I’ve been a little busy lately and haven’t had a chance to write here in awhile! That’s because I was getting ready to launch my first book! After a 4 and 1/2 year journey, the book is now published. I’d like to give a sneak peek here by sharing the Prologue, so here it is:
A few years ago, during an esoteric discussion with a family member regarding “happiness,” my relative told me about a lecture that she had attended with a famous rabbi. During the rabbi’s discussion about the meaning of life, he said something to the effect, “Happiness is like sand. Each day, we need to continue to pick up the grains of sand to create our happiness.” That quote, whether or not I’ve mangled it, has stuck with me and has put a frame around the moments of my own life.
In my profession as a psychologist, as well as my personal life, I’ve come to see that happiness is a choice. And this choice requires us to behave in ways, whether outwardly or inwardly (our thought habits), which support the happiness choice. It’s obvious from all of the money spent on self-help books, workshops, pharmacological aids, and psychotherapy, that most of us wish to achieve these, often elusive, experiences of joy, vitality, and happiness. I’ve spent much of the more-than twenty-six years of my career looking for the answers, the grains of sand, in order to help my clients and, honestly, myself, to create happy, more fulfilling lives. Having specialized in working with older adults for a good part of my career, even adults nearing the century mark, I know that this pursuit to feel joyful and purposeful never ends, unless one has become depressed and has given up on life.
I began to write for various newspapers and publications several years ago in order to spread any information that I had learned along the way. Writing turned out to be good therapy for me. It helped me to distill events of my own life and lessons that I had learned, leading me to a clearer understanding and better use of those lessons. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop.
Then, I turned fifty and launched my radio show, Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years, all in the same year, 2012. On this program, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing experts of various fields, making up the different components that contribute to the “grains” of joy and fulfillment. Having their words of wisdom and expertise to add to my own exploration, I felt that I had to write a book about it, almost as if I had no choice. And, so, in 2014, I began the remarkable journey of becoming an author, and I’ve integrated excerpts from many of the interviews from my show into the content. While this book, in many ways, is a culmination of lessons learned, grains of sand, about the choices that can lead to more healthful and joyful living at any age, it is in no way all-inclusive about such a vast topic. Therefore, it is the first in a series. I promise there will be more.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of this public exploration, even the tougher and more emotional, raw, moments that have consisted of digging deep within and putting my heart out into the open. It is my deepest hope that my having taken this public journey will help you to realize that you’re not alone with some of the struggles you might be dealing with in your own life. In addition, I hope that there will be some new lessons you might learn from my own on my path, as well as reminders of some lessons you already knew, that will help you in picking up your own grains of joyfulness and vitality and in making the choice to do it over and over again.
With all my love,
Check out Dr. Mara’s new internationally best-selling book, The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age, now available in paperback and on e-book!
AND stay tuned for Dr. Mara’s on-line course, Living the Passionate Life, coming this fall!
And check out: DrMaraKarpel.com, a one-stop-shop for information about all of the above!
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Originally published at medium.com