“Happiness is… not to live a moment which is not worth the oxygen you breathe.” –– S.C.

I am so much more than a name a biography a diagnosis or my marital status. So much more than my age and physical features. So much more than how the world tries to define me. In fact, I’ve been spending my whole life fighting labels and even descriptions––of myself, my dreams, even my passions. So what I write here today will likely change tomorrow, that is why I wanted to begin a dialogue with you. I’d like us to get to know each other, so that we can change and transform together and travel wherever our journey dictates.

I have several loves––poetry, life, family, friends, the arts, theater, music, travel, water (yes, water) and most importantly, happiness. I have little time for the concerns of the world and what we should be doing or how we should be acting. For example, just last month, I watched my son graduate from high school. This brought tears to my eyes. Not polite tears or quiet tears, but the kind of passionate tears that I uniquely possess and am not afraid to shed. Tears are beautiful and nothing to cause fear. Yet, that’s what met my genuine display of emotion from those in attendance. I  have no room for pretense or façade in my life. Do you?

I have stared death in the face and nothing––most especially societal norms––will ever have any power over me since that time. I simply leave pride behind in order to live and breathe honestly in the world. To show up everyday and have the courage to simply be myself––tears, mistakes, joys and all, but never regret. How do you show up everyday?

I am comfortable with ambiguity and seek it out whenever possible because it is so much more comforting to me than living in a fake world of black-and-white certainty. It is in the grey area of uncertainty where our beauty and compassion shines.

After I survived a cruel form of cancer, I became passionate about cultivating the strength and ability to meet life’s challenges with creativity, inspiration and encouragement which has helped anyone who asks for my advice define and achieve their dreams. What are your dreams today? Mine include cultivating serenity.

Maybe you are suffering a broken heart or an affliction that has to do with a hormone imbalance or an unfortunate state of mind. I have learned, no matter what, how to never feel sad. I enjoy every second of my life whether in the light or in the darkness––even during chemotherapy.

Ultimately, I have found that pride has no place in happiness. This simple lesson will help you cultivate the serenity needed to get back in touch with your dreams if they aren’t clear to you today. The best way to face life, death and everything in between involves making the most important choice of your life––happiness. Today I give you permission to be serene and dream.

Because in the end, the power to be happy lies with you.

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