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“Diary of a Positive Soul”

Do you think some people are born happier than others? I do. I think some of us come into this life with a stronger tendency for joy. Call it DNA, past life experience, whatever, if you think about the babies and small children you’ve known, some of them are simply happier than others, regardless of their environment. Are the unhappy kids destined to stay unhappy? In my not so humble opinion: No! We’ve all known happy-go-lucky kids who ended up being miserable as adults as well as grumpy children who became happy in adulthood. Why? How about you? What were you like when you were little and how did that affect your ability to be happy now?

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By all reports I came into this world kicking and screaming, demanding to be happy! Somebody fix whatever is wrong because I need to be happy! Thirty-two years later I had a son just like me, so I got the point, big time! He was born with the fingers of his right hand over his left wrist, taking his own pulse: am I happy or not? He was only a few days old and I could see it in his eyes as he looked up defiantly: I’m not happy yet!

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Why is this important? Because every moment of every day most of us are seeking happiness in our own way. Since we’re all looking for it, we should help each other find it, don’t you think?

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This is the first post in a new article series for Impakter called “Diary of a Positive Soul.” Not a title I would have ever come up with, but when the editors approached me with it, I was so intrigued, I couldn’t say no. So here I am. The “positive soul.”

Interesting word “soul.” My concept could be polar opposite to yours and both of us would be right. I think my soul is the part of me that has always been and always will be. It’s magical and miraculous at the same time because it’s God-stuff and so it has to be positive! From my point of view we are all born positive souls because we spring out of the same Source. It’s what connects us.

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 I remember when I was very young and everything seemed possible. I once watched this slimy little caterpillar slowly open up and gradually something beautiful came out. Its wings extended with grand purpose – it had become a butterfly. Pure magic!

That’s how I saw myself at about eight years old. I was going through a horrible homely phase – the ugly duckling part of my life – and I was counting on the fact that I could find the magic inside so I could bust out of the encasement I was in, turn into a magnificent creature and fly away to some exotic place. OK, so I’m an incurable dreamer.

I was born to a mother who viewed almost everything negatively and a dad who was the quintessential optimist. In spite of her pessimism, my mom did want to encourage me, but she had an unusual way of going about it. She’d say, “I can’t believe I had such a fat, ugly daughter. But don’t worry Marsha, you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met, so it won’t matter. You can do anything you want.” So I grew up thinking I was ugly, but smart.

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Dad, on the other hand, was one of those rare people who had actually gone after and accomplished his dreams. He was a local celebrity on radio and TV, with some national recognition as well, and was a walking example that you could do something special with your life. He smiled and sang his way through every day. Naturally I wanted to be like Dad.

It all seems very simple when we’re young, doesn’t it? It did for me and after many trials and errors, where it all appeared so extremely complicated for years, I’ve come to a point where life once again seems simple to me.

After all of the ups and downs, victories and defeats, struggling to climb out of that caterpillar skin over and over again and spread my wings and fly, I realized it all comes down to a simple question: am I happy? Because for me, if I’m not happy, what in the world is it all for? And, yes, I am happy.

Don’t get me wrong, there’ve been times when being a “positive soul” was totally illusive to me. But years ago I started down a road that I continue to travel: the choosing-happiness-path. I make the decision every day to stay on this road, no matter what the circumstances are. I decided that if “happy” revolved around the situation, then that was too fleeting for me. I want to be happy no matter how “good” or “bad” my current state of affairs is. It seems to me that joy should be bigger than that.

 That’s what this column is about: the daily journey of choosing to stay happy.

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I invite you to join me on this expedition. I’m a seasoned road warrior who has clocked more than a million miles all over the world, so I’m a pretty good traveling companion. I don’t have all the answers, but I enjoy tremendously the process of finding them – like looking for buried treasure inside ourselves! It’s my hope that whatever nougats of truth we find along the way will be stepping stones for those of you who connect with me here. If not, perhaps it will at least be a fun read, and that would make me very happy! Until next time.

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  1. Claude Nougat

    I’ve read Marsha’s fascinating book “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer” (just the title gives you an idea of what you’re in for!) and I can vouch, after reading her confessions, for her determination to stay happy in the face of the most amazingly adverse circumstances. I would add that the determination she shows is accompanied by an equal dose of courage. For it takes courage to seek happiness and yet more courage to stay resolutely happy in the face of adversity.

    I applaud this column and look forward to discovering more about how Marsha does it – including the nuggets of truth, or rather (I’m very pleased she played on the word “nugget”) the “nougats” of truth – not only my pen name, but actually a wonderful, crunchy sweet very popular here in Italy at Christmas time! So, look forward to lots of sweet nougats…and smile!

  2. Chris Rose

    My-oh-my!

    Congratulations on a wonderfully inspiring blog, Marsha, it’s left me a little overwhelmed – gobsmacked is the word, gobsmacked!

    This, for me, is why the internet is worth the while – would I have met you – or Claude – otherwise? I feel that I’ve connected with you on so many levels reading this. On a soulful level – there goes that word again, the one I use to introduce my own website – I feel as if I’ve read a parallel history, right down to the parents thing. Marsha, my soul sister, you’re there and I’m here, and yet we’re together.

    Either way, I’ll be back on here, that’s for sure.

    Claude, I didn’t need your kindly persuasion re-the book, but thank you anyway. Another one for the to-read list. We require longer lives…

    Brilliant stuff, Marsha, thank you 🙂

  3. Bob Rector

    After 38 years of marriage I can attest to the fact that Marsha works harder at being happy than any other person I’ve ever known and is successful most of the time. I’ve watched with fascination at how her happiness draws people to her like a magnet. I used to kid her by doing a play on the old Sara Lee ad campaign: “Nobody doesn’t like Marsha Roberts.” And it’s true. It’s her nature to be happy but she found there was a practical side to it when she became a business woman. Fact: people would rather do business with an open, happy person who is genuinely interested in who they are and what they have to say. Marsha has proven time and again that happiness is good business.

  4. Christoph Fischer

    Afte rreading your amazing book Marsha this is very insightful. I hope many more people find your book and take a parabel leaf out of your book to get as happy as you 🙂

  5. Patti Fiala

    I have been very fortunate to meet Marsha, via the internet no less. She has been inspiring, happy, professional and a joy to watch. She’s also one of the busiest people I know. Marsha, you are an inspiration.

  6. Olga Núñez Miret

    Thanks for sharing such great article. Professionally and personally I’ve also come to the conclusion that we have to work at our happiness and it is a very personal journey. Thanks for the companionship on the way.

  7. Ann Frensley

    Wonderful!!! Marsha, I am so glad/happy to be reconnecting with you. My soul “knows” I have been too long cocooned. What a gift to be reminded and mindful that “it’s time to be rebirthed!” My own inspirations and joys are many. Yet, there has been, is, and will be pain. I have come to learn that to live with the paradoxes of life is a gift of grace and the only way, for me, to be whole and know joy.


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