This week I have been in what I call the quiet observer mood; some kind of personal retreat when I just listen and try to get connected to everything around me. So I limit my time online and try not to get into the public flow of local or worldwide news. This, as I've confirmed, is an almost impossible task. Everywhere I go, in some way, people are talking about some common topics; immigration law, the civil war in Syria or the catastrophic weather the nation is experiencing. It seems there is no safe haven to hear something positive that would lift us up.

Mingling with people however is one of my favorite activities. I use these unplanned gatherings in unexpected places to measure our collective level of happiness and my own; kind of a silent poll to get an idea of how well we deal with the situations surrounding us; how well is the village hanging on, my own pressure indicator. When we are surrounded by events and situations out of our control, how well do we react to them? How do the perceptions, mood, or feelings of others affect us? Here is when the importance of knowing yourself comes into place making a huge difference. After various places and diverse crowds this is my conclusion; no event or group of people will be able to change your mind or mood or how you feel about life if you are strongly centered in your purpose and values. A naturally happy self automatically cancels any negative behavior, knowing that whatever is going on around us is not part of us. A joyful person creates his own joy regardless of the environment. He knows that to be happy means to see the good in everything; making meaning of life as it is and creating a positive outcome.

In the midst of the turmoil that we are apparently going through try this:

1. Decide to begin your day bright; do a simple morning ritual. Let “thank you” be the first words coming out of your mouth and then smile for no reason.
2. Learn how to surrender and experience every situation with an open mind. Look for opportunities instead of obstacles.
3. Reach out to those things that bring energy bliss; exercise, reading, traveling, hiking, a new project or idea.
4. Let the world in instead of avoiding it; you can’t no matter what and in doing it you would be denying yourself of its many gifts.
5. Focus on the good; the good about yourself, your neighbors, and your community in general. Concentrate on the positive you have to offer to change your inner world.

Like Mary Engelbreit said: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can change it change the way you think about it” and I would add, but never let that something change who you really are.

Author's Bio: 

A native from Puerto Rico, Ms. Norma Casas has been an educator for over twenty years. She is also a Certified Life Coach. She currently resides in the state of Georgia where she has developed her love for traveling and global education as well as her passion for reaching out to women and young ladies in an effort to empower and help them achieve their personal and professional goals.She is the author of The Power of Us:empowering Women One at a Time and conducts her blog Living Out Loud