3 Misconceptions About Happiness, Simplicity, and Authenticity

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Today, I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned that changed my life for the better.

We think we know what happiness is but we don’t know how to get it. We think simplicity is for other people. And being authentic is a nice dream if you like being on the fringes.

It doesn’t have to stay that way. Are you ready?

  1. Happiness does not require permission from anyone but yourself.

It’s a muscle to develop and train, like smiling. What does happy feel like? Forget all the ways you think you need to be happy. Just choose it and practice it. Cultivate it.

How? It can start as simply as trying out a smile. A meditation teacher once indicated to me that we can wear an interior smile when we are meditating. I thought that sounded like pretty good advice, so I tried it. Lift up the edges of the mouth and notice the difference. Does this sound trite? It’s not the only thing, but it is a start.

The muscle we train is the one where we drop the storyline. You can do it on a meditation cushion, the living room couch, at work, in our relationships. We get stuck in ego, fixated on what we think will make us happy so we don’t allow room for anything else. But, when we meditate we learn how to make tiny shifts of attention from our mind to our breath. The practice is about the return.

When I was young I had an old manual Olympia typewriter. I wrote my first everything on that thing, pounding away at the keys. But to move forward, I had to pull the carriage shift. I slid the lever from side to side (it’s been so long ago, I think it was right to left) and it dropped to the next line. It was a shift.

So, to shift into a happy physical experience which leads to a happy mental experience, you start with turning up the corners of your mouth and inhaling. Try it out. Inhale. Curl your lips.

How does it feel?

We don’t need permission from others to be happy. Regardless of the situation, we can get unstuck. It isn’t wrong to be happy. Even when we believe we are supposed to be sad.

Happiness is seeing the storylines and shifting to spaciousness.

  1. Authenticity doesn’t mean you have to be original and different. It’s just being true to yourself. It means you are brave enough to consider what matters to you and then do something about it.

Authenticity is about getting real with yourself. Sometimes it means changes that are challenging and scary in the beginning, and understanding why. Feel the feeling, then ask the questions.


  1. Simplicity isn’t always slow, easy, or unencumbered.

It also doesn’t mean there is no responsibility. Simplicity is a structure, a mindset. When you know what matters most to you, you will know what to say yes to and what to say no to. It makes it so much easier. You don’t waste a bunch of time trying to figure out if you want to go to a party. You touch into your wisdom in the moment and go with that. Not sure how to do that? I’ll show you how in the course or you can read about it here: Pendulums and Witching Sticks.

It’s also deeply personal. There is no right or wrong way, and it is not a label you wear. It’s an attitude you cultivate. It’s an approach and a toolkit.

Do these misconceptions feel familiar at all? I wrestled a long, long time trying to understand why I was struggling. These insights set me free this year and that’s why I’m sharing them with you.

So, there you have it. A few ways we get these wonderful gifts of happiness, simplicity, and authenticity wrong.  Thankfully, you can totally practice with them and find the freedom you deserve.

The best thing about opening ourselves to the moment is how fresh and on the spot it is. Things flash up and fizzle out quicker when you remember happiness is your choice. And being authentic is liberation from the pack. You get to choose. Maybe choice is scary for you. That’s where simplicity is a beautiful help. Getting to the bottom of what is meaningful for you frees you.

To go a little deeper on your journey, join the 5 Mindful Moments series and find out how easy, simple awareness leads to greater Happiness, Simplicity, and Authenticity for you!

Until next time,