Episode 128 | August 7, 2018

Roadmap to Happiness with Valerie Sheppard

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me


A Personal Note from Orion

You may have heard about the “Pursuit of Happiness” – the American declaration of independence claims we all have the right to pursue it. But what if instead of pursuing happiness, instead of chasing it, what if you simply decided each day to ‘be’ happy?

The thought of it sounds so simple, but so many of us are stuck in a haze of unhappiness, because we follow the paths of life that society, family, or our cultures impose on us, rather than choosing to live the way we want. So first, you need to decide what happiness means to you – is it a life full of travel? Is it the stability of a salaried, full time job with benefits? Is it being able to end each day on your front porch with a glass of wine and a good book? What if your happiness had nothing to do with any external situation? And you just become present; in the moment and in gratitude, to all the blessings you already have in your life?

My guest today, Valerie Sheppard, is a bestselling author, coach, and speaker, and she lives by the principle that happiness is an internal thing, not external. It depends on you and how you choose to show up in the world. Choose happiness!


About Today’s Show

We’re going to talk about happiness. What is happiness? What does happiness mean to you? Do you think you’ll be happier if you had more money, more fame, more Gucci bags or a Gucci bag? What will make you really happy? Sometimes the things you think will make you very happy don’t last very long. I experienced that in my life, “If I’ll get this and this or I’ll choose this, then I’ll be happy.” Then you arrive, it seems like that enjoyment from that luxury bag or the expensive jewelry is wonderful but it doesn’t last. It doesn’t make you smile for long. What I’m trying to say is that happiness is not about just the material things. It’s always nice to have. Happiness is not about being rich and famous, which is nice to have but some people who are rich and famous are not that happy. Some people who are poor are not that happy. Some people who are poor are super happy. What is happiness? What makes people happy?  

My guest, Valerie Sheppard, is going to share with you all about happiness and the four steps to happiness, how to deal with your triggers on a bad day. Valerie is the bestselling author of Living Happy to Be ME!. She is a popular coach, speaker and author, a previous VP Marketing for ConAgra Foods where she managed a popular food brand portfolio with net sales close to a billion dollars. She is also a catastrophic stroke survivor and believes in living life in happiness no matter what the situation is because happiness is not an external thing. Happiness comes from the inside and everything that you are reacting to is coming from the inside. It is your job and responsibility to find that light within you and learn how to be happier and have more bliss and joy every day.  


Valerie, welcome to Stellar Life Podcast.

Orion, I’m so grateful to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.

You’re a very special lady and I am super excited to be sharing with everybody about your book and your method of happiness and all that good stuff. Can you share a little bit about yourself?

I am the Founder and CEO of the Heart of Living Vibrantly Center for Mindfulness and Self-Mastery. I used to be a corporate executive and I stepped off of that track many years ago and stepped into a radical sabbatical. That sabbatical has taken me on this journey of finding my true self and my true happiness and returning to the world with gift-bestowing hands, wanting to help others understand some truths that we’re not taught about how to be happy, fulfilled, and successful.

You’re saying that nobody teaches us about happiness?

They do. They just teach us ways that don’t necessarily serve us to live in harmony with universal laws. I was taught a lot about happiness and it was about struggle, striving, proving myself worthy, having a lot of material wealth, a lot of achievements and being a very productive person. I’ve got to a point where I looked back and I was like, “I’ve done all these things and I’m not a young spring chicken anymore, so I’m not feeling as happy as I want to. When’s it going to start? When’s it going to happen if I’m doing all the things that I’ve been taught lead to happiness?” That’s why I tried to find a different way and that’s what I teach.

What did you find? Is that happiness and universal laws? What is that?

There are laws in the universe that govern the way we experience our lives and they're in operation 24/7, 365 days, whether we know it or not Click To Tweet

There are laws in the universe that govern the way we experience our lives and they’re in operation 24/7, 365 days, whether we know it or not, understand it or not, like it or not. Like gravity is in operation all the time and it doesn’t matter what culture you’re from or where you live on the planet, you are held by the law of gravity to the earth. Laws like the Law of Gratitude, the Law of Resistance, whatever you resist persists. Whatever you’re grateful for, you end up having more to be grateful for. There are laws like that. When you work in harmony with the laws, then your life can be easier and you flow into success rather than struggling and striving up the mountain towards success. I bring that energy into the world.

