My name is Anne-Claire Szubaniska, and I am the author of the inspirational novel, "Mystic and the Secret of Happiness".
I am originally from a small town in France called Cambrai. But after 18 years of moving around between Canada and the United States, I settled down near Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
My childhood was a painful experience but my mother’s parents, Papi and Miman, showed me the way to happiness. They successfully made me feel loved, worthy of love from others and my heart fluttered with joy every second I spent with them.
But when I went through my teen years, I lost my ability to surrender to their pure love. I dwelled on the unhappy events of my childhood, becoming deeply depressed and sad—and years later falling into anorexia.
In 2010, I came upon my first self-help book. I simply couldn’t stop reading. It was like being reminded of something long forgotten: “We can each calm our mind and be happy—no matter what.”
I wasn’t happy yet. But for the first time in many years, the spark of life was ignited in me again.
I read many other books of this kind and attended tons of workshops. I discovered that many, like me, were suffering emotionally, and even realized that one did not need to have survived a rough childhood to be in pain. I also met people who had been through the worst, most unimaginable traumas, but had found a way to let the negativity go and be happy. They inspired me to keep practicing and keep my hope alive, until one day, while meditating, I suddenly experienced the joyful flutters in my heart again--this beautiful ticklish emotion of joy I had only felt with my grandparents as a young child.
It was a miracle!
The happy aliveness my grandparents had helped me experience was still within me.
I understood that this happy energy had and would always be with me, even with my grandparents no longer around. They had shown me the way.
I wanted to breathe this happiness forever. And now I was unstoppable.
Later, as I was getting better at reaching my joy within, I felt an intense impulse to share what I had learned, witnessed, and still practice every day to be happier. At the same moment, a friend created an amazing drawing of an elephant sitting on a bench in companionship with a cat.
Thus, "Mystic and the Secret of Happiness" was born...