The Science of Happiness with Guest Expert Stephanie Harrison

Ep: 244

How long have you been chasing happiness?

For most of us, this has been a lifelong endeavor. Society would have us believe that once a certain goal has been achieved, then our feeling of being “happy” should be sustained.

But the science of happiness tells us that this definition is false and fleeting, and pursuing it only adds to our misery.

If you want to know how to be happier in life, then it’s time to redefine what happiness really looks and feels like. 

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment Ⓡ, Blake welcomes happiness expert Stephanie Harrison.

Since receiving her master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Harrison has devoted her life to the study of well-being. Her company, The New Happy, has revolutionized the way that people understand and pursue happiness. Through artwork, their newsletter, videos, and podcast, they reach millions of people around the world every month. Her first book, NEW HAPPY, will be released by Penguin Random House in May 2024.

In this episode, you’ll learn to understand the disconnect between the idea of happiness we’re conditioned to believe in and what it truly means to live a happy and fulfilled life. You’ll hear why our search for this perpetual bliss is unrealistic, and why the road often feels rocky and misaligned. You’ll begin to understand the science behind happiness, the importance of a supportive community, and how you can start living a life of fulfillment and ease right now.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The breakdown point that led Stephanie to seek change (6:35)
  • Why our pursuit of happiness often results in pain and misery (10:12)
  • Understanding what really brings happiness into your life (17:38)
  • What to seek out when healing from trauma (23:58)
  • How to create change if you’re feeling stuck right now (29:47)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. “We can justify an intense amount of misery because we think there’s going to be a pot of gold at the end. And unfortunately, it’s an ideology that is so harmful, not only to ourselves but to the ways in which we internalize that and then perpetuate it in our culture.” – Stephanie Harrison
  2. “We need to be able to distinguish between the pain of doing something that is wrong for you, and the pain of doing things that are right for you.” – Stephanie Harrison
  3. “There’s this beautiful symbiotic relationship when you’re in environments with people who are healthy, who support your growth, and who challenge you to see the world differently. That’s where the trauma healing process can begin.” – Blake
  4. “Life is opinion-based. And when you begin to see that there is no should, there are just opinions based on values and experiences, you realize there isn’t a right or wrong. There’s only what’s right for me.” – Blake

Additional Resources: 

Connect with Stephanie:
IG: @stephaniehson

For programs and opportunities to work with Blake, go to


Stephanie Harrison 0:04
The truth is, is that a lot of us will put up with a lot of misery for things that we think will make us happy. And that’s sort of the one of the core, the core underpinnings of this philosophy of happiness I’ve developed to say, we can justify an intense amount of misery because we think that there’s going to be a pot of gold at the end. And unfortunately, it’s a ideology that is so harmful not only to ourselves, but to the ways in which we internalize that and then perpetuate it in our culture as well.

Blake Schofield 0:45
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®. Mom to three, USA Today Top 10 Professional Coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand perspectives to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 1:20
On today’s episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, I interview Stephanie Harrison, she’s an expert in the science of happiness and an entrepreneur, writer, designer, and speaker. Since receiving a master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, she’s devoted her life to the study of well-being. Her company, The New Happy, has revolutionized the way people understand and pursue happiness. Their artwork, newsletter, videos, podcasts, and resources reach millions of people around the world every month. She is a Harvard Business Review and CNBC contributor. And her expertise has been featured in publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, and Architectural Digest. She is a regular speaker at Fortune 500 companies and advises on employee well-being in company culture. Her first book, New Happy, will be released by Penguin Random House in May of ’24. And without further ado, here’s Stephanie.

Blake Schofield 2:17
Hello, and welcome to The Bridge to Fulfillment® podcast, Stephanie. I’m so excited to have you here today.

Stephanie Harrison 2:22
Thank you, I’m thrilled to be here with you as well.

Blake Schofield 2:26
I’m excited for our conversation today, where we’re really talking about happiness and how to be happier. But before we sort of dive into that topic, can you share a little bit with our audience? Who are you, tell me a little bit about your background? And how did you end up in this work really focusing on helping people shift their perspective and understand how they can be happier in their lives?