You talked about the Law of Gratitude. Whatever you resist persists. Let’s say I’m taking a law like that. I’m having a difficult day and I am obsessed about everything I resist. How do I release that so I won’t persist?

There’s a thing called acceptance. Then I add onto that allowing and receiving, so the way that plays into motion. Right now, one of the things that I could be resisting is that the cord to my computer has frayed. All of a sudden it was fine and then yesterday, I looked at it and it was frayed. When I plugged it in, even though I was very carefully protecting it all day after I noticed it, it’s not sending juice to my computer. I could get into real upset area about that, like I’ve got to get work done, I don’t have time to go buy a new cord, why isn’t this working, and how did this happen. That’s all resistance. That’s all telling the universe this should not be happening to me and I’m not willing to accept it.

The other way acceptance is, “Look at this.” There’s some reason that I’m going to need to stop everything that I’m doing and go replace this cord for my computer, so that I can use my computer the way I want to. Acceptance immediately stops me from this stress, this anger, this fret, this frustration, this worrying, and all this negative energy that doesn’t serve my happiness or even getting the computer cord fixed. It doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t support me in any way whatsoever. The acceptance keeps me peaceful. I’m like, “It’s not a situation that I would have voted for and I don’t want to have this situation in my life, but it’s here, so accept it.” Then I allow, “What am I supposed to be getting from this? Is there some message around my schedule being too tight around me not needing to be at my computer all day? Is there somebody at the Apple store who, when encountering me in peace, is going to get what they need for their day to be more peaceful? How is the universe trying to serve itself through me and this situation?” That’s the allowing.

The receiving is all about, “What’s in it for me?” I feel a little bit of peacefulness around, “I get to take a break after this podcast interview and sort out how I’m going to create the space to fulfill my need. At this moment, the need is around something pretty mundane. It’s not a high need. It’s a mundane lower-level need. I need power for my computer and I’m going to receive that in the way that it’s wanting to come up right now.”

It’s like a clairvoyance in the bigger picture. You don’t know why those things are happening, but it’s all a part of our elevation and purpose here on earth to evolve and be better people. All our triggers are lessons and if we don’t get the lessons, we get triggered again. For example, my husband, we are in Israel right now, and even thoughI live in Santa Monica and people drive horribly in LA and there’s a lot of roadway but here, the lanes are a little more narrow and people are quite inconsiderate on the road. They will cut you off and they will honk. They can be quite rude, and my husband, he gets triggered. He’s a very calm person. I’m usually the stormy, emotional type and he’s this cool, calm person, but when he gets behind the wheel, he gets irritated in his very gentle way.

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

Living Happy to Be ME!: Dancing Your Soul Lifestyle

It’s a beautiful story and it’s a beautiful testament to our ability to catch ourselves. I teach a four-step process for living a happy, fulfilled, and successful life and it’s called the Happy to Be ME! Step one is wake up. There are lots of ways that we are asleep at the wheel of our own lives, not seeing the things that are bringing toxicity, bringing this experience of not peace, not happiness, not satisfaction into our lives and we think that they’re from outside of us, but they aren’t. As you said, he gets triggered. Stephan gets triggered. The trigger is outside, but what it’s doing is activating something on the inside. It’s showing up to show us that there’s this pocket of pain or old energy or old belief system or old rules of engagement that is being triggered, but it’s in there. It can be triggered.

These situations give us an opportunity to look inside and go, “I’m going to wake up to what this trigger is about.” I’ve noticed my triggers can be around feeling not loved, and it can be big, not loved. It doesn’t have to be not loved by my partner, but not loved by the world, not loved by God, not loved in the highest sense. These things are happening to me and it makes me feel unloved. That’s a trigger of not feeling loved that’s already inside me. It could be the world out of control. I can’t stop it. When there are things happening outside or if I can’t get these people to drive better, maybe there’s a trigger inside him that has to do with feeling less than, feeling inadequate to have the world respond to his needs the way he wants to. We all have these and they’re similar triggers. They just show up with different stories attached to them in each of us.

You talked about the formula and you said that the first step is wake up. What are the other steps of the formula?

After you wake up, and its wake up to the truth of who you are. You wake up to yourself not being the truth, feeling inadequate, feeling unloved, getting angry, getting triggered and then you go back to what you are, which is a very high spiritual being having a human experience in the planet earth. Step two is once you anchor in on, “I’m more than my circumstance, my identity, my ego or any of those things. I’m much more than that,” then you go to step two, which is shake up and release the things that are getting in the way of you expressing that step one. If I know that I am already peace, love, joy, and emotional freedom, when I’m expressing from something else, I have to release it. I have to notice what’s going on and I have to call myself into healing, forgiveness, whatever that work would be to release that.

