I'll stop doing it forever. Right. And, um, the research on this one, and I, I didn't say this, but I mean the research on this one, and this is why it blew my mind is, you know, when you do this practice for a sustained period of time, let's call it 30 days.

You experience all kinds of incredible benefits. You're happier. You're more engaged. You actually sort of what they've measured is you see a decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms for a sustained period afterwards. And so people hear that and they think, well, okay, that's great. But I did 15 days and on day 16 I didn't do it because I was so busy and I forgot and on day 17 I didn't do it because I was so busy and I forgot.

And so now, like, I've lost the benefit. Absolutely not. I can guarantee that in the thousands of people that they've had this do this intervention, very few of them have done it perfectly [00:08:00] because it's not about perfection. It's just about doing. So that's 1 place. I see people get hung up. The other place I see people get hung up is for some of us.

We think about 3 good things and we think we have to pick the 3 best things. And then we worry about like, well, is it a, or is it B or what about this or what about it's three good things, period. It's not the three best. It's not rank order. It doesn't have to, I mean, you might forget one of the most amazing things that you had happen because you are more aware of what has happened close in time.

Who cares? The point is to notice the good, to savor the good, to experience the good, to have the moment of gratitude. It's, it's all of that is what matters, not the substance. I love that. 

Maria Mayes: It's like saying, you know, which is your favorite kid? Well, they both. Yeah, they both are. Right. So just, yeah, just pick one.

They all can be all the good things. It 

Becky Morrison: doesn't matter. All the good things. Right. And I mean, if you come up with more than three, congratulations, like it's fine. Right. You don't have to, you know what I mean? Like you're not committing these three into, into stone. So yeah. 

Maria Mayes: And [00:09:00] I love that you brought up saber.

So I know there's some research showing that I think it's maybe is it 10 or 15 seconds that it takes to lock in that positive thought. So just. savoring that to get that wiring working. Whereas, you know, the negative thought, it's like less than a millisecond, something 

Becky Morrison: ridiculous. So it is something ridiculous like that.

And then, and I mean, that all goes back, I think, fundamentally to evolution and safety. Right. But yeah. Um, but yeah, I don't, I don't know. The specific number, but I think you're right. It does take a moment and that's why savoring is so powerful. And the other thing that I think probably people know, but I want to say is that having the memory of something reliving it in your brain is the same as living it the first time from your body, from your brain and body's perspective, right?

It's not distinguishing between this is happening in real life or this is happening in my thoughts. And so the chemical releases are the same. You get all of the positive benefits of the positive experience again. By [00:10:00] thinking it, right? And there's some really important things that happen physiologically and neurologically when we have a positive emotional experience.

And it's, that's a whole different, it's another sort of important line of study in the positive psychology world, but it's called broaden and build. And it's this notion that when we have, when we actually have the moment of a positive emotional experience, two things happen. Our worldview broadens, and I mean that literally physically, like our peripheral vision increases, but also the way we think about problems.

Like if we need to creatively problem solve, we can see more options when we've had a positive emotional experience. So that's the broaden piece and the build piece is it actually builds our resilience. So if you think about sort of we have emotional energy and it's in a piggy bank and we need to make deposits and we need to make withdrawals.

And when tough stuff comes along, we make withdrawals. And when we have positive emotional experiences, we make deposits. So it's a way of building up our resilience piggy bank by having these positive emotional moments and by building them into our day, [00:11:00] um, the three, the three good things is one way to do that.

That one way to sort of like institutionalized habit to make a habit around making those deposits every day. 

Maria Mayes: I love it. And I see so many, I mean, I just, I think it almost bears repeating that, that can you just repeat that, that piece that you started out with again that when you experience it in your memory.

Becky Morrison: Yeah, so when, yeah, when you have a thought, like if you visualize a really positive interaction with the friend, your brain chemically is not distinguishing that positive, that, that from the moment where it happened. So same thing. If I sit down and worry about what's going to happen, my, my brain and my body feel like it's real.

Right? Like all the chemicals that go with it, all the physiological responses are there maybe to a slightly lesser degree, but they're all there. So it's like we get to choose by, by having some control over what plays on our brain screen. I'll call it, we get to choose what we're, what we're experiencing [00:12:00] physiologically, um, in any given moment.

Yeah. I love 

Maria Mayes: that. I love that. And it's so. So, so many parallels, I will say to meditation and to breathwork practices, right? And you know, if you miss a day, you miss a day, but it doesn't mean that you discount then all the other time you spent on your meditation seat.

