By Valerie Sheppard
Happiness can feel like a land far away. A place that once we arrive, the stay is brief. This was my experience for most of my life. I would hit a great place, feel unbelievably happy, and be convinced that I would feel that way forever more. But soon, the feeling would wane, and then disappear. I used to wonder why something so wonderful was so elusive, and why it had to be wedged into such fleeting periods between periods of ‘not-very-happy-at-all.’ I’m glad I started asking myself questions like that. One-by-one, they led me to where I am today: Happy to Be ME!
But back in 2005, I was stressed out, overworked, and driven. What I affectionately call a “Driven Diva” in fact. A serial over-achiever, striving day in and day out to get to success and fulfillment.
- I would push to make things happen.
- I believed I had to be poised even in the highest stress situations.
- I often felt like there was a double-standard keeping me from having it all.
- I had to do it all because I figured asking for help would be a sign of weakness.
- I was smiling on the outside, but secretly mentally and emotionally exhausted, and a little resentful on the inside.
The happiness I was looking for would come in external occurrences: praise or recognition from bosses, vacations, expensive meals, promotions, a good bottle of wine, a fun date. But deep down, I knew something was missing. I knew happiness wasn’t supposed to be the way I was experiencing it. I knew there was much more, I just didn’t know how to access it; I didn’t know what to shift to have the kind of happiness I deserved. And I was envious of people around me who looked like they did.
Thank goodness those days are behind me! Thank goodness for that momentous day in Hoag Hospital Emergency Room, where I asked another question that started the journey into the biggest shifts in my life. Thank goodness for the “radical sabbatical” that started in 2006, and all the things I’ve experienced that have helped me connect to the authentic happiness within, and keep the happiness flowing in my life no matter what is going on around me.
Why is my focus on happiness? Because one of the things I’ve learned is that happy people have stronger immune systems, are more successful and live longer. Yes, all those years I was chasing happiness as a result of success, I had it backward! So if you want to feel more healthy, fulfilled and create more success in your life, take a trip inward and tap into your own innate place of joy!
Where is this you ask? It’s actually who you really are. You are Magnificent Essence – the ME in Happy to Be ME! – the spiritual nature of you that is having the human experience of your life. True and lasting happiness is already a part of who you really are, and therefore available to you every minute. The longer you look for happiness in things outside you and that you can’t control, the longer you’ll be unfulfilled and unhappy.
“Finding” authentic happiness is about a journey within; it’s about creating a deep relationship with yourSelf. You have to go beneath the personality, identity, story and woundology of who you are – that’s the me in “mighty ego.” Instead, remember the Truth of who you are as “Image and Likeness of the Divine.” As that Truth, you are Peace, Love, Freedom and Joy. Everything you seek is always already inside you. I have lived in 10 states, moved 22 times and visited 27 countries on 5 continents, and the journey into me has been the most rewarding one I’ve ever experienced. And I never had to go anywhere to take it! How magnificent is that?!
Here are some tools you’ll want to have on this journey:
- Desire to be free of limiting beliefs and behaviors that hold you back and willingness to take committed action;
- Some specific steps to take that can be your roadmap;
- A guide to help you through the tough spots;
- A support structure to keep you going as the journey unfolds.
We live in the human realm, and here, there will always be human experiences … struggle, lack, limitation, fear, frustration, disease. But when you tap into the Magnificent Essence of you, you will transcend the debilitating effects of these experiences and authentic happiness will be a part of your life even in the midst of those and other things that would ordinarily make you unhappy.
In the end, it’s about free will. You get to choose how your life will be. You can choose to continue to search in struggle and suffering for fleeting moments of external happiness. Or you can choose to give yourself the only happiness that matters: that which is the real you.
For people ready to choose the latter, I am standing by to help. There is nothing more rewarding than to give back and share what has worked for me. The Heart of Living Vibrantly™ was founded on my desire to help others find their own roadmap to authentic happiness. Every time I share an insight or a tool that shifts someone’s life for the better, I am deeply grateful and fulfilled. It is rewarding in a way that all my past successes will never be.
Each month I offer a FREE Coaching Call and Meditation. If you are ready to take committed action and step into a more vibrant, heartful life centered on your own declaration of “I’m Happy to Be ME!,” I encourage you to join me. You deserve to have the Peace, Love, Freedom and Joy that is available. You deserve to have all of You.