Happiness is a Way of Traveling
"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."
- Samuel Johnson
Michael Neill is someone I am so glad I have come to know over the past year and a half. He is a writer, an actor, a public speaker, a radio talk show host and a very powerful life coach. He's written a new book about happiness worth reading.
Perhaps coincidentally, recent scientific studies on the health benefits of happiness have been making news right when his new book, Feel Happy Now is available.
Some people think focusing on their own happiness is selfish. But it's vital! Do yourself first. Like the oxygen masks that drop down during loss of cabin pressure in a plane. Put yours on first! Because you're no good to anybody when you're unhappy. You are a drag and a NEGATIVE FACTOR in people's lives when you are unhappy. You are of best service to others when you are happy. That's when you are best able to reach out and assist.
Unhappiness causes a person to withdraw. Withdrawal makes them more unhappy. The cycle downward has begun.
So now a handbook arrives that's both touching and witty. And I could rave on about it but I'll just let you read some of it right here. Here's Michael talking:
From the age of 13 until I was around 20, I alternated between depression and mania, barely able to get out of bed on some days and barely able to get back into it on others. My attempts to self-medicate with alcohol, tobacco and other less legal substances never seemed to work for more than a few hours, and as the various cocktails I mixed up inside my body got more elaborate, the feelings (and my ability to deal with them) got worse.
One particularly bad night, while studying at university, I remember collapsing into fits of uncontrollable sobbing in my dorm room. While this was not as unusual an occurrence as I would have liked, this time it was considerably worse, and when the sobbing hadn't stopped by 1 a.m., I recognized that I needed help. I managed to drag myself down to the infirmary, push the 'night call' button and collapse in a heap by the door.
After what seemed like hours but was probably only a few minutes, a night nurse came to the door. She took one look at me and, no doubt ignoring years of nursing training and university protocol, cradled me in her arms and began reciting the Lord's Prayer. She kept encouraging me to join in, and as I didn't have the energy to explain that I only knew the words because I'd recently played Peter in a deaf-theatre production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, I joined in for all I was worth, choking out each line between huge rolling waves of sobbing. After a few minutes of rocking and praying, the sobbing subsided and I began to feel a sense of peace. Perhaps if I'd been a bit riper for conversion I might have chalked it up to the power of God and converted to Christianity on the spot, but I was still very green in the ways of religion and instead marveled at this woman's ability to 'love me' back to some modicum of sanity.
I won't spoil the story by revealing what happens next but you'll be able to use the same mental programs Michael has used to get to where he is now, which is right here:
Much of my background and psychological training is in a field called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) -- the study of how language impacts our neurology and behaviour. Since what I want for you is to be truly, deeply happy, in order to initiate and accelerate that process I have written this book using specific (and sometimes unusual) language patterns that will actually trigger chemical changes on the inside of your brain. You may begin to experience good feelings in your body and a greater sense of what's possible in your mind just by reading these words.
Over the past 16 years I've worked with over 10,000 people from all around the world, helping them to become happier and to live more and more wonderful lives. Some of these people are amongst the wealthiest and most successful in the world, while others are 'just plain folk' who simply want more out of life than a daily grind and a nightly battle with their own dark thoughts and unfulfilled dreams.
The reason I can work as effectively with a TV star, a CEO, a scientist and a housewife all in the same day is that I know something about each one of them which is also true of you: You already have everything you need inside you to be happy and live a meaningful life -- the only question is access!
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Here's another story worth sharing with you today, and it comes from Julie Blake and the introduction to a book she's writing about the mind shift she has made from fear to pure spirit......
For the past 20 years, I have been on a spiritual, metaphysical sort of new age path where I studied many, many books like Think and Grow Rich, The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes, Wayne Dyer, Stuart Wilde, Deepak Chopra and the Universal Laws which included the Law of Attraction. Even though I had all this knowledge and many "enlightening" and profound spiritual experiences, I took a look at my life and realized that I was not living a fulfilled happy life full of abundance. The reality was -- that I was deep in debt, depressed and my health was a disaster. I was still asleep.
Throughout my years of metaphysical studies, I found that what helped me learn the most were the stories and real life experiences of the authors. So, I would like to share my story of how I shifted my operating system from fear to freedom -- my journey of making my mind more flexible and becoming a seeker of truth -- committed to knowing who I really am -- ALL of me the "good" and the seemingly "bad." It's not about religion, spirituality or tapping into a higher power -- it's a journey into the mind. "As a man thinketh, so he is." It's about self-realization ... remembering who you really are, and realizing that you have the power to create your reality by using the power of your thoughts.
So, welcome to my story, it is my pleasure and passion to be of service and help you break free from the prison of fear. It is my intention to give you the experience of what shifting from fear to freedom actually means -- what it looks like, so that it is no longer unknown and frightening to you. You will come to realize how ordinary and average I am, and that if I can do this, so can you -- and perhaps you will even come to see the humor in it all.
Julie's website is here: www.websitesuccesscoaching.com/.
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On his great new album This Old Road, Kris Kristofferson introduces his song "The Last Thing to Go" with these spoken words: "The great featherweight champion Willie Pep once said that the first thing to go is your legs, then it's your reflexes, then it's your friends." Kristofferson then sings in this song's chorus that love is the last thing to go.
Which brings me to one of my favorite observations by Emmet Fox, "Love is always creative. Fear is always destructive."
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Rest in peace John Stewart: 1939-2008.