How to Choose Your Happiness Into Being



Preparation 1:  Understand that happiness – real happiness – is not a feeling; it’s an attitude that we are free to choose.  What most people think of as happiness is largely emotional happiness – that comes and goes with the thoughts, feelings, situations and conditions of life.

Preparation 2:  Choose to love and accept all of your thoughts, emotional feelings, situations and conditions just the way they are (“I love everything about me, my world, and everything and everyone in it”).  Saying it is enough (rememberhappiness is not a feeling).

Then – when you are ready:   *********************************************

  1.  Choose the attitude and meta-feeling* of joy (happiness) just to be alive, for no reason whatsoever, because you can. Use your imagination to experience joy almost as if you were emotionally feeling it. Imagine what it feels like to infuse your entire being with amazing joy. You might say on the inside “I choose to be joyful just to be alive,” and imagine that feeling of joy without a reason hugging every cell of your being.  If you happen to emotionally feel it, that’s a gift, but not necessary.  You are what you are present to in this moment.

     2.  As you are choosing joy, blend in any or all of the following:                                                                   *Smiling  or chuckling  on the inside or outside,                                                                                 * Gratitude for anything in your awareness,                                                                                                 *  Projecting love for anything or anyone in your awareness,                                                                   (“I love you”)                                                                                                                                                          * Sprinkling positive affirmations that are inspired by your joy                                                             (like “I am beautiful”,  “The world is some kind of wonderful”,                                                                “My life is amazing!”)

3.  Remember that, in every moment, you can be open to a complaint or be open to                     the wonderful in life.  Choose to look for and acknowledge the wonderful in everything.

*************Notes on the Journey***********************

Do’s:  Remember to bring this joy with you wherever you go and in whatever you do.  The biggest hurdle to choosing to be happy is just remembering to choose it.  Put it on a wristband,  write little notes on the mirror or your car dash, change your home page, whatever it takes to remind yourself to bring joy everywhere.  There is nothing else that you really want or need. And this joy will inspire the many amazing dreams and desires that you used to think you needed, and inspire amazing loving kindness that you will feel like freely pouring out to the world.

When emotional feelings or thoughts show up that interfere with joy, just acknowledge, accept, and love them, and realize that they have nothing to do with your happiness. Happiness lives in your attitude, not your emotional feelings. (I say, “It’s just a feeling  or thought again – and I am choosing joy just to be alive”)

Realize that nothing is stopping you from “happily ever after” except you. You are free to be happy for the rest of your life!


Don’t try to get happy by doing something that makes you happy, unless you have already chosen your happiness (joy) first.  Doing things in order to get happy will falsely teach you that joy is outside you, rather than inside, where your choice takes place.

Don’t try to give loving kindness in order to get happy, for same reason as above. Go back to choosing joy, then follow the inspirations that feel motivated. If the inspiration is loving kindness, it will be driven by joy, not guilt or the desire to make yourself happy.

*Meta-feeling: a feeling created in the imagination, possibly overlaying a concurrent emotional feeling



Choosing Joy incorporates the art of Meta-feeling.

What, you might ask, is a meta-feeling?

Meta-feeling- a feeling created with or without intention, taking place in the imagination and sometimes in the emotional field overlaying another emotion simultaneously.

A meta-feeling may affect the underlying emotional state. Laughter, for example, often creates a meta-feeling of unconditional joy that infects the actual emotional field with a compatible emotion.


Many attitudes are accompanied by the corresponding meta-feeling. An example is the attitude of appreciation.  In the way I am using it here, appreciation is non-verbal gratitude for anything or anyone, minus the reason for the gratitude, plus the feeling of being-in-love, without the sensuality.  It is being in love with something just the way it is through your imagination.

Meta feeling1

It is the use of imagination that brings about the meta-feeling.  Believe it or not, your body and mind know exactly what appreciation feels like! Appreciation feels terrific as a meta-feeling and can overlay any emotion that doesn’t feel as good.  Whether you feel angry or upset or afraid or ashamed, you can overlay that with the meta-feeling of appreciation to realize your joyful nature in this moment.

haert bridge

You may still feel lousy underneath, but transformation is taking place on all levels.  As you hold onto the meta-feeling and attitude of appreciation, the underlying emotion is melting into the joy that it already is.

