Transformation… What does that word mean for you? For me it’s recognizing that the past does not dictate the future, unless you let it. You have the power to transform and reinvent yourself at any moment you choose.

Looking back I see that there were life lessons that transformed me. I’m really happy to be sharing the most meaningful lessons I’ve learned with you.

I’ll start with lesson #1… and yes the dolphin had something to do with it…

Lesson 1: Life is not meant to be hard. We are meant to feel good.

You’ve probably heard many times, “no pain, no gain” or work hard and you will get what you want. The reality I’ve learned is that life is not meant to be hard. Life is truly a gift, and it is meant to be playful, joyful and even blissful! When you find yourself feeling less than that, you really need to examine why you are feeling that way. Where do you feel it in your body and what emotions is it evoking in you?

I was feeling this way after the death of my husband, which of course is normal. Life at the moment was hard, heavy, and painful. I could feel the pain in my heart. The pain I felt was not just a deep sense of sadness and loss, but I was also feeling a great sense of anger. The anger and sadness kept me from seeing the joys of everyday life for a period of time.

I like to say a dolphin saved me. It was not a real dolphin but one I imagined. He reminded me to smile again, and to be light and playful again. He reminded me that yes, I had a right to do those things again. I am alive and being alive means you are worthy of all of life’s blessings; you are meant to be as free and playful as a dolphin.

How did this dolphin come to me? Well I was engaging in a healing technique with an advisor at the time. You’ve probably heard the idea if you’re sad “go to your happy place.” Well I did that and more. I found my happy place at the lagoon of Ko Olina, a beautiful quiet town on the western coast of Oahu. I still go there when life gets hard.

It was here in my mind that I could begin to unleash my anger. I let it go into the sea and allowed myself to feel the beauty and tranquility of the waves, and the sand under my feet. To me nothing is more peaceful than the sound and feel of the ocean. But letting go was not all I was there for. I wanted to allow myself the freedom to bring back joy to my life and begin to open my heart, and feel light again.

My teacher advised me to imagine a creature that could guide me back to joy. This is one of those exercises where you don’t have time to think so the associations are easier than you may think. It came to me in an instant, and in my head I saw a beautiful, majestic dolphin. He came to me and summoned me to swim. He showed off for a bit jumping and twisting in the air and gracefully diving back into the water. Then he nuzzled me, brought me to the ocean to play. It was my turn. He gave me a turn to shine. He lifted me up and I twisted and turned as gracefully as he had done and plunged into the water. I got lost in the moment, felt light and free.

He brought me to shore and I kissed his snout and he returned to the water with the same feeling of joy he visited me with. Ease came over me. I felt light, and my heart and body felt at peace and I sighed. I opened my teary eyes and smiled.

I knew then that it was really up to me. I had a choice. How do I want to live my life? It could be heavy or light, hard or joyful, sad or playful?

My life was not hard. I was making it that way. I was not allowing myself to feel life’s joys. The dolphin reminded me I deserved to live a life full of joy. My life from then on would be as I chose, light and playful. Life is meant to feel good.

Have you experienced a moment like that? A moment where you realized that life is good and you deserve to feel joy? If you have, I would love for you to share it with me – please leave me a comment. If life does feel hard, are you ready to try something different? If so, coaching might be the answer. Click here to learn more.