Step three is, “I’ve released what is not me so that I can anchor deeper into what is me, how do I write the new story of my life?” Step three is write a new story. “What’s the story for the rest of my day?” It’s not forever. It could be in the next ten minutes. What’s the story of how I’m going to experience and express the self? Step four is take up the reins and go live it. It’s about what are my ongoing practices that I do moment to moment, day in, day out to keep myself at this higher vibration, keep myself awake, keep myself fully expressing the highest level of me, the best version of me that there is.

Step four is take up the reins and go live it. What are the moment-by-moment, day-to-day practices that keep me at the highest vibration that I can? For example, one of my favorite practices is silence and meditation. How do I bring that into my life in a way that supports me to contribute at the highest levels to my life and other people’s lives? I meditate daily, sometimes multiple times a day, and I teach meditation. That’s one of my practices. Another one of my favorite practices is laughter. I get laughter into my life as much as possible as a healing technique and as a way of keeping my vibration high.

The first step is awake, then shake, then create a new story and then you go into everyday practice of anchoring those things. It is a practice, it doesn’t happen in one day that you get rid of your triggers like that. Some NLP exercises or hypnosis can do it when you instantly dissolve that pattern. A lot of these are like an everyday practice because of our human condition and because this is a part of our human experience here on earth. We have our human emotions and sometimes we think that we healed some things, but it’s almost like an onion. Where you’re like, “How deep can I go to really clear that thing? Every time I hear one layer, I can see that there is another layer underneath it that I need to heal. It’s an everyday practice.” Let’s say I can see that, I can meditate and feel amazing.

When I meditate every day, I am not as reactive. I am more proactive. My reactivity is smaller, but I still get triggered. In that moment, when I am triggered and I get all angry inside, it’s hard for me to say, “I’m going to wake, I’m going to shake, I’m going to create a new story and I’m going to think about the practices of every day.” In that moment, somebody is cutting Stephan and is honking, and it’s not even green yet. What do you do? What should he do?”

It’s a lovely question around “How does it happen in a moment and instant? How can I do the four steps in an instant?” The instantaneous wake up is I’m being triggered. The trigger just happened. When we’re about to get in the car, when you know you’re going someplace that has a trigger-rich environment, you do fortification before you go. In an ideal world, it’s like, “I know I’m getting in the car. This has been a source of trigger for me and I might even expect that someone’s going to do something and cut me off and I’m going to remember that’s just a situation. It has nothing to do with the truth of who I am. I can show up differently in that moment. As you continue to do the dance with these triggers, you start to anticipate where they’re going to show up. They shouldn’t surprise you anymore. It’s the surprise situation where we’re asleep, that the trigger happens and we can’t catch ourselves before we go into the reaction.

When that happens, and Stephan said something in the car, that’s what I told him. I looked at him, I said, “Honey, it shouldn’t surprise you anymore.”

We can play a game. I’m going to see how long I can be in the car driving on this trip and stay in peace. We can make it fun. It doesn’t have to be like, “I’m doing my spiritual practice now. I still haven’t figured it out.” If we shift our perspective around all of this, if we shift our perspective around living my life, living my life is about learning all of these places where I’m taking myself out of peace and then just tweaking them slightly so that I stay in peace longer. If that were the number one quest of everyone’s lives, then it wouldn’t be like, “I can’t believe I’m still peeling back this onion.” No matter how long it would take, it would be what we do.

That’s part of this whole growth process is, “I came to this earth to grow in my ability to deal with the situations of the earth and still remember the truth of who I am.” I talk about it in terms of getting superiority over these lower conditions. It’s not necessarily trying to control them, I did the best that I could. I’m pretty meticulous with how I take care of my important things. It was a shock when I looked at this cord and said, “It has snapped, it’s broken, it looks like it’s about to fray.” That was shocking to me because I’m so meticulous about taking care of my belongings, but for whatever reason I was supposed to get this opportunity to see myself in action with something I don’t want showing up.

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

The more peaceful we are, the more in flow we are, the more we attract situations that align with what we’re being.