It takes a little practice to learn how to appreciate, but it is well worth the effort.  It is often easier to start with simple things to appreciate like a flower or a river.  Then move on to appreciation of people and countries and thoughts and emotions and life situations. It doesn’t matter whether you like or agree with anyone or anything. Appreciation has no judgment.  It is deciding to unconditionally love anything and be grateful for it at the same time.  It does not require words or communication of any sort, although, in the case of people, it may enhance it…

Joy is another attitude and has one of the most amazing corresponding meta-feelings.  With practice, you can turn your attitude of joy into a meta-feeling by imagining what joy feels like.  It feels fantastic! And it will plop right on top of all those difficult emotions that show up in life.

With your attitude and imagination, you are holding the key to your joy – as a feeling and a meta-feeling.  Are you up to the adventure?

happiness hand

Everything and everyone is unconditional love in different flavors.

Ice cream

This is what everything and everyone looks like when you let go of judgment that anything or anyone is less than beautiful and wonderful just the way they are.

Letting go of judgment creates an energetic field in the human mind that transforms anger into forgiveness, shame into self-worth, depression into joy, and hate into unconditional love – because without judgment there is nothing else to see.   Is it possible that letting go of judgment makes everything and everyone into what they really are – unconditional love in different flavors?

Colored Balls



What to do and where to go to find joy.

This is a trick post! The answer is:  You can’t find happiness in anything you do, or anywhere you go, because happiness is not out there or in anything….except you.

If you want to create unconditional happiness, you must bring it with you. That is, you must choose it into being.


Nothing needs to be done, no divine revelation needs to occur, no lottery needs to be won, no romantic relationship must happen, no success must enter your experience.  The truth is that you already can choose what you would have wanted to get from having those things.

And how do you choose it into being?  By boldly deciding that your life, just the way it is, with all of its pain and struggle and despair and depression and failure, and all of its conditional joy and laughter and success, is the most beautiful life that could possibly be.  Why would you do this? Because you can!

everything is beautiful

And this will open an inner door that allows you to decide, with your attitude, to be happy unconditionally, if you would like that.  In other words, to choose unconditional joy, you must choose to love all of life unconditionally.  Not love in the service sense, but in the sense of seeing the beauty in everything and everyone. (Hint: I’m talking about right now. You don’t have to wait until you’re finished reading this post.)

Then, wherever you go or whatever you do, you will already be the

Bringing joy

that you would have wanted to get from all those things that you had hoped would bring it to you.

As a bonus, conditional (experiential, temporary) joy will seep into your experience along with the unconditional (attitude, meta-feeling) joy you are choosing, as you find more and more things to love just the way they are.


What can you love today that you have never loved before? I promise you – there is magic in the choosing! How much joy are you willing to love into being?

When you look for the wonderful in everything, everything becomes wonderful.

Wonderful life

The paradox of it all is that as you look for the beauty in all of your unhappiness, the universe can find fewer and fewer things for you to feel unhappy about.

Maybe a part of our purpose is to experience the qualities of feeling unhappy and happy so that we can learn to see the beauty in all of it.  In the process, we begin to create the wonderful world that sits waiting for us to release judgment by looking for the wonderful instead.  Like a jack-in-the-box, the world pops out to say “Surprise – I’ve been wonderful all along!”

surprise 1

This is what joy is – choosing to look for the wonderful in everything, transforming the bland to the beautiful, the judged to the accepted, and the miserable to the magnificent!

This is how your attitude works. The attitude of unconditional happiness is just being willing to love the life you are living, right now, looking for the wonderful, without trying to “fix” anything first.

And like shaking an Etch-A-Sketch, you begin to see a beautiful new surface to color the world with.


Are you willing to find more beauty everywhere and shake it up a little?


Joy is the attitude of loving everything just the way it is.


Joy is purposely sensing the world through the attitude that everyone is beautiful just the way they are and everything is beautiful just the way it is.

You may be surprised to learn that you can love everyone and everything just way they are. You can, with your attitude, love every person, every place, every event in the past, present, or what you imagine is the future, and every event or condition of your life.

You can love (have an attitude of joy with) those who hurt you and those who hurt your neighbor, or an animal, or the environment, or your bank account.

