The Happiness Puzzle

A few years ago, I took a “time out” from my life as it had been, and I spent 3 months in Los Angeles practicing yoga and immersing myself in the culture of personal growth. What I began to realize, as I attended lectures and consulted spiritual guides, was that the real treasure was oftentimes discovered not in the information that I was receiving, but in my heart’s response to it. As time passed and I gathered bits of inspiration from here are there, they began to fit together like a puzzle, offering me a glimpse into my purest heart’s desire.

Back on the East Coast, I began to lose momentum on the personal growth track. The demands of the “real world” caused me to fall back into familiar fearful thoughts and worries. The dreaded “what if” questions were answered too often by projected negative outcome instead of an exploration of positive possibility. So I began to work on creating a formula that would allow me to keep personal growth a priority.  I thought about how I had been able to move forward in my life, to change a perspective, to let go. One thing is for sure, in most cases, there was an outside influence, a person, a paragraph, a powerful example. I realized that in order to make progress towards happiness I needed to open myself up to adventures and experiences while at the same time understanding and disarming my ingrained defense mechanisms.

The formula I came up with has 6 important ingredients:

Pay attention

Be patient

Be compassionate with yourself

Reflect on your reactions to the world around you

Push your boundaries

Keep gathering puzzle pieces

The answers we seek truly DO exist within us, we just need to take the time to and make the effort to find them.

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