Stephanie Harrison 2:46
Yeah, thank you so much, I am so honored to be here, and to be able to share a little bit about that. I, you know, I think that like most people, my journey has not been straightforward at all, it has taken a lot of twists and turns, that have brought me into this moment today. And if you had told me back, you know, when I was graduating from college, that this is what I would be doing, I think I would have been completely shocked and confused as to why I had gotten so off track, it was as to what I had planned. So I started my career in management consulting, and really did not find it to be fulfilling for me, it was just not the right fit in so many different ways. But it was what I thought that I should be doing in order to be successful and to be happy, and to live the life that I was supposed to. And ultimately, I ended up realizing that there was this very rigid idea of how I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do in order to be happy. And I got really interested in that and very curious about where those ideas had come from and what I had internalized what was correct what wasn’t.

Stephanie Harrison 3:51
And so I ended up going to pursue the study of happiness, specifically the study of positive psychology. And I went to the University of Pennsylvania for a graduate degree. And when I was there, I ended up exploring these ideas about happiness, where they come from, how we learn to internalize them within ourselves and use them to guide our lives. And my thesis was actually titled A New Definition of Happiness. And once I graduated, I was working full time at the time in a totally different, totally unrelated field, working at LinkedIn, in San Francisco, and I just decided to start writing a little bit about these things that I had learned, in case anybody else out there might be interested in these topics as well. And slowly over time, I’ve been able to build The New Happy, but it has been a very long term project I as I mentioned, I was working at LinkedIn and Product Marketing at the time, and then went to work for Arianna Huffington where I built out her learning function at her company, Thrive Global. And then a few years later, I finally decided that it was time to focus full time on The New Happy and I’ve been doing that ever since 2020. So now my job is getting to communicate and explain happiness to people and help them to learn how to find it in their lives.

Blake Schofield 5:04
I love that. We need so much more happiness in our lives. And I think as a society, especially in the United States, there’s so much perspective around, like how to be happy. But I think we have a lot of belief systems that actually stand in the way or go completely counter to that. So I’m excited to dive into that in a minute. But I would be remiss if I didn’t dive a little bit more into your story, because what I find is when we can see ourselves through other people’s stories, it helps to begin to build a map or an understanding of what’s possible for us. So it sounds like you like me, you know, grew up, you had this perspective about what you were going to do, you found yourself in this career, and there was something in that process for you that felt broken or caused enough disruption in your life that you are willing to start to challenge what you believe. Can you share a little bit about what that was? Because I find we all have some form of breakdown or tipping point or something that happens that causes us to create that change. And often we’re telling ourselves things, as that’s leading up to it, like, well, I should be happy. And I should be grateful. And all of these things that actually are the things stopping us from creating the change or prolonging our suffering. So would you mind sharing a little bit about what was that? What were you experiencing as you were in this career that you thought you would be happy in? And what was that progression, like for you, that then led to this change?

Stephanie Harrison 6:35
Yeah, I think that I had a series of events that helped me to realize that, but I would say that I definitely went kicking and screaming, it was not something I was open to at the time. And really, continually, I had to keep getting kind of hit in the face by things in order to actually come to the realization that I described. So for me, it manifested in a number of different ways. I developed all sorts of physical health issues that I had never had before, and could not find any sort of solution to them. No matter how hard I tried. I was experiencing major challenges with my mental health, having panic attacks, and feeling incredibly depressed, incredibly anxious all the time. Again, nothing I’d ever really helped, and ultimately feeling incredibly lonely as well, really disconnected from not just myself, but from the people in my life and from the broader world. And it was all of these things, finally, kind of providing me with these messages and understanding that slowly and eventually helped me to realize that perhaps the instructions I had been given were wrong. Perhaps it wasn’t something that was wrong with me, but that I was simply pursuing things that weren’t actually making me happy, because they’re, they’re never going to make me happy. But that realization took a few more years and a lot of study to be able to actually put into words at the time, I was mostly just concerned with, how do I find a way through this? And how do I get out of it so that I can stop kind of existing in this state of misery all the time?

