What word did you use to fill in the blank? Love, Happiness, Joy, Beauty, Inner Peace, a Healthy Planet, Contentment, Money, Adventure, Security, Meaning, Closure, Health, Job, Life Purpose? Any of those words will do and there are hundreds of additional words which can be added to this list.  We are all in the process of seeking something in our lives – whether we are fully conscious and aware of our individual searches or not.   We may be seeking closure from the pains of a past relationship, we may be searching for a new love interest, we may be yearning for more financial security, we may be praying for health, we may be hoping to expand our family unit, we may be on a quest for inner peace.  Our search can be joyful or painful, depending on how we approach our experience along the way. 

Our journey through life comes with desires and hopes and dreams as well as unexpected disappointments, hurts and challenges.  We come into this world as tiny babies, fully trusting the process unfolding before us, living in the present moment, unconditionally loving and accepting ourselves and being open to our life experiences.  As we grow, we become shaped and carved by our environments and life events, our individual personalities develop, and we become more and more conscious of others and of the world around us.  We begin to process and reflect on how others “see” us and we become more and more attuned and aware of the “outside world” through our direct or virtual experiences.  The outside forces can be strong  — magazines that showcase “perfect bodies”, the Instagram posts of celebrities or famous bloggers, curated Facebook posts, or movies or TV series that are clearly fictional stories – can trap us into believing their “realities”.  It is through these experiences of this outside world that we begin to search, view, judge, and compare ourselves, often to our great detriment.  This process of comparison to the external world pretty much leads in one direction – unfulfillment and unhappiness – since we are constantly seeking the external for our validation, approval and worthiness.  Fear, anger, anxiety, depression, unfulfillment, and procrastination can creep up and leave us powerless and stuck in a negative feedback loop that plays out over and over again.  The way out of this is to go within.   

Go Within to Tap into the Well of Peace, Calm, & Compassion

The first step we must take it go deeply within – deep into the well of peace, calm, and tap into the true essence of who we are. This is our true nature, our true reality – one of unconditional love and kindness towards ourselves and all others.  It is only here that we can begin to heal our relationship with ourselves, loving ourselves through the messy and sticky parts of life.  It is here that we can begin to dig out the weeds that corrupt our minds – categorizing things as good or bad, right or wrong, positive or evil, beautiful or ugly.  We begin to let go and to truly forgive ourselves for all of the things said and done that hurt both ourselves and others.  We then can move into forgiving others for all of the hurts and pains that they have inflicted on us.  This ongoing process of forgiveness is a tremendous relief and release and opens up the space that can be so tightly bottled up – disallowing new and positive things to flow into it.  Those things that we are searching for – [fill in the blank here]– now have an easier way to make their way towards us.  We have cleared out the muck and the weeds and the resistance and we begin to feel more connected to life.    We become “open to everything and attached to nothing” (Dr. Wayne Dyer) and are eager to share this good with others and are overjoyed and genuinely happy when we see others and their good fortunes as well.  Instead of comparing our lack to the good fortune of others, we celebrate the fact that the good exists and, in turn, more of the good flows towards us.     

There’s Enough Good to Go Around

This release brings us to another level of understanding that our joy and love and happiness is not only meant for us, but it is meant to be shared freely and openly.  There’s enough to go around and around and around!  It is through this openness that we come to appreciate that we can bring others along in our journey towards [fill in the blank] – happiness, joy, love, prosperity, security, freedom, etc. We also understand that when others abundantly experience the good in their lives, we celebrate right along with them.  We tap into the abundance, beauty, and prosperity that exists all around us.  We see and appreciate it everywhere – in other human beings, in animals, in nature, on our planet, in the stars, and beyond. Ultimately, we come to a deep knowing  that we are not separate from others, but are deeply interconnected with all that exists around us.   

Whatever you are searching for, want it even more for others

When we go within and do the work to release our resentments, comparisons, and wounds, we begin to operate from a deep place of wanting more for others that which we in fact desire for ourselves.   In our search for love, we genuinely wish for that love even more for a friend whose longstanding relationship recently ended.  If we desire more financial security, we wish prosperity for others who are currently struggling to pay their bills.  If we desire more inner peace, we wish that peace for our friend who is suffering from anxiety.  This process helps to remove our resistance towards that which we are seeking by placing the focus on another.  We feel good in the thinking about it and by doing this, we open ourselves up to all of the possibilities the universe has to offer by taking the focus off of ourselves.  This widens the path even further by removing the blocks and barriers we often put up which prevent the good things from coming our way.    

The journey, no matter what it is moving towards, needs to start within us, otherwise we are the whims of external forces which blow in and out like a storm. When we truly understand and tap into the power that we each possess within us, we align with the energy that creates worlds and we can ride with the abundant waves of life instead of fighting against waves crashing ashore.  We relish in the journey of our life knowing that it is our own source of strength, unconditional love, joy and connection  that always powers us forward.    


  • Inya Chehadé, MSW, LSW

    Social Emotional Skills Coach, Consultant, Speaker

    Inya Chehadé Coaching & Consulting, LLC

    Inya Chehadé, MSW, LSW is the founder of Inya Chehadé Coaching & Consulting, LLC which provides customized coaching, training and consulting to individuals, groups and organizations in social-emotional skill-building. Inya is laser focused on helping others build resilience, decrease stress & anxiety, and develop emotional regulation skills and mindfulness practices in their personal and professional lives.  Inya has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly thirty years in various capacities including Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge, Inc.; Chief Business Development Officer for The CTARI Institute™ at The Center for Great Expectations; In-Country Director for the Children of Chornobyl Relief & Development Fund, and Senior Director of Development for the New Jersey Health Foundation. She has worked nationally and internationally and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and compassion to her work. She is a licensed social worker and trained facilitator, educator, and workshop presenter. Inya loves to travel with her husband and their three spirited children, spending time with their extended family and friends across the globe.