Your soul is on a journey. Happiness, peace, enlightenment, passion, purpose, inspiration-these are all within your reach, perhaps closer than you think.
The universe wants to reconfirm with you that you are a blessing. Release yourself, remember your gift, your purpose, and awaken from layers of protective forgetfulness. Feel the warmth inside you, and know that you are valuable to the overall progression of the species and the planet. You have a role to play; you are worthy of being heard and worthy of greatness. You know what you wish to leave as your legacy.
True happiness lies within the here and now-not in yesterday's memories or tomorrow's plans, but in understanding that happiness comes from being at peace in the present moment. Embrace the sunshine and the rain, and draw lessons from all of those experiences, so you can sit comfortably in your natural state of happiness and bliss today.
I Wish You Happiness is an invitation to forgive yourself, heal old hurts, and remember who you truly are. It offers a journey of truth and awakening, helping you to realign with your path and wish everyone happiness on their journey home.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)|
Read an Excerpt
I Wish You Happiness
By Elise Bradfield
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Elise Bradfield
All rights reserved.
Reading between the Lines
I have always been someone who ponders how things happen. I like to observe the world and can stare at the sky for hours knowing that there is more to life than little old me. These observations and my vivid imagination, coupled with my somewhat aloof personality, made me a natural writer. It would allow me to capture on a page what I felt I couldn't say or ask of others. So I carried this ability with me, and I would write sporadically, but eventually, life, people, and circumstances began to get in the way of my creative writing. It wouldn't be until many, many years later that I was to find what a true gift my writing could be and how it would change my whole world.
We all grow trying to find our place in the world and decide what we want to accomplish within it. In my teens and early twenties, my life was about friends, going out, and catching any moment that gave me some sort of high or instant gratification. Then as the years pass, still in that mindset of craving constant happiness, you search for it in all the wrong places. You fill your life with material things and people that make you look good but don't make you feel good and you're somewhat consumed with life's greedy demands. However, these highs are short lived and these friends turn out not to be real friends and you begin to feel that you have been searching for happiness and love in all the wrong places. Life becomes a series of questions, as you so desperately want to know the answers to your issues and struggles. These questions, however, are different and require more than a simple answer, which means you are forced to venture outside of your small world. This small world that now seems to inaccurately portray you, judge you, and somewhat trap you within it. I had so many questions that I needed answered, I thought I could literally fill a book, so that is what I decided to do. The burning questions that now consumed me were "What is happiness?" and "How can I be happy?" and "What should I be doing with my life?"
I began reading about various religions, attending mass, and asking people about what makes them happy. I saw psychics and went to faith seminars and began some volunteer work. I started to read about past lives and the concept of karma and I participated in some past life hypnosis sessions. I saw therapists, started taking herbal medicines, and began to go to regular yoga classes. I took the time to read biographies about great, courageous people who followed their destiny and changed their perceptions and views on life and the world. I talked to my friends and work colleagues about what made them happy and if this somehow was related to love and being in love. I would ask them to tell me about their spiritual or religious beliefs if they had any. In all of my searching and pondering about life, the world just seemed to open up and warmly embrace me. These insights, some seemingly small and others universally large, were amazing and informative. But alas, with more answers comes more questions.
True happiness is like the saying that it is an inside job, although with time and experience this is something that we learn. We can all relate to wanting the nice car, having the latest clothes, exotic holidays, marriage, dozens of friends, and a great career. Sometimes in this preparation for how we think our lives should look on the outside, we can feel very unstable and insecure trying to be a portrait of what you think your life should look like. It's like searching for things on the outside to make you happy and in turn being trapped in an insatiable hollow shell. I was "researching" happiness and personal growth and finding out about spirituality and the way to nurture and value myself, but I wasn't really putting it into practice directly. My view on happiness was still much like everyone else's, and I was curious as well as apprehensive about the answers I was to uncover. I was not embracing this new part of me or rather thinking I could write about happiness and love but not actually make it an active part of my life.
While waiting for the other part of me to catch up with my newfound insights, I had absolutely no idea that a train full of all my past baggage, fears, and feelings of unworthiness was about to derail and cause complete chaos in my present life. I was about to become an example, a part in the larger picture, in all the theories and metaphors and understandings. The universe was about to be very willing to answer my questions and teach me about real happiness. The bigger picture was going to make sure I used my research, my writing, and my own experiences, and more importantly than all of this, ensure that I promise to share what I would learn with you.
I had struggled for a while now, which is why I had decided to begin researching all other avenues, perspectives, and ways of living, to be internally more often in a place of peace and happiness. I felt like I had a plan, I had intentions, which I never really lost sight of, but I had been easily distracted by seeking my fulfillment outside of myself. This is a common timewaster and can become a futile search for happiness in other people and things, leading to such large distracting hollow potholes within your life, holes that I managed to fall into, every single time. On the outside, you may appear balanced, have the husband and kids, great job, been travelling, enjoy your friends' company, but for the life of you, you are unable to fill a hollowness in the pit of your stomach, or that unfulfilled feeling or aching pain in your heart.
