By Michele Risa
Founder, Beyond Body Mind Spirit

There is much to be said for a life of abundance, financial security, and the freedom to do anything and go anywhere. Seems like the dream come true, yes? Just about anyone would immediately nod their head in approval. However, there is much thought about the consequences a life like that could have.

Whitney Houston was a woman who seemingly had it all- a revered career, a respected reputation, far reaching financial means, and the voice of a goddess. These qualities, often accompanied by the ideals of power, money, and fame, are exactly the qualities that society deems we should strive for. These are traits that unlock the secrets of the world and open the floodgates to a life of joy and carefree living. Upon closer inspection though, it seems there is always one trait our society, especially in our day and age, seem to overlook: love.

While the modern information age has further led us off the beaten path for what constitutes true love and how we should be looking for it, it doesn’t stop most from seeking the elusive concept in the most superficial of places. We attend parties, get shamelessly drunk at bars, and loosen our semblance of morality all in a bid to chase a phantom, fleeting emotion. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the chase, but the very thought that expensive cars, excruciating diets, or finding oneself in the right “scene” will do the job, actually lessens the chances of finding love to begin with. The reason is simple: the dependence on material items for the use of finding something that’s pure and unadulterated like love adds uncertainty to the mix and opens the door for impostors and jealousy to find its way into your life.

This approach didn’t work for Whitney Houston, nor did it work for Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Curt Cobain, or any other celebrity that seemingly had it all but ended up dying alone, quite potentially in a pool of regret and melancholy. Sure they had the love of their fans, but was anyone truly there to peer into their souls and tell them with confidence that all would be well? It’s debatable, yet also potentially unlikely.

Instead, love, that simply comes from within, can never be extinguished nor taken from you. That love is a guiding light that illuminates your path in life and enables you to follow your dreams and actualize them. It’s the sort of love that provides the elixir when plummeting into the black depths of despair.

Many seminars, retreats and self-help books try to teach this love, and yet many of us come up empty again. Though we learn universal truths and formulas, they often don’t fit into our world which is not black and white but shades of grey, complex and ever changing. This sort of love is best learned while you actually apply the different ways to address life’s challenges and have a mirror to help you see what you can’t see. To provide this mirror is my driving force behind what I do in life.

So, now you’ve gotten a glimpse into my thought process. I am engulfed with a sense of hope and joy as I sit down and present to you my inner musings. I assert that I do what I do for the sake of love, the love for oneself, the love for others, and most of all, the love of every person to live their full potential. Come join me for this powerful experience.

Author's Bio: 

Beyond Body Mind Spirit was founded in 1989 and offers four main areas of expertise- weight loss, anti-aging, stress management and yoga, using holistic approaches. We include powerful 1-on-1 training in our newest 30 Days MORE Self Care, and maintain on-going feedback for 30 days so results last. We also offer 365 Yoga LIVE to provide low-cost, easy access during these challenging times.

The founder, Michele Risa is a Health Consultant with a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Columbia University. Risa has produced her own yoga TV show since 1998, has been a frequent radio guest, featured in MARCH Magazine showcasing female executives, and Time Out New York, and has co-authored a book, "Conscious Entrepreneurs: A Radical New Approach to Purpose, Passion & Profits", Winner of the National "Best Books 2008" Awards.

She has lectured at corporations such as Boeing, Viacom, and Forbes and produced a 6 month program at New York Stock Exchange where she reduced stress and helped lower health care costs. Although the majority of Risa's clients are in NYC, she has conducted seminars as far West as California and as far East as Russia.

Her motto for healthy living is, "Find your personal formula for self love through body, mind, and spirit to create the life you want".