In the last six years, I've made significant changes in my life. I left a corporate career after 12 years in advertising and marketing. I changed cities once and homes no fewer than four times. I remarried and was blessed with another healthy baby. I lost my mom to ALS, which launched me on a voracious path of spirituality.
I've become brave enough to share my writing with the world, which is a cathartic and healing process for me. I've devoted my life to yoga, which brings me great joy, health and happiness. I'm about to open my own yoga studio. I have a rewarding travel schedule that allows me to connect with souls near and far.
None of this has been handed to me. I've endured rejection, judgment, doubt, fear, and a serious lack of resources. Through it all, passion has burned within me and driven me for the sake of a few simple objectives: manifesting the divine, connecting with others, creating mass healing and leaving a trail of infinite and certain joy.
One of the greatest take-aways from this specific path to date, one that has come up recently in talks with loved ones repeatedly, which is how I know it's time to share it broadly goes like this:
No one else but you can make you happy.
When it comes to your happiness, your joy, your inherent bliss, no one else is going to understand what lights you up but you. This is part of the great human experience. When you consider that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, this takes on another level of resonance.
Put another way, you and I might be sitting at the same dinner table, in the same restaurant with the same tablemates eating the exact same meal. And yet, we would have a different experience of that meal. We might enjoy entirely separate flavors, colors, sounds, sights.
Why? Because that's our purpose, to learn and enjoy our own preferences, to honor those preferences by speaking them clearly and living them boldly with clarity and without apology, with grace. There's so much wisdom in understanding that you have the freedom to enjoy whatever it is that pleases you, and that you don't have to explain it to anyone else.
If you can accept that others simply may not understand your choices, your preferences, your desires, you are free to enjoy whatever is to your liking. Then you can stop trying to justify it and start living a life you love.
Reclaim your self worth. Stop placing your self worth in the hands of another.
You can spend years of our lives trying to please others — parents, siblings, lovers, neighbors. What if you simply stopped? You have that power. You have the ability to choose to love yourself exactly the way you are in exactly this moment. When you do, when you free yourself from the need to earn another's approval, you transcend unnecessary weight. There is no one's opinion of you that matters but your own.
If you don't like your life, change it.
Start by identifying what feels good to you in any given moment. Focus on it. Grow those sensations. When you're way off track, baby steps are key. As is forgiveness, kindness, and a willingness to let go and not need to know precisely how and when things will happen.
Trust that the first and most important step in lasting and meaningful change happens the moment you decide you want change. At that moment, all you have to do is start to notice something different rather than what is the same. As your awareness is drawn to something new, you begin to rewire your path. You are on your way.
Give up the battle. Stop struggling. The sense of struggle creates the struggle. Go with the flow. Just give it a try and see what happens.
Find the joy in the moment. Reach for it. For no reason whatsoever. With no guarantees or promises of a certain outcome. Try it. Go for it. I dare you. Awaken and from the base of your soul.
Dare to be different.