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By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

Hands UpraisedI was living the dream. I was floating through my days, moving between the multiple houses and the multiple cars without a care in the world. My husband loved me, my kids thought I was an awesome mom and loved that I could shower them with everything they needed. I had a rockin’ wardrobe and one hell of a travel schedule.  My body was perfect, my lifestyle was perfect, my family was perfect. My everything was perfect.

Until it wasn’t.

The marriage dissolved. The cars, houses and flashy clothes were history. I couldn’t provide for my kids. I couldn’t indulge in retail therapy to heal my wounds. Divorce, foreclosure, illness and financial ruin descended upon me like a hailstorm. Each blow to my lifestyle and to my family left another wound for me to recover from. I had two choices: surrender to the pain or lick my wounds and go on living.

When you’re traveling through life and find yourself caught in a torrential downpour of drama and depression, there’s no use sitting out in the rain and letting it make you sick, cold and soggy from the inside out. Instead, you pull out an umbrella, button up your slicker, and find a way to make it to your destination. Sure, you might need to change your route, avoiding the puddles or the downed branches, but you’ve got the ingenuity and the walking shoes to get you to where you want to go.

When my hailstorm struck, I decided to see the flip side of the collateral damage: the opportunity to change things up. The ability to use negative energy to fuel my journey to somewhere better than where I was going. Living and creating is the best revenge when disaster strikes. Happiness is a “screw you” to the rainy nights and the gloom. It shows you’ve weathered the storm and refused to let it define you. It’s taking control of your life and telling your trauma to go get a life!

I was living the dream. Now I’m living the reality, and you know what? It’s a lot better than the dream was, anyway!

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Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, and and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace.

Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

For more information, please visit, and

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