There’s a business listed as “Happiness Consultant” in the White Pages. What’s the deal, Ace?—Sadie Sack
Sadie: Do something for Ace. Take three deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. After you’ve done that, at your own pace, resume your normal breathing and say to yourself, “I am surrounded by love. Only good will come to me, only good can come from me.” Then, picture yourself (or picture a picture of yourself) smiling. Just relax, and see what you see.
When Ace did this, at the request of Happiness Consultant Phyllis Popkin, he saw a large circle with a black three-quarter moon shape in the middle. Phyllis told him to picture himself sitting in a room with an empty chair across from him. “Put what you saw on the chair,” she said. At this point, Ace expected to see something miraculous, but he didn’t. Instead, Phyllis put the circle on a chair in her own mind. She said, “I’m getting that you are brilliant, and you will have a brilliant career.” This sounded promising, but Ace was really hoping Phyllis also saw him getting a raise.
According to Phyllis, the key to being happy is “tuning in” or following your intuition. Phyllis says, “We’ve got wonderful brains, but they’re like computers: You can’t get anything out that wasn’t put in there already.” In fact, Phyllis has a lot of opinions about the brain (and she’ll tell you every one—take it from Ace, Phyll’s a talker). As a Happiness Consultant, she thinks it’s important to get more “whole-brained” by synchronizing the left and right hemisphere of your noggin, thereby quieting down your logical mind and getting some answers.
This way of thinking isn’t for the weak of mind, though. Phyll recommends practicing her techniques by getting a small notebook and writing down what your intuition says each time you have to make a decision (no matter how small). The more you do this, she says, the more you’ll be able to trust yourself on the big decisions.
You’ll have to trust her on that one.
You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 18 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.