How many times throughout your lifetime have you been disappointed by people or circumstances? I doubt anyone will say never. It is a fact that things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes we may try to keep a stiff upper lip, while other times we go reeling in our emotions protesting, perhaps even holding a grudge. If only they would have done THIS, or said THAT! If this played out differently I would be happy. Approaching life this way makes us forever reactive to our circumstances. Living this way is giving away our power to be happy into the hands and care of others. Well what a rollercoaster that can be in our experiences if we are focused outside of ourselves for our happiness, by relying on how people treat us and how our day unfolds.

I remember when I began studying spirituality, my teacher shared with me some Buddhist wisdom. She advised me to be flexible like the bamboo. Bamboo may appear thin, but it is able to survive horrific hurricanes and forceful winds. The bamboo is very strong and flexible. I try to live this idea of resilience and flexibility daily, why do I have to have things my way? Keeping in mind everyone has their own perspective and experiences reflected in their actions and words. Is something that is being debated in this moment all that important, and will it matter in 5 years? Having a flexible mindset, knowing that we all affect each other on the daily is a big concept to contemplate. The idea that we are a part of a whole, so be responsible and aware of the whole (a.k.a. other people)….beyond our little ol’ self.

There are of course times where things are more concrete where there is no flexibility. For instance, I have 2 areas in which I am an expert. I am a Healer/Energy Expert For 20 years and also a Master Hair Colorist/Educator in the Beauty Industry for 30 years. When I teach the science of our hair color line, and that mixing the proper amount of oxygen into the proper weight of hair color is essential for the full expansion of the hair color molecules. There is no debate. Wrong amount means failed results. Science is science, you will not get the correct results otherwise.

As human beings, we are not so concrete. We have the ability to change. We are hardwired from our creator, an assembly of DNA, genetic traits, preferences, life experiences, our upbringing, and interests all embody essentially who we are. Hopefully evolving and growing along our journey. We did not get a manual to our happiness, did we? Some of us are naturally positive or happy, some of us are not. I can see some genetic predispositions and traits, but I also see how our experiences affect our scope and perspective. We have the power to change. So is there one secret to happiness? Flexibility like the bamboo? Not looking outside of yourself for happiness, but rather within? Well, yes to both. But say you are doing all of this and you still feel off somehow? There is a greater wisdom happening in your world that could give you clues if you pay attention.

I will tell you that you can begin to wake up to your happy today. Yes, happiness is an inside job, we can choose a better perspective, positive affirmations, we can look at the good rather than focus on the yuk of situation. Sometimes we need to be quiet and learn more about who we are authentically and what you really desire and how you feel, what comes up when you begin to question yourself? Maybe there is something that needs your attention.

All too often, we automatically go about our day unconsciously. We may not feel happy and aren’t sure why. Eventually life can throw something our way to make us stop and pay attention. Or at least it would benefit us to pay attention. Sometimes, we just keep going on that treadmill of our routines, we just want to make it through our day. One thing I have learned, if you are ignoring a message it will get louder and louder in your experiences. Meaning things will get harder and harder In your experiences until you finally face what you need to face, and look at the deeper messages. So if you are not living your happiest life, slow down and listen within. Your answers are right there. Do you take the time?

As an energy teacher, I teach…. what we think about we bring about….where your attention goes energy flows. Often unconsciously we are thinking our thoughts and making decisions based off of years of conditioning and experiences. We are not even paying attention to our language, or choices that we make. Which invites more of the same experiences.

Maybe you have tried to be more positive, and things still seemed to unfold like a derailed runaway train, aimlessly speeding down a mountain. Been there, done that my friend. I totally get it. I will share with you below my life changing wake up call. I will never betray myself again. I have learned to check in always with questions such as; Does this work for me? How do I feel about this? I now have absolutely no qualms about sharing what works and what doesn’t being authentic to myself. Which truly helps me live my happiest life!

