Are you happy?
What makes you happy?
How does happiness feel?
I am studying Meditation Teaching and Holistic Counselling, and this week, part of the assignment was to do a survey on happiness, and it has really got me contemplating.
Everyone I surveyed when asked to rate how important happiness was to them rated it a 10 – very important. Hardly surprising. I think it is safe to say that except for a miserable few who enjoy feeling unhappy, we all want to be happy. Some people may say they want a lot of money or a world trip or a loving relationship and that is what motivates them, however if questioned closely, the end result is that they believe it will make them happy.
We all want to be happy right?
So how much effort do you put in each day to be happy? You see, happiness is a choice.
Our mind likes to dwell in the future or the past, that’s where most of us live unfortunately, and it will tell us that if we had this or that, then we will be happy. Plus we are bombarded with ads on the media that are designed to convince us we will be happy if we buy their product. We have been conditioned to believe that happiness depends on our external circumstances being favourable, when in actual fact, it is our internal environment which is responsible for our happiness.
The problem is, the conditioned mind is rarely happy for long. It is very good at seeing what is wrong about a situation, what is lacking, what other people are doing that isn’t right. It tends to be quite critical, directing the criticism both externally and internally, and it likes worry and anxiety because it strengthens itself through constant chatter. What if…. Why…..If only….How could they…..
I spent many years of my life anxious and worrying. If you don’t already know, and lucky you if you don’t, it is quite hard to be happy when your mind is full of anxiety. Your external circumstances may be well nigh perfect, and yet you are unable to really appreciate them, have gratitude and feel happy. Because something may go wrong, or something isn’t right, or what will people think or, or, or….the list goes on.
But, good news! You don’t need a new boat, or good health, or more money or be more popular to be happy.
The mind is the source of all unhappiness and the source of all happiness.
So drop the thought that something outside of yourself needs to happen for you to be completely happy because it simply isn’t true. Happiness is our birthright. The capacity for happiness is right there within us, it is just that our mind is obscuring it by putting conditions on it or burying it beneath a mountain of worries.
Do you know how to be happy 99% of the time?
It is actually simple.
Become aware of your thoughts, know what you are thinking at any given time and as A Course in Miracles says: “choose only love, for that is what you are”.
In every situation, ask, “what would love do?”, then do that. You see, the basis of all feeling, reaction or action is either love or fear. If it is negative it is fear based, if it is positive it is love based.
So choose only love, and this needs to begin with you. Choose to love yourself and treat yourself lovingly.
Love your mind by choosing only loving thoughts (hint: worrying isn’t loving thoughts),
Love your body by looking after it. Showing gratitude – if you are reading this, you are still alive.
Love your spirit by choosing love not fear.
It isn’t selfishness, because when you do this, love permeates outwards to others… you share the love. Being Love brings us and the world, happiness. It feels good because that is what we are, our true nature is Love.
Love yourself and be in love with life and happiness will follow as night follows day.