Joie De Vivre: “Living With A Ravenous Thirst For Life” with Regina Carey
Speaking Gratitude. In the midst of chaos, be it small or large, identifying something for which we are grateful shifts our mindset. Whether we suffer a loss, get pulled over for speeding, have a child throwing a temper tantrum, or misplace our keys — taking a moment to say out loud, “I am grateful that/for/to/etc…” helps us focus on the positives. Gratitude is like a muscle that needs flexing moment after moment in order to make it strong and responsive! When we get good at being grateful, we become more hopeful about life and its many gifts.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Regina Carey, M.Ed., Founder of Carey On, LLC. The goal of her work is to educate and empower those who are stuck, struggling, and ready for positive change. Regina customizes her approach to meet the needs of each unique situation. Her methods focus on moving forward, using positive feedback, and embracing all that comes with that journey.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I believe learning how to deal with loss brought me to where I am today. Truly, the path I took unfolded as a result of letting go and reinventing my career as an educator. As I journeyed with my husband through his professional training, I learned how to create anew wherever we landed. From a young age, I knew I wanted to teach. That part was easy. However, I was also bullied as a child. That part was tough. As I grew, I longed to have a voice, stand strong, and help others believe in possibility. Everything I’ve done through my 30-year career has been to empower others, and that comes from a lifetime of practicing resiliency.
What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?
For me, living ON PURPOSE means living outside ourselves to make a difference — as an active participant in our own life as opposed to being a victim of circumstance. If we are too much inside our own heads, the ego takes over and drives everything we do — our thoughts, our behaviors, and our limiting beliefs. It is about getting great at making decisions, and then choosing every day to be that person who smiles, lends a helping hand, acts with loving kindness, and moves forward.
Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you in finding your life’s purpose?
Throughout my elementary and middle school years, I suffered relentless bullying. This was before cell phones, and I dare not even begin to imagine the outcome had cyber-bullying been a thing back then. Many nights were spent in tears, wishing that my life would end, but knowing better than to hurt myself. I often used journaling and writing poetry as a way to heal my emotional pain.
I found comfort in working with younger children at my schools to help them when they didn’t understand their assignments and talking with them when they were sad. My intuitive instincts have been strong my whole life, and I often use that today in my work with clients. Learning how to release the pain of my own life has made me more empathic and genuine in my work.
The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?
People are lonely. When we feel alone, we spend a lot of time in our limbic brain — feeling the emotions and focusing on survival. In survival mode, we believe it’s “us” against “them.” Life becomes threatening.
People are tired. We work all the time. Technology, as wonderful as it can be, creates this alternative reality that leads us to believe we are always accessible. Our minds and bodies never stop, ultimately crushing our spirits. Life becomes dark.
People are searching. So many people come to me saying that they’re “searching” for the right partner, the right job, the right home, the right stability to “make them happy.” That’s not going to happen. Until we become happy with ourselves, we will continue to emit low vibrations, which ultimately bring more low vibration people and experiences our way. Higher vibes? Better outcomes! Happiness!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Success, in my opinion, is relationship-based. The way I have brought goodness to the world is by believing in others and being relentlessly helpful. Modeling self-care, practicing my gifts, navigating tough journeys with my clients, giving back to my community, and teaching others how to draw on their inner strength are all things that help me feel successful. Along the way, I embrace the relationships created as a result of being vulnerable and opening up to the journey. Everything I do works to lift people up and bring healing into the world.
What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
Top Six Strategies for Facing the Day with Exuberance:
1. Speaking Gratitude
In the midst of chaos, be it small or large, identifying something for which we are grateful shifts our mindset. Whether we suffer a loss, get pulled over for speeding, have a child throwing a temper tantrum, or misplace our keys — taking a moment to say out loud, “I am grateful that/for/to/etc…” helps us focus on the positives. Gratitude is like a muscle that needs flexing moment after moment in order to make it strong and responsive! When we get good at being grateful, we become more hopeful about life and its many gifts.
2. Embracing Our Gifts
Each of us spends time in our day doing things that we do not enjoy. As a result, we expend energy faster. When we work in our weak areas, we begin to believe we’re not good, worthy, or competent.
Doing things we love, that we’re good at, and that keep us motivated is a healthier way to live and experience fulfillment! Sharing our gifts with the world takes courage and determination. It’s the difference between doing and being. We know how to do a lot of things. It’s when we allow ourselves to BE who we really are that we derive the most joy from our lives.