I'm well aware of my shortfalls and I hadn't been entirely happy with the person looking back at me in the mirror recently. I realized I had fallen off-course when I started to feel unhappiness and discontent frequently, which I was having difficulty covering up. I had never really felt uncomfortable like this and for such long periods of time before. I was desperate for a light, a paddle, or some guidance within this time in my life and within what would turn out to be a real period of despair. I had drifted off-course, and it had probably been happening for a while, and then one day when I thought about observing my surroundings to check where I was, I realized I had drifted a long, long way off-shore. I felt like the moments, the decisions, of my life up until this point, had all been made without sound judgment, almost subconsciously. I became overwhelmingly aware that I was lost in a sea of confusion and this was a direct result of not playing an active role in my own life. Perhaps I had been bored, naïve, impatient, egotistical, or just plain dumb, but I had created a monster that was about to be let loose and wreak havoc on me and my world. This tidal wave about to hit me could not have been prevented considering the way I was living my life at the time. Out there in the middle of the ocean with this flimsy, barely seaworthy boat I was hardly prepared for any real challenge or voyage. The simple elements required to sustain life, like water, food, and shelter, were nowhere to be found. This had to do with my self-worth, passion for life, and pledge to myself to live a courageous life as a kind and gracious person. All these traits and elements, which I wanted to share and become, were nowhere to be found.
This book began in an attempt to research happiness, but life was to make me the target audience and would immediately cause me to put thought into action. In my findings I noted a lot of different sources speak of a person's actions and choices and how your decisions can lead you down several different paths. I started to understand while being stranded on my boat that all the choices I had made had created a ripple effect and I felt it converge to a larger than life problem, then hit me unawares. Maybe in my search for happiness I was coming to realize that I had been personally going about it all the wrong way, with a lot of my decisions being made from an overly outward perspective. It scared me to think I didn't know the inner workings of me like I used to and that a lot of the elements of my life were superficial and very easily washed away. While searching and compiling my findings on happiness, my own life was giving me its own ironic wakeup call. It would not allow me to be distracted or delay its message any longer; it wanted to show me or teach me something. I was about to call upon an internal strength that I had never used before, and this process was to be written in the pages in front of me. I was to become an active part in understanding the happiness of me, with the culmination of all my choices and life's consequences. This was to be that moment in life for me when I hurt so badly that it woke me from my unconsciousness. There were lessons that needed to be learned and a surge of energy within me as I was forced to be aware of where I was heading and the person I was becoming. The universe would force me to reevaluate what I was doing and show me in an abrupt yet fair manner why I was so lost, why I had so many questions, and how to be fulfilled and happy. I was offered meaning to the great madness that was consuming my life to that point.
My Low: Prior to "Them"
I was aware that I had been doing things that didn't benefit me, making selfish choices and pretending that my actions weren't hurting people, and deep down inside I was perhaps hurting the most. The universe was trying to let me know and it had been giving me subtle hints for a long time but to no avail. I had made some very selfish choices, searching for happiness outside of myself, and the result of these choices had created a murky, unstable environment that I was struggling just to exist in. I was spiraling out of control because I was ignoring the warnings and the universe's guidance. On one particular day with heartbreak so deep from ending a yearlong affair, I had my light bulb moment!
I was dealing with a deep distaste for myself after my own acts of betrayal and deceit, ending the affair and lying to everyone about it. I had made the choice to end this relationship, and at the time even though I knew it was the right thing to do, I found myself drowning in heartache. I felt that I was deserving of this great pain as punishment for my actions, for being a bad friend, a selfish lover, a homewrecker, an absent sister and daughter, and an all round shitty human being. I literally had people asking me for months "Are you OK? You don't seem yourself. What has happened to you?" I knew I had lost me in this selfish, self-sabotaging vortex, and there wasn't a single person I could really tell about my troubles, and I felt too ashamed to ask someone to help clean up my mess. This was my low point and was, up to this date, one of the loneliest times of my life. On top of that I had received recent news that a dear young family friend was dying of cancer and only had a few short months to live. Life was reminding me of its fragile state, and it was slapping me in the face for being so hazardous with my own life. Here was someone who so clearly wanted to live and grow old with her loved ones. Her life was out of her hands and my life at present was just a disservice to her and me. I had grown void of a personality, I was avoiding people, and I was disgusted with myself. I was so sad in stopping all contact with someone that I loved and cared about. I was drowning in heartache, loneliness, loss, remorse, anxiety, and fear, having lost the authentic me altogether. I lost my zest for life, I had no ambition, and I had forgotten my importance in all of this mess that I surrounded myself in.