Blake Schofield 8:04
You know, it’s an interesting thing, I think. I always say, life is always teaching you lessons. But question is, are you listening? And are you interpreting them correctly. And when you talk about physical body health issues, there is a mind body connection. But most of us don’t even understand that, that the things going on in our bodies are actually trying to help us see what we are not processing or dealing with the disconnection from yourself, the stress and anxiety, those are all things I went through, actually, for a really long time. And I think depending on how you grew up, or the work environment that you’re in, it’s very easy to normalize those things. You know, when I first started, my career was in human resources. And I was about four years into my career into my third company. And I remember the first three weeks of that job going home and crying every day. And I said to my husband at the time, I’ve made a huge mistake. But at the time, I got a 30 something percent pay increase, I had kept my commute. And I learned how to survive.

Blake Schofield 9:09
While I worked at that company, I was a top performer over and over and over again. But I got shingles. I had horrible knots in my shoulders that would never go away. It was constantly drained and exhausted, getting sick almost every month. And the people I was surrounded by were also suffering from all of these other health problems. And so at 28 when I had shingles, and I thought this is crazy, only old people get this disease, then I found other people that were my age at it, and it justified my experience. And I also grew up in an environment with two parents who worked a lot and I developed a lot of belief systems around you just have to sacrifice to have an important job or a job where you make a lot of money. And I wonder, does any of that also align with what you experienced, and why you allowed yourself to suffer for so long?

Stephanie Harrison 10:03
Yeah, absolutely. I think that the truth is, is that a lot of us will put up with a lot of misery for things that we think will make us happy. And that’s sort of the one of the core, the core underpinnings of this philosophy of happiness I’ve developed is that we can justify an intense amount of misery because we think that there’s going to be a pot of gold at the end. And unfortunately, it’s a ideology that is so harmful, not only to ourselves, but to the ways in which we internalize that and then perpetuate it in our culture, as well, just as you said, when you have parents or influences in your life, who communicate these messages to you, you end up believing them and then applying them in your own life. And I think that the difficulty here is that we need to be able to distinguish between the pain of doing something that is wrong for you, and the pain of doing things that is right for you. And sometimes it can be really hard to distinguish between those two, because happiness does not mean that you’re divorced from any hardship, or any suffering or any pain, it’s embedded within it. But there are certain types of pain that we can do better to avoid it, when we have the awareness that there are things in our lives that we were told, will make us happy that don’t actually do that. And so I completely, I completely relate to that. I think that it’s a unfortunately, very common experience for so many people out there.

Blake Schofield 11:25
And unfortunately, I think so many people never get out of that. And they work their whole lives doing things where they believe it’s the only path to make money, or the only way they can achieve the retirement or take care of their family or use their skills. And I see so much when I look at our society, so many health issues, so much dissatisfaction with people’s jobs, even when you look at the level of you know, thank God, it’s Friday drinking, that as a society we have so much of that is trying to reward ourselves for living lives that we really are not fulfilled or not happy in. And I’ve come to understand how pervasive that is. And also that it’s completely unnecessary. And it’s an amazing thing to be able to share that story and share that experience with people who may never have experienced anything different. When you say there’s a difference between the pain of doing things that are not going to make us happy. And maybe the pain of doing things that are in a path that will, how could somebody begin to learn to distinguish those things for themselves?

Stephanie Harrison 12:32
I think there’s a really important distinction that also gets missed a lot in our culture, which is that doing things that are difficult and challenging, is not a bad thing. And it’s actually in fact, a really good thing. And I think that we have come to equate ease with happiness and ease with the right thing. And I’m sure that you’ve experienced this many times in your life and in your career as well. But most of the most meaningful things that I have experienced in my life were very difficult in some ways, because that’s actually where meaning and purpose come from is from overcoming challenges and from learning to look at those experiences that we might not have asked for in a new and more distance perspective that helps us to understand how it helps us to grow or contribute to the world or otherwise become more of who we are capable of being.

