.Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

If there is any message I want you to take from this article, it is that befriending a parrot can be both frustrating and infinitely rewarding. And if there are two more messages to get from this article: buy my book “I Was Told There Would Be Cake” which will be released any day now, and just be happy – because you can be happy. There is so much bad news in the world right now and sometimes it is hard to see the positive side of things, but it is possible and there are things you can do to be happy. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know that I am not a spiritual adviser. Yes, it’s true that if my mother didn’t name me Daniela she was going to name me Deepak. But she didn’t and that is not the path I followed. And I would never want to mislead you by telling you that I have all the answers, because I don’t. I mean, I do know a lot. Like, A LOT a lot. I am very worldly. What’s that? No, I am not in Mensa or anything. But I could be. Obviously. I just don’t have time for all the paperwork. Or those meetings. Those are probably a drag. So, in conclusion, the only reason I am not in Mensa is because I don’t have time for the paperwork or the meetings. Moving on. 

I spend a lot of time listening to spiritual advisers and I have read a lot of books on the power of positive thinking. And I agree with what they say – it makes a big difference in your life when you stay positive. I am positive about this. It helps to surround yourself with positive people. No one likes to be around Negative Nellies. Try and spend more time with Positive Peters and Happy Helens.

Another thing you can do – and this is just off the top of my head – is read all my other books. I try to make it an escape from the things in life that are not so great. I keep it happy and positive and upbeat. Plus, it is much cheaper than a prescription with none of the negative side effects. 

It has been proven that when we are positive and happy, endorphins rush through our system. Now, I am no scientist, but I know what endorphins are. They are tiny, little magical elves that swim through your bloodstream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain, you hear what they are saying and that boosts your health and happiness. “Knock, knock…. Who’s there? … Little endorphin…. Little endorphin who?… Little endorphin Annie.” And then the endorphins laugh, and then you laugh. See? It’s science. 

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone has good days and bad days. We are humans. We have emotions. In fact, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have emotions. Have you ever met someone who says they have never had a bad day in their whole entire life? Don’t you want to poke them in the face? I don’t understand people like that. We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed some days. Some days we even wake up on the wrong side of our neighbour’s driveway because of a late night out and some confusion over strikingly similar front doors. My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The piña and the colada. 

The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself. If everything you have got stripped away – your home, your job, your family, your things, your favourite T-shirt with all the holes in it that you won’t throw away even though it reveals a large part of your stomach region – if you lost all of those things and you had to live in a cave all alone with absolutely nothing, you should still be happy. Happiness comes from within. You have the power to change your own mindset so that all the negative, horrible thoughts that try to invade your psyche are replaced with happy, positive, wonderful thoughts. 

I myself have made a conscious choice to not allow negative thoughts to even enter my mind. Is it hard? You bet it is. Negative thoughts are powerful. For example, if I didn’t make that commitment to myself to think positively all the time, I would probably start thinking about how scary it would be to live in a cave all alone with absolutely nothing. Because I mean, if I really think about the reality of that situation, it’s terrifying – to be trapped in a cave with all those bats flying around everywhere. And the spiders! There are probably literally millions and millions of spiders in caves. I don’t have anything against bats and spiders. Especially if they are happy living their lives all alone in caves. More power to them, I say. It’s just that it’s so dark in caves. I guess that goes without saying. They are caves. But once you really get inside, there is not even a hint or trace of light. Just little bat eyes darting around everywhere, waiting for you to turn your head so they can pounce on the back of your neck like a cheetah with bat wings. 

I am so scared of the dark. I usually leave the bathroom light on all night with the door slightly ajar (notice my Mensa-level vocabulary) just so there’s a strip of light. I know it wastes electricity but one time I woke up in a pitch-black room and thought for sure I had been kidnapped by cave dwellers who had taken me and my bed to their underground cave where they would train me to move like a dinosaur and only eat tree bark. Turns out I had an eye mask on, but that’s neither here nor there. My point is, I like a little bit of light. 

You know, there is probably a lot of moisture in caves, too, which would be bad for my hair. And all those sharp edges. I wouldn’t want to move. I would just sit in the cave all day long and think about how scared I was to be there. I am probably not gonna sleep tonight thinking about how I could easily end up trapped in a cave one day, surrounded by bats, spiders, water droplets, sharp edges, and complete and total darkness. 

What was I saying? Oh right – negative thoughts. Get rid of them! I did! You know what a wise person once said? “Why pay full price for  a sweater when you can steal it for free?” You know what another wise person once said? “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” Amen, my friends!

Let me break that down for you so it’s easy to understand. Happiness is a journey. This means that happiness is like a long car ride. Let’s say you are in a car and you are driving to Hawaii. Sure, it seems like Hawaii, your destination, is going to be the happiness part. But really, the car ride is the happiness part because of all the fun games you can play in the car and all the stops you can make at beautiful public toilet areas, not to mention how fun it would be to be in the car with three young kids for hours and hours. Be happy on your journey to Hawaii so that once you get there you can be miserable. Wait. I don’t know if that’s right. 

However you choose to live your life, just try to enjoy it as much as you can. Fill yourself with joy. (Not the dishwashing liquid.) And accept what life throws at you and what you cannot change – the good, the bad, the ugly, the awkward, the fun, the boring, the sweet, the weird, the sour, the salty, the ripe, the unripe…. I am sorry, I have to be right back. I just got really hungry. 

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