I Choose Happiness

RobdorganIn 2011 my partner and I left our jobs of 12 years to start a new life adventure. We both worked for the same manufacturing company and it was time to either buy the company or move on to something new. Before we took the positions we had seriously considered going to massage school. We had even shopped around and decided on a holistic school in New Mexico. We originally took the jobs at our friend’s business thinking that we would stay long enough to make the tuition with a little cushion. But as we like to say, “Life Happened.” The jobs were challenging and rewarding. Then we took care of aging parents. Before we knew it we were there for 12 years.

So facing 50 and beyond we felt it was time to try something new and follow our hearts to be of service in the holistic arts. Wow! I had no idea how comfortable I had become with a steady pay check and security as I saw it. As the time came for our amicable departure, I started to freak out. I became disoriented and very unsure about what we were doing and questioning whether or not I could do the next step— school.

I had this low grade fear that just hung on me like a ball and chain. My mind was constantly thinking about it no matter what I was doing. Interesting to me and my partner, was the fact that I had always been the one pushing us to do something different, take chances and jump head first, but now, I was immobilized. I was not able to access happy at all in my life because I was living in Fear with a capital F.

We kept with the plan and moved from our Kentucky home to New Mexico to study massage and natural therapeutics. I had something to focus on which was a great relief. The school experience was fantastic. We had never been in school together. We excelled not only in the program but with each other. We bonded even more deeply in our personal relationship. We saw new dimensions of each other that just opened our hearts up wide.

It really seemed like I had turned a corner. I was “my self” in New Mexico. Ten months later, with degree in-hand, we returned home. The cloud descended thicker and heavier than ever and the fear returned. Sure, we had new skills but no clients and very little money coming in. I felt like a negativity sponge. There was no silver lining in anything. For the first time in my life I seriously considered antidepressants. I was not happy. Nor did I see myself being happy in the near future.

Two days before Christmas and one week before our vacation to Key West in 2012 I jumped for a pull up bar at the gym. I was still recovering from the flu and had ignored my intuitive voice that morning that told me to skip the trainer and let myself heal. I jumped. I missed with the left arm and did not let go fast enough with the right arm. POP! I pulled the bicep tendon right off the bone. I knew it was something major. My right arm looked very different from the left – not to mention the discomfort and the very concerned look on my trainers face. It was at that very moment I heard a voice inside my head say, “you have to change this course you’re on.” I knew exactly what the voice meant. I had a choice. I knew I was pulling negativity to me. I saw only dark so I was manifesting dark.

In the 24 hours between seeing my doctor and the surgeon. I observed a tug of war in my mind and body between deciding to be happy or unhappy. I cried a lot that day. I was scared of where I was headed. I realized that I wanted so badly to be happy. I missed loving life. I felt that this was a cross-road. I got on the internet, with the help of my good arm and pulled up every positive thinking, inspirational website I could find. I started reading books that encouraged me. Within hours I felt a shift. There was still a struggle inside me between the martyr and the part of me that wanted to be truly happy. But at least I felt two sides instead of just the bleak dark cloud I had lived in for two years.

I opened myself up to possibilities. I found a juicing site where the guy was talking about what vegetables to juice for a quicker recovery. So we bought a juicer and tons of vegetables. The first surgeon I saw was not a specialist with my injury but he got his colleague to see me that very day. He was exactly who I needed. I not only wanted my bicep fixed I wanted to be 100% so I could get my massage business off the ground, keep up with my yoga practice and still work out.

I told my friends that I needed help. I needed them to be up and positive and to spoon feed me the same. I had to cut a few people out of my life. I was honest. I did not have the time or energy to deal with the power of being unhappy. You know who I am talking about— the people you have around that no matter what is going on they are just miserable. I felt for them because I had been there. But I wasn’t strong enough at that point to help anyone. I needed to help myself first and foremost.

My life for those two years had been a perfect storm for bringing on unhappiness. Major life changes have us face our selves and our fears. My wake up call was a physical injury that put my new life as a massage therapist, yoga teacher and personal trainer on hold for more than three months. But I started to look at it as an opportunity to learn other things. I took my meditation practice to a completely different level. I had always made excuses for not meditating longer because of time. Now time was all that I had. Meditation helped me take a deeper journey of self discovery. How had I become so unhappy in the first place? What were the fears that were holding me back? How did I lose the sense of who I am and what I am capable of doing?

My journey to choosing happiness had me turn off the TV, abstain from almost all media and surround myself with everything that encouraged me to live and grow stronger in body, mind and spirit. There is no vaccine against negativity but a prescription of love, goodness and a strong dose of living in the “Happy” can turn your life around. Our lives are how we perceive them. Our perception is influenced by what we take into us. So breathe deep and take in all the goodness you can find. Limit your intake of negativity. Strengthen your relationship with yourself by deepening the love you have for YOU. The people in your life will benefit from it too because the happier you are and the more you love you—— the more love you have to share. Believe it! You can do it too. Namaste.

