My Search for Happiness

Do you remember blowing out candles on your birthday cake and making a wish? Well, when I was younger, I always wished for the same two things–I wanted to live to my potential, and I wanted to be happy.

I was blessed with parents who adopted me when I was two months old and they did their best to support and encouraged me as I grew up. I have a son who is gifted, talented and wise beyond his years. I’ve collected my share of material things. I’ve vacationed in several countries, and because I was a part-time fitness instructor, I maintained a life of consistent exercise and good health. I’ve earned “titles” along the way and like most people, I have many interesting stories to share. Yes, from the outside looking in you would think I had it all.

The truth is, with all of the above mentioned, I was miserable. I was missing a key ingredient–I wasn’t happy. To be clear, there were moments of happiness but those moments never lasted.

Like most people, I found it easy to be happy when “stars were aligned” but when I was faced with life’s challenges, I lost it. I noticed my feelings and emotions were dependent on circumstances and my circumstances changed with the wind. I began the search for sustainable happiness in my early twenties and after decades of searching I finally discovered the truth–happiness is a practiced skill.

Before I discovered that happiness is a practiced skill, I thought I

 

 

wasn’t happy because I didn’t have a purpose. I spent decades searching for my “unique purpose.” Why was I here? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? What is my passion? What gifts do I have to share with the world? I just knew that when I found my purpose, I’d be happy. Wrong again.

I had no clue that the happiness I was searching for could only be found within. I was devastated. And to add insult to injury, I discovered that there are no exceptions to this powerful life-changing truth. Happiness is found within–period. And to make matters worse, I found out that my happiness is my responsibility. Ouch! That discovery forced me to dive in, look in the mirror and dissect the relationship I had with my Self.

Is it possible to be happy when life hits you really hard? Is it possible to be happy when you face challenges like a global pandemic, political lock-downs, personal health, financial, family, relationship and even the death of a loved-one? Remarkably, the answer is yes–but it’s not easy.

My intention and purpose now is to share what I’ve learned about this happiness thing. I now have evidence that sustaining happiness, regardless of your circumstances, is possible with commitment to the practice.

Happiness IS a practiced skill and like all skills the more you practice the better the results. The question to ask yourself is how bad do you want it? Are you ready to practice on a daily basis? Are you ready to prioritize happiness over everything else? Your answer will determine how much happiness you will experience on this journey we call Life.

I would be crazy if I had not attended her class…

“When I first walked into Rebecca’s happiness class a few years ago, it was with great hesitation.  After all, I had a successful, long term career, advanced degrees, good health, good family and friends. In the back of my mind, I was thinking: by attending a happiness class, does that mean I am not happy?  What would others think of me?  I decided to attend the class anyway. After all, why was I drawn to the class in the first place? In the two years I was with Rebecca, I learned that was my “ego” talking. Gradually, I learned many of my “blind” sides. Many of my habits and attributes, contributed to my “success” but were also the sources of my unhappiness. It was hard to detach from all these attributes, I even told Rebecca that I refused to get rid of some. Then came Covid-19 in March 2020.  Most of my habits and routines went out of the door overnight. I was grateful that her words came back during this Doing-Nothing-At-Home time…I would be crazy if I had not attended her class before. I kept “hearing” her voice. I also consulted with her via Zoom, which helped me to cope during this challenging period!  Thank you, Rebecca!”

Susan W. Arcadia, CA

About Rebecca