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“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” Rachel Ann Nunes

On Sunday, December 1st, 2019, I turned 50 years old. Even just typing that gave me great pause. When I woke up that morning, I asked myself the same question I ask every birthday. WHAT WILL MY THEME BE THIS YEAR? I grabbed my pen and journal, chose my morning meditation, and took my place on the balcony to watch the sunrise. This had become my ritual in the early morning hours for the last 10 years of my first day of another trip around the sun. I reflected over the past year of my life- magical thinking was the theme. This year, I just wanted 2020 to be my year of happy in my own skin.

Seems like a simple proposition- right? So I declared it, 2020 I would SHINE and do more of what makes me happy. Certainly, this was a state of mind, and something that hopefully would not cost a lot of money or time. As I knew the power of intention on manifestation, I focused on the five areas of my life (Spiritual, Relational, Physical, Intellectual and Financial) and journaled away. And, my favorite part of that day, later in the evening, I gathered with my friends to sing, play and dance the night away- karaoke style! And, there began my year of happy.


So, in January, my family plotted out our schedule for the year (yes, we are Type A personalities- I said year.) And, I set the date for MLK Jr. Weekend to gather with our magical minds to vision board with the best of them- putting words and visuals to our dreams. And, in case you have been living under a rock, a virus was born around the same time- one that was very contagious and ready to wreak havoc wherever it went. All the planning and looking forward to things took a backseat to figuring out what was going on and what sheltering in place meant.

Fear accompanied the illness that struck some with a ferocity. And from March to the present, it felt like the world stood still for you and me. While we looked on and hoped that the experts would be able to lead with transparency. Stuck in a condominium full-time for three months with 2 adults, 2 teenagers and 2 dogs, while navigating a new normal was not what we had in mind- but somehow we all found our way to make memories on what may be recalled as some of our happiest times. The pause- the stillness- may have been just what the Earth needed to see. We all were moving so fast for so long- the warnings were not heeded.


It has taken me 50 years to truly understand what is important to me. Seeing the world around me these past 8 months has really given me like 20/20 vision-the ability to truly see. And the one thing that is abundantly clear, I am so incredible grateful for my friends and my family more than ever this year.

Every single day as I watch those healthcare professionals and essential workers go in for the fight, I decided to what for me was clearly wrong and those things that were right. I am an optimist at heart, though scared of many things. Now it is August, and I look back on quite the transformational spring. I watched my great nation’s wounds come out of the dark. Only then can we heal rather than be torn apart. Like Mr. Rogers’ mother said when he was scared as a boy, “look for the helpers,” to serve can be a way to bring me joy.


We have all been forced to take things slow, the reality is there is no place to go. How blessed we are with time, others cannot say so. Sitting by myself on my balcony watching the sunrise again,  it is time to manifest from a place of strength. To that I say a resounding Amen! On August 4th, 2017, I took a leap of faith and decided to bet on me instead of fear.  The freedom that I have gained on August 4th, 2020, you’ll find in my smile from ear to ear. I choose to look beyond my imperfections and towards all who are welcoming to me. I will be the change I want, you will most certainly see.

A good friend calls me the queen of manifestation, I giggle to myself on the inside. I suppose I am if I declare it, for it is time to thrive. Savor life and everything it throws at us, being happy is not a state of apathy. It is a choice, a gift, a way of life- now it is time for you to join me! How again is 2020 my year of happy? Well think about this way- what if everything that is going on right now is preparing you for a dream bigger than you can imagine? You’d be pretty darn happy I would say!

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Meg Nocero, Esq. is an inspirational speaker, certified empowerment coach and award winning author of The Magical Guide to Bliss, Daily Keys to Unlock Your Dreams, Spirit & Inner Bliss  and Beautiful Butterfly, How Grief Enveloped Me, Transformed Me, and Freed Me to Awaken to the Sunrise of My Soul’s Bliss. She is a contributing writer for the collaboration entitled Thrive Girl Thrive released in August of 2019.  And, she is a contributing author for Amy Butler’s book Blossom: Create Love-Express Beauty-Be Kind released in January 2016.


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