Stephanie Harrison 13:18
And so the opportunity is identifying where can we avoid the pain and suffering that is not necessary, right, we don’t have to put ourselves for example, as we were just describing through a job that leads to health problems, if there are alternative jobs out there that would not bring about that pain and that suffering for you. If you have that opportunity, if you have that choice and the privilege to do so then that’s, that’s a choice that will help you and to support your well being. But just because something is hard doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad thing. Because without those experiences will never grow, we’ll never be able to reach our fullest potential. And so I think a lot of it really comes from learning how to distinguish between the goals that you set for yourself and the goals that you are adopting, because you were told that they were the right goals, you know, do you truly want to do this? Is it something that really matters to you that is making a difference for you, it’s connected to your values, has any sort of relationship to a greater purpose? If so, then the challenges that come along with it are probably a good thing for you, they’re probably going to help to support your well being in the long run. And once you are able to build that connection with yourself and understand those things, it becomes a lot easier to make those discernments I think.

Blake Schofield 14:36
I appreciate that. Yeah, I often talk about you know, a big part of the work that I do is really helping people get aligned with who they are and their higher purpose and I often say to people easily 95% of the stress, anxiety, friction, you have in your life is misalignment and can be removed. Easily. I consistently seen that, I’ve done that in my life. I’ve done that for many of my clients. And I believe very much and live a life of ease. But with that ease, comes challenges, comes the ability to grow, and has come and increased capacity to challenge how I view the world, and give myself the challenges that pushed me to grow. And I think that as a society, we have not been taught how to experience the entire rainbow of emotions. And so we avoid anything that feels painful in any way, shape, or form. And to your point, what I’ve really come to see is you can’t have joy without pain, but we don’t have to suffer, we are the ones that create that suffering, the pain, just like the pain in your body was redirecting you. But when you don’t actually get to the root cause of that pain, it creates a lot of suffering, years of physical pain, just like I had, or you know, going to work every day feeling trapped in a job that you don’t want to do, because you think the only way. And so I love the discussion that we’re having around this because I think that one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this is that almost everything in your life, you have the ability to create or change. And that changes the game in almost every way possible.

Blake Schofield 16:16
And I think most people don’t believe that. I certainly didn’t. I grew up and was told that in order to be successful, you must be this way, you must look this way, you must make these choices. This is the only way that you can make X amount of income. This is what it needs to look like to be a good parent, this is what it looks like to be a good daughter. And what I’ve really come to understand is almost all of that was someone else’s belief systems or conditioning, and the ability to really start to learn to challenge or ask questions around what I believe and what’s possible, change the game for me in almost every way possible.

Stephanie Harrison 16:53
That’s amazing.

Blake Schofield 16:54
And it sounds similar in so many ways to your experience. So you go through, you know, difficult experience like I did you begin to realize this job, this career path, these things I thought would make me happier actually making me sick. You choose to go back to school and really spend time learning about the things that have held you back really is what I hear. And then you’ve taken that work in the same way I have to be able to help other people. If you were to just be sharing with the audience today, the two or three things that you feel like are most meaningful that people either misunderstand, or need to know in order to create more happiness in their lives. What would those be?

Stephanie Harrison 17:37
It’s such a great question. I think the first one is the idea that happiness is a destination that you can reach some place where you’ll be able to feel eternally joyful all the time. I think that while we can recognize when we say it out loud, like that, you know, Oh, what a juvenile idea, or That’s so silly. I think that unfortunately, we still do hold on to that in our, in our deepest being, this feeling that if I can just get all the pieces together, if I can just figure out everything and get my to do list done, and get this goal achieved and all that then one day, I’ll be happy. And I think that the more that we can let go of that idea. And embrace the fact that there’s no destination that we’re supposed to reach here, or we’re simply just supposed to have our experiences and learn from them and try and find the joy that we can along the way and make a difference as we go, the more peace that it brings. So that would be one thing.

Stephanie Harrison 18:33
The second, I would say is that we think that happiness is a solo endeavor. And really, it’s a collective one. So the philosophy of happiness that I developed is grounded in the idea that true happiness comes from helping other people. And the idea that you can simply achieve happiness for your own self, through the goals that you set for yourself or through what you purchase, through what the way that you live. It’s ultimately not a complete understanding of it. And we are social beings who rely upon each other for absolutely everything. And that also includes our own happiness.

