myIAKI // by KOLBY F

When asked to write this post I was in the midst of a week long emotional breakdown. I can be very dramatic a lot of the time, but this was different. I thought “I am not happy right now, there is no way I can write about happiness”.

After being reminded for the third time to write this (thank you for bugging me Jordan) I sat there and thought about it, I realized I was wrong. There is no better time for me to write about happiness. This year has changed my life when in ways I never saw coming. Me being a recovering alcoholic, I HATE change. I was okay at first, it gave me an excuse to isolate and I loved it. After a few months and being forced to cancel multiple trips to see family, working from home, spending the holidays without family and my social life being almost nonexistent, I started to feel very lonely. I was not happy at where my life was at the moment, it was not where I “expected” it to be. The expectations of having the perfect career, the right amount of money, the crazy exciting social life and a significant other were no where in sight and did not feel tangible. After some time of keeping these feelings to myself, it all came out. Hence this emotional breakdown I was in. I opened up to people around me and I realized I was not the only one feeling this way and that I should be proud of where my life is today. Yes, my life has changed, but it didn’t change for the worse.

As I rang in the new year, I started thinking about what I was grateful for and what brought me happiness this year. • I celebrated 8 years of sobriety • I am 100% self-supporting (My #1 goal when I first got sober)

• I paid off my car

• I got my own apartment

• I have an AMAZING job

• Everyone in my life has stayed healthy

• I got to travel and experience things I would have never done before COVID

• I spent some amazing quality time with close friends

• I spent more time than I ever have facetiming with my family

• I can say today that I truly love myself

• I can spend time being alone, which I could never spend more than an hour alone in the past

• I have an amazing, cute, corky French Bulldog that makes me so happy

• I have so many genuine relationships.

2020 truly has been a year of blessings that I was blinded by because of this “expectation” of where my life should be. I do not have the blueprint to the way my life will play out and that is okay. I know that my god, higher power or whatever you want to call it gives me only what I can handle, even when I feel like I can’t.

The biggest thing I learned this year is that my happiness needs to come from within and my perspective is everything. I have everything I need and everything I could ask for, but if my thinking is skewed, I will not be happy.
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To me, happiness comes from within. A lot of times, I face difficult circumstances. It is my choice what I do with them. If I do my best to accept things as they are, and do what I can to make things better, I am usually happy. As long as I know I tried my hardest and did my part I will feel happy. Things aren’t always perfect—but we make the best of them 😎

Jimmy Steaks

Another day of fulfilled purpose and continued happiness! I have to say that my life was NOT always this good. What I mean by good isn’t a depiction of the external world but a feeling within myself that I cherish today and take very seriously. A purpose and promise from myself to myself to be the absolute best version of me I can possibly be and share that person and the ups and downs of my journey with others. Success and happiness is a state of mind!!! A state of mind that can be cultivated and found on a daily basis. I choose to be grateful!! I choose to be happy!! No one can take that away from me. Now that I truly understand the art of gratitude I change situations that others might view as problematic into opportunities of growth. Once I changed my perspective from what can I get to what can I give…life was no longer about me and I have continued to be blessed outta control!!! Perception is reality and my reality is at it’s finest. Whoever is reading this I WISH YOU TRUE HAPPINESS!! I encourage you to positively effect others lives and spread the message of happiness and gratitude wherever you go. Stay blessed my friends!!!

Cein Kelley

MY CAT! I can’t believe I wasn’t sure what to write about at first, a lot of things make me happy but my cats cute little self is the first thing I see when I wake up and go to bed. Some days in 2020 he was one of the few reasons I woke up and got out of bed in the morning, to take care of his little alien self. His name is Baby Mo, he is a Sphynx, and he has one blue eye and one green eye. Some people think these are the ugliest creatures but I’ve never thought that for a second! Even when I woke up this morning to him peeing in the sink he put a smile on my face :) Like Jordan, I pushed off writing this quite a bit as the changes I’m making in my life have uncovered some unhealthy patterns I have been doing for a few years now… which I’m actually grateful for because how could I change them if I left them buried in the “hard to fix so let’s leave it alone” thoughts I’ve recently uncovered !? I’m used to being financially independent, constantly learning new things, training hard towards the things I love, eating healthy, getting lots of sunshine, and in control of my surroundings but 2020 I was the laziest, disconnected from family/friends/community and self I had ever been. While it all seemed so bad, it’s more of a blessing I got that much time to think about how grateful I am just to be able to do the things I love and that make me happy… I’m happy women are even able to be financially independent because not too long ago many more we’re stuck in relationships they weren’t happy in just to feed themselves and have a roof over their head! We are now free to get an education, a job, and the choice to be with who we want to be with. Years ago I couldn’t have a choice to be with a woman or a man, now I can even have both if I desire. Many more years ago my favorite practice, yoga 🧘🏽‍♀️; was only done in India by men and now it’s the practice that has gave me spiritual guidelines I live by, physical strength & balance, also a community of people I instantly bond with just by linking eyes because I can tell they are just as most even usually more gentle loving and genuine then I…. I may not be where I want to be but I’m where I need to be and thanks Jordan, for having me reflect on what makes me happy and for writing about what makes you happy.. don’t forget you make me happy too ! IAKI

Stephanie Samadhi

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