Hi, I'm maya.
WHen I was 21, a friend asked what my dream job was.
I sarcastically replied: Happiness Coordinator!
As a deeply depressed 21-year-old, I was an unlikely candidate. But because happiness had been such an elusive quality in my life, it had captured my genuine curiosity.
Was happiness really a choice?
Could depression be healed?
I put my writing degree to use looking for the essential narrative of happiness. I scoured tomes of PSYCHOLOGY, neuroscience, religion, memoir and fiction. I hunted, sniffing out the trail.
What was the through-line leading to happiness?
I spent years learning to master the strategies of happy people.
I quit smoking, started exercising & eating healthy. I uncluttered my life. I set boundaries. Then, I stopped avoiding my emotions.
I allowed myself to feel the pain and anger I'd numbed out.
It was painful and scary and a massive relief to feel again. I wasn't happy, but I had a clear sense of peace and ease.
It was a REVELATION!
I'd had it so wrong for so long! I'd always thought that if I suppressed my "negative" thoughts and feelings, I'd have more energy for "positive" thoughts and happy feelings.
it never occurred to me how much energy I was wasting by avoiding my authentic emotional experience.
Suppressing your authentic experience won't lead to happiness.
I used to have so much fear around not being happy enough.
Allowing myself to authentically process my emotions without judgement freed me up to start experiencing deep gratitude.
That's when I found joy.
I started realizing that happiness is only a small part of the human experience; it's a transitory emotion that's contingent on specific circumstances aligning with your preferences.
Happiness comes and goes like a flower blooms and withers.
It's seasonal. It's a fraction of a much larger whole.
Joy is that whole.
Joy is the essence of life.
Once I recognized that joy as the through-line I'd been looking for, I was overwhelmed with the purest sense of PURPOSE.
New Dream job: Joy Expert!