Trying to find happiness in external things and situations is as fruitless as trying to generate beauty from external things such as makeup, jewelry and clothes. External versions are an add-on or adornments at best, but not the source. Your happiness-like your authentically unique beauty-resides in your powerful inner storehouse. Once you realize this and begin to use the tools inside of you to cultivate happiness it will beam out of you like warm, vibrant rays from the sun for all to feel and delight in.
Have you ever seen the beauty in a very unconventionally pretty woman? I know of women in their 80’s who are beautiful, Louise L Hay for one. These people, like polished diamonds, glow with confidence, they speak and act with authenticity, warmth and engagement, with a crisp charisma, a twinkle in the eyes, an air of deep peace with the world. Happiness too is manufactured internally and like beauty takes self care to radiate out into the outer physical world and reflect back to you. The way you generate happiness probably won’t be the same as me, or the next person, but it typically arises from things like engaging in your passion, meditation, quiet time with yourself, praying, visualizing, spending time in gratitude, reading or watching material that guides you to unlock more of your hidden potential.
Celebrities often teach us that happiness is not externally gained. Money, fame, their public image and all of its by-products oftentimes seem to distract them from their internal world, moving them further and further away from who they really are. As Eckhart Tolle says,
“Most of the people who are in positions of power in the world, such as politicians, TV personalities, business as well as religious leaders, are completely identified with their role. They may be considered VIPs, but they are no more than unconscious players in the egoic game, a game that looks so important yet ultimately is devoid of true purpose.” (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, page 107)
Look into their eyes, the windows of their soul, and there you’ll see, perhaps through the mask of makeup, that their eyes are dull, flat, maybe lost. In some celebrity stories, their actions become more and more erratic as they operate from a superficial and counterfeit version of themselves, that of public figure, and not of spiritual being having a human experience. They become internally dis-eased and yearning for true purpose as their spiritual nature is completely ignored.
(Of course there are many gorgeous exceptions including Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carrey and will.i.am).
Sometimes I see this happening in me too. And it always reminds me that its not what you’re doing that determines your happiness but how you do it. I recall Eckhart Tolle saying in ‘A New Earth’ that it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, its what you bring to the job that counts. For instance, if you are a waiter and attend tables with complete presence and engagement, your consciousness centered on serving the customers on your tables to the best of your ability, than you will not only provide remarkable service but feel true satisfaction because of it. As Eckhart tells us, happiness comes from not resisting the present moment but by embracing what is at this present time. So much of the time we delay our happiness until we have a ‘better’ job, more money, the kids are off to college, we have a romantic partner, the weekend, or whatever your external version might look like.
“The ego doesn’t know that your only opportunity for peace is now.” (Eckhart Tolle, ‘A New Earth,’ page 115)
During the weekdays I often feel happier, laced with a deep-seated sense of peace, despite the fact that I’m not actually doing anything externally to provoke this feeling. For instance, yesterday I felt as if I dipped sacredly in and out of my inner pool of unshakeable contentment as I waded through piles of laundry, housework and carted the kids from place to place. Why? Because I took the time inbetween to generate happiness from within; I went to a kundilini yoga class, repeated positive affirmations in the shower, meditated, gave thanks and noted simple pleasures, revisited my visualization statement (what my future ideally looks like), exercised, nourished my body consciously with foods stuffed with life force and grown under the sun, and I spent time reflecting outside, reading inspiring material.
Often at the weekend I am doing fabulous things; exploring Florida, swimming in the Springs, seeing friends and family, indulging in good food and wine. But the difference is; too frequently I’m negating what I know I need to do in order to generate that raw inner happiness from within. I might skip my workout, meditation or not have a child-free moment. So although the external looks delightful and a sure-fire recipe for happiness, the inner me is being neglected. And that, my friend, is where the real engine of happiness resides.
If we have a takeaway for today it is to begin to examine your own life and maybe you’ll catch glimpses of this. You might be able to see that its what you bring to a situation, rather than the situation itself, that is the portal to your happiness. The exact same moment can generate two entirely different reactions, dependent on what you bring to it: For instance holding a loved-one with presence can provoke internal fireworks of gratitude. Yet on another day that same hug from the same loved-one is listless and born out of formality or habit, as your mind races to get your body to the next seemingly more important thing on your to-do list. Make no mistake that your loved-one, as a vibrational/energetic being like you, will instinctively feel the difference too.
The wonderful news with this is…your happiness is thus in your very own hands: Not the situations.
“To create the life of your dreams, the time has come for you to love You. Focus on Your joy. Do all the things that make You feel good. Love You, inside and out. Everything will change in your life, when you change the inside of you.” (Rhonda Byrne, author of ‘The Secret’).