Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My "Instant Happy" Happiness Tool

“Much of the pain in life
 comes from having a plan
 that you’ve fallen in love with,
 but that doesn’t work out.
 Having to find a new
 life plan hurts.
 The trick is not to become
 too attached to any particular
 life plan and to remember
 that there is always a better, 
 life plan out there somewhere.
-Instant Happy 
 Karen Salmansohn

As a young girl, I fantasized about my life as an adult. I imagined my job, my family, and all of the choices I could make without my parents’ or teachers’ approval. I desired a second grade teaching position, four kids, a husband who looked like Luke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210, two cute little dogs, all of the shoes I wanted, and the freedom to do anything and everything I chose. I set up a classroom, in the basement of my childhood home, and gathered all of the neighborhood kids to act as my students. I taught them lessons while I circled the room with a ‘teacher’s copy’ book cradled in my arms and swirled chalk in my hand, just as my second grade teacher, Mrs. Argus, did. I chose all of the names for my future children by the age of ten, decided how many boys and how many girls and hung posters of Luke Perry everywhere, hoping I might bump into him one day. I knew exactly what I planned to do with my life. 

My plans were brutally interrupted. At the age of twenty-one, I woke up one morning walking and went to bed that evening paralyzed from the waist down. A new reality was thrust upon me and my plan, my version of choice and freedom I yearned for as a child, was no longer applicable. For quite some time, following my injury, I desperately clung to this vision of freedom I had so carefully defined, as a child and young adult, that involved only my desires and neglected my body and my soul. I grew angry and resentful of those who seemed to choose freely and without consequence. 

My health declined so rapidly and so greatly, I finally surrendered. Kindness to my body and its needs was imperative. The courage and faith to finally submit to the demands of my health were not found easily. I, reluctantly, tapped into a great deal of self discipline and routine. I began with simple choices, such as food and activity, choosing only what benefited my health the most. And as this practice blossomed, I added prayer, meditation, exercise, and anything that encouraged my physical and mental wellness. I soon discovered my value system was confronted because of my health situation. I adopted a new plan for my life. A plan that involved a level of undiscovered conciseness. A level I knew of, but never explored at any depth. I released the power of choice over to a higher power, instead of my own desires. This discipline opened my eyes to an alternative life plan, one guided by awareness, kindness, intention, and mindfulness. Though not always easy, instead of falling victim to judgement, desire, resentment, or envy, I now calmly surrender to love and servitude and purpose. This new found freedom is true freedom and offers a level of contentment I never knew existed. 


  1. oh this is such a beautiful post. Haha, I did the same things with "playing school" with all the neighborhood kids! :)

  2. Thank you. So true; I am trying to learn this way of thinking currently as well.

  3. Thank you, Sarah! Accepting new circumstances, and then finding the way to live with them, and then learning to thrive with them - that is life's challenge; and you help us all to realize it. Wonderful post!

  4. MORE MORE MORE! YOU are great at this sister!

  5. Although healthy choices are sometimes simple, it takes an incredible amount of self-discipline to stick with them. Good for you for following through! It sounds like it is paying off. And thanks for the book recommendation. I can't wait to check it out!

  6. I just LOOVEEE this sentence:
    " I released the power of choice over to a higher power, instead of my own desires."
    Especially the first part.


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