We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path,
and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.
- James Van Praagh
Happiness means being who you really are. It means that despite all the outer pressures from society, parents, friends and others to be a certain way that you courageously shine your unique light and celebrate your individuality. Of course, it takes a bit of hutzpah to be different and rejoice in your quirks as well as particular talents. But one thing I know for sure is that the path of becoming deeply happy isn’t for wimps.
The True You
Our world likes people to be the same. And when you shine your unique light you are going to be different. So being able to stand in your truth and take “the road less traveled” as Frost described takes courage. For example, Ben and Jerry were childhood friends that needed to make a living especially after they dropped out of college. So they split a $5 correspondence course from Penn State University, and did what on the outside seemed wildly unusual by starting an ice cream business out of a renovated gas station in Vermont. The rest is history.
Of course, we may not all become multi-millionaires doing what makes us happy but that’s not why we do it. We share our gifts because that is why we are here.
Sometimes people like Ben and Jerry get to share their gifts early-on while many people start one career and then switch. I just read the average person has 7 different careers in one lifetime so don’t get down on yourself if you are still discovering your talents, and working toward sharing them with the world.
For example, JK Rowling worked as a secretary till Harry Potter took-off, Harrison Ford was a carpenter, and Steven Pressfield was a trucker. We all need to do something on our way to sharing our great gifts with the world. And our talents don’t necessarily make us famous either they can be anything from baking the best strawberry-rhubarb pie to pumping gas with a smile in a place where everyone needs one.
What can you do today to help move you toward this deeper sense of happiness? I share a few happiness tips here to get you started:
Meditate on Happiness – Sit quietly or do a walking (or hiking) meditation where you can ponder what makes you happy. You probably already know what lights you up, or you have clues. Allow your mind to get really calm and listen for your next stage of evolution to come out…Is it a career change? Or learning something new? Or changing your focus to family? Or developing your inner life? Of course, you can also consult someone who can see your life purpose or path to move you in a happier direction (yes, it’s a bit woo-woo but why not).
Read Up – Happier people have left clues and many of them are in books! Of course, I am partial to the one I wrote: Growing Happy Kids (it’s more than just about kids) but others include: Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg, Happiness Now by Robert Holden, Live in a Better Way by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. (All also available on audible to listen to too)
Reflect on Childhood – Oftentimes the things that made us happy as kids are what make us happy as adults. I wanted to be an artist as a child and today, I am a writer because that’s where I feel most myself. Actually, we are all artists of our lives and once we give ourselves permission to be truly who we are – our lives get better and better. Like Oprah said: I had no idea that being my authentic self would make me as rich as I’d become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.
Allowing your real self to take front and center stage can be scary but it’s also what’s necessary if you want to live your happiest life. When we admit our dreams to ourselves, take inspired actions (little or big) then our lives can transform to an even happier level – because we are ultimately saying, YES, to ourselves. We are giving ourselves permission to be who we came here to be and implicitly inspiring others to do the same. I am in. Are you?
By Maureen Dawn Healy
Maureen is a popular author, energy healer and counselor working with parents and children globally. Her new book, The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids (New Page), just came out last month and last year her book, Growing Happy Kids (HCI Books), hit the shelves. To learn more about Maureen or her work: www.growinghappykids.com or @mdhealy