*Are you happy at the moment?
Although I generally consider myself a happy person, right now, I’m experiencing a gentle serenity. There have been a lot of challenges in my life recently, and I love being able to tap into a foundational sense that, regardless of how chaotic things seem on the outside, it’s going to be okay..
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now — what would it be?
Relax. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. We all need to learn and grow, so experience each moment as fully as you can.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
That as long as I focus on being fully present and engaged with my life, my path opens up before me. It’s not about pushing harder; it’s about curiosity and faith.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
After years of internal exploration and sinking my roots, I want to share my message and my mission with the world in a way that changes people’s lives.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Gratitude. Albert Einstein said that you can either see nothing as a miracle, or *everything* as a miracle. I choose to see everything as a miracle and a gift, and I am blessed beyond measure.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Almost every morning, I hike up to our local park. A family donated the money to install a quarter mile circuit of body-weight based exercise equipment, so I work out in the fresh air, listening to the birds twittering in the trees around me. And then I play on the swings!
*What’s your biggest regret?
All the relatives (grandparents, great-grandparents) who passed away when I was too young to get to know them as people. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to cherish their experiences and stories.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid?
Taking responsibility for your choices and actions. When my son was 4, he accidentally broke one of the black keys off my piano. He knew how much I love playing, and he was very upset, but he came to me and confessed what he had done, even though he was afraid that I would be angry with him. At that point, I knew my husband and I were doing something right with our parenting.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Watching myself make choices that I *know* are moving me *away* from where I want to go, and making those bad choices anyway because I’m feeling lazy/sorry for myself/whatever. 😛
*Aside from motherhood and marriage, what are you most proud of in your life?
The way that I can help people change how they look at the world, opening up their hearts and their lives to amazing possibilities.
*When were you happiest?
Whenever I let go of all more stories of how I think things are supposed to be or what it all means, and simply appreciate what is before me, whether it is the sunlight sparkling on the snow, my son’s laughter, or that little eyebrow quirk thing my husband does when he’s being silly.
*What ten words best describe you?
Loving, curious, playful, compassionate, kind, enthusiastic, encouraging, grounded, expressive, and catalytic.
Rachel S. Heslin is the author of Navigating Life: 8 Simple Strategies to Guide Your Way and founder of The Fullness of Your Power, LLC. She has been immersed in the study of psychology for over 35 years, including facilitating professional trainings for the Southern California Society of Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnosis. Her warmth and compassion are fueled by a delighted curiosity about ever-expanding possibilities, and she loves helping people transform their lives so they can have a powerful impact on the world. Currently, she is president of the Mountain Healing Arts Association, and her next book, The Obstacle IS the Path: How Traditional Goal-Setting is Robbing You of Your Life, is scheduled for release in early 2016.