Being awake to your true self and what works and what will not work for your can be communicated with love. However, there will be times you need to be more assertive. It is also okay to allow yourself some time and space to process something. Learning to be authentic to yourself, asking for what you need, or even setting a boundary setting you free to align with what is for your good is a right step to happiness. How people react to your choices and truth is on them. Just know that YOU are responsible for your happiness. But first you have to know what that means to you. Who you truly are. It is in sharing my story I hope to help you understand how to use this approach of taking inventory of your relationship with yourself and self-love, self-care. Being authentic to yourself. My life had to literally fall apart to where I was completely devastated. I realized I needed to pay attention to life’s message around my happiness and waking up to how I was not valuing myself.

I was so excited to begin a new chapter in my life. I thought I was building a better world for my girls and myself. A complete family and responsible father figure, love for us all, starting a new job at an upscale salon, wanting to begin to expand my spiritual biz, and finally ….the love of my life. It meant moving 2 hours away to a new state, to a gorgeous home, but giving up a 25 year book of salon business, and my girls were to begin at new schools. Well to say things did not go as planned is an understatement. So much fell apart in big ways, I was terrified and so unhappy. Truly the most painful time of my life.

About 3 months after our move together, my then boyfriend of 4 years said to me, “you need to get out, I can’t do this.” All of his commitment fears came raging coldly and I had to find a new home in a new state. I had blown through all of my savings moving and being on a commissioned pay while trying to build a clientele in a new area. Only 3 months in isn’t enough time to build a full time income. I was soon to be homeless with not having a sustainable income to provide for my girls and myself.

Luckily I am fluent in the wisdom and teachings of Energy. I knew there was a message and wisdom to my situation. Obviously, I wasn’t getting something or had ignored some red flags along the way. Through the depth of pain, I asked God, “What do you want me to see here?” ”I can’t endure this depth of pain ever again.” “Please helps me see my role.” It is very easy to say I am a victim, aren’t they awful? Pointing the finger outward to someone else. Really the person we are perceiving to cause the pain is our messenger. To the deeper message waiting for us, and to align with a loving and happier life. It is really for our growth and good. The Universe is a loving Universe, experiences happen to bring us back to the power of Love. One thing I have learned is to take responsibility for what is showing up in my life. “What is my role in this creation, and what do I need to see?“

So let’s look at the situation and doing some inner work. From a spiritual perspective, what we experience is a reflection of our inner world. Our core beliefs. The world is our mirror. So what are your circumstances reflecting?

THE REFLECTION EXERCISE – What is being reflected in your experience.

I asked myself how my boyfriend was making me feel? How did my circumstances made me feel? This exercise led to my answer. I said I feel disposable, unimportant, tossed aside like useless garbage. No one even cares about me or my feelings. I come last always. Don’t I matter to anyone? I feel insignificant.

The next step is to substitute YOUR name for the person or circumstances that is making you unhappy. In my example I then asked myself, How is Donna doing this to Donna? I then asked myself….. Do I put myself last? Do I not even think of myself? Do I treat myself like garbage? The answers were a resounding YES, to all of it. So how was I doing this to myself, and how can I change?

I realized as a little girl I was told to think of myself is selfish. Put others first, which is beautiful to be altruistic. However, there is an element of self-care I was not taught. I have learned through studying spirituality that everything in our experiences stems from self. If we are fulfilled and love ourselves, we attract from this space. We give from this fulfilled space. Experiencing more joy in life. We attract our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Taking this further I realized, I am a natural giver. I am a healer, teacher, I give to my hair clients, my kids, my partner. I used to take care of my needs saying well, if there was time, after everyone else. Most times there was no leftover time. Do you do this? You matter, just like everyone else in your family, at work, with in your friendships! You matter. Begin to put yourself in your schedule! And including yourself into being important. Self care is not selfish, it is essential.

