My secret to being happy…

Every day when I wake up I just feel happy. I love to start my day. I jump out of bed without needing a cup of coffee. I am just ready to go and to live my life after a good night’s sleep. I find it so wonderful to be alive.

This hasn’t always been like that…I remember times when I stayed in bed for hours because I didn’t have a reason to get up. I remember times when I had to see a counselor because I was sad most of time.

And here is my secret what got me there…

To make my point, I am starting out with a short story. So be patient and stay with me through it for a little while and you’ll see it makes sense by the time you finish reading 🙂

I have been owning a horse for over 8 years now. His name is Lucky. He is 18 years and when I bought him at 10, he had had 5 owners before me already. Whoever had owned him before me had irritated him and it took him a long time to feel safe around me and trust me. But now he does and we have a wonderful flow.

Same as people can have one leg shorter than the other, Lucky is much tenser on his right side and it’s hard for him to go around a circle clock-wise. Counter clock-wise is fine. Just when I take him around a circle clock-wise he is struggling to keep his balance. What also happens is that he throws me off to his left side when riding him. In the first years of having him I didn’t even notice. Until one day my trainer told me that my saddle was completely uneven. I had been riding on Lucky throwing me off to one side for a long time and the saddle was now absolutely misshaped. I pretty much have to buy a new saddle every 2 years just to be able to sit in the middle of my horse and get even support. Right now I am in between saddles. Lucky and I wore out my last one and now I am gathering money to buy a new one again.

Last Sunday I had a riding lesson with my trainer Jo. Jo is a phenomenal dressage trainer and I enjoy my lessons with her a lot. To help me out in my saddle situation, Jo let me borrow one of her saddles. She gave me a so called treeless saddle. A treeless saddle is pretty much some leather pieces sawn together to fit on a horse with stirrups attached to them. It was a very awkward feeling to ride in this saddle.

When I first started to trot Lucky I felt like being thrown all over doing my best to not fall off. At the same time Lucky got more and more tense and did speed up which made it even harder to stay on top of him. Jo told me to slow down over and over again and I was able to accomplish it for a couple of seconds only to find Lucky speed up again right after.

Then I did one thing that slowed Lucky down. It was something really easy to do and much more effortless compared to what my slow-down strategies had been before. Lucky responded to this one thing immediately and kept in a slower pace for pretty much the rest of my lesson. It was effortless and miraculous.

The one thing I did that made everything so easy was that I simply started breathing. I had been apprehensive trying to get comfortable on the new saddle and I had held my breath. The moment I started breathing, I started to relax and Lucky responded instantly. I needed much less aids to get him to do what I wanted from then on. He just responded to the tiniest signals and it was a pleasure to ride him. At the end of my lesson I felt completely comfortable on the treeless saddle and I had completely forgotten how awkward it had felt in the beginning.

Having a great riding experience is phenomenal but it’s not why I am so happy. And breathing is a great tool to relax but it’s not what makes me so happy either.


Same as Lucky instantly responded to me relaxing, I physically change when I get into the presence of Bernie and Jim. Bernie and Jim own People Unlimited and I know them now for a very long time. I’ve been with them thousands of times over the years and it never fails, the moment I get to be around Bernie and Jim, I physically become alive. When that happens I don’t think to be more alive and I don’t plan for it, it’s just something that simply happens when I get into their presence.

Sometimes I am tense because I had a stressful day at work and the moment I get to be with them I begin breathing deeper, my thoughts lighten up and I feel much more positive about what has been bothering me. Often I start feeling excited and I don’t even have a particular reason for it. I guess it’s just an excitement to be alive. When I am not in Bernie and Jim’s physical presence but take time to think about them, I feel instantly better as well. Being around them has a physical effect on me that makes me feel happy and more alive. The change happens as instantly and as effortlessly as Lucky relaxed when I started breathing riding the new saddle.

Most people I tell about People Unlimited and what we are all about can’t wrap their mind around us. They can’t grasp that we are a community of people who don’t die and we do it by creating an environment where the human body is encouraged to live. The first thing they usually ask is ‘what do you do to never die’? They usually expect an answer like ‘you need to eat this diet’, ‘you need to do that exercise routine’, ‘you need to do A, B, C’ and you won’t die. And it’s not that way at all.

When you are in the presence of people who don’t have any sense of having to die, there is a physical change that happens instantly. It’s a change that’s similar to the one Lucky had when I simply started breathing. It’s nothing we need to think about, nothing we have to work hard for and nothing we need to learn like we learn things at school. But there are some requirements. Same as Lucky developed trust in me over the years, I trust Bernie and Jim. The happy, alive, invigorating feeling around them got stronger and stronger the more I trusted them over the years. The more safe I feel with them, the more I experience this physical happiness around them.

I’ve never seen people treat others so well as Bernie and Jim. I’ve observed Bernie and Jim follow through on pretty much everything they say. Over the years I found them being honest about their personal lives with no secrets hidden anywhere. I found them be honest in situations where I had seen no-one honest before. I saw them apologize when I would have been too embarrassed to say anything. I found them give me and others their passion, their best wishes, their money, their heart. I saw them give me and others much more than I see lovers give to each other ever.

And yet, I’ve seen people have the most hostile reactions to them. I think we have a sense built into us that says ‘don’t trust a stranger’. And when we meet someone who is utterly different from what we’ve ever experienced no matter how good it is for us, our suspicious mind and critical thinking goes over the top. The last thing most people do in those situations is ‘feel safe’.

The reason I am so happy is because I am smart to know that this mis-trust and this suspicion is simply wrong. I have disregarded those feelings and have followed another feeling instead. A feeling that was much stronger. The feeling that I just wanted more of what felt so good. And what simply feels so good is being around Bernie and Jim. I love their intensity and find that same intensity in me. I love to live free of suspicion and a critical mind. It’s what makes me so happy when I wake up in the morning.

Now every day when I wake up I just feel happy. I love to start my day. I jump out of bed without needing a cup of coffee. I am just ready to go and to live my life. It’s so wonderful to be alive and to have found Bernie and Jim who boost me to live without limits. I wish every person on this planet would start trusting them and would want to be with them. It would be a much happier world.

Check out to find out more about Bernie and Jim and our People Unlimited community.


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