Do me a favor. Take a deep breath. Yes, right now.
Feels good, huh? I just took one and realized that I forgot to breathe today. How can this be so important and yet so easy to forget once we get into the daily grind? Okay, you deserve it; I just took another one too…
Reviewing my call with Maritza R. Alarcón reminds me of her advice to breathe. But now that I am re-living our talk, I am reminded of so much more. I am also given a much-needed ray of light.
Adjusting to change is rarely easy, but something about this past month has felt unbearable. In working to create a life I can be happy with and proud of, I have been consumed by relentless fights against self-pity, self-doubt and the rest of the depression gang.
Thankfully, this new moment presents an opportunity to implement steps towards what Maritza calls your happiest life.
She has dedicated her life to discovering what induces happiness and is now writing a book, I Am Happiest, that compiles her experiences and will serve as a field guide to help us optimize our happiness. This means that no matter what happens, we return to the happiness zone in the most healthy and harmonious way, as soon as possible.
“When something rocks my world, be it good news or bad, there are rituals I have developed to help me enter my happiness zone swiftly. In the beginning it took experimentation and practice. Now they are habits, my automatic go-tos. These rituals have thus far worked for me in every situation. Right now, I am on a gratitude walk.”
The reason for her walk changes depending on the day. During a tougher time, the walk is a chance to call someone who is in the happiness zone for support. If she cannot make that call, she will reach out to others just to shift the focus away from herself and hear about another person’s day.
“That is why breathing helps, it fosters new awareness of my surroundings. I love taking purified water with the juice of an organic lemon and breathing deeply. I breathe in before I drink for one minute and I realize I didn’t breathe at all that day. This ritual helps me gain perspective and focus on the moment.”
Over the past decade, Maritza has made these practices into defaults, but her book is so much more than that. I Am Happiest is the product of the magical and magnetic way Maritza lives her life.
Maritza considers growing up in Brooklyn her training ground for becoming a bold Latina woman, but the supreme confidence needed to go after her dreams developed after she made her Dream List in college.
“I sat down with one of my favorite quotes, live the life you’ve imagined, and asked myself what this life would look like. I had some dreams inside me and now I was finally writing them down.”
Before she knew it, her dreams began to materialize in ways better than ever expected.
She wanted to work with the Boston Red Sox, but never thought to be presenting to the CEO. She wanted to go with NYC youth to underprivileged areas in Latin America, but never thought to be getting paid to lead their trip.
When she feels ready, she checks the dream off her list and continues on to the next. Years later with many accomplished dreams under her belt, Maritza has so much that she is grateful for.
Living her happiest life overcomes Maritza with gratitude that helps her show up and push new boundaries every day. This passion for life has allowed for new dreams to present themselves along the way. The vision for her current dream came to her while in her most vulnerable state, in deep sleep.
“Every dream in my list I had dreamt about while awake, but the I Am Happiest enterprise is a dream that jolted me out of sleep. Everything up until that point in my life had led me towards creating this new movement. Step one is writing the book, Step two is, well, you will have to wait and see…”
While we wait, Maritza’s exciting energy and powerful message can be seen in her TEDx talk on the happiest life and how it is possible for us all.
On a personal note, I am grateful for the privilege to have met Maritza and be reminded of the immense power we have to uplift each other. The way she grabs life by the horns in the most loving way is not only inspiring, it is contagious. I hope that together we can remain mindful of Maritza’s wisdom in order for us all to nurture and live out our happiest life!
Gal grew up in the world of theatre and dance. She loves using that creativity to find what moves us and awakens our inner passions. Through sharing inspirational voices on bold.global and Bold Blend, Gal hopes to help ignite the belief that when we celebrate each other, it is possible to break boundaries and live a bold life!