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International Day of Happiness Q&A

Today I was featured on The Pursuit of Happiness celebrating International Day of Happiness! I really enjoyed this Q&A and decided to document it here so I can look back on it a year from now. Thank you Wes, for allowing me to be a part of the Happiness Chronicles 🙂

Q&A | The Budget Awakens

Happiness means different things to different people, what does Happiness mean to you?

To me, happiness is the level of gratitude I feel for my life, health, loved ones and nature. I believe we all can tap into an abundance of joy if we simply change the way we view our situations.

Do you believe happiness is an emotion or more of a state of mind?

Both! Happiness is a state of mind that generates positive emotions. To be happy is to live a life of joy, love, gratitude and inspiration. One of my favorite quotes is, “You cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.”

Do you consider being happy important to you? Why?

It seems like happiness is what we are all striving for. But coming from a feeling of lack, that we need to achieve this state of mind, opens us to failure. I believe happiness is already available to us all. Right here, right now! I struggled with depression when I was younger and know how tormenting negative self-talk can be. Today, I make a conscious decision to be happy with whatever life throws my way. I look at setbacks as opportunities for growth. My life has become one big classroom and I show up every day ready to learn!

What do you consider a fundamental barrier to Happiness in your life?

Perfectionism. I used to put off so many of my goals and dreams because I wanted to have all the best tools and knowledge beforehand. Starting a blog, my clothing company and even youtube channel would have never happened if I waited for the perfect opportunity. Perfect doesn’t exist! And to be honest, I learn the most through action. Mistakes and embarrassment aren’t fun but they’re essential in becoming better than we were before.

How important is wealth and money to your own happiness?

Well, the reason I am on a financial journey is because I used to believe money bought happiness. I used to buy clothes, records, concert tickets and vacations by borrowing money that wasn’t mine. I didn’t know any better back then. Today, I am just as happy digging myself out of this hole as I was swiping credit cards.

My purpose and desire to become debt free is so fulfilling! Connecting with this community and encouraging others on their journeys helps me stay focused and motivated. I’m excited to build wealth for my future family and housing goals. So technically I don’t have wealth in dollars yet but I am rich in love, family, friends and health. It will only get better from here 🙂

How important is health and wellness to happiness?

Health is incredibly important to me! I eat a plant-based, organic diet and do my best to avoid sugars. I started doing this because of digestion problems and quickly noticed the benefits it had on my mental health. I no longer get headaches or panic attacks and emotional outbursts became a thing of the past. Things like meditation are just as important as physical exercise!

What has been the happiest moment in your life?

The happiest moment of my life was in 2005 when my niece was born. She has taught me so much about unconditional love. I believe children are our greatest teachers and I’m so excited to have a family of my own.

Do you have any specific goals or resolutions for 2017? If so, would you share your top two that directly relate to your own Pursuit of Happiness?

My goal for 2017 is to reach financial freedom! Money has always weighed me down emotionally. To be free of that burden will be a dream come true! I also have a goal of posting a year of youtube videos. I am incredibly shy and this challenge has already improved my shyness. I’m hoping with more practice I will gain confidence and improve my communication skills.

Do you consider giving to others or charity work an important part of your own Pursuit and why?

Volunteering has always been a huge part of my life. I believe it’s important to help others less fortunate. One of the charities I help with provides shoes to low income children. It’s humbling to see the joy we bring them by gifting such a common item. Some of the children are wearing the same pair of shoes we gifted them the year before. Torn and falling apart. What’s common to us is scares in the eyes of others.

What 2 things have you learned in your own pursuit that you would like to share with others?

Minimalism! I became a minimalist over the last few years after learning more about how others live with less. I gave up mindless purchases and a HUGE weight was lifted from my shoulders. I am always looking for ways to reduce and donate.

I have also learned the power of self-love. After my depression diagnosis, I had to retrain my thoughts. Things like self-doubt and negative self-talk kept me a prisoner in my own mind. I spent almost two years doing mirror work and writing love letters to myself. It was an insane process but I am an entirely different person now. I am AWAKE and living life to its fullest!

If you could recommend only three books to anyone reading this, what would they be, and why?

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – This book was extremely helpful in my recovery. I still revisit it often to remember to be kind to myself. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle – I love rereading this book! It keeps me aware and living in the present moment. I recommend this guide to everyone interested in simplifying and releasing unnecessary stress. As far as business, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill introduced me to the idea of owning my own company. We all have so much to offer and deserve to share our passions with the world.

What is your blog/website address and theme (if you want to share) for 2017?

I created the Budget Awakens to document my financial journey and share tips and lessons I’ve learned about minimalism and living with less. I believe having a budget will not only help you to build wealth but it will AWAKEN your lifestyle! As it did mine. Plus, I’m a big Star Wars fan and writing with a Star Wars theme is so much fun!! Thanks for the opportunity to share and I wish you all so much joy and laughter you don’t know what to do with it! 🙂

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