Stephanie Harrison 19:08
And I think the third would be that, we also need to realize that, as you said, we don’t have an understanding, a full understanding of all of our, all of our emotions, and what it means to embrace all of them. And I think that when people think about being happy, they think of just this one narrow emotion, right? It’s similar to the idea of a destination. But I think that this nuance is so important that it just don’t call out and you can have a happy life and still feel sad. You can have a happy life and still feel angry, you can have a happy life and still feel lonely. And that embrace of all of your feelings is essential for a life of happiness. And it’s not about this one snapshot of a moment. It’s about embracing the full the full spectrum of emotions.

Blake Schofield 19:54
I love that this idea that you talked about about the power of the collective, I think is so important. And I also think it’s very easily misinterpreted in our society. Especially for people who tend to be more empathetic or tend to really want to help people. How would you, I guess I’ll share with you what I see and I’m interested in, how do you reconcile that or help people along the way to understand this. What I have seen and understood in many cases is that, I’ll tie it back to the Bible, right, Love your neighbor as yourself. Most of us as a society are really focused externally, in almost every way, shape, and form and believe that, if we just help enough people will feel great. What I’ve consistently seen, though, is often that helping other peoples and avoidance of giving ourselves the things that we need. So how do you reconcile doing the personal work, to become whole, to remove the belief systems or conditioning or trauma that’s standing in the way of personal happiness, alongside the importance of community and connection and being able to help others?

Stephanie Harrison 21:06
I think that there’s one distinction that I would probably make up front, which is that if you are somebody who is going through severe trauma, that has really suffered from something major, then of course, it’s really important to prioritize your own healing and learn how to process what you went through, and to be able to develop the tools and the skills to move forward. That being said, I think that this is a, ultimately I believe it’s a false binary, because we are not ever in a position where we’re completely isolated from the world, you know, even even monastics are a part of a community and the community that they are a part of, is a key component of their spiritual growth and development. And it’s through giving to the other people in their community that they further their own, their own spiritual personal growth. And the same is true for us, we are all embedded in a community right now. So there’s actually no way to separate ourselves from other people, both on that communal level, but also on a very basic physiological level, as well. And so the idea that you have to heal yourself before you can help others or that you can’t keep helping others while you heal yourself, I reject that idea. Because I think that it simplifies things in a way that actually hurts us at the end of the day. So I know that that’s perhaps quite contrary to a lot of the ways that we talk about these concepts right now. But I think that the more that we can embrace our connectedness and our common humanity, the more that we will be able to find the personal healing that we’re looking for. And the same is true in the other direction. So it’s not something where you have to prioritize one or the other, you can do both. And in fact, they’re mutually beneficial and supportive of one another.

Blake Schofield 22:56
Thank you for that. Yeah, I completely agree they’re mutually beneficial, and absolutely linked to one another. I would just say, I often see that people very heavily overweight, taking care of other people at massive detriment to themselves. And what I have really learned through this journey personally and in my work with my clients is when you have belief systems or things that are in your way, you project those belief systems into your world, and you recreate that exact same story over and over and over again. And so unless you become aware of those, or you put yourself in circumstances or environments that are entirely different than challenge your perspective, you will just continue to have the same things repeat. And say life is always teaching lessons, and you’ll keep getting the lesson until you learn it. And it’s an interesting thing talking about trauma, it’s so a term a lot of people don’t like to talk about it. And I think it’s really misunderstood. And I’ll just share it in this way. I believe that almost everyone has trauma. Because all trauma is, is having gone through an experience where emotionally or energetically, it was too difficult for you at the time to fully process.

Blake Schofield 24:10
And if you look at our society as a whole, where especially in the United States, we tell kids to suck it up, don’t cry, move on, especially if you’re a man for sure. And we don’t teach our children to trust their bodies or their intuition. And as children, just the way our brains are formed, you know, anytime there’s a divorce or a major shift or a moment that happens that we don’t know how to process that gets actually embedded as trauma in our lives. And I really didn’t understand this concept a number of years ago, and it’s become so blatantly aware to me today. How many of us are carrying not just the conditioning of what society and our parents taught us should be the way, but we’ve all had experiences where we didn’t process them. And then those completely cloud our view of life. And we keep recreating circumstances that keep putting us in those scenarios until we change. And so there’s this beautiful, symbiotic relationship to your point when you’re in environments with people who are healthy, who support your growth, who challenge you to see the world differently, that that healing process can begin. And also as you heal, you can begin to change the environment and the people and the circumstances of what you’ve left lead with before.

