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Rewiring their brains

Sold-out Activating Happy conference draws rave reviews for organizer Sandi Serling

SUBMITTED PHOTO: DANIELLE TOWNE - Attendees learned how to rewire their brains at the sold-out Activating Happy conference in Lake Oswego last month.Sandi Serling is selling happiness — and she’s finding lots of customers.

“I had no idea how it would be received,” Serling says of the Activating Happy conference she brought to Lake Oswego last month. “I asked myself, ‘Would anyone show up for my party?’”

The answer: The event at the Lakewood Center for the Arts sold all of its 250 tickets and latecomers filled the aisles. When hundreds of beach balls dropped from the ceiling, the scene looked like something from a rollicking political convention.

Everything at the conference was designed to make people happy, from the presentations by eight speakers skilled in the art of achieving happiness to the candy bars, giant chocolate chip cookies and Love Bottles. People were smiling, laughing and jumping up and down in the aisles.

And that made Serling very happy.

“It was so joyful being at a place where everyone was focused on being happy,” she says. “It was a very, very powerful atmosphere. Everyone was so excited and energized. They were like a bunch of young kids.”

Activating Happy happened because Serling made it her personal goal to share what had worked so well for her.

By all appearances, she was a happy, successful, fulfilled woman, but she had been plagued by anxiety since childhood. The feelings became too difficult to bear four years ago, when her parents died within a few weeks of each other.

Then Serling met brain therapist and author Brad Pendergraft, who has worked for more than 20 years as a “passionate teacher and student of practical neuroscience." Known as “Brain Coach Brad,” Pendergraft says it’s possible to make the brain work to heal us rather than hurt us, and he showed Serling how to gain control over her own mind.

It not only worked for Serling, but also inspired her to create Activating Happy, where Pendergraft and others could teach people how to “rewire their brains” and tap into the power to achieve happiness that is already within them.

She has been deluged with positive reactions from people who attended the conference. “I feel like I’m witnessing history,” one attendee told her. “The conference has me transfixed and transformed. I am not worthy (except I am).”

“I found people who were on their last legs,” Serling says. “They told me, ‘I’m so negative.’ Everyone there was given at least a dozen strategies to implement what is best for them. For me, seeing that room of people, I could not have felt more gratitude.”

Serling says she’s now contemplating her next steps.

“People are telling me, ‘You need to do this at the Rose Garden. You need to do this nationally,’” Serling says. “I’m going to do something bigger for sure. But right now, I’m just going to enjoy this day, to soak it all in, to breathe it all in.

“I’m still just so happy!”

For more about Activating Happy, go to www.activatinghappy.com.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com.


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