HELP EMMA'S DREAM'S COME TRUE
The other day, I had the distinct honor of believing for a time that someone very dear to me was considering taking their own life…. again. You see my mother took her own life in March of 1996, Just 6 months before Chris and I were married. People said I would never get over it, that I would always feel devastated, to some extent, by this event. I believed otherwise. How I dealt with that event clearly sent my life in a whole new direction that enabled me to understand that happiness (as well as sadness, misery etc.) is a choice. Something I can create for myself, no matter what is going on around me.
The pursuit of happiness is actually not a pursuit, it’s a choice. In any given instance, each one of us can choose how we feel: happy, sad, angry, excited etc. Actually it is not only that we can, we do this constantly. Feelings don’t just appear… they are made. We make them by calling our beliefs into action. Someone lies to us, we make up that they don’t love us and we decide to be unhappy. Our home is destroyed, yet our family is not, and we decide that family is more important than a house… and we choose happiness. It goes on an on and we do it all the time! The question then becomes how aware of this skill are we, and how much do we want to use it?
Most of us have been systematically taught that feelings are not something that we make, but something that happens to us. I know I was raised that way. Were you? It’s ok, my parents were terrific and they did the best they could, after all, it’s what they were taught!
It’s by the grace of God that I have had the privilege to learn that I have a choice about what I feel, before my daughter was born. It’s been an invaluable learning for me in dealing with her special needs. I like to say I am good at choosing happiness, and maybe that belief in itself makes it so. But I can tell you, as can the people closest to me, that I sometimes don’t choose to feel happy, and sometimes choose to feel downright miserable. But note the language, "I choose to feel….".
Is it really possible to be too obsessed with practicing the use of your “happiness muscles”…. your ability to choose happiness no matter what? To consistently seek out experiences that help you to refine these skills? I don’t think so.
Is it ok to risk it all to “perfect” (whatever that means) the art of choosing happiness for myself?
YES! YES! YES!
What is my or anyone’s quality of life if we are not happy? We can kid ourselves and think that a new car, boat, relationship, job, or opportunity will make us happy. But then our ability to be happy lies outside of us… outside of our control. No thank you! I’ve got this one covered, and I don’t want to depend on you, or the circumstances of my life for my happiness. It’s way too important.
So I am just I am going to say it…. I am a happiness choosing maniac…..I will and do risk a great deal to deepen my abilities in this area of my life, and thanks to my wonderful friend from the other day, and my decision about their actions, I am ready to shout it out from the rooftops! Happiness is THAT important to me. I believe it has transformed me, and can transform our entire world. I’d love it if you’d join me!
Adventure! What exactly is it, and how do you know if you are having one? I used to think the obvious: the no armed no legged guy that climbed Mount Everest on a skate board, the woman who single handedly saves 17 children with a toothpick… you get the idea. Then I would think about the people around me, real ones this time, who go rock climbing, kayaking, and surfing, people who go on missions trips and run soup kitchens. Now THOSE people are living an adventure! But what about me?
About two weeks ago, I started to look around and seeing lots of people living lots of “adventure”, and I started to wonder if I was missing out; if life was passing me by. I mean, my kayak is about to dry rot from lack of use, I gave my bike away, and I hate to admit it, living in the backyard of Acadia National Park, but I really am not into hiking. Soup kitchen? I can barely get Emma’s special foods cooked! So, couple that with my grey hair sprouting like weeds, and some serious cellulite on my legs, and I began to wonder if I HAD any adventure in my life.
But here is the thing: Adventure comes in lots of different forms, and actually, nothing is an adventure until each of us personally makes our experiences into an adventure. For the third grader I once taught who had no running water in his house, a trip to the bathroom at school WAS an adventure. Kayaking down rapids for the outdoor guide that does it everyday may not be all that exciting. Recovering a child from autism and other health issues might bored you to tears.
But to me, it’s the grand adventure of a lifetime. It’s a wild ride, where I learn to let go… and take control, I look inside myself and become all I can be. I learn about how to live in the healthiest way possible. I learn what a true friend is, and what I want my relationships to look like. I learn what’s really important to me. I learn to love more deeply and completely than I ever knew was possible, no strings attached. I learn all these things, in greater depth each time, over and over and over again. AMAZING, and the adventure of a life time!
So, I invite you to join me with prayers, good wishes, and even a donation or two, as I set off for another chapter in this adventure I am living. Next week I will travel back to The Autism Treatment Center of America for New Frontiers, the third and final class in the three class series that trains parents in the skills they needs to set up and sustain a Son-rise program for their child. I will be meeting up with other parents and professionals using this profoundly powerful program to transform children with Autism and other special needs. I’ll be sure to let you know how this chapter goes, and what amazing things I have learned.
So, enjoy your rock climbing, snowmobiling, kayaking, etc. Those are all amazing adventures, and someday I may partake. But today, I am living my adventure of a lifetime. And, why? Because I make it an adventure. And when I choose that, I create happiness in my heart, which in turn creates a power and energy unhappiness does not, and allows me to choose to love my life, my adventure, my world.
Do you love your adventure, whatever it may be?
Ellen is a counselor, educator and Biomedical and Son-Rise mom extraordinaire. She has many years of experience in public, private, "typical " and special needs educational settings, as well as extensive training as an Option Process® Mentor Counselor through The Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts, sister organization of the Autism Treatment Center of America
Look On Our Website using the search bar,