This June issue includes a focus on happiness. That’s a major priority for me. I certainly know what the other side of that feels like—having spent time in the mire and muck. Making the shift to be happy starts with a decision. It was tough for me to even own my unhappiness. In midlife I hit bottom, and from there, as we all know, there’s only up.
Though it may be perceived as a private decision, for me it became more possible and doable by surrounding myself with people that were supportive of me—my dreams, my hopes and my goals.

I released those people in my life that were not supporting me moving forward. Sure, there were times when I could feel myself getting sucked back into unshakable unhappiness and depression. With acts of kindness toward myself, I’d set the clock for five minutes and allow myself to have all the sadness I could muster. At the end of the five minutes, I’d put on some great dance music or get out in nature. After a time, through practice and mindfulness, happiness was more or less a well-entrenched state of being and it became easier to be happy on my own for longer and longer periods of time.
Now, very little rattles me. The years of developing relationships, finding my way, being responsive to this community and giving back have brought a sense of peace and gratitude. Each day brings with it opportunities for the miraculous and the mysterious to show up. I cultivate my curiosity by stopping and looking more closely at things on my journey.
Isn’t it wonderful to pause and smell the roses or admire the textures or shadows brought out by the sunlight, or the sounds of our breathing, or the ocean’s waves endlessly coming toward us? How magnificent a planet we live on. How amazing it is to interact with so many different people and to be enriched daily by our experiences. Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation continues to share terrific content with the franchised family of publishers each month so you, dear reader, can share that information with your family and friends.
Food— some time I’ll include some great recipes. This month’s goodies seem especially yummy and nutritious as great food should be. I like the idea of including less processed foods and going more raw. I do have a tendency to heat things up on the stove. Being in Florida, it seems only natural that more of our food should be room temperature. I’ll be making some of the whole food munchies from this issue to have on hand for easy mid-meal snacks, or to have something with me to eat after an appointment around town.
An observation I’ll pass along: There seem to be fewer turtle nests than this time last year. I don’t think the fact that there’s new sand on our beaches has anything to do with it. With the wider beaches, it seems that the female turtles are not making it as close to the sea walls as in previous years. May they hatch on cue.
Have fun in creating your path to happiness this month.
Be the joy you want to see in others; plan on it.