During Happiness Happens Month we’re posting lots of blogs including many from guest bloggers.
Today we’re happy to share a post from Renee Baribeau also known as “The Practical Shaman“.
The idea of choosing happiness may seem far-fetched when the winds of change are blasting shards of sand into your face. During these times we require extra padding from the inside so we can keep a smile on our face.
Like the desert sand, our happiness is gathered one speck at a time, gaining momentum as it ricochets from one thought to the next. The choice is always ours; we can create a shit storm (tantrum) or blow a gentle joyous breeze. Here are a few simple techniques I’ve developed over the years, which have allowed me to remain calm and happy, regardless of how the winds blow through my life.
In my early life I was miserable. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I was a beast disguised as a chef. My tantrums were fueled by drug and alcohol. Looking back it is difficult to determine if the addiction actually began as a remedy for the misery I had endured since puberty. Despite this behavior I have successfully owned / operated a restaurant and catering business, but my moods would invariably spill over like a martini on a shaky tray.
One of my clients offered advice that changed my life. She said, “You can always start your day over again”. This idea blew in like a strong Nor’easter, upsetting my misery and every pompous idea on my path. In the beginning I would return to bed for a nap, but eventually I got it right and learned how to create a brand new day.
As I grew in awareness my addictions began to dissipate. I met a woman who opened my eyes to greater clarity. Long before science became aware of it, she discovered a technique, which enabled her to create neural pathways in her brain. Her method involved a series of left-right brain activities as she simultaneously repeated positive affirmations. I applied this technique in my life. It allowed me to explore old grooves of self-loathing, selfish thinking and low self-esteem. Over time I created new, healthy pathways throughout my brain and I began to experience true happiness.
At one point, I had to give up substance abuse in order to truly grow and release my chaotic windstorms. During this period I took a thorough inventory of my life, which eventually granted me the keys to the Happiness Kingdom. I learned how to “be” both the observer and the observed. From this vantage point I could see my life objectively. I realized how my beliefs impacted the world around me. As the grains of sand fell from my eyes, I saw that kindness, respect and love for others, as well as for myself, was the key to Happiness.
Once I became aware of those who choose happiness, and those who choose misery, my life moved in a new direction. I often have my clients move from chair to chair during a conversation. They learn how to converse with their true self, and how to listen at the appropriate times. By nature, humans have multiple personalities. When the wind is howling it is hard to know who is speaking.
My friends and acquaintances tell me that I have great energy. What they feel is my happy wind blowing through their hearts. I have learned that being happy requires less energy than trudging through sand dunes filled with anger and misery. When I am happy and relaxed, the days drift by like marshmallow clouds in the sky. I bask in the sun, smiling, as I ride atop the breezes of joy. Happiness is always a choice.
Renee Baribeau is known internationally as, “The Practical Shaman.” Her clients include CEOs, movie executives, cultural creative’s and entrepreneurs. Visit Renee for more information about her soul coaching and wellness programs.