It just means you miss a day. And you can get back on the horse the next day. But that building of resiliency, um, I get asked a lot, like, well, you know, what has meditation done for you? I'm like, what hasn't it, it's, it allows me to function in this world, you know, basically like, let's just start with that.

It allows me to be a human, right? So, but I think this too, this, this practice of just having grace and compassion for ourselves when we don't remember to write down or say the three things, right. But. But building that resiliency bank, that's just huge because it's yeah, that's what it's all about The world's not going to get any less [00:13:00] stressful.

Becky Morrison: It's for sure. True. And I mean, look, like, what did I just say? I said, we can, we can control. We have a choice around what our physiological experience of life is based on what plays on our brain screen. Well, that requires mindfulness. How do we train mindfulness?

Meditation and breath work are a great. I mean, breath work is. Separate, but related. Right. But I mean, that is, that is a, those are just training tools. Like how do we train stamina? Well, you go out and you move. I mean, it's the same principle, right? Like you have to have some training for it. And, uh, really understood for me, like that was a big unlock to, to realize that training mindfulness through meditation was going to help me.

Apply all these tools, help me have more control over what's happening above my neck, right? And therefore below my neck, right? Cause it's all connected. It's all connected. 

Maria Mayes: Oh, I love that. Well, I think that's such a simple tip that we can put into action today. So for the listeners out there, three good [00:14:00] things.

It's so simple. And if you can't think of those, if it's been a bad one, then what made you smile? Even just one thing. Right. So, 

Becky Morrison: um, again, it can be, but like, The literal silliest thing. It can be the meme that somebody sent you. It doesn't matter because when you start to the reality is when you start to dig into those smile moments, you realize there's appreciation there.

There's gratitude there. There's often connection there. So yeah, I love that 

Maria Mayes: because it simplifies it. So we're doing some deep stuff physiologically, but it's really light and that's That is the whole reason why I started this podcast, too, to bring these things in a really light manner, so, um, let's switch topics and let's talk a little bit about wine.

What type of wine do you like to mindfully sip, if any? 

Becky Morrison: So, um, yeah, wine has been an evolution for me. Um, So I lived for a long time in Virginia and I did a lot of Virginia wine country [00:15:00] back when Virginia wine country was immature. So a lot of like weird off the beaten path, like sweet, white. 

Maria Mayes: And, 

Becky Morrison: um, just recently I've had a maturation.

So we went last year, um, to Sonoma and I was like, Oh, this is real wine. So now I'm, I'm a little on a, like a little bit of a red blend. kick. 

Maria Mayes: Um, so tell me how you like your red blends. Just tell me about the flavors. 

Becky Morrison: Yeah. Yeah. So I like, I like them to be, I think the word I would use, I'm, I'm not a wine, whiny, like I'm not a connoisseur, but I would say like well rounded, but a little fruity.

I don't like them too much. Like you just licked an ashtray, although like a nice. Strong red like that with a really strong food. I can totally get behind but just for like casual drinking I like a blend. I like a um, like a [00:16:00] meritage or not a huge like straight merlot fan I'll do a cab sometimes but that sort of fruitier like what would they call them stone fruits?

Cherries plums those kinds of things Yeah. A little peppery is okay. Okay. Yeah. 

Maria Mayes: Beautiful. So you fell in love with Sonoma. You're not the only one. It's a beautiful. 

Becky Morrison: I mean, it's funny because we went out there in, I want to say it was like April and we had sort of just decided to put our house in Virginia on the market and that we were going to move somewhere because we're building a house in South Carolina and it's not going to be done for a little while.

And we literally had a moment where we're like, could we move here? To Sonoma. Can we find a rental? Let's do it. Who hasn't had that moment? We realized that was totally impractical. The whole purpose was to, A, take advantage of the real estate market, but B, get to South Carolina so we could better manage this project.

So, California wasn't geographically convenient, but yes, we deeply fell in love with Sonoma. 

Maria Mayes: [00:17:00] Very cool. Well, cool. Well, I think we should plan to get together and have a glass of beautiful Sonoma blend here soon 

Becky Morrison: at some point. That sounds good to me. 

Maria Mayes: Thank you so much, Becky, for coming on and sharing your wisdom with us, and just bringing some happiness and brightness and some light into our lives today.

I really appreciate 

Becky Morrison: it. Thanks for the 

Maria Mayes: chat, Maria. Where can our listeners find you? 

Becky Morrison: So I'm going to make it easy. One Stop Shop is my website, and that is untanglehappiness. com, and you can connect with me on all the socials there. You can find my book, and you can learn more about the work that I do.

Maria Mayes: Beautiful. Well, all that will be in the show notes and I look forward to chatting with you again soon. And I look forward to reading your book too, so thanks everyone