Happiness – It’s an inside job.Perhaps I’m enamored with the idea of happiness because of all of my pain. And needing to find a powerful way to deal with it. Yes that is absolutely why I’ve spent so many years in reflection and so much time looking for answers. And I found what I was looking for. A powerful liberating way to turn pain into something awesome. Learning the lessons from the struggles is our soul’s very purpose.And in my more than two decades found in my deepest reflections when I had traveled deep inside myself, into the innermost core of my being I found answers. Answers to many of my questions. The why’s and why nots all had deeper meanings and clarity that would’ve evaded me had I not pondered and gone in search of more. Within each and every one us lies the answers. They are there. They had always been there, but made themselves known only through my seeking. And it is so true as Rumi famously said, “what you are seeking is seeking you.”Self Inquiry has been the greatest gift I’ve given to myself. It is a gift that keeps on giving to that deepest part. The seeker inside of each and every one of us must first self-reflect or inquire within oneself. And so it is, the secrets to life would begin to reveal themselves to me. The keys to my own happiness were always inside of me. As a seeker, I’ve always vowed to understand life’s challenges and obstacles. I did not want the struggles to make me bitter no matter how much they hurt. And many times we externalize trauma and hurt in ways that are not pretty or healthy. I did not want this for myself. I always knew and felt there was more to my struggles and as a seeker, I thank God for the struggles. It’s those very struggles that have made me strong. It’s those struggles that toughened me up and have prepped me.Along with the greatest advice I had ever been given. By my very tough mother. She instilled in me from a very young age, “Life is hard. You have to be strong.” That was sage advice from someone who had had her fair share of struggles and her own life had taught her this remarkable lesson. She told me it was the only way she got through it. And I believed her. She was right.It was simple yet too complex to truly comprehend the power of this teaching at 7 or 8, but literally, it began very early.It was a profound teaching that I would carry with me boldly through all of life’s ups and downs and as it was instilled in me it took root inside of me. And through the hardships, the pain, the challenges I was always reminded and remembered that life is tough and I have to be strong.And really the avid seeker knows the tough things make us even stronger. The soul seeker in search of meaning and depth does not want or allow life’s hardships to make her bitter. She wipes away her tears and rises up a warrior.One of my favorite on the topic of Self-Inquiry is Sri Maharishi Ji.