I realized through my circumstance in my story above, this was a wake up call to love myself more than ever, as if my life depended on it. My soul was in dire pain. “I” had to be the change in order to see being valued show up in my life. My relief was not going to come from someone else. No longer waiting for anyone to validate me or my value. “I” had to do it. I began immediately with kinder, more loving self talk. Making choices for myself, even if others didn’t agree. If something didn’t sit right with me, I just honored myself, and stood by myself. No question. Self-love.

I began every day with gratitude first. Even if it was only my cup of hot coffee was all I could manage to be grateful for that day. Then I followed a few times a day, what do you need right now Donna? What would make you happy? If something made me uncomfortable I would work on, how do you feel about this, why? Eventually I began to identify my desires and needs more easily as I began to practice asking myself how I felt about everything. It wasn’t easy. I realized I did not have opinions. Because up until now, if everyone else was happy I was happy.

As time went on, and I learned to check within and be present in my mind, body and awareness of my “true self.” A side effect was greater confidence, being less self- conscious. As I was now dedicated to living from my conscious self. When you are self-conscious, you react to life. When you are living from your conscious, awake self, the energy begins within and travels out creating. You are the creator. Realizing and practicing a more loving relationship with yourself, you can’t help but attract better relationships. Also we begin to communicate clearly and authentically. We only accept higher treatment that resonates with who we are. Or if something isn’t making us happy we find a more aligned path that resonates with who we are. Joy and happiness become a way of living.

Habits towards creating more happiness:

  1. Take the time to be still – meditate, breath for at least 10 minutes a day. Even walking and going with in to have mental stillness and controlled deeper, slower breathing.
  2. Set your intentions in the morning – Beginning each day in a positive space and setting your intention for the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. It may look like, I send love And blessings ahead to my day to everyone I interact with, and invite positive solutions at my meeting today where we all benefit for the highest good. Or send energy for your child to feel confident and do great on their test in school. You can visualize it in your mind, and send it out. Truly, I have done this for years. I have seen miracles manifest! Even simply, today is a going to be a great day!
  3. Check in throughout your day. How am I feeling? What needs my attention? Am I holding my breath? If so, take a few minutes of deep and slow breathing. Notice what you were thinking about that caused the tension in your body and holding your breath. What do I need to know In this moment? See what comes up, do you need to address something? Take the time. Nothing is too trivial or weird. Don’t judge yourself. See where the flow takes you. Love yourself and be kind to yourself through this process. Relax and breath. Prioritize and relax, reboot, refocus.
  4. Be lighthearted- After you do the check in or even throughout your day, if you find your self being negative or in worry….shift your focus. You could flip your thoughts and try to find a different perspective. Have you tried the, ”I get to exercise?” Say you have a mountain of laundry and it’s not your thing. You dread it. How about recognizing you have clothes to keep you warm. I get to fold my laundry. I am grateful I have enough to buy these clothes and am grateful to care for them. Thank you. Make it fun and put on your favorite music or show. You get the idea? Perspective can shift from heaviness to gratitude quickly.
  5. Look for joy and laughter – I like to say, whatever you look for you will find. You look for fault and anger, you will find fault and anger. How does that feel? Not so great, right? Is how you are feeling a habit? So with being aware that you attract what you are in your energy and focus, why not look for joy and laughter? Things to be happy about. Start right now. Look around, make a list of good things. Find humor where you can, put on funny shows. I listen to Sirius radio mostly the comedy channels while I drive. Try calling a friend who makes you laugh! Tap into that joy vibe, dance, sing, pull up pics of what fills you.

Everything that creates happiness in your world begins with you! Take charge by turning within, explore your needs, your feelings, and taking responsibility for your happiness. Yes, happiness is an inside job. Learning to be authentic to yourself, creating with the focus of your mind, your words and actions. Lovingly choosing more positive perspectives and looking for the good as a habit! It is all a choice in every moment. You have free will. What will you choose? In the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”