The idea of waking up is that once you do, you are better able to deal with the stuff that used to put you into reaction primarily because you were asleep. The wake up just gets deeper and richer and you get in the car and you’re like, “I’m in the car and we’ll see what happens.” There’s something else magnificent that happens that I want to share, which is the more you have these triggers come up and you stay in your higher vibration self, which means you’re in flow, you’re in allowing, receiving, and accepting. The more things come up that fit with that person that you’re being, that’s law of retraction and law of reflection. The more angry and triggered we get, the more situations show up that match that vibration. The more peaceful we are, the more in flow we are, the more we attract situations that align with what we’re being.

I lived in New York City, in Manhattan. I remember I was not happy. One day I was mad, I don’t even remember why I was mad but It was cold, gray, dirty and I was walking in New York City. New Yorkers, they don’t smile at you much. I did an experiment because I always knew that our physiology and our mindset they are connected. I was like, I’m going to do an experiment. I was going to put a stupid smile on my face even though I don’t want to smile right now. I’ll look at people with that smile. I was walking down the street and I was smiling, looking at people smiling, and I am like, “I feel so stupid.”

I kept doing it and all of a sudden, people started smiling back and then my smile started to get more and more genuine. I started enjoying this interaction with people, with all those New Yorkers that were smiling back at me. I’m smiling at them and they’re making me feel happier and I’m making them feel happier. I am like, “This is amazing when you do something like that, so simple to change your physiology, to change your emotion and psychology, you can bring so much light for yourself and to others.”

I was in Manhattan. I was having a good time and I did notice the same thing that I can get into a space where I feel less connected to people there. There are more people walking on the street and I’m a little unsteady sometimes when I’m walking because I’m still in this recovery from this brain hemorrhage. I get a little scared. I get a little intimidated by the energy of people hurriedly walking along, they’re very focused on where they’re going, there’s that group of people and there’s also the touristy people who are slow.

In New York, you go really fast. You don’t go slow. If somebody is a tourist, if they go slow because you’re always in a hurry to get somewhere, either it’s in a gallery opening, a party, work or just to get home you are always in a hurry because this is the way it is.

I was experiencing all of that and was having difficulty staying in my center and being what I know is true for me, no matter what everyone else is doing. What you’re saying about connecting in with me and I’m going to be my smile no matter what and see how it goes. Remembering that, that if we succumb to the way the outer world is happening and use that as a reason to come off center, it pulled me off, this is when we say things like, “It made me this way. They made me feel this way. They made me do it. They made me think it. That made me angry.” We’re giving up the power that is endowed within us. That’s free will. We have the will to say in spite of what I’m looking at that I don’t necessarily agree with, they hurried along, totally focused, got to get from point A to point B when I’m the one who likes to stop and talk to magnolia bushes and to hummingbirds.

If you're not choosing yourself and who you came to be on the planet, you're choosing something else. Click To Tweet

When I’m in that space and everybody isn’t, it could be easy for me to use what everyone else’s as a reason for me not to be who I am at the deepest core. The wake-up step has allowed me to go “I’m allowing myself to be pulled off of my center.” That’s a choice. We don’t always think that not making a choice as a choice, but if I’m not making a choice to consciously stay in my energy, stay in love, stay in light, stay enjoy, stay in compassion, stay in tolerance, stay in harmony and stay in peace no matter what I’m looking at dealing with, hearing, feeling outside of me, then I’ve made a choice to leave. Part of the wake-up step is, “What are you choosing?” If you’re not choosing you and who you came to be on the planet, you’re choosing something else. There is no middle ground. You’re either choosing for or against what you are here to do, here to be. Putting on a smile, no matter what is going on outside you is a conscious choice that can change everything.

I went through a long journey myself where I experienced something traumatic in my life that got me into a very deep depression. I had to find my own happiness and how to release the pain and how to shorten that time of not being depressed for a week or two weeks. If something is painful, then I will allow myself to feel my emotions. This is very important that I will allow myself, if I’m going through grief and if I’m going through physical pain, sadness or some loss, then it’s okay to feel my feelings, it’s okay to feel my emotions.

It’s necessary to feel and accept them and allow them to be there. The difference between the old version of me to the one that is now talking to you is that I allowed that to go through me, I allowed myself to feel it for however long I need it. It doesn’t stay longer than, if it’s small, ten minutes or if it’s more severe, then longer than a day. I am like a cork, I bounce back. If the feelings come up again, then I let them in again and I feel them, but then bounce back. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the journey is not to eliminate the feelings, it’s how quickly you bounce back into happiness.

