Living Intentionally with Unshakeable Joy

I haven’t blogged in exactly a year. 2022 was extremely challenging. Taking on new roles at work and the nonprofit, planning and executing the largest and most successful Texas Fashion Week to date, two planned pregnancies, sadly followed by miscarriages, emotional and physical recovery, fighting for women’s reproductive rights and so much healing, personal growth, mentorship, and team development. The year carried plenty of heartache and loss, but also I saw so much light and joy with the immense support I received from my husband, my family, and my true friends. Healing was a constant process, it wasn’t linear or easy, but I survived and continue to heal from the devastating losses. With all that, I made a conscious decision to live intentionally, with unshakeable joy.

I’m not really one to make resolutions, but in my 20 years of practicing Buddhism, I’ve learned to set intentions and write down what I intend to manifest in life. This practice has led me to achieve so much in life, and though I do have big dreams for the future, with building a family, and career growth, my biggest intention I’ve set going into 2023 is to live with joy. Obstacles and loss are part of life, that won’t go away, but how we choose to view life. I am choosing joy. I am choosing love. I am choosing hope. I have faith that with this perspective, moments of joy will be more meaningful, more valuable, more appreciated. The truth is, though pain and suffering were prevalent during the last 3 years, the moments of happinness outweighed those losses, and that did not go unnoticed. In fact, it’s what helped me go on when I thought I couldn’t climb out of those holes.

I intend to create my own happiness, unshakeable and irrevocable happiness. The joy and gratitude for this life, this opportunity that we have to create value in this lifetime, no one can take that away from you. When you choose to live this was, there is othing outside of yourself that can destroy that happiness. It’s a great responsibility, being in charge of your life this way, but this is the path I must take in order to create the life I deserve. And not just for myself, but for those I love, as well. Spreading joy and happiness is one of the most fulfilling things one can do in life. While I can only be responsible for my own, sharing the source of my happiness, radiating joy as pure as gold, cultivating those meaningful relationships and living by example is how we spread like wildfire. Finding joy in everything we do, moving forward and tackling obstacles with gratitude for even having this opportunity for a true Human Revolution, and helping others achieve this, what greater sense of purpose can we have?

Photography by Miguel Flores Photography

“Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than [experiencing] the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever.”

Nichiren Daishonin (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, p.681)

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