Blake Schofield 25:36
But often, if we’re unaware of this, we continue just to repeat and surround ourselves by the same people with the same circumstances in the same scenarios. And we believe that’s the only way. And I think, like I said, I can look at my journey and my experience and realize, well, of course, I stayed. I was in corporate retail for 18 years, at least a decade of those I was desperately trying to figure out what else I could do with my stone, all while getting more and more sick, all while I mean, 18 years, I worked at five different companies and I moved cross country multiple times. But the people I was surrounded by had the same belief systems, the same conditioning that I did. And so I couldn’t see a different way out. And it wasn’t until I got to my burnout moment, when I said no more, that I began to make different changes and and put myself in different environments where people began to show me a different way of living. There is a beautiful, we are all in community. Even when you feel like you’re alone, I promise you, you aren’t, it’s probably because you’re isolating yourself. And you believe that the circumstances you’re dealing with, you’re the only one and I have found over and over again, that to not be true. And that absolutely being able to give to others can be one of the greatest boost. But I often find those who need the most are giving far more to others and giving very little to themselves. And that balance has got to be there in order for like, from what I’ve seen true fulfillment, true happiness, true health.

Stephanie Harrison 27:07
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for sharing. It’s really, really amazing to hear about that.

Blake Schofield 27:13
Thank you for allowing me to share that. This has been so much fun to chat about. So you tell me a little bit about New Happy and what you’ve got going on there and how the audience can learn more about the work that you’ve done and what you’ve learned to be happier in their lives.

Stephanie Harrison 27:26
Oh, yeah, of course. So my company is called The New Happy. And we produce content and educational resources and other tools for people to help them to find happiness in their daily lives. And so do that in a number of different ways. Through our artwork, which is available on Instagram, and all of their platforms. Through different tools, we have a daily newsletter, a daily podcast, all sorts of fun ways. So depending on how you like to learn, how you like to process information, we try to meet you wherever you are. And I also have a book coming out where I explain the full Science of Happiness and the philosophy that I have developed. So really just simply seeking to find ways to help people to find a little bit more joy than their days to learn how to cope with their emotions in more meaningful ways and to tap into their purpose and make a difference in the world.

Blake Schofield 28:11
I love it so much. And it’s funny, as you were talking to that, I was like, Oh, I have a new question for you. Which is sometimes the way my brain goes. I believe and I’ve seen that as we as individuals start to challenge and push the view points that we’ve had about what’s possible for our lives. And I think that happens is you start to do some of the work that you, you are helping people with, it often can be met with some challenges with maybe some of personal relationships, or the people around you who don’t understand some of the shifts or changes that you’re making. Have you actually experienced any of that and or have experience with that? And if so, what advice would you give to people who are really looking to better themselves who may be facing some of that friction or challenges? They’re making those changes?

Stephanie Harrison 28:59
Yeah, it’s such a great question. I think that as you said, it’s it’s almost inevitable. And going back to a little bit about what you described about the patterns that we get stuck in, you know, it’s just human nature to get stuck in patterns that has nothing to do with you being bad or being flawed. It’s just how we’re designed, you know, we want to revert to our simple way of being, that we know is reliable and will keep us safe. And so those patterns can also extend relationally as well. And you end up getting caught in these dynamics that eventually you might discover are no longer serving you. And so when one person makes a change in that relationship, then obviously the other person can have reactions where they feel like you’re disrupting their safety or what matters to them or getting in the way of their values. And so I think that if I was advising somebody who was in that situation, I think I would counsel that It’s really important to listen to what you feel is right on the inside. You know, it’s such a cliche, right, follow your heart, but it’s a cliche for a reason, because it’s true, you know, you’re the only person who knows what’s best for you, because you’re the only person who has the internal feedback system of your emotions and your feelings to be able to help guide you. So no one can do that for you, which means that you have to take responsibility for what you are learning about the choices that you’re making, and how they are affecting you and your well being.

