Choose Happiness

By Kathryn Barney

In The Lost Prince by Francis Hodgson Burnett, young Marco suddenly finds himself in a desperate situation.

“‘What will it be best to think about first?’

This he said because one of the most absorbingly fascinating things he and his father talked about together was the power of the thoughts which human beings allow to pass through their minds — the strange strength of them. . .He had known, and reasoned through days with men who believed that when they desired a thing, clear and exalted thought would bring it to them. He had discovered why they believed this, and had learned to understand their profound arguments (p. 67-68).”

What a beautiful way to describe how our thoughts create our reality!

My husband has a naturally light and happy demeanor. He decided once, as a young child, that being sad is no fun and he would live his life happy. He has had to learn that it doesn’t come that easily to some people. Some of us have to fight our brains and make a decision every single day that we want to be happy.

But the more I choose to be happy, the easier it becomes. Not only that, happier things start happening when I choose to be happy!

I have been a piano teacher for over 25 years. I have been active in music teacher associations, even serving in leadership, and have been nationally certified as a teacher of music. I say all this to make the point that I take it seriously. It has never been a “little” thing I do on the side to fill some extra hours.

However, I have never been able to fill my studio. Through the teachers’ associations, I know many teachers, and I have never met one with a studio not filled to capacity (capacity is different for every teacher). I have never been able to understand why I’ve never even been close to full.

I often prayed about whether teaching was the right road for me to be on. It seems like, if it’s where Heavenly Father wants me to be, I would find more success. (The answer to the prayer is always a resounding YES!)

I even changed careers at one point. I earned a professional educator license and started teaching elementary school.

Though I loved it, the career change did not last. With the health challenges I was facing, combined with some ongoing family trauma, I could not keep up with the demands of teaching full-time.

I returned to teaching piano. I felt defeated and slightly embarrassed, like I was admitting failure. Yet here I was again.

I’m really good at teaching piano. I have been given a gift for it. I love doing it. Why can’t I get students?

I was sure that my thoughts were sabotaging me, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint how and couldn’t figure out how to change it.

It was through studying the Rare Faith principles and talking to others in the group that I decided to change the focus of my thoughts. Instead of focusing on gaining new students for what I personally could benefit, I changed to what the students could benefit.

I started praying daily for a greater ability to share light and love with others, specifically with piano students. I started praying for unknown students who need the light and love that I can offer them. I prayed that I would be an open conduit to Heavenly Father’s light and love, and that I would be able to share it freely.

And the students started flowing in.

Within just a few weeks, I completely filled my studio, something that has never happened. More important, I feel a real sensation of light and love flowing through me, and recognize that Heavenly Father is reaching these students with me as a tool in His hand.

And because I shifted my thoughts to this higher vibration, my “clear and exalted thought” brought to me the thing I desired.

Kathryn Barney
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