“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Happiness can seem like a butterfly, fluttering around our head, impossible to cup and hold in our hands long enough to draw to our heart. In our quest to capture happiness, we often get so distracted with the process that we cause it to evase us entirely.
Take my life; once both my young children reached school age I snapped back into career mode: time to earn some money! Writing, I dreamed, would be the steamtrain to my destination of ultimate happiness. Along with millions of others on this planet, I desired to make a living from my pen (or keyboard:-)
But, as we discussed in our post a few weeks back, dad’s death brought me to a whole new perspective. Now I’m just enjoying writing for… writings sake. Its enough. It really is. The process of writing infuses me with joy. I get to write what I want, when I want. If I had a publisher or a boss involved, I wouldn’t have that luxury. Punching out reams of writing for deadlines is not for now. And I’m done wrangling my schedule to make something happen when I trust divine timing has it covered. Letting go has afforded me this beautiful sense of peace. What I write comes from my heart and is not engineered from a place of wanting to please others so inturn I can gain something material. I have my nineteen subscribers-you know who you are- and my heart bursts with gratitude for each and every one of you. I slap my soul onto a post page once a week, I try to help others with it, and that’s good enough for me. It gives me purpose and through purpose, happiness arrives.
The divine dichotomy is we have to rustle up dreams in our conscious mind to guide our subconscious. But then we have to do a challenging thing: we have to let those desires unfurl like a blooming flower under the right conditions. Our job is to provide those right conditions as best we can and then to trust in divine timing. Some say ‘let go and let God.’
Wise sages echo that happiness is not a destination but rather a state of beingness. So how do we enter into a state of happiness?
1) Gratitude. It is the hallmark of happiness. As the ancient Chinese Tao Te Ching says, we are all created equal in that we have sun, water and sources of food from this resplendent earth. We all have things to feel grateful for. Wake up and sink your mind into five things you have which make your heart sing. Go to sleep musing on what made your day extra special. Make it a daily habit. I have found gratitude the most powerful way to happiness, especially living in the US where a ‘keeping up with the Jones’ culture permeates.
2) Look at what you do for a living. Does it bring you joy? Ask yourself: is a job you don’t enjoy but brings financial rewards so that you can then have the money to do what makes you happy the easiest route to happiness?! (Complicated even to write, lest do:-) Or is earning less but being engaged in happiness whilst at ‘work’ a better way? This wisdom comes not from me, but from the renowned non-physical highly evolved spiritual teachers called Abraham Hicks…
3) How do you spend you free time? If you do things that you love, drop into gratitude whilst you’re in them; furl up in a sofa and send thanks to the makers of the TV show you love so much. If you’re playing a sport, thank God/the Universe or Life itself for your physical capability to do so. If you’re not doing what you love in your free time, why not?
4) Look to the childhood You, unfettered by our adult walls of I can’t do that. What did you love to do as a child? Our spirits are forerunners in our youth and the whims of our juvenile hearts are direct whispers from our soul. Ask also; what would my childhood me think of me now? Would s/he approve? Bruce Willis’s movie ‘The Kid’ illustrates this point so poignantly.
5) Ultimately, happiness is an inside job. Make time for reflection, cultivate an inward practice whether that be through yoga, meditation, prayer, journal writing or a self development book. After months of not getting enough of this, I can lay my hand over my heart in deepest sincerity and assure you how pivotal this is to your happiness. Like a diligent gardener, we must tend to these sources of joy, otherwise they simply wilt and die.
Let happiness be your life’s guiding light, not money, not ‘success.’ Happiness, anyway, according to the law of attraction will breed furthermore positive circumstances to you, no doubt including prosperity and abundance.
Remember; although seeking happiness is humanity’s shared purpose, your particular version of happiness may very well look quite different from your neighbors. Except that. Allow that. Celebrate it.
If you can peer into your life as it is right now and feel happiness, congratulations! You’re living your purpose. You’ve ‘made it.’ There’s nowhere to go and nothing to do but revel in this glory. Sadly, many of us only appreciate the happiness we’ve cultivated once we’re eye to eye with death.
Thank you for reading. You’re responsible for a chunk of my happiness because of it:-) Go out this Friday and into the weekend determined to live inside your joy.