Rob Dorgan

49 thoughts on “I Choose Happiness

  1. Incredible timing for me. Today is the day I was meant to read your article. Good guidance. Thanks, Rob

    1. As my friend and teacher Bobbie would say; “Everything is happening right on time!” We get what we need as long as we ask and pay attention. Thank you for letting me know if spoke to you. That warms my heart. Peace Lila.


  2. So powerful, sincere and empowering. Thank you for sharing so deeply to help plant seeds in the hearts and souls of others seeking their dreams and fulfillment in life.

    1. Hi Janet;
      It is insharing our stories that we come to realize that we all want the same things in life— happiness being one of those. I beleive being happy or content is our natural state, we just have to find our way back to it through our layers of conditioning. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and commenting.

  3. Rob, this is an honest and refreshing reminder about our ability to choose our thoughts, and what happens when we consciously shift our thinking. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a good reminder for me!

  4. Thank you, Rob, for this powerful article and, as always, sharing your insights with such grace. All love, D.

  5. Wow, so proud of you for using the setback of injury as a turning point for greater and deeper meaning in your life. Love to you!

    1. Thank you Kelly — the way you and Matt shared your family and home with us while we were in NM made a huge difference in our life. That kind of support was just what we needed. Always— Rob

  6. Wow, wow and wow. What a great message. Powerful words. I believe in your message and I always have. It is what has gotten me this far in my life.


  7. Thank you for sharing Rob! I really needed this today!! Feeling lifted already!! Peace Friend!

  8. Your story is inspiring, especially for someone who has gone through— and still is going through the experience of finding one’s self. You’ve placed a light at the end of a long tunnel, giving one hope for that seemingly ” elusive ” yet attainable state of joy and happiness. Thank you.

    1. Hi Bobbie;
      I am glad my story inspired you. There is no greater journey than the one that leads us to our own joy and happiness. I believe happiness is always with us. It sometimes takes knowing that we have all we need in the moment and truly believing it. Thank you for your comment. Peace

  9. I love this story. The message is clearly something we all need to hear. Thanks for sharing it with us. (Sidenote: you have a typo in your story that distorts the sentence. Autocorrect? Wanted not wasted?)

    1. Another one. At the end, you write, “breath deep.” Can you correct these typos? If so, delete my comments.


      1. Thank you for sending Peace and Love Ruta. It takes practice to replace fear and hopelessness with joy and enthusiasm. We decide and we do it. Peace to you as well. Rob

  10. Thank you for sharing that there were people that you had to cut out of your life. I have been struggling with that decision because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings but my gut and my heart said to release that negativity from my life. Thank you for modeling the right decision.

    1. It was not an easy decision to let some people go– but even yoga philosophy points out that sometimes we have to let them go to keep our own mind and soul calm. And although we may never know, maybe our action will be a wake up cal for them.
      Thank you for your comment. Keep living true to your Authentic Being. Peace; Rob

  11. Inspiring story Rob…thanks SO much for sharing. I’m right now at a point in my life where I face some major changes. I’m retired, divorced and pretty much living alone where I’m at. In a few weeks I’ll be moving to where my kids and grandkids live. It’s kinda scary but I try to keep positive. My kids accept we me, (Oh, dad’s gay??? So what??)…but I haven’t lived near them in years. I’m single and plan on staying that way but hey, can’t an old guy pushing 70 still have a little fun and enjoy life and be happy?

    1. YES Rob!!! At any age we can have fun and be happy. You being who you are around your kids in this new phase will help them as much as you. You are teaching them by example, “to be true to you”.
      We can be happy wherever we are, if we live in the moment. You’re life is evolving so try to be in it as it is now and not compare it yesterday. This approach helps me keep each day fresh to what is offered. Enjoy your ride!!

    1. Much love to you Paul— you my friend showed up at the end of the story and have inspired me ever since. Here is to the most beautiful brances on the trees!! xoxoxoxo

  12. Wow. Really hit home for me right now. I felt like I was back at 1108 Central sitting on the hall steps with your arm around me telling me it was going to be alright. As always, you have said exactly the right thing, just when I needed to hear it. Love you tons xoxoxo

    1. Love you back! If you ever need to sit on those steps and feel my real arms around you– you know how to get here. You are a being of light and love— you are! xoxoxox

  13. Rob it was a pleasure having you around NMSNT!! I sure miss you both and your life story is a very beautiful inspiring one!!! Much Love to you both!!!

  14. Wonderful, positive, inspiring story that’s a great dose of what I need right now. Thank you!

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