Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Stories

It's Sunday night, and there's nothing I'd rather do at this moment than write. However, what I need to do is sleep! So instead of writing a lot, I want to share a very inspiring video instead.

I'll introduce it by saying that the year before I landed my teaching job, my husband and I were in a very high place spiritually and emotionally. In the fall of 2007, we decided finally to get married near Ithaca, NY the same week His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke at Cornell University. These two events were part of an exciting, spiritually intense week that seemed to kick off a long chain of goodness and blessings.

Right around that time, while working at the local public library, I came across the book, A Complaint Free World  by Will Bowen. The premise of the book is that if you train yourself to curtail the complaining habit, you will be a much happier person, for your words ultimately create your life. How do you go about doing that? One way is to take the 21-day Complaint Free Challenge. You can contact A Complaint Free World, Inc. via the website to obtain a purple bracelet (or, alternatively, use any old bracelet or even a rubber band - though I like the purple bracelets). You wear the bracelet on your wrist, and if you catch yourself complaining, criticizing, or gossiping, you move it to your other wrist. This simple action makes you more aware of the complaining habit, and awareness is the first step in transforming it. The goal is to go 21 consecutive days without moving your bracelet. Although I never made it 21 days without complaining (despite trying for about two years), this simple experiment completely transformed my life and my husband's as well. We developed a more positive attitude and felt much happier and more empowered. It was pretty amazing. I have no doubt whatsoever that shifting to such a positive frequency helped me to land my teaching job. And find our home-sweet-home on the river.

Will Bowen has written more books since A Complaint Free World that focus on practical approaches to happiness. His most recent book, Happy Stories: Real Life Inspirational Stories That Will Raise Your Happiness Level, is being released in installments as a Kindle Serial. Over the summer, I came across the author's call for stories of people whose happiness inspires others. I instantly thought of Lorenzo, who directed traffic through a local construction site last fall. (I wrote about him in former blog entries HERE and HERE.) I filled out the form and emailed it to Will Bowen and let Lorenzo know that he might be contacted about it. Sure enough, he was - almost immediately! And I knew he would be because he is one of the most inspiring, charismatic people I have ever met, and his story needed to be shared with a larger audience. Lorenzo was interviewed by the author, and his story is among the inspirational stories in Happy Stories. The experience has been incredible for Lorenzo, who is filled to the brim with gratitude. After talking on the phone with him and receiving a copy of his story, I found it quite interesting that the title of his story is the exact same title of my very first blog post: "Bloom Where You Are Planted." I did a Google search and came across a video in which Will Bowen shares Lorenzo's story with his congregation. (He is a Unity minister.) Watching the video moved my husband and me to tears. It is profoundly inspiring. (I must warn locals that he mispronounces "Greenwich," so you'll have to get past that!)

I urge you to do yourself a favor and make time to watch this very special video and be inspired.

Happy Stories - Bloom Where You are Planted - 07/28/2013 from InVision - Will Bowen on Vimeo.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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