Learning and Expressing Compassion

Learning and Expressing Compassion

How do you have compassion for yourself or others? Do you speak to yourself the way you would speak to your best friend, or are you harsher on yourself? Coaches Carol, Laura, and Kelye explore the topic of compassion in this fourth podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Compassion”.

WWR Coaches Discuss Compassion

How Do You Connect?

How Do You Connect?

How do you connect with others? What are some of your most valuable connections and relationships? Coaches Carol, Laura, and Kelye explore the topic of connection in this third podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Connection”.


WWR Coaches Discuss Connection

Happy Pies

Happy Pies

In August, my Be Positive evening retreat, based on Gratitude and Positivity, focused on how 40% of our happiness comes from intentional activity and the group ideas generated from the retreat exercise made us feel 100%. I explained how author Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research shows 10% of our happiness comes from life circumstances, 50% is from genetics, and 40% from intentional activities. This breakdown is turned into the Happy Pie – the representation of what we can do for ourselves to be happy!

Over 30 women put energy into what they can intentionally do to create their happy pie! After giving each group an opportunity to describe ingredients to create a whole pie, they came up with Fulfilled Pie, Soul Pie, Whoopi Pie, Peppy Pie, and Positivity Peachy Pie! They were ready to embrace what they had control of, such as:

  • Being in Nature
  • Making their Bed
  • Self -Compassion and Gratitude
  • Pet Love
  • Connection, Dance, and Laughter

What are your intentional activities to feel whole and happy?

The practice of gratitude, or being in the present moment here and now, is many things to many people.  During Be Positive, we discussed how expanding our horizons to express gratitude gave us more energy and positive emotions, and as a bonus, it has many health benefits as well. The happiness tool I often use to measure positive change is If I were 3% more grateful in my day, I would ______________.

I was over three percent more grateful to partner with Cathy Hansen, a certified Laughing Yoga instructor, to help us put some of these intentional activities into practice. We focused on many ideas, but here are five we explored:

  1. Journaling – A healthy way to reflect on the day in a written way. Take time to reconnect with yourself and your thoughts on paper.
  1. Smile – Everyone knows that when you’re happy, you smile, but it’s also true that when you smile, you are happy.
  1. Compliments – Brightening someone else’s day also brightens your own. Sincerity is a key component as well.
  1. Volunteer – Helping others, like victims of Hurricane Harvey or more recent Hurricane Irma, is a great way to boost how you feel about yourself.
  1. Meditation – Take 2 minutes to be calm and silent. Clear your mind and be present.

What are habits you create to find the positive side of your situations?

Whatever your habits are, if being more positive is on your mind – move forward with some of these or try something else without overthinking. Shake it off. It’s time to cut loose and have some fun. We think so much all day, every day, so start to set aside some thoughts for you. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy your fresh Happy Pie!

Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com

Cultivate Happiness

Cultivate Happiness

Lean towards joy and listening and away from giving advice.

Kelye Rouse-Brown with friend on beach

This was a great headliner to learning about positivity and happiness in An Introduction to Positive Psychology with Dr. Maria Sirois in beautiful Berkshires, MA. My oldest and dearest friend joined me and now we make an effort to fill our happy bucket year after year, like earlier in May when we celebrated our milestone birthdays together in Rhode Island. We savored the crashing water against the rocks along the cliff walk and enjoyed the historical mansions.

Another magical time in the month of May was my first hot air balloon ride that took my breath away with more special gems in my life. We just floated in the air and didn’t even feel the take-off, much different than my usual airplane rides. The pilot was so cool, it was like being carried away with the great Oz from the Wizard of Oz. I fell in love with Santé Fe, NM on a higher level. It seems when you take the time to plan for happy events, they will happen… the sky’s the limit, and life can be more joyful.  

What happy events do you have planned?

Positive psychology was referred to as the scientific study of optimal human functioning and officially launched as a field in 1998. Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar was highly talked about at the retreat and he first taught a seminar at Harvard on this fairly new topic in 2002 with eight students enrolled and two dropped out. The objective of the class was what psychology can teach us about leading happier, more fulfilling lives. The following year the class went public and 380 students signed up. The evaluations showed the class improved the quality of one’s life. Well, the next time the class was offered it grew to 855 students enrolled, which made it the largest class at Harvard University.

What education class are you most looking forward to learn, grow, and feel happier?

There are many definitions for both positive psychology and the science of happiness, but the simple answer is that positive psychology is a subset within the broader field we call the science of happiness. Positive Psychology focuses largely on the study of positive emotions and the science of happiness focuses on areas such as exercise and psychological well-being.

Kelye and Valorie BurtonThe topic is very popular and soon after our retreat in the Berkshires, my next education event followed up with more Positive Psychology and I was introduced to Valorie Burton, Founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute. I loved her spirit and presentation. One of my favorite parts of her presentation was her happiness boosters. You might consider taking her online happy woman test by going to happywomantest.com and find out your top triggers to boost your happiness. It only takes about 10 minutes and you will learn your happiness quotient that you can focus on for improvement over time. For example, anticipation is great when you have something to look forward to, like a trip to Rhode Island with an old girlfriend or a flight like no other. Here are Valorie Burton’s 13 happiness boosters:

  • Play
  • Purpose
  • Gratitude
  • Savoring
  • Relaxation
  • Flow
  • Service
  • Smile
  • Connection
  • Movement
  • Winning Words
  • Financial Savvy
  • Anticipation

What happiness boosters are you most satisfied with?  What would you like more of?

