We Choose to Be happy

“Remember a moment when you were not in your own head, but you were in your heart…and you just cared about people, just because you just CARED, not because they owed you something or because they can do something for you in return.”

Elliot LaRue- Daybreaker



A warm, breezy July morning, it’s dark outside, the city is at its most quiet. (if that is even possible for a city that never sleeps). I wake up at 3.30am, put on my outfit and glitter, and meet my fellow mischief makers, to set up for what has been my 30th party since I first attended two years ago in June of 2015. We’re all half asleep but have managed to get our spirits and our bodies up, with as much coffee and willpower as possible. I have written about Daybreaker before, but I felt the need this time to pay homage to this incredible group of people who have been my family, my support, my embrace in one of the most difficult, challenging and trying years of my life.


I wrote about this incredible phenomenon of early morning sober dance parties in October of 2015, and I’ve been attending Daybreaker ever since. What got me going in the first place, and what keeps me coming back is a sense of joy, community and family that I have not found anywhere else in New York. My yoga family has always been there for me, and over the years we have grown together in ways that I could never have imagined, yet this crew of incredible soul quenching individuals, is beyond anything I would have imagined when I walked into club Cielo on that beautiful early summer morning. I was cautious, I was curious and I didn’t fully believe that such a giving, warm, honest, and loving community could exist. A dear friend took me to what was to be the beginning of a journey with people who now have become my clan.


Their stories are part of the fabric of our lives, our sorrows and our joys are woven into our everyday existence, and we all collectively share, our goals and our dreams on a daily basis. We are witnesses to a birth of a new way of thinking; a choice to be happy and to spread that happiness and joy wherever we may be.

Trust me its not easy,  and we all do it. There are times when we fall into our petty, dark, ways and need someone to pull us out of that. Those are the people I turn to again and again for that ultimate line of support. I remember when I needed to be pulled out of that sadness just a few days after my life had been turned upside down four months ago. It was a cold morning on March 22nd, and I almost didn’t go, but I picked myself up and went to the Daybreaker event held at Eataly downtown that morning overlooking the 9/11 memorial and just  like a phoenix I felt reborn.  

In times of need you go to those who can give you the most joy. My crew, grabbed me by the hand, embraced me, and told me to stand up, be strong, and smile hard till I believed it again. If I needed anything they would be there, no questions asked. They showed up for me each and every day from that day on, and we created an unbreakable bond. On this day four months later, they smiled, they laughed, they cried, they cheered with me because today I’m filled with joy and gratitude to be free, alive, healthy and part this family that has been there for me each and every day.

We danced with reckless abandon and let the rhythm take us even higher.


We know each other, we feel each other, we understand each other, and we love one another. Now that a new chapter in my life is about to begin, they are there for me, supporting me in my new found joy.

Our ritual of coming together each morning consists of giving thanks, and realizing the gift that our community is stronger than any hate and darkness we have encountered. We share a bond that is strengthened by our convictions and our belief in each other. This bond shows us that we can love, even if we disagree, we can share in joy even though we come from different parts of the world, and different backgrounds, and we can connect even though we don’t see each other everyday.

Radha Agrawal creator of Daybreaker

Audio Recording of our gathering and our mantra during Daybreaker on July 12th 2017

I walked to work this morning with a smile on my face, and deep joy that I get from sharing and belonging to this incredible community.  I was exhausted and happy after dancing my ass off in front of the Oculus building, a site of such historical, emotional and traumatic history for New York City.  I was 23 when the twin towers went down, I was living in London at the time, and felt my heart sink to utter despair for all those who I knew lived, loved and hurt for this city. Now,  a site of so much sorrow has become a place of unity, laughter and joy all in the same breath. New York will forever be scarred, but through those scars new love, new community, and new compassion are born.


Our mission is to be there for each other, our purpose is to spread happiness, our determination is to support our community, and build lasting connections. #sayyes.

Thank you Radha Agrawal , for you have given me and all of us a home, a family and a reason to smile every day.

Thank you Elliot La Rue for your wisdom, your voice, beauty and incredible embrace. You are always there when we need it the most.

But most of all thank you to my fellow mischief makers who are the real heroes. They embrace the values, and beliefs that make us a family, a community and a movement.

With love and mischief,




Published by

Eleana Kouneli

A former dancer, current yoga teacher, writer, curious traveler and wild soul. My fuel and desire is to learn from others and spread healing and joy as I go. Follow my adventures and see where they lead you! All the stories are true, all the poems are real and all the writing is mine. Enjoy

6 thoughts on “We Choose to Be happy”

  1. Θαυμάσια αφήγηση, εξαιρετικές οι φωτογραφίες. Συναρπαστή η ιδέα των συναθροίσεων. Αν κάποια μέρα συναντηθούμε, θέλω να μου αναλύσεις την δυναμική που έλκει τα μέλη της ομάδας.


  2. Eleana,

    You shine so bright. Thank you for being a part of this community, we love every fiber of you.

    With love & mischief,


  3. Ελεάνα μου τι ωραία που περιέγραψες την κοινότητά σας!! Είναι υπέροχο να εχεις δίπλα σου τόσο γενναιόδωρους ανθρώπους! σε φιλώ

    Liked by 1 person

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