It’s absolutely necessary that we feel our emotions. That’s part of accepting, allowing, and receiving what the experience of having the emotions has come for us to teach us, from us to us, for us by us, what is happening there? We absolutely have to feel the emotions. Where it can go awry is, when we start becoming them. We’re not flowing sadness anymore, we’re becoming a sad person when I allow sadness to kind of get a grip of me and hold onto me like there isn’t anything but sadness. That is something that doesn’t serve me. If we can continue to think about the energy of the universe as a constantly changing thing, that means the energy of us is a constantly changing thing. Every cell in our body is changing and we shed our skeleton and create a new one by the molecules at the cellular level, the changes that are going on. We can do the same with how we’re feeling and allow. This is also how you can be sad or have this feeling of sadness and have it coexist with exquisite joy.

How does that happen?

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

Any emotion is actually just an energy wave moving through me. I can feel happiness and sadness at the same time.

The extreme of any emotion is just an energy wave moving through me. I can feel happiness and sadness at the same time. It’s that language of, “That was a bittersweet moment.” Bittersweet might be a favorite person or an important ending that I don’t want, can bring up the bitterness and the sadness. The sweetness of feeling at that moment that the person, if they transitioned out of the body or when I had to euthanize my dog, the bitterness was like, “How am I going to do life without this cherished, treasured other who meant so much to me?” The sweetness of having her picture here, I had a little clipping of her fur and knowing that my life was enriched by the time we had together.

To be in the joy of Maggie May is always going to be a part of mommy no matter what. I will always be a part of her. She’s out of the physical body but her energy is still with me. The sweetness, even while I mourn and grieve that I don’t get the same interaction with her, like petting her fur, hearing her bark, watching her play at the beach, feeding her a treat, and having her sleep with me on the bed, it’s like that where we can flow both at the same time. On a spiritual level, there’s no separation between those two experiences of joy, having some ownership of me. That’s who I am and what I am while the joy is still there, to be able to flow anger or sadness.

I thought it was a beautiful description and I felt the bittersweetness in myself. I’m sorry for your loss. And I also see how you focus on a gift, you focus on what’s good about it or where it’s going to lead you or the beauty of what it was and the great lessons. You almost quote that sadness with that gratitude and appreciation, is that correct?

Yes, I do that. The other thing that I do is when I recognize the impermanence of everything. There’s something about we, humans, that makes us want to hang on to anything that’s good and reject anything that we label as bad. We may want to hang onto the things that are good and kick away the things that are bad. Life just doesn’t work that way. In my book, The Shake-up Step, people have had confusion about this. In The Shake-up Step, I talk about having to let go of our attachment to these powerful memories of the way it was.

People are like, “Why would I do that? I want to keep all of my great memories.” I’m like, “I’m not saying to let them go like they never happened but when you’re anchored in on them, when that is what brings you happiness today and that moment was 22 years ago, that’s a problem. That means you’re not present today and you’re also evaluating everything that happens in the now up against that thing.” Did it make me as happy? Did it come with as much fun? Are we doing something similar? You hear people talk about, “I wish it were like the good old days.” We can have the experience of the good old days but we’re in now. How do I have happiness now? It’s a lot easier when I’m not attached to the way it used to be and similar for not being attached to what I’m trying to create in the future.

I have a big vision. I have no idea how I’m going to bring this vision completely to life, but every moment of every day, I’m so focused on, “When is it going to happen? It’s not happened yet. How am I going to make it happen? I don’t know what to do.” Right now I’m like, “It appears that the next thing I’m supposed to do as a part of this vision is get on this podcast with Orion.” That is the here and now moment. I’m always constantly looking at what’s the most important thing to do here and now. Even though I have a long-range vision, I’m not so attached to making it happen right this minute that I’m not experiencing what’s showing up right this minute and focusing mostly on that.

Peace in the world comes from the inhabitants of the world having this inner peace. Click To Tweet

We tend to idolize the past. We tend to look at what it was and how perfect it was. We tend to forget that nothing is black and white, there are 50 shades of gray in the middle. Even the past that we remember might not have been as perfect as we thought it would be in. It’s silly to try to compare the past to the present because you are where you are. When you’re either too much in the future, obsessing about success and where I’m going to go and how I’m going to achieve it or you’re too much in the past where you’re reminiscing about the good old days, then you’re not present to what you need to do right now. What do you think about the idea that time is an illusion and everything’s happening right now is that we can only see the present, but we are existing in the past and in the future at the same time?