After taking the happiness test, some of my top boosters were gratitude, smile, and service. These and more will be discussed further at my upcoming Be You series session, Be Positive, on August 30th at Brewer’s Alley. Come join us and be reminded to pause and savor life’s joys. I look forward to sharing a happy retreat with you!


Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com


Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

I am turning fifty in May. What’s the big deal? So are dozens of my close friends, thank god. Well, it is a big deal for us. We ponder what this next decade and life are going to look like for us.

My spring tour includes the following 10 destinations for sure:

Daytona, Boston, Newport RI, Sedona, Santé Fe, Chicago, Houston, Texas Hill Country, Jamaica, and San Diego

What are your favorite places to travel?

Most of you that are close to me know I travel for business and my business is in airports, namely Dallas Fort Worth Airport. But the cities on my Frolicking Fifty list have very little to do with business travel. In fact, only two cities have business conferences that will turn into days of frolicking.

Daytona Beach

Joanne, Lileigh, Sabrina, Steve, David and Kelye in Daytona Beach

In April, I visited Daytona Beach, Florida to celebrate one of my oldest best friends turning 50, Joanne. We go back to the 4th grade, so we have known each other for 40 years! Growing up, her family invited me on many trips, like Daytona (where we just were), and Arizona where I fell in love with Sedona. When I reflect on those four decades together, we were in and out of each other’s lives because we only went to elementary school together for two years. We were in different middle schools, high schools, and colleges. But we were each other’s maid of honor and I am the godparent of her daughter, Lileigh. We also consider her youngest daughter, Sabrina, as my godchild. Joanne and I think that in some cosmic way, she is a part of me, not just in looks but personality too. Our life is such an amazing love story.

What’s your favorite old friend love story?

Godchild Stephanie

In early May, I head to Boston and Newport, RI with my niece/godchild, Brittany, my sister-in-law, Robin and oldest friend Susie. I love that my niece wants to spend time with her aunt/godmother. We are going to an Orioles/Red Sox game at Fenway ballpark. We will surely be “hitting” some fun pubs and making more travel memories together. After Boston with family, Susie (kindergarten and up) is picking me up and we are heading to Newport to celebrate both of our fiftieth birthdays. When we were growing up, Susie and her family adopted me as well on family trips, mostly camping. My husband Steve and I are the godparents to Susie’s daughter, Stephanie.

In the middle of May will be plenty of local celebrating with family and friends nearby. Carol, founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats, is putting together a fun patio party downtown Frederick – celebrating is a key component of our community and we do it so well!

At the end of May, I head to Sedona and Santé Fe, where I will be turning and celebrating my 50th birthday with my husband, Joanne, and family. Steve is taking me to my favorite destination, Sedona, for a few days where I always get and feel centered. It’s the vortexes, I am telling you, and maybe a spa treatment! Then we drive to Santé Fe for Lileigh’s graduation and may head to Colorado for Memorial Day weekend. Sabrina and I will celebrate our birthdays together, as she is turning 16 the day after me, my mini-me cosmic daughter. Who knows, some frolicking might even include a hot air balloon ride. We are still mapping out our adventure for the big milestone weekend.

Texas Hill Country

Debbie Hill frolicking in Texas Hill Country

What are your favorite adventures?

The frolicking tour continues as we head to Chicago in early June. This time it’s a U2 concert, on my bucket list for sure by age fifty, and I will be FIFTY! Joanne bought me tickets for my birthday, so we are meeting up for more play time.  Later in June and July, I head to Houston for an airport conference and then off to Texas Hill Country. Red wine will certainly be involved. Texas Hill Country wine region is making a pretty big statement. Of course, everything in Texas is big! It’s not just the wine, it’s the rolling hills – combine that with Debbie Hill and you are packed with fun.

What’s on your life bucket list?

The finale of my frolicking days for the sake of my fiftieth celebration will be in Jamaica and San Diego with my best college girlfriends and more time with my best girl Jenny! All my college roommates, including Natalie, Christy and Erin and close sorority sisters like Barb and Jenn will be in Jamaica. It doesn’t get better than that, yeah man! California dreaming will be the last stop with a hospitality conference in San Diego and off to finish with best friends Jenn and Todd in Orange County California, where they live. We are entertaining enough for each other, so anything else that happens will just be extra in our world. We are such a compatible travel team, as we have been to Jamaica, Mexico, Italy,  Austria, and Germany, to name a few places. It just makes sense to wrap up this fiftieth celebration with our peas in a pod.  

                                                                 Who are your peas in a pod?

Celebrating with my godchildren, oldest friends, college friends, family, and husband is such a blessing – I truly value growing from my roots. I have heard the fifties are the best and I already see that frolicking into my fifties will be the BEST of friends, family, beaches, ballgames, milestone celebrations, red rocks, red wine, rolling hills, spas, concerts, and best of all, travel – my take away in life is TRAVEL OFTEN! We are always traveling and on a path – fifty feels a little like a fork in the road. What I know is, traveling is better when frolicking with family and friends, no matter what age you are. I thank everyone that makes this a happy, lifelong adventure, including my mom, who I know is always with me for the ride.

What do you look forward to celebrating in your life?


Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com