My listeners know that I believe that one should always have an Attitude of Gratitude. It emphasizes the positive and colors the rest of our lives in happiness.  It transforms the lows and disappointments in our lives to omens of the good which is waiting for us.

Coming across Lauren Foster and her Be Happy First  ideology added another dimension to my attitude of gratitude. Most people who are unhappy will point to something that needs to happen for them to achieve a state of happiness. Lauren teaches us how flawed this attitude is.

Lauren has been in sales all her life. She used and was trained to be positive and  upbeat. As she was sitting on her patio one evening, feeling joy and happiness and gratefulness for all that she had in her life, she was inspired to teach others to obtain this mindset. She made the decision to be a happiness coach.

There is a transformative story that Lauren uses to explain her methodology. Her mother told her this story when she was a child. It is The Story of the Magic Orchid.

There was a very sad, depressed and lonely woman. She lived in a home alone amidst clutter, dust and messiness. Rarely did she ever get out of her bathrobe. She couldn’t find joy in her life.

One day there is a knock at the door and a man stood there holding a lovely orchid. He handed it to her. It had no card. She didn’t know who sent it. She looked around for a place to deposit the orchid and there is none in the jumble of untidiness that surrounds her. Moving some things on the table she makes room for the orchid. As she looked at the orchid she feels a bit of lightness break through the heaviness she always carried around. But the things strewn around it don’t make for a fitting place for the orchid to shine. Little by little she cleans off the rest of the table. The table, she decides, is not the proper spot with the rest of the room in shambles. Now, encouraged by the beauty she sees in the orchid, the woman clears up the rest of the room, moving the orchid from spot to spot in the room. Still dissatisfied with the results, she places the orchid in one room after another, each time clearing the litter and dust surrounding it, attempting to find the right spot for her orchid that radiated positivity. Eventually, she has gone through her entire home and created order which permeated her life with a feeling of happiness that she had never before  experienced.

We all can find an orchid that we possess in our lives. When we concentrate on something to be grateful for and look around at the other things in our life, we will find more and more positive things, until it will be difficult to choose just one thing. If something goes awry, just go back to your ‘orchid’ and reframe your mindset.

Just as an orchid is a delicate plant that requires careful nurturing, so too we need to nurture our positive elements and make sure they grow and produce healthy offshoots.

Lauren gives an example of a woman who is waiting to meet her soulmate. If she feels that happiness can’t be part of her life until this soulmate shows up then she will be an unhappy person since she believes that happiness can only come with the arrival of the soulmate. Yet, most soulmates are not attracted to sad and unhappy people. The correct and successful way to attract a soulmate is to think of which characteristics this soulmate would possess and how wonderful it will be to find him/her and be happy in the knowledge that it will happen at the right time.  Being positive and joyful will help attract what you are in search of.

If you were hoping for something and it didn’t come through, don’t think that you missed out. Rather know and believe that G-d has something even better for you around the corner.  Don’t focus on a door that closed, but rather on the others that are opening. If one focuses on the nos they will invite more negativity. When one hyper focuses on the yeses in their life, the next yes will come much faster. Celebrate the nos – maybe now is not the time to get what you are hoping for. Either it will come later or something even better is waiting for you. Choose to be grateful!

For Lauren hope is the faith that things will continue to get better and better. The entire universe and all the forces of nature are conspiring for one’s good and the good of every living being. It is the elixir that will help you through any situation. Suffering with hope is completely different than suffering in despair. It is like turning one’s face to the sun.

Lauren can be reached at her website, BeHappyFirst.org or at her Facebook community, BeHappyFirst. Every Tuesday or Thursday at noon Eastern time there we broadcast tips and tools to live a happy life.

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