3. Learning to Incorporate FLOW into Everyday Life
Discovering Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his work on Flow is one of the highlights of my education. Csikszentmilhalyi defines Flow as:
“A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
In order to get into “Flow,” Csikszentmilhalyi identified the following elements as necessary:
1. Clear sense of goals
2. Immediate feedback
3. Challenges of the activity match the skills
4. Attention is focused and concentrated
5. Operate in the present moment
6. In control of the activity
7. Lose a sense of self-consciousness
8. Sense of time is transformed
This boils down to enjoying the simple, everyday tasks of our lives with a mindset of awareness and a commitment to happiness. Creating little challenges along the way to see if we can complete the chore in record time, learn a new language while we do yard work, or try out a new music playlist when we go on our daily walk, will increase the likelihood of getting into Flow and ultimately enjoying the more mundane aspects of our lives!
4. Spending Time with Systems (calendar, reminders, Post-Its) — what’s working?
Some people rely on paper and pencil planners to keep track of appointments, to-do’s, and important events. Others use a variety of technological devices to manage their lives. Whatever system we choose, we must spend time with it in order for it to work FOR us. As our lives become fuller and admittedly more complicated, we can increase our zest for life by scheduling our time wisely.
Looking at where we dedicate our time and energy says everything about how much we value ourselves. When we practice healthy boundaries and self-love, we make decisions about our time based on our values. When we feel overworked, underappreciated, and victimized, we lose sight of forethought when scheduling ourselves. We commit based on our fears about what others might think, and, before we know it, we have accounted for every minute of our day. An alternative response? “Thank you for asking. I will look at my calendar and get back to you later today.” Schedule your life to increase joy and happiness!
5. Narrating Breath (to prevent spiraling thinking)
The brain is incapable of carrying two thoughts forward at the same time. When we begin to replay arguments with others in our head or think about an interaction that didn’t go the way we wanted, or something we wish we would have done/said differently, we can begin to narrate our breath. Literally saying out loud (or in our head) “I’m breathing in; I’m breathing out; I’m breathing in; I’m breathing out,” stops the other thought in its tracks. Once we have narrated 5–7 breaths, the other thought is left in the dust. We can choose to think about something more beneficial and positive. If the icky, sticky thought returns, simply begin narrating the breath again. This also works if we awaken from sleep worrying about the day ahead. Using this technique teaches our brain to focus on the power of our breath. Getting precious oxygen to our brains results in a clearer and more positive outlook.
6. Practicing an Abundance Mindset
We must be aware of what we tell ourselves. Too often we are living in a scarcity mindset — “There’s not enough time…” “I don’t have enough money…” “We can’t do that, because we’re not ready…” Bottom line, we can adjust our attitude by flipping our thoughts about our circumstances. This follows very closely with practicing Gratitude because when we acknowledge what we’re grateful for in the moment we are also acknowledging that we are blessed with goodness and abundance. “I have everything I need right now.” “I have enough time to get this done.” “There are many people in my life who love and support me.”
And one of the key ways to practice abundance is to give things away! When we donate, pay it forward, and gift others with items we no longer use, spare change in our pockets — or even a smile and “Good Morning!” — we are sharing what we, ourselves, crave. Love. Kindness. Generosity.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?
Anything from Seth Godin
The Untethered Soul — Michael Singer
The 5 Second Rule — Mel Robbins
The Happiness Advantage — Shawn Achor
You Are a Badass — Jen Sincero
The War of Art — Steven Pressfield
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck — Mark Manson
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better — Pema Chodron
*any resource connected to one’s “tribe” is the best way to both pique interest and quench that thirst for living!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have carried a business card with me every day for over 20 years from Mary Anne Radmacher that reads:
“Squeeze possibility out of every moment!”
And that is how I live! I have experienced much loss in my lifetime, and I know how quickly life comes in and out. It moves as swiftly as our passion allows, and I intend to make the most of my time here — with intentional, powerful, and loving choices each and every day! That belief, in and of itself, helps me pop out of bed in the morning ready to live another series of amazing experiences!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Just this month, I started a new business called Plyovation™! This began as an alternative to calling myself an Entrepreneur, which I just learned how to spell correctly last year! I am a Plyovator™ and my goal is to create a nation of Plyovators™ ~ a person who loves herself and others, who honors her calling by practicing her gifts, and is willing to take on greater than normal emotional risks to do so.
Because my tribe is women, I believe this will help the world by teaching our women to heal themselves and pass that along to their children — or the children with whom they interact. It’s a way to live life by following our instincts, making heart-centered decisions, and taking action on magical opportunities presented to us continually throughout our day.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
This Plyovation™ Methodology IS a movement! That is my intention. It’s about teaching people to have faith in themselves — perhaps for the very first time — and to trust that decisions made with love and positive intention will make a greater impact than ones made out of fear. Those of us who are ready to share our gifts are called to out-create the ones who spend time tearing down. Plyovators™ can rebuild, refresh, renew, and rejuvenate the healing powers in all of us.