Happiness in Progress is celebrating 150 episodes of the podcast with some of the greatest life lessons pulled straight from some of my favorite podcast episodes.
Through the last three years hosting this podcast, I have been transformed a lot. My largest transformation has occurred in what I see success in. There used to be a time where I needed to always be winning (eh hem – I still like to win, but now it doesn’t measure my success or worth).
I see success as enjoying the present, being truly alive where we are and being able to measure growth.
In these last three years, I’ve seen a lot of growth in myself – and a lot of you have shared that you have seen growth in yourselves as well. That means to me – that we are succeeding. I am proud of us.
Today, I want to go back through time and share some of my favorite thoughts from some of my favorite guests. You do know all episodes are my favorites – but today, I’m just sharing five thoughts that have transformed the way I think.
1. Ending Suffering During a Crisis with Preethaji
Preethaji came on the podcast to talk about suffering during a crisis. This is one of our 5 Secrets to Happiness. We chatted during the summer of 2020 – smack-dab in the middle of the pandemic and when the US was dealing with a lot of racial tension.
She talked about connecting over more than just what we look like or our religion or income level – but instead, connecting over what it’s like to be a human.
“If you are able to move away from the superficial differences – because yes, there are differences. My skin color is different than yours. But in the experience we are just the same. If we’re able to move able to move away from the differences – that you are white, I am brown… you belong to a different nation, I belong to a different nation… you belong to a different religion, I belong to a different religion – if you’re able to move away from the superficial differences and if you’re able to connect at the experience of a human being. You have to have the ability to connect to the experience of being a human. Then you wouldn’t hold on to being an identity of being a brown or being a white because we are human beings. The way we experience love -it is just the same there is no difference in us.”
Later in the podcast she points out – while we don’t have anything superficially in common (race, religion, country of origin) here we are connecting over a conversation.
When we use our identity to elevate ourselves above another person – whether that be because of race, income, religion or anything in between) we are disconnecting ourselves from another human being.
This full episode is absolute gold – and I so appreciate Preethaji for coming on the podcast for a second time to talk about it.
2. Forgiveness (When no one deserves it) with Alissa Parker
Talking to Alissa Parker was one of the most life changing experiences of my life. Alissa lost her beautiful daughter in the Sandy Hook shooting. Her daughter was murdered while she was attending school.
The forgiveness and even love she was able to feel for the man who took her daughter’s life – even if momentarily – is awe inspiring. This has been one of the greatest life lessons that has impacted my heart personally.
Before talking to Alissa, I had a hard time understanding how in the world she could forgive the shooter.
Here’s what she explained on this episode of the podcast:
I said to Alissa, “You had been taught how to visualize your loved one and then have a conversation with them. You decided to do this with the shooter. Of course, we know you weren’t able to say anything to him – he died that day, but you said this, ‘I just don’t understand. I just don’t understand how you could look at all those innocent people in the eyes and shoot them. I think about everyone of their faces and think about what you saw in their final moments. I just don’t understand. My daughter’s name was Emilie. You murdered Emilie.’
Alissa’s writing continues ‘She was my life, she was my light. Do you remember her? Do you? Do yoU? You didn’t just take life from her. You took life out of me and my family. I hate that you have the power to affect me. And I want it back.’
When I finished reading from Alissa’s book An Unseen Angel, I asked her – do you feel like you got your power back?
She said, I think I came to understand that he didn’t have as much power as I originally felt that he had. Taking that power back, it was a choice to give it to him in the first place. I felt like understanding that and coming to terms with yes, he had the power to take her life and the others, but the rest of the things he could effect about my life – that was my choice to give that to him. So understanding a lot of that had to come to me and about what I was giving him versus what he had earned or taken away from me. I just really had to come to terms with what that really looked like.
I asked if she’s forgiven him. She responded, “It has alleviated so much weight I was carrying by letting that go and forgiving him. I’ve tried to describe it to other people is by understanding that there were limitations of my understanding and my judgement of what he could do and I could give it to God and that I can give him the judgement – and trusting that he will be fair and just, that burden no longer remains with me.”
3. A Place for Grief and Joy with Treva Kuyper Runyan
Treva Kuyper Runyan came on the podcast to talk about her experience losing her husband and trying to find joy after that. This is a powerful story from Treva. In the episode, she shared one of the greatest life lessons I had never thought about before.
She shared, “Every married couple – one of them will bury the other. I heard that one time and I was like “whoa.” And it’s not something to fear. And it’s not something to be morbid about… but for those who haven’t suffered grief, they will. Whether it’s the loss of a job, a person, a house – it will come because we live in a broken world where there is much loss. But there is much hope as well.”
4. Spiritual Baggage with David Ghiyam
Kaballuh is a spiritual practice that can be used in several different religions. One of the things that stuck out to me was about our soul’s journey.
We talked about how limiting beliefs come from when we were kids, but Kaballuh takes it a step further.
David Ghiyam shares in this episode, “Limiting beliefs definitely stem from experiences we’ve had as a child. Kaballuh takes it a step further and says they stem from past lives. They come from spiritual baggage. These limiting beliefs – the soul chooses the parents as well. So if you have a limiting belief from a past life – a belief that I don’t deserve love. Then that soul chooses parents who don’t love them or withdraw love, or who are very cold because by having parents like that that will be open the belief further so we can transform it.”
Insert the mind blown emoji. I love this idea that our limiting beliefs surpass life… and affirm once again, life is a journey about growth. I love the idea that we are meant to learn and grow here – and that the people in our lives are sent here to help us along in our progression.
5. Determining Your Relationship with Money
I talked to Latasha Kinnard about how to get our money in order during the holidays, but one thing that stuck out to me was her point about how our minds need to change first. One of the greatest life lessons we can have is to determine our relationship with money.
She shares how she has her clients think of a “Magnetic Money Memory” as they consider their relationship with money.
A magnetic money memory is a memory that is very emotionally charged revolving around money.
Tasha’s magnetic money memory is when she was shopping with her mom and her sister. As they get to the store, her mom bends down to eye level and says “Listen. Don’t touch nothing. Don’t look at nothing ’cause you can’t get nothing.”
She described it as “standard black mom talk” that gutted her, making her whole energy change.
She says the conversation put her on notice to not even think or imagine ever getting something.
Tasha still gets emotional about the experience explaining how it shifted how she walked into every store throughout her life regardless of how much money she had.
“Even though I might be making more money than I ever had in my life – I walk into a store and I have this feeling, ‘I can’t buy anything, I can’t have anything.’ That’s where that comes from.”
Tasha explains having a lack mentality like this is not good for our money mindset.
There is so much more to learn on the Happiness in Progress podcast. If you liked this compilation episode, I highly suggest you check out this episode when I compiled 100 episodes of advice on how to live happier in the good, the bad and the in-between.