Why are kids so happy?  Because they don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.  When they are doing something, they are completely engrossed in the moment, and maybe we should try to take a page from their book and do the same more often.

This year, in my own effort to worry less and enjoy the moment more, I took a page from the “Happiness Project” and began by de-cluttering and simplifying my home life.  In the process, I detached from the past and extricated myself from negative situations.  Then I took to heart what Miguel Angel Ruiz suggested in the Four Agreements:

1. Make no assumptions;
2. Avoid passing judgment;
3. Be honest, and just do your best; and
4. Don’t take things personally.

Inspired by those gentle souls that I have crossed paths with over the years, I wound up reading almost a dozen spiritual books by some of the masters, including the Dali Lama and Deepak Chopra, and what is undeniable is the common theme they all promote– learning to let go of outcomes.  What kids seem to know instinctively, and we seem to forget as adults, is that we should enjoy the journey and not worry so much about the final destination.

2013 showed me that I cannot control what happens around me, only my reactions.  Rather than dwell on the losses or allow anger to take hold, which is just a waste of energy, I stayed positive believing that that attitude would yield positive results.  The masters were right, and I humbly bow down to Millman for showing me the way with his book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

Being present has allowed me to see that we are all born with different capacities, and there is no point to passing judgment on others. Those of us that have been blessed with many gifts need to be grateful for what we have and show compassion to those less fortunate- because we are all connected, we are all human, and in the end we will all suffer, but together we can ease each other’s pain and bring joy to one another.

Embracing life with a much more open mind has reduced a lot of unnecessary stress for me, and taking time to connect with others has enriched my life beyond words.  Here is hoping more will free themselves to enjoy the moment, and take time to be with family and friends.

Only those that make time to give and receive love will get it, and what is more important than love?  Just remember, we all have choices to make, including how we use our time and who we share it with, and we become defined by the choices we make, so choose wisely.

By Regina A.  DeMeo, Esq.