Stephanie Harrison 30:18
And I think that it can be very difficult when you’re getting all these signals that you should stay the same, you should stay in one place, you don’t need to do that anymore. Those kinds of things. And in those moments, having a really strong anchor of knowing that this is what’s going to be right for me, even if it has disruption in my life, even if it creates potential conflict or difficult conversations, you know, those are all things that you can get through, you know, anyone who has lived their lives is strong enough to get through this level of discomfort, that change will inevitably bring. But there’s no real life without change, there’s no real opportunity to experience the joy and the happiness that you’re looking for. And the difficult thing is really, I think most of the time harnessing the courage to take the first step, and finding out what that step should be. And then staying true to it, as you go. And so, if you are getting this kind of feedback from people, I would just recommend that you remember the greater why behind why you’re doing this, what is it that you’re hoping to move towards? Is it greater peace for yourself? Is it the ability to wake up in the morning and feel a sense of joy? Is it the feeling of going to bed at night and feeling like you’ve made a difference in the world, you know, holding on to something that’s concrete that feels really true for you can almost act like an anchor as you’re going through this stormy sea of disruption.

Blake Schofield 31:41
So much goodness and what you shared and truth in that. And you know, I often talk about the importance of attuning to and connecting to your own inner compass. Because I have found exactly what you have said to be true is that when you can truly strip away the conditioning, the belief systems, all the stuff that’s been standing in your way and get to the core of who you really are and what you really need to be fulfilled, only you know those things. And for those of us who may have grown up in more black and white or very heavily conditioned households or societies, we may have been taught that there’s one way to do things, there’s a correct way and a wrong way. And one of the biggest things I would add to what you shared that I’ve learned is almost all of life is opinion based. And when you can begin to realize that there is no should, there’s just an opinion based on values, based on experiences. And there isn’t a right or wrong, there’s a what’s right for me. And when I began to understand that, that so many of us are looking for a binary, this is the right choice. And this is the right way to do things. And we feel so restricted, because we haven’t really learned how to listen to ourselves and understand what we need. And also understand that when somebody else doesn’t like what we need, that it may very well be because of their fears, or their conditioning, or whatever they’re being triggered by. And that their opinions are just that, their opinions, their experiences, and what they would choose not necessarily what you should choose for yourself based on what you need, and want and desire. And when you can begin to see the world in that way. There’s so much freedom in that.

Stephanie Harrison 33:34
Yeah, it’s so beautifully said I couldn’t agree more.

Blake Schofield 33:39
Well, it’s been such a pleasure, Stephanie, I really appreciate you. I’d love to just sort of round out by saying is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have? Or just anything that’s on your heart that you want to share, before we wrap up?

Stephanie Harrison 33:51
No, you’ve asked such beautiful questions, I’m so grateful to have the chance to engage with you in this conversation. So no, I’m, I’m just, I’m just very thankful to you.

Blake Schofield 34:01
Well, thank you, thank you for the work that you are putting out in this world. There is, you know, I look often at where we are as a society. And we have so many challenges from a mental health perspective. And I believe that we’re really at a place in time, where true shifts can really happen as a society to help solve a lot of the issues that we’re having around, feeling a lack of fulfillment, or feeling separated from one another, or feeling like we don’t have the power to create the lives that we want. And so your personal journey to finding your own happiness walking away from the things that you were told, or what you should do, to really get at the heart of what you, from an inner compass, know is right for you is, is a beautiful begin to everybody else. And I just appreciate your work. Because those of us who have created this type of change in our lives are able to show other people what’s truly possible when you learn how to listen to yourself and make decisions from a place of expansiveness versus fear.

Stephanie Harrison 35:07
Yes. Thank you. That means so much to me.

Blake Schofield 35:11
Absolutely. All right. So for those of you listening, thank you again for joining us. I hope that you’ve taken at least one nugget here today that you can take and apply to your life to become even happier and have more fulfillment and ease in your life. Until next time, have a great one.