It has been another year set on a world stage of great highs and heartbreaking lows. The question that often came into my mind was ‘how do you stay happy & loving life while living in this world where news of madness & mayhem seem to be a constant?’

Well I hate to say it, but the answers didn’t come quickly... but they did come. They dawned on me when I remembered an old saying my father passed on to me many years ago.

‘Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.’

I came to understand that happiness and inner peace are not determined by the outer world, unless I choose them to be, and even then it is all a matter of perception. I can choose to look at the world through the eyes that the mass media would have me look and see threat and destruction everywhere. But is it the Truth?

So I decided to keep life simple, turn off the TV and look at the what lay directly in front of me as I left my house each day. What I saw was a very different world!

What my actual reality is, that I am daily surrounded by good people, balmy weather and warm breezes, a beautiful ocean, and an abundance healthy food and a choice of enjoyable activities to pursue.

What I realised is that there is still great deal of good and beauty in this world and it is right before our just doesn't get any ‘air time’.

Happiness and serenity are an inside job, and it doesn’t come after building up your ‘happiness reserves’. You don’t have to wait till such and such happens; like when you get that perfect job, have the perfect relationship, reach enlightenment or when you get cellulite free thighs!

It is a choice you can make right now, and when you make it everything changes! Positive energy & thoughts are ‘attractive’ like a magnet (and also in how you look when you are feeling them!) When you are positive you naturally attract more positive experiences and people in your life.

Plus, if you have a peaceful and positive outlook even when ‘challenges’ happen in your life, you will be more inclined to see the good in each situation.

Sometimes tough experiences help us to grow, situations that aren’t working for us force us to look for more satisfying ways of living and heartbreaking experiences can help us to ‘break open’ our hearts and love even more deeply.

It is so important to realise that we are the heroine of our own lives. It is not important what happens to us, but how we respond to it. For it is in this that we create our own personal heaven or hell.

Here are some personal tips for living in paradise...wherever you find yourself!

Smile More - Even when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed a smile can change your state of mind...especially when it attracts a smile back from those around you.

Focus on the Good - Take time each day to write a top 10 gratitude list in your journal of all the great things you have in your life. Even if it is hard to start writing you will find that there are always things and people to be thankful for.

Treat Yourself with Kindness - Your doing your best, even if you think you could be better. Sometimes the highest goal we should set for ourselves is to breathe in and out! That is enough and you are enough, anything more is a bonus.

Spend Time in Nature - It’s timeless & uplifting. Of course surfing is my favourite way to do this!

Author's Bio: 

Before my transformation into a Surf Goddess, I earned a B.A. in Communications from Canada's Simon Fraser University, which lead me to work as marketing manager for companies in the travel and water sports industry in Hong Kong, Australia, S.E. Asia & Europe.

Following the wise words of my mum who told me to “do what you love”, I studied to become a professional life coach which lead me to work with with international clients both privately and with corporations helping people live their lives to their highest potential.

Today, as the founder of Surf Goddess Retreats, I am privileged to share my passion for self growth by offering a space where women can fully experience the joy of being the best of themselves - strong, sensual, smart, silly and full of life!

Something wonderful happens when women surf, we grow more confident in ourselves, we find new places in our soul, we wash away the cares of the world and see the big picture of our lives and our place in it. Surfing is more than simply a sport, it is a state of mind and way of being.

I believe we all have a Surf Goddess inside ourselves.

Who is she?

A Surf Goddess...

Smiles with her eyes
Laughs from her belly
Speaks from her heart
Lives with abundance and kindness
Loves life’s little luxuries and pampering
Is young at heart and wise beyond her years
Is energetic, strong and supple
Is peace-full, accepting and loving
Is inspired and inspiring
and loves to surf!