Life itself is an epic journey. If you are in your thirties, forties, or even beyond, I know you’ll agree that in looking back, you can clearly mark the dots where certain events changed life dramatically and altered your path. I have certainly had my moments where I had to stand at the fork and choose.
Will I go down this path or take the high road?
Yes, there is a choice. Research now proves that there is a moment before happiness when you get to choose even amidst loss, according to Harvard Researcher and author, Shawn Achor.
My own journey, overall, has been rich with both epic happiness and sadness. Kahil Gibran says, “Your greatest joy is your sorrow unmasked.” This one poignant statement gave me such great hope in my grief over a decade ago as a young widow. As I allowed my feelings to be released through my tears, the suffering washed away and joy was present again.
Let joy be your natural state of being.
I can’t imagine living a more full life than I have now. One where I have loved greatly and lost greatly. One where my understanding of the very nature of happiness deepens every year. One where I get to serve others a good helping of inspiration and guidance. One where I can be surrounded by family and friends, and one where I honor my past with my present.
Your happiness is a choice and a mindset—but epic happiness happens simply as you live your life allowing joy to permeate your waking dream. You must be as committed to your personal happiness as you are to a partner or family member with whom you love.
To create epic happiness, you must constantly choose happiness over your other emotions. You will learn to return to a peaceful and content state that fosters jubilant feelings of celebration—like an exclamation point on every moment!
There’s a moment of pause that comes with a well-trained mind and a deep understanding, during which you can see your choice to be happy or not. You will become the observer, the noted witness of your thoughts that play out in action and of your actions that otherwise may become invisible habits. These are the ways you “be” in life.
The beauty is that even after those times in which you choose to engage unhappiness, every moment is a chance to course-correct. You are the navigator of your emotions. Contrary to how it feels sometimes when you get caught up, your emotions do not run you. You are in control of how you react or respond to circumstances. (For a beautiful resource on the science of emotions, tune in to Lisa Feldman Barrett’s TED Talk.)
When control of your response seems at the verge of breaking, slow down long enough to just be. Feel the breath in the belly filling the lungs and nourishing your core of commitment to choosing happiness.Richard Carlson said, “Slow down long enough and happiness might just catch up to you.” Click To Tweet
There are times it does not feel like this. There was a dark time in my teens where I struggled with an eating disorder. It felt as though I had no control over a dark cloud of emotion that would sweep me up in a binge-purge cycle. But then, I had an experience and insight that came through my meditation. I could clearly see my choice. This sense of empowerment—taking my power back through “choice”—is what healed me. And that choice was the ultimate way I learned to love myself.
There’s so much attention on “Calling in the One” these days. Everywhere I go I meet women who are panicked at the thought of being alone or not finding “the one.” I get it—especially for those women who are in their thirties and feeling their biological clock ticking on. But I encourage you, regardless of who you are, no matter the path you’ve walked… Calling in the one has more to do with your personal relationship to your own life and feeling in union with the universe. Epic happiness is about being committed to your joy. It’s about having a love affair with life and feeling whole and complete on your own.
Live awake to your choice. Open your heart to what is present in your breath, and in your feelings. Be ever so committed to choosing happiness. As you slow down you will feel the peace and joy of living your most vibrant life in a wakeful dream that is full of love.