You can love those who choose war and those who choose terrorism.

You can love this moment, whatever condition you may be in, or whatever event may be taking place.  You can love how you feel – all the anger, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the frustration, your illness, your pain, your agony, your suffering.

You can love the lack that you feel about your money, and all the dreams that you may have lost and never found.

You can love the you that you hope to be, and the you that you are right now.

You see, there is nothing that you cannot love.

What does it take?  It means trusting, like Albert Einstein, that the universe is a friendly place, which will take your willingness to release judgment of it.

And why would you do this? Because you CAN!

You only have one unconditional power as a human being – your choice of attitude.

This choice will affect everything in your life.

In any moment, it is possible to complain, or celebrate. The path you choose will either attract evidence for the complaint, or………..reasons to celebrate!

So whatever you have in your life right now, you can release judgment of it, and embrace the beauty that it all really is – regardless of what it looks or feels like.  Once you let go with your choice to love it all, the beauty that it all really is will expose itself to you.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? You have been holding on to a free Monopoly ticket to Pass GO and Collect 200 dollars or more of joy!  Amazing, marvelous, miraculous joy is waiting for your choice! Because you can!

LY training 2

Me (right), my friend Julia (left),  and a Laughter Yoga Class led by the amazing Michael Coleman (center).  The central premise of Laughter Yoga is creating laughter (and the often present joy) without a reason, for the healing of the self and the planet.


Where is your joy?

Joy image 1

This isn’t rocket science or voodoo.  Common sense tells you that you are not your body or your emotions or your experiences or your status in life.

You are that which chooses the attitude that lives through all these things. You get to choose any attitude you desire because nothing and no one can stop you.

So why not choose the one thing that you always want———joy? It’s just an attitude. There is nothing to believe or change before this can be chosen.  You don’t have to feel good or happy or be any of the many things that you want for yourself. It’s just an attitude. And it’s all that you can really have and all that you can take with you everywhere you go.

Everything  else is just an experience.  Within your attitude, you live and love and dream and work and play.  Within your attitude, you make miracles happen in the experiences of life.

My blessing for you and me:  May we choose the joy that we can always choose, because underneath all of our experiences, this attitude is who we really are.


What is it that I have judged as less than wonderful?

Girl hugging self

Somewhere or time in your life, maybe when you were in love, or skydiving, or looking out at some double rainbow, you may have sensed something amazing – that everything and everyone – despite what it/they look or feel like – is the most wonderful anything/anyone that could possibly be.  No matter what was going on, you knew at that moment, that love was at its/their core.  You sensed that, despite all the difficulties and complications in front of you, you are living in, and surrounded by only one thing – an amazing love that doesn’t  know how to be anything else and lives the life and breathes the core of everything and every moment that exists.

It is in these moments that you may have felt that everything and everyone that you experience, including all those uncomfortable emotions you are having, is waiting for your acceptance to see the miracles that they really are.  You can use an ATTITUDE of joy and acceptance to Let it Go as Elsa from the movie Frozen would sing.  Like her, you have been born with a gift for the purpose of spreading joy and love everywhere.  It’s not a curse, as she learned.  It’s only dangerous if you don’t know  how to use it. It took Elsa’s sister Anna to help her realize that love would show her the way.

One way to know this gift is to use your attitude of joy to let go of your judgment and love this moment, and this person you are, just the way they are – no fixing, no need to be more or less of anything –  loving through the knowing that you receive when joy just can not be wiped off your face. It is imagining that the entire band One Direction is singing  You don’t know you’re beautiful just for you and for this moment you are living in. It is loving who we are and who we were, and realizing, as Sandra Bullock said, “it’s our imperfections that make us beautiful.” 

       If you look for it, somewhere inside your every next thought is a vibration that wants to enter your awareness.  It is a remembering that, with all your mistakes and issues and disappointments, you are so much more beautiful than anything you can imagine.

     Have you said “I love you” to you yet today?love myself

Why?  Oh my gosh, being of beauty beyond imagination learning to remember yourself, because you can!

 “We deserve to wake up each day in love with ourselves” – Sherry O’Hara, Minister–in-Training, San Diego

There is nothing that you can DO to find your joy!

