I have a vivid memory of being 4 years old in a diner with my mom and her boyfriend at the time, who happened to be a professional clown. We were having a nice meal, the clown was doing silly tricks, and I should have been happy. But I couldn’t stop worrying about everything. "Kaia, just relax!" my mom said with exasperation. "I’m trying as hard as I can!" I replied.
Welcome to the story of my life. I have tried "as hard as I can" to relax for as long as I can remember.
My propensity toward worry—and the crushing anxiety I’ve felt at times because of it—has led me on a quest for relief from the caustic content of my thoughts and ultimately for joy. I dedicated 30 days to joy a couple of years ago as an experiment, and that experiment turned into both a book and a lifestyle.