I totally believe that. I feel that’s the holographic nature of the world and the universe. Scientists are getting more adept at making this lay language around the metaphysical and quantum physical nature of the universe. That there are multiple dimensions happening simultaneously in each moment of our decision making. This is why I focus on personal responsibility and free will in what I teach, that every moment we have an opportunity to change that little world. The part of the world that is ours where I’m living, who I’m interacting with, what I’m working on and what my divine purpose is on the planet. We have every moment an opportunity to impact that, to shift it, to affect it. momentary trigger where I could stay in peace or I could allow some external situation to carry me off into this Neverland of low vibration expression can change everything.

It’s your responsibility to know that each moment is coming up as a gift and opportunity to double down on what it is we want and to be less attached to what we don’t want. We’re attached to things either because we’ve got to have them or because we’ve got to get them out. Either one of those is an attachment. Staying in this neutral place where our vibration is high is a way to be in this holographic universe, constantly contributing high vibration. I truly believe in my work. I talk about peace, love, joy, and freedom. The peace and freedom are our choices. Love and joy are our constitution. That’s what we are. Peace and freedom. I’m not talking about political freedom or political peace. I’m talking about a deeply personal inner spiritual experience. Peace in the world comes from the inhabitants of the world having this inner peace. The freedom that I’m talking about is emotional freedom, freedom from the lower consciousness self that gets triggered, that thinks we’re not much of anything.

We’re only sinners, I can’t make it happen or people are out to get me. One of my favorites attached, low-vibe thoughts when I was asleep was black people have to work twice as hard to get half as much. To come to a conscious awareness of, “This thought is rolling around inside me from ancestral energy, experiences in the world and from my own personal experiences in the world. How do I forgive that, forgive myself, forgive all of the situations that created that as a belief and be in a different place first and foremost for myself, for my own peace, love, joy and freedom to be expressed? I’m bringing those energies into the planet.”

How do you deal with bullies? How do you deal with people that have hurt you or people that will discriminate you because you’re black? It exists and people will discriminate you just because they might not like your smile or I had some things with my accent. People don’t like my accent, so they put me down for that. Little things like that or big things. Some people suck, and they can be hurtful. How do you deal with that and still stay happy after somebody bullied you or somebody treated you wrong?

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

Their belief about me is not necessarily the truth of who I am.

I love the question of how do we handle this thing in the universe. The first thing is it’s a part of the wake up, “Is this about me or is this about them?” The fact that a person doesn’t like something about me doesn’t mean it’s not likable. It just means that person doesn’t like it. Even if I’m staring out at a thousand white supremacists who don’t think I have a reason to be on the planet, that doesn’t mean that that’s true. Their belief about me is not necessarily the truth of who I am. I allow them to have whatever they want to think about me be their truth. I don’t even try to prove them wrong. That’s the resistance. Resisting something that is doesn’t serve me. I have to take this energy into the world and there’s a way that I can engage with it and try and change it but I don’t allow it to change me. That’s what I’m talking about.

I can stand for the racists coming together. I can stand for racial and social justice without having to be against the people who don’t stand for that. My inner peace is more important to me than having someone who believes I’m not worthy, than fighting them, than telling them they’re wrong, than trying to overpower them. In those senses, I become a different form of them and I won’t do that to myself. You can’t make someone change the way they see you. I don’t even think there are enough hours in a lifetime to work hard and make someone see me as something I want them to see me. They will see me the way they want to and that’s about their beliefs, their rules of engagement, their values and I don’t necessarily have anything, any impact on those. They can be invited to play and they get to choose whether they’re going to engage. I go deeper into my own self-love. That’s the first part.

The second part is to send them compassion. I had an experience like this in New York where I was trying to get back into this event three minutes after the doors closed because I needed to get a picture of something. It was my book on display with award winners. I had forgotten I was doing so much else. I just forgot and I ran to the door and I had my phone. I needed to snap two pictures. It would have taken me two minutes and the person at the door refused to let me pass. The doors closed at three minutes after five, you cannot come in. In that moment, I had a choice. I could take it personally.

