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happiness is a choice

It took an MRI and a meltdown in the yoga studio for me to learn one of my greatest spiritual lessons: Happiness is a choice you make. 

I share the whole story on today’s bonus episode of the Dear Gabby podcast, which features a live talk I gave in 2016. 

Picture this …

I’m mat-to-mat with my fellow yogis in a yoga and meditation teacher training.

I feel so connected to the group! I’m surrounded by this beautiful energy. We’re doing a hardcore exercise called keep-ups. Our arms are out to the side as we slightly push upward in the air FOR 11 MINUTES! 

Which is just enough time for my thoughts to take me on a REAL journey. And not all of it is pretty.

yoga meltdown

At first I’m thinking to myself, Oh, this is so great. I’m going to feel so good! I have so much to release. 

About three minutes into it. I’m thinking, Wow, I’m still keeping up

And a few minutes later, I start drifting off into an entirely different mental space.

I start hearing the ego voice.

You have so much work to do.

Gabby, how are you going to sit here for seven days, surrounded by these sweaty yogis?

How are you going to do it?

You can’t just shut down your life.

How are you going to make dinner?

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I start to feel this scary tingling on the left side of my leg and the left side of my shoulder and my arm.

What followed was one of the scariest nights of my life. The tingling turned into pain, which got progressively worse. And before I knew it, I was describing my symptoms to a neurologist. 

She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I want you to go get an MRI.”

happiness is a choice

In the end, all my test results came back normal.

It would take a deep meditation to reveal the truth, which couldn’t be seen on any doctor-ordered scans.

My overwhelming state of stress had led me to a physical breakdown. And this stress was based on a belief that I had to do everything myself. If I don’t do it, no one will … that was the story I had on repeat. 

Can you relate to this? ^^ Hopefully, you haven’t had to have a stress-related MRI. But a part of you may recognize that in some way, it’s been hard for you to celebrate the good things in your life. 

It may sound weird to think we’d do anything to sabotage our own happiness. But at some point or another, many of us put up some resistance to manifesting the life we’ve dreamed of—whether we realize it or not! 

Trust that there is a spiritual solution that will help you release resistance, and realize that happiness is a choice you can make!


In this bonus episode of Dear Gabby, I share the 5 things you can do TODAY to start living with more joy and ease. 

dwell in your own magnificence

I love this live talk from 2016, and I pray that just listening to it brings you joy.

listen to this episode to learn:
  • How to experience “a holy instant,” as taught by A Course In Miracles (this will instantly relieve you of fear and doubt)
  • How to “witness the crazy” in the stories you’re telling yourself, and make a massive shift in your internal dialogue
  • A divine practice for seeing the light in everyone you meet and feeling more connected with the world
  • The first step to forgiveness (People ask me all the time: How do I forgive? THIS is what I tell them)

5 ways to manifest the life you dream of

During my 2016 talk, I revealed my five-step path to manifesting a life you love! Here are the steps:

Step 1

happiness is a choice that you make

When you have a crazy thought, call it by its name! Witness the crazy, then talk back to the thought. Say, thank you for sharingbut I’m going to choose again.

Step 2

recognize that the other person is you

If there’s someone you’ve been judging, open yourself up to a perspective shift. Try seeing that person in the light!

Step 3

practice forgiveness

Yep, we’re talking about the F-word! To practice forgiveness, you don’t have to do anything major at first. Even if you just send out a silent prayer to the Universe: I’m willing to forgive, you can create major shifts in your life.

Step 4

be compassionate

Make the active choice to focus on the things that you love about someone, rather than zeroing in on the things that you don’t love. Lean into compassion whenever you can.

Step 5

repeat the mantra: in my defenselessness, my safety lies

Recognize the ways that you may be resisting happiness in your life. Ask yourself: How am I being defensive? Then, become willing to release that resistance.

I hope these steps serve you for a lifetime!

slow down & celebrate

Above all, I pray that this talk inspires you to dwell in your own magnificence. We don’t do this enough! 

So many of us overemphasize productivity, and we resist basking in the beauty of our lives. We resist taking the time to just look into our child’s eyes or to hold our spouse’s hand a little bit longer. 

Instead of celebrating the completion of one creative project, we move right on to the next one. 

Today, I want you to take a moment to celebrate yourself and all the beauty in your life. 

You can even press play and take me on a walk with you! Notice the beauty that’s all around you as you move your body and let the lessons from this episode sink in. 

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This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.

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