Empower Point: Be Happy Now

We’re all one life change or detox away from lightness, leanness, love and laurels, right?

Not quite.

I accidentally got onto the wrong freeway this morning instead of staying on the route that would take me straight to my destination. Lucky for me, I’m not only a native to this city, but I inherited my dad’s stellar sense of direction that can put me right-side up in practically any scenario. Getting off at my Venice area off-ramp and driving down the familiar boulevard, I started to calculate in my head, as I so often do, if I could afford to move back to my beloved beach town in the foreseeable future. “I wish I could wake up to this again,” I thought. “If only I lived in Venice; I’d be so much happier.”

I caught myself and laughed at my silliness; I was playing the I’d-Be-Happier game again, one I’d actually been playing for quite some time. The one that wistfully pined to go running four times per week, live walking distance from a large mass of nature like I used to (hello, Pacific Ocean. Hello, Griffith Park.), and exist in a world in which all time was Daylight Savings Time and it was summer-light outside well past 6pm. Yes, the thought has gone through my head that I would definitely be happier if an entire standardized time system changed specifically for my benefit. I’m spending energy and thought space lusting over the way life would be if this unmovable and changeable system was nonexistent.

I kept driving through my old neighborhood and started to remember the one summer it was cold and overcast every day until October. Film-strips of crowded streets and tourists on weekends started to emerge out of the haze of my mind. There’s always something. And I said, to myself, “Katie, be happy now.”

I have everything I need to be happy now. Am I using all the tools and opportunities for happiness in front of me, or am I opting for routines and practices that keep me in the box I’ve been comfortable in for quite some time? Do I choose to stay up a little later and sleep in a little later because it’s what makes me happiest, or because it’s what reminds me of an outdated version of myself? Do I choose frantically rushing to get in a morning workout because it really starts my day off on a positive foot, or because I’m married to the idea that it will. Do I get angry as the day goes on if I don’t fit in said workout because I am overwhelmed by my to-dos, or because I am angry at myself for not prioritizing my freedoms and maybe finding time later? Am I truly missing the freedom from certain to-dos, or am I simply choosing not to see the types of freedoms right in front of me?

Be happy now.

It’s about inspiration, it’s about being inspired wherever you go. It’s about relying on no one but yourself to create this for you, relying on yourself to be the change and be that person who doesn’t just sit in fear waiting for someone else to make the move. It’s about working with what you have, in this very instant; using all the tools just maybe in different or unfamiliar or less comfortable  ways.

Be happy now. It’s about actualizing your life in this existence, not stressing to exist within some predefined life. It’s not about the half-full outlook per se, but the more pragmatic What do I want, what do I need and how am I actually allowed all these things right now but just might not realize it?

You have talents and a myriad of ways to use them. Forget the conventional and familiar – there is always something else, some other outlet you’re yet to realize has been open to you all along. Just because it’s unfamiliar does not mean it’s invalid. Everywhere can be your stage and everything can be your muse. You’re surrounded by nature – you’re on Planet Earth! Isn’t the fact that the world turns and we see the sun rise every morning in the east and set every eve in the west a wonder in and of itself? Be happy now.

And whether happy means being a team member or going at it alone, happy is here for you in whatever way you like it. In a run, in a song, in a straight path or a U-turn. You have the final say, you have the last word, you have the brilliant ideas and you have the voice that matters.

Be happy tomorrow. Be happy tonight. Be happy now.

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