This is a personal vendetta of meanness that this person is sending to Valerie Sheppard or I could sit there and go, “This is interesting. What is going on with this person? What’s going on in her? What kind of desolation? What kind of meanness has happened in her life that this is the way she greeted this request of mine?” I can go send them compassion. It didn’t change anything. I still didn’t get in and I got a picture from someone else who took one. It’s not the way I would have taken it, but I got a picture. That instance was an opportunity for me to double down on being compassionate and harmonious and tolerant in the face of what I would have judged as anything but that.

This is something that’s super difficult for me. My husband and I and two of our daughters, we went to Egypt and we had a beautiful travel and it was also for me some experiences that weren’t cool at all. First of all, I’m Israeli and I’m Jewish and me going into Egypt is, even though on paper we are at peace, there’s a lot of hate just because I’m Jewish, just because I’m Israeli. If I would say that I’m from there, I would put myself in danger. I came in with my American passport and I was American. The people I met, our guides and all they are very nice but I felt unsafe. It’s hard for me not to share where I am from. It’s very annoying.

You can't make someone change the way they see you. Click To Tweet

I found that out only after I did my research when I came back. Cairo is considered the most dangerous mega city for women. I was covered from head to toe, but I was not wearing a head cover, I got cat calls, with my husband near me, reversing the car and stopping and talking to me. Other guys came talking to me near my husband. We were walking down the market at night. We felt like that the way that men look at women there and sexual harassment there, it’s horrible. It’s sad. I felt that I’m very sensitive.

They all came to me, it was like, “You are Egyptian. You look like Egyptian.” They’re opening line. I hostility. I felt unsafe as a woman. I felt unsafe as an Israeli Jewish woman. I only felt safe when I was with my group. I needed to do some work and release it and create some energetic boundaries on that because this was not a safe environment. I did get emotional around it. What would you suggest me do right there?

Experiences like this are calling us into an awareness about our identities, how we are this or we are that, and how people see us or judge us based on that. One of the teachings in my book is, “Who do you really think you are?” If you go to the highest vibration of Orion, there is none of those things. If you shed your physical body at this moment, you’re neither Israeli nor Jew nor American nor female. You are spirit, you are divine, you are divinity.

All that goes down the toilet when somebody said “Hey, sexy.” When they approach me, it’s hard for me to think about all that. I know all that. I’m this, I’m divine, I’m a spiritual being having a human experience here on planet Earth. I’m more than that. I’m of the stars, I am of the universe and then somebody says, “Hey, sexy.” I’m like, “Don’t talk to me like that.”

Are you sexy?

Yeah. In the spirit of what I teach then why would you resist someone calling you what you, yourself think you are. It gets pretty simple. They say, “Hey, sexy.” You may not like the fact that I’m with my husband, some stranger is doing a cat call to me in the street, you may not agree with the way it’s being done, but the bottom line is, he called you what you agree you all are. I think I’m kind of sexy. Did you? Everybody doesn’t see me that way but I know that I have sexual energy and I’m pretty sensuous as a woman. You’re a sex goddess.

What are we protesting? If somebody comes into my space and wants to grab me, that’s a little bit of a different thing. Even though I see there’s no separation, we are one, I still protect my physical body from unwanted advances and people grabbing me. Both I and Orion. I don’t think it’s one or the other. How can I stay at my highest vibration while I’m also standing in my power and when I say stand in my power, I’m calling in Archangel Michael, I’m calling in Metatron, I’m calling in all of my ancestors behind me? I’m calling in all the energy I possibly can to make a stand for myself that says, “That’s not allowed.”

I should have done that. I wish we had that conversation ahead of time.

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

Working in harmony with the laws means bringing all the power of those laws to work with you in the moment.

You can call in all those energies through remembering that that’s who you are in the space of being in the physical realm. There’s no separation between these dynamics. That’s what quantum physics is showing us. That’s what metaphysics is showing us. That means you can use it to your advantage. Working in harmony with the laws means bringing all the power of those laws to work with you in the moment. If there’s no separation, that means you’re not separated from the ascended masters and their power. You can call on them to say, “I need some help right now.” We have to remember to do it and be it.

That was beautiful. That was awesome.

Thank you.

So You had to learn to live happy being you. What did you discover?