No matter what you may have been told or what might have happened after you did something, there is no joy in doing anything – including meditation, laughter, playfulness, or kindness.  Your joy exists only in you, inside your choice, as you decide to choose it.  This is perfect because you are free to choose joy any time you want.   And, as a bonus, your joy will inspire you to explore many avenues of love and joy in action.

If you choose your joy BEFORE you do anything that you THINK will “make” you happy, then you teach  yourself the truth of joy – that it lives within you. For joy is not a FEELING or a result of something done, but an ATTITUDE (see glossary) you choose out of nothing except your innate freedom to choose it.  And it lasts for as long as you choose it.

How can I choose this right now?  Just follow the “Yellow Brick Road.”

Yellow brick Rd 2

Know that nothing you feel, nothing you experience and no one you know is the source of your true or unconditional happiness or unhappiness.

Yellow brick Rd 6

Right now, in the midst of everything you are experiencing, decide to see the beauty and magnificence in all of it.  Intend to know that beyond your judgment, is the wonderful nature of everything. Don’t try to figure it out, or judge whether things are “good” or “bad”, or “right ” or wrong” or “fair” or “unfair.”

Yellow brick Rd 3

Know that this moment, right now, is the only moment. And in this moment you have the choice whether to complain or to celebrate and love everything just the way it is.    Intend to look for the “fun” in choosing to experience everything the way you choose to experience it.  Know that your unconditional love sits waiting patiently and passionately , like a seed, for you to nourish it with unconditional joy.

Yellow brick Rd 8

In this moment, you can choose to “see” (focus on) something wrong, or, you can choose to “trust”  or intend to have faith, like Einstein wrote and hundreds of Masters (i.e people who have seen glimpses of the oneness of everything) agree, that the universe is “friendly.”  Trusting means intending to see everything happening in you and around you as something that is there for your highest benefit.  If you are so moved by your joy, then you can spend joy time looking for that benefit.

Yellow brick Rd 7

Intend, right now, to let joy, not your feelings or your judgments or your analytical mind, make your decisions.  Begin to choose joy before taking any action.

Yellow brick Rd 12

OK, here’s the big one.  Intend to know that your “FEELINGS of unhappiness or pain” in whatever form they take are not the problem, because they are not who you are.  It is the ATTITUDE of unhappiness that is in your way.  Know that you only choose the attitude of unhappiness because you believe that the feelings, circumstances and events of your life force you to do so.  But shhh….!  It’s only a secret you keep from yourself!  Nothing makes you choose unhappiness, except you. That’s why it’s called unconditional love and unconditional joy! Come out of the closet! You were born to be happy!  It’s your basic nature.  Let your feelings and conditions, and situations be what they are – smile, laugh, and play your way through it all – then watch as  each moment of life somehow seems like a miracle!

Yellow brick Rd 5

Remember to choose your joy again and again and again, right in the midst of all that you “FEEL.”  Right now is the beginning of your “Happily Ever After.”  Remember and remember and remember AND REMEMBER that joy is who you really are, and, underneath your judgments, all there truly is.  Do this until the Dalai Lama stops by to get to know you, and, like Dorothy, you realize that all the joy and love in the universe has been within you all along.  “There’s no place like home!”  If you would like a certificate for this,  I have posted one for you (See the website menu).


Following my joy in Venice Beach, California








You can choose to be happy before you “fix” anything in your life or the world.

you are amazing 2

It doesn’t matter if you are afraid to speak up, to skydive, to sing in public, or to die. You don’t need to fix your fears or any of your uncomfortable emotions before you can choose to be happy.  Where you are right now is awesome and amazing!  As you are reading this, you are perfect just the way you are. Breath that in! You might as well choose joy because you never get any better than the perfect being you are right now.

Let go of needing to excel at something, or acquire something like money or a relationship, or earn a degree before you choose the joy that is always waiting for you to choose.  Just the way you are, whether sickly, or overweight, or friendless,  is the best place for happiness to be chosen.

meg ryan

You are not your feelings, accomplishments, or life situations.   You are the attitude that you choose to have, because attitude is the only thing you can choose.    Your attitude is your magic lamp.   It doesn’t generate cars and relationships or health, for those things are not you. It’s better than that. The genie inside your attitude holds the key to what you really want – the “I feel so blessed!” joy of being alive.