The Security Blanket of Money or Happiness? Can you have one without the other?

Last spring I was inspired by an unusual sight as I walked home. I saw a black woman with a white dress dancing in the rain with her red shoes in her hand. It was a very hot day and every drop of rain that touched my skin felt wonderful but I would not have the courage to dance in the rain! She radiated with light and her spirit was alive. The happy smile on her face brought an even happier smile to my face. I felt like joining her and dancing with her – how cool that would be! Being able to feel so alive in just that one moment – is a beautiful gift. Unaware to her, she had lifted my spirit tenfold and ignited a deeper feeling of happiness in my soul and at the same time she made me reflect on why most of us cannot simply find that sense of happiness and joy.

That absolute feeling of happiness is not something given to another. That feeling of happiness comes over us when we create a space in our hearts to embrace ourselves lovingly. It is a choice we make consciously regardless of the circumstances around us.

Imagine the magnificence of our lives if we decide to be happy regardless of all that happened around us.

Imagine how our lives can be stuck if we decide that we will only be happy when we win the lottery, pay all the bills, have the perfect body or job or partner and perhaps solve all the injustices which we fight for…

Someone said to me, “People think I am depressed or lonely or sad but all those emotions can change in the blink of an eye, if only I had the money to live the lifestyle I want to live. My problem is not having money…. it is the root of all the other problems”

My response to this was, “Can you be happy without having the money? Can you find things that can make you feel happy that don’t need money?”

He replied, “No… to have the experiences I enjoy, I need to have money. What can I do without money?”

How much of our happiness depends on having money?

Having and not having money is a constant in our lives. I used to worry about not having enough until I learnt that money is only energy and it comes and goes. It provides a superficial security which makes us feel at ease when we have enough of it. Without enough, our brains go crazy and we can easily sink into feelings of worthlessness and scarcity. This vulnerable state can actually lead into depression. Depression leads to low energy, low motivation, low self-esteem…. all of which does not help with the creativity required to draw more abundance to us.

What if our internal security lie in something way beyond having money and it requires us to listen to the still voice of our soul that identifies the things that make us feel happy. Do you know what makes you happy without a reason? Can you feel happiness, joy and gratitude from within? Walking in the rain is one of the things that has always made me feel happy since I was a child…going back to our childhood days can give a good insight into the things that sparked happiness in us and which we lose along the way.

To feel joy is like touching the spirit of life … and when that spirit is in you (the feeling of joy and love) is there anything that will not be provide to you? Have faith that all you need is already provided for you.

Affirm to yourself “I attract love, happiness, money, wealth and peace to my life. All is well in my world and my mind is in perfect peace. I feel blessed to experience this earthly journey and I welcome all the ups and downs as part of my earthly sojourn.”



Smile With Your Eyes – A True Experience Of Teaching A Blind Child To Smile

Dave was blind with multiple disabilities. He was 5 years old and I was his teacher 20 years ago. Despite his challenges, he had many gifts including the ability to talk perfectly well, to sing and to respond to stimulation in his environment. He was sharp and often retorted quite cynically at others especially when things did not work out in his favour. One day I decided to get some photos of him. As I was about to snap the photo, I said “Smile Dave” but he showed no response. He stood there like a rock. I said “Come on Dave, smile”. After a pensive moment, he asked quietly “What does smile mean? What do I have to do?” I was shocked for a moment. How could I explain what a smile is to a blind child. It is something we learn automatically through observation.

I said very foolishly “Smile, is like laughing.” To that he responded curtly “I don’t have anything to laugh about. What is “smile”?” I put the camera away and told him I would try to explain it to him later. I needed to think about this.

“Come here.” I said. “Let us play with the ball.” He enjoyed rolling the ball on the floor and finding it. His face beamed with a smile every time he found the ball and rolled it back to me. “Dave you are smiling!” I said. “You smile when you roll the ball.”

“I don’t know what smile means.” he said. “What is it that I am doing that you call a smile?” This was getting hard. I tried to explain to him how to move the muscles in his face and his mouth to create a smile but he could not get it. When he did it, he was just stiff without any emotion. We rolled the ball back and forth and he squealed in delight each time he found the ball.

Then I asked him ” Dave, how do you feel when you find the ball?” He said “happy.” I asked “When you feel happy, how do you show it?” He shrugged and said, “I don’t know” I said, “The next time I roll the ball to you, and you find the ball, tell me what you feel in your face?”

He found the ball and then said, “I feel happy when I get the ball and I think that my face smiles.” There was an “Aha” moment on his face! “What part of your face smiles Dave?” He responded “I feel my mouth and my eyes smile”

I never forgot this statement. Even though he was blind, I could see the sparkle in his eye and he was so right when he said “I feel that my mouth and my eyes smile.” His eyes were smiling. This was a profound teaching /learning moment for me – when a 5-year-old child, who is blind, could connect that his eyes and his mouth created a smile. How authentic and true is that! Dave reinforced to me that we can’t smile if we don’t feel happy. We don’t really smile when we simply poise our mouth to show our teeth. Our smile is an automatic response to the happiness we feel.

After four years of working with him and teaching him how to use his residual vision, one day he said to me, “Ms Maxwell, I can see you smiling at me.” He moved closer to me and let his hand touch my face and then my lips. I can only imagine with the little vision he had, how I must have looked to him. I have a feeling I looked like this 🙂

TuneIn to how you smile today – is it just an automatic response or do you feel a small burst of pleasure and happiness. StepUp to smiling from an authenic place – joy will grow abundantly within you.