The ME in the book cover Happy to Be ME! is capitalized because that stands for Magnificent Essence and that is not what I thought I was. I related to the world based on the lower case “me” which is I use to describe the mighty ego. I had a very mighty ego. I related through my intellect and my knowledge, not through my heart. I am related through my possessions and I was always trying to make more money, get a bigger title, have a bigger sash, so I could live in a bigger house, drive a certain car, wear the right clothes and not just getting any champagne. I had to have a certain kind of champagne because it showed people where I am, my status, my stature, this is how I related. This was personality, identity and ego run amok. I was very good at it but that’s how I thought I had to in order to be seen.

This journey of the four steps helped me see who I was being in the world. It helped me see that I relate based on things that aren’t the truth of who I am. They’re just made up. If I’d been born to a different family or born to a different time, none of those things would be real or true anyway. Why am I so attached to them and why do I have such a low self-esteem that I would believe that without those things I’m nothing. Both end of it is it was devastating. It was devastating to see how many false beliefs were under the surface of what I thought was a pretty intelligent, talented, capable and giving person.

To see how much I had a closed heart and how much I invalidated myself because of these subconscious beliefs, old wounds. How long I hung on to guilt, shame, resentment, anger and fear. How much fear was underneath? Every decision I made there was fear. Fear of not being liked, fear of not being accepted, fear of getting it wrong, fear of not getting far enough in my life, fear of not having enough. Happy to be ME was finding all that stuff. It wasn’t difficult to find it. I had to say to myself, “I’m going to go look and see what’s under the surface of this idea that I have in myself and how whatever’s under the surface is serving me” or not serving me and I’m going to change it.

You are spirit, you are divine, you are divinity. Click To Tweet

That’s what the book is about. It’s a catalog and a guidebook to help people do the same thing. I truly believe that there is no other way to happy. The true, lasting happiness that never goes away, comes from doing this dance with ourselves. I used to make everything about what was happening out there, the people who didn’t see me, who didn’t understand me, who didn’t hear me. Who didn’t give me what I wanted, who didn’t promote me even though I worked my ass off, who didn’t do this, it was all about that. When I stopped and said, “Okay,” there was one common denominator in all of my experiences in my life and that common denominator is me. I’m in every one of them. I’m in all of these experiences. I made a commitment to go figure that out. I’m still on the journey and it’s been magnificent.

Our journey was magnificent I appreciate you. Where can people find you, get your book and connect with you?

If you’re in the US or North America and you want the hard copy, you can get it at my website HappyToBeMe.net. I have it there at a 25% discount off of retail. If you are international and you would like to get the Kindle version, you can go to this universal geo linked URL and you’ll be taken to an Amazon page in your region where you can get the book. That link is GetBook.At/LivingHTBM.

Valerie, keep your happiness. Keep sharing with the world this beautiful knowledge and keep being the beautiful goddess that you are. Thank you so much for being on this show.

Thank you so much, Orion. It was a beautiful conversation. I loved the opportunity to dance with you in the light and to benefit your audience and I’m very grateful.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Wake up to the truth of who you are. Get to know yourself on a deeper level so that you’re able to determine what’s keeping you happy and what’s triggering you to fall off your center.

✓ Let go of things that are stopping you from being happy. After evaluating what’s holding you back, be more open to the path of forgiveness and healing.  

✓ Write a new life story by visualizing what you want to happen next. There is power in visualizing your future.

✓ Live your new story and practice it daily. Have the strength to keep moving forward but be kind to yourself in the process. You can reset and refocus your goals as much as you want.

✓ Emphasize the things that you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude brings more reasons to be content and thankful.

✓ Accept more and resist less. Allow things to happen and worry less about situations that are out of your control.

✓ Allow yourself to experience negative emotions. It’s okay to be sad, angry or frustrated. But don’t dwell on negativity too long or it will affect your life pattern.

✓ Take yourself on a once in a lifetime sabbatical journey to find your true self. Explore what can help you enhance your gift and spiritual connection.

✓ Keep your thoughts and emotions intact when you reach your highest vibration. Don’t let anything or anyone faze your happiness and belief.

✓ Grab a copy of Valerie Sheppard’s book, Living Happy to Be Me.

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About Valerie Sheppard

SL 128 | Living Happy To Be Me

Valerie Sheppard, a.k.a. the Sherpa of Happiness, does spiritual transformational counseling with young people and adults. The wisdom she possesses comes from her own 20-year journey of transformation combined with her more than 30 years of experience in leading teams, mentoring and coaching.  Valerie uses this diverse knowledge and multi-faceted experience to help people find success and fulfillment by connecting to their inner authentic happiness.

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