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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Letter From Publisher

May 30, 2016 05:53PM

I have the song Happy on my playlist and listen to it often as part of my morning routine. I’m also a big fan of the book The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor. Happiness is for everyone…all the time. I’m totally on board with the positive psychology movement. I love it, embrace it and buy in to all the benefits and advantages that being happy provides; but not, however, for the sake of believing that sadness, grief or other negative emotions can or should be ignored or stuffed or that the incessant drumbeat of “be happy” means that something is wrong with me if I’m not happy all the time.

For this issue’s themes of Happiness and Balanced Man, I turned to my favorite sage for inspiration and he did not disappoint. I searched the table of contents of The Prophet for ‘”On Happiness,” and to my surprise, it wasn’t there. The closest lesson to happiness that Kahlil Gibran shares in his masterpiece is “On Joy and Sorrow.” He says, “Your joy IS your sorrow unmasked. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” We can’t have one without the other. Balance. Yin and yang.

I believe the keys to living an authentic life include developing emotional self-awareness, emotional literacy and effective communication skills to see, feel, understand and convey the full range of human emotions that occur within ourselves, as well as having the tools and knowledge to successfully navigate that internal emotional landscape.

Fifteen years ago, I embarked on a weekend journey into self-awareness, emotional literacy and personal growth that became a cornerstone of positive change in my life. I attended and completed the New Warrior Training Adventure, presented by The ManKind Project (mkp.org), held at locations around the country on most weekends throughout the year. Accountability, trust, communication skills, self-love, community and emotional literacy are just some of the gifts I received that weekend, all of which serve me daily. The sister organization for women is Woman Within (WomanWithin.org). Take a look and consider the journey for yourself and share with those you love.

I do what I can to discipline my mind to focus on optimism, joy and abundance, and I’m cognizant enough to embrace sadness when it occurs; to make it my friend and use it to carve a deeper container to hold more joy. As I’ve told my men’s group, I’m happy that I have a safe place to express my sadness.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! Here’s wishing everyone love, joy, abundance and happiness as you continue your journey toward feeling good, living simply and laughing more.

October 2019