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What does happiness mean to you? Happiness means different things to different people and maybe even different things at different times.

I’ve found that when most people talk about happiness, they relate it to some circumstance, event, material acquisition or behavior of another person. In other words, something external, and often uncontrollable.

What would it mean to be happy without regard for the facts and circumstances of your life? Hard to imagine? Maybe substituting another word like peaceful or joyful is more descriptive to that underlying state of awareness that we are exactly where we are supposed to be in this eternal now.

Maybe this sounds impossible to you. Everything is most certainly not ok. You’re sure I wouldn’t even suggest that this pervasive sense of well-being is possible if I just knew your particular issues, challenges, circumstances.

Here’s what I know. It is possible. And when living in this state of the mindful Now, the circumstances of our life also tend to flow more easily. It’s not that you’ll never have another challenge in your life, but you no longer need to experience the suffering.

I love Eckhart Tolle’s analogy of a lighted candle. When placed in the middle of a dark room, the candle is important and prominent in the room. However, if the curtains are thrown open to the sunny day outside, the candle is no longer important and is in fact barely noticeable. The flame hasn’t changed but it’s now engulfed in light. This is what happens to our problems when we reside in the eternal Now.

When we live in turmoil, it manifests in stress, unwanted physical conditions, poor relationships and more. How much difference would it make in your life to live in peace instead?

I'm guessing that got your attention, either because you totally agree, or because you think I must be a poor example of a spiritual, mindful personal coach.

I don't really think life sucks, although there are moments where it's hard not to go there. Certain events, for example, like mass shootings, do indeed give me a hopeless, sad, angry feeling about the world. And sometimes circumstances closer to home evoke those same feelings.

But then I'm reminded that I'm ultimately responsible for what I attract into my life experience, and I see the possibilities for making both my inner and outer circumstances better. I have many tools at my disposal to facilitate moving beyond what's 'out there' to my inner knowing that I can attract what I want and need into my experience. I also acknowledge that the external world is but a fraction of what is real and true.

I love the example that Eckhart Tolle used when describing how we experience life's difficulties when we acknowledge our spiritual being-ness, and live in the present moment. He said that our negative experiences are like a lit candle placed in the middle of a room. If the room has all the shades pulled down, and is very dark, the lit candle is very prominent and important. However, if the shades are lifted and light is flooding into the room, the candle light all but disappears, being absorbed by the surrounding light in the room. The candle flame is the same. It has just lost its prominence.

This is what various tools, like EFT and mindfulness practices can do for us. They are the light that puts our troubles into perspective.Today I invite you to throw up the shades and let the light in so that your sorrows, stresses and concerns can fade into the background of a joyful life experience.


Often, when we are observing the world around us, we feel overwhelmed by the problems we see that feel big and even insurmountable. Although many of us are good, kind, well-intentioned people we often feel like we as a single individual are powerless to make a difference. There are of course many examples of men and women throughout time who have single-handedly changed the course of history through their discoveries or inventions. But today I'm focused on the small, but impactful actions we can each execute every day, that collectively, make a big difference. Here are some ideas:

  • Smile and offer a kind word to your grocery clerk, restaurant server, car washer, dry cleaner, a child, or neighbor. Such kindnesses can ripple out far beyond that one individual, and may indeed be just the boost that person needs at that moment.

  • If you are a meat-eater, cut out meat one or two days a week. This is good for the environment and good for your health. Make choices that support meat producers who are committed to humane practices.

  • Don't litter.

  • Recycle. Even if your efforts are rudimentary, and the recycling processes currently in place aren't perfect, less waste is always good.

  • Support food rescue through a local non-profit with your wallet, or by volunteering. This is an excellent way to prevent food waste and is a great way to feed the hungry and reduce land fills.

  • Send intentional thoughts of healing and caring to those who are suffering, whether they be a friend going through a tough time, or a country under siege. Never underestimate the value and power of intentional loving thoughts.

  • Be a good example to your children and other young people in your life, of kindness, generosity, equality, and acceptance of all people.

Here's to the creation of a better world, one small step at a time.

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