Be happyIn September 1998, the well-known Rabbi David Cooper published his book God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism. I distinctly remember how excited I was by his explanation that ancient Jewish mystics did not consider God a “being”, but rather a “process.” Cooper referred to that ideology as God-ing.

God-ing resonated profoundly with what I had come to believe. From the time I was a little girl, I had felt challenged by the gendered God. I accepted it at the time because I was just a child. I accepted what generations of my family had believed could only be true. I pushed aside my questions, my resistance, and gave way to familial and cultural belief systems.

As years passed, the questions would not be silenced. Disillusionment with religious prejudice against any theological outlier caused me to consider, more deeply than ever before, what I truly believed.

I knew that what I felt to be my truth would not make my family happy. Still, I decided to be true to myself, and that meant rejecting what I had been taught. It was my personal “coming out” so to speak.

When who we are doesn’t fit the mold of those around us, it can be painful. It leads to denial that, in some cases, can last a lifetime. Once I connected to my truth and stopped hiding from the world, I experienced profound relief. That was when I began living authentically. That was when my happiness began radiating brightly from the inside out.

Happiness, like Rabbi Cooper’s explanation of God-ing, is a natural state of being.

In this sense, happiness is a process of mindfully observing your emotional state, and using those feelings to determine that which most resonate with your life purpose. It’s about knowing yourself and then practicing what you know feels right for you, even if it makes waves with others.

It’s not easy.

Rejection and ridicule are painful, especially when it comes from those we love.

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein’s cartoon The Thinker of Tender Thoughts offers a beautiful illustration of how personal beauty is sacrificed when it succumbs to public opinion.

Be the beautiful you that you are. Never sacrifice yourself so that others feel more comfortable; rather, let them meet you where you are. Those who love you most will never try to change you!


  • What part of your beautiful self might you be hiding from the world?
  • How would you feel to live as the person you really are?
  • What is the first step you can take to get there?

Sheila Callaham is an author, motivational speaker, and life coach who works to facilitate transformational shift through her writing and coaching practices. Don’t miss Sheila’s free gift (top-right) Five Steps to Release, Reboot & Reconnect to Your Dreams. If you are are looking to live a joy-filled life, this book will show you how to avoid 5 common life traps that keep you stuck where you are; 5 kick-butt steps to living the life of your dreams; and 7 mindful practices to reconnect to your dreams.

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