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I often ask my patients struggling with a life issue, “Do you deserve to be happy?” More often than not, I receive a tenuous answer. “I’d like to say I do, but I’m not so sure” is a fairly typical response. Or I may hear, “I can’t remember anyone in my life ever telling me it’s my right to be happy.”

Well, if you haven’t heard it before, hear it now: YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!

Although relatively few of us were told during our upbringing that the expansion of happiness is the purpose of life, most people sense somewhere in their soul that more joy ought to be part of the equation. How, then, do we move from a state of constriction to a state of ever greater freedom and happiness? The first step towards genuine awakening is setting the intention . . . deciding to live a life that reflects your right to happiness.

You are powerful, intelligent, and interesting. You are complicated and valuable. You are attractive. You are a good person. You are worthy of love. You are deserving of happiness.

You have these lovable qualities and more because you are living the gift of a human incarnation and have this rare opportunity to be a conscious manifestation of the universe. Your individuality is a wave on the ocean of universality. Even as each wave expresses its unique qualities and talents, it retains its essential oceanic nature.

You are the universe playing hide-and-seek with itself. You are the sacred in disguise. You are God in drag. Knowing this, you cannot feel sorry for yourself for very long, because your heart and soul retain the memory of your essential divinity.

The more clearly you recognize who you really are, the easier it is to see through all of God’s other disguises. Then, no matter where you are or what you encounter, you will feel comfortable and open, because you know at your core that you are divinity expressing itself in a living form – as are all the other sentient creatures you encounter in life. Living and loving from the center of your being, you are always at home with yourself.

Do not allow the pervasive worldly demands of life to constrict your heart. The sun does not use the excuse of clouds to stop shining its light, for it knows that clouds will always come and go. As a lover, rejoice in your state of lovingness, and know that every being who reflects a ray of your love is enlightened by the experience. This is your essential state. It always was and always will be.

It is your birthright to live a life abundant in love. Make the commitment today to open your heart and let your love flow. No matter what has happened in your past, today is a new day. As an expression of the sacred field of unlimited possibilities, you have the capacity to make this a day filled with love and enthusiasm. Why not live as if it mattered?

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Dr. David Simon passed away on January 31, 2012. is proud to have featured him as one of our Inspirational Luminaries and keep his wisdom here to honor his memory.

David Simon was a world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body medicine. As a practicing physician, innovative researcher, and insightful teacher, David advocated for an effective and compassionate healthcare system.

Integrating ancient wisdom healing traditions with modern scientific principles, David forged a model of health that integrated the multiple dimensions of a human being ― environmental, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. As a board-certified neurologist and expert in ayurvedic medicine and other traditional healing arts, he brought a unique perspective to the relationship between mind, emotions, and health.

In 1996 David co-founded and assumed the role of medical director of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, where he served as the driving force in developing and leading the Center's flagship programs and seminars in mind-body medicine, emotional healing, and spirituality.

Recognized as a leading authority in the effective and appropriate use of mind-body medicine practices, his endeavors resulted in the training of thousands of physicians, nurses, and health care providers. One of the first recipients of a National Institutes of Health grant to study mind-body medical approaches to improving health care, David brought integrated mind-body medical programs to medical institutions, health centers, educational institutions, and health resorts throughout the world.

Dr. Simon was the author of many wellness books, including Free to Love, Free to Heal: Heal Your Body by Healing Your Emotions. His other popular books include Return to Wholeness: Embracing Body, Mind, and Spirit in the Face of Cancer; The Wisdom of Healing; Vital Energy; The Ten Commitments: Translating Good Intentions into Great Choices. He co-authored numerous other books with visionary Deepak Chopra, including The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook; Grow Younger, Live Longer; The Chopra Center Cookbook; Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: a Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth; and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.

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