I had sunk to the depths of my despair. In my darkest hours, I drank alone to numb the pain, passing out on the floor for no reason, crying at being heartbroken for hours every night under the covers so no one could hear. I was unable to eat I was so completely disgusted with myself for lying to my family and friends, hurting someone else's family, and ruining another household. Then there was the chain-smoking, dropping six pounds in a month due to stress, feeling bad for wasting a life, while my friend perished, and days blending into more days. I had gotten so far off-course, I was a weak, struggling shell of a person looking at something in the mirror that was unrecognizable to me and that scared me beyond belief.
I didn't know what else to do, everything was foreign to me, but I knew I had to get it out, express these emotions and feelings. I did the only thing that I felt I could do to try and make sense of this, the only thing that is of great comfort to me, to release it—I started to write. With all that I had been reading and researching, surely I would be able to get some solace and guidance from somewhere. The words that night spilled out of my soul and filled the blank space with a conflictive, emotional, and accurate perception of the life I had created for myself up to this point. I want to share with you one of the pleas that I made that night out to the universe, to anyone who would listen, to something bigger than me that could see my struggle and reassure me that I would be OK because I wasn't sure that I would be. I didn't realize that this moment of honesty, heartache, and utter desperation would ultimately change my life forever. This is what I wrote:
"I don't know who I am anymore and I don't like this person. I need help—I need you to help me remember me ... please. I'm begging you, I cannot hurt like this anymore, and I don't want to be me in this moment anymore. Please help me remember me."
And this was how "they" responded:
"What are you afraid of? Why will you not close the door behind you ... the light is so strong that it shines on you ... but only on your back, and you will not stand forward and face your destiny ... In your moments of heaviness that seem like forever, you are at war with yourself and you are building battlefields for events that will not avail because no one is going to win and no one will lose. Because there are no victims and there will be no hero because you are all the characters in one. You think no one will save you, so you pity yourself, or be a stronger self. You believe no one will love you, so you choose to close the door but why not love yourself. You think everyone will leave ... So you let them go, but why not understand that I will never leave and that there are no mistakes in the plan.
"And just as with the ease of light from which we created you, so is the same ease in which the path unfolds in front of you. Yet you complicate to make battles for yourself and you will only ever hurt yourself. There are no battles in this life—this is a life for love. You have had many lives of battle, in which your courage and bravery and honor were tested, all of which you excelled through. But love can be so easy and the greatest win of all, but you fear it as though it will hurt you beyond recognition. You have had it, we have given in to you, and you have come so close. But know in your heart that there is more and you will feel the alignment when you trust what is being offered to you.
"Why are you so afraid to be who you are? Your life will take flight, once you stop this doubt you will soar, you will write, you will help, but you must rise above this gray murkiness that consumes your mind and you think you cannot overcome. You must think positive, go outside, say yes, be nicer to people, give more, be the effortless air you breathe ... You must be light so you can pass and the door is there, the warmth is on your back, because we are waiting for you to turn around. Be the you of your destiny, be the you that others see, be the charming, warm-hearted, blessed person we have intended. Don't save those moments for the few; give and give and give to the many until there is nothing left and then we will give you more."
Right there in black and white in the scribble of my handwriting, within my own words of pain and pity and loss, was something so profound, so poignant, yet rational and of sound mind. This perspective from wherever it was was so effortlessly full of love but stern like that of a teacher. It was holding me responsible for the feelings I was having now and they were giving of such hope and strength in a time when I was ever desperate to hear it. I was having a moment of despair and I had been crying for hours and I may have been a little bit out of it but I knew I wasn't crazy. This night, in my agony and desperation, when I asked for someone, something, anything, they had given a matter-of-fact reply. I say "they" because I don't know who they are, but I felt like it was a collective of overwhelming wise overseers honoring me and my broken moment as a chance to learn and heal and grow. I knew I was good at writing, but in reading back, looking at the tone, style, and wording, this was so beyond my abilities I knew it was someone else, something else, so I asked.
Who are you?
Excerpted from I Wish You Happiness by Elise Bradfield. Copyright © 2013 Elise Bradfield. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Note to the Reader, xi,
1 Reading between the Lines, 1,
2 The Shadows of Me, 19,
3 Empty Shell and Artificial Happiness, 35,
4 A Second Chance to Close the Door, 59,
5 Love to Pain to Love Again, 71,
6 From One Life to the Next, 87,
7 The Happiness Pilgrimage, 107,
8 Seeing Is Believing, 125,
9 Choosing Change, 135,
10 Being Present with Happy, 143,
11 All Roads Lead to Rome, 159,
12 Embracing the Journey, 173,
13 New Surroundings, 185,
14 The Universe Comes Full Circle, 203,
About The Author, 219,