“The moment you move out of the way, you make room for the miracle to take place.”
~Dr. Barbara King
The number one desire for most people on this planet is to be happy. And I don’t mean the silly-smile-on-your-face version. True happiness is a deep sense of well being, the capability of abiding in a state of ease and peace that is present no matter what. Happiness is a way of being that can permeate every moment of your life.
But for most of us, happiness seems to be elusive. Instead of simply being happy, we play out conditioned habits that distort our thoughts and bring drama and disappointment to our lives.
If you want to be happy – reliably, completely happy – then you need to see in great detail how your thought patterns and emotions make you unhappy. When you stop feeding unhappiness, you will realize a simple fact: you always have the option of being happy.
Are you ready to get serious about happiness? Then consider these 10 life-changing facts. Contemplate them and apply them diligently to your own inner experience. You will know the happiness you long for.
1. Enduring happiness is possible. This is the essential starting point. You can have faith that enduring happiness is possible. How do I know?
I used to live with lots of inner struggles, wondering why I couldn’t be happy. Years ago, I heard about the possibility of ending suffering. I didn’t know how to achieve it, but I was set on fire to find out.
Now I know. If you make the choice to live a conscious life in every moment and investigate how you get in your own way, enduring happiness is possible.
2. You need to get serious about happiness. Moments of happiness may appear, but if you want to be truly, deeply happy, you need to get down to serious business. The power of habits is strong, so happiness takes a great willingness to be aware.
Make the commitment to happiness, keep it alive in every moment, and you will see results. Guaranteed.
3. If you rely on unreliable objects for your happiness, you will not end up happy. What is an unreliable object? A person, a situation, the future, a house, possessions, money, status. None of these can offer you a guarantee of happiness because they are outside your control.
And if you place your happiness in the hands of something you don’t control, you have set yourself up for disappointment.
Don’t look for happiness in anything outside yourself. Instead, turn your attention inside. Shed the habits and patterns that keep you unhappy, and you will discover the wellspring of happiness that is always here, unrelated to any objects or circumstances.
4. If you want to be happy, look at how you make yourself unhappy. Happiness is your true nature. It is here, always available, but is masked by your conditioning. If you want to know happiness, these automatic habits and patterns need to be untangled.
Don’t wait for happiness to miraculously appear in your life. Notice when you are unhappy, and investigate:
- What are you thinking?
- What are you believing?
- What emotional reaction has captured you?
Become an expert in how your conditioning works and the ways it affects you. You will see that these habits are stressful and depleting. Then, you are faced with a choice. Make the commitment to no longer feed them with your attention. They don’t serve you anyway, so let them soften and dissolve.
When you stop buying into the patterns that make you unhappy, simply relax and feel the sense of well being that is possible.
5. Happiness breeds more happiness. When you incline your thoughts, feelings, and actions toward happiness, you create a happiness momentum. How to do that? Don’t be afraid to be happy.
Orient your life toward situations and people you enjoy. Notice what is already working, rather than what needs to be changed. Open your heart to recognize your many blessings.
6.Happiness is always present and available. You can spend a lifetime trying to work out your past so you can feel resolved. And sometimes these tangles need attention.
But don’t put off happiness one more second. Don’t delay happiness by thinking things need to be perfect before you are happy.
Instead, go deeply into the direct experience of this present moment, right now. Let all boundaries and mental structures collapse, including the idea that you are a separate entity in this vast universe of love. This is the doorway to the enduring happiness you are searching for.
7. Happiness is a word that refers to a state that can’t be defined in words. Many words point to happiness – peace, ease, well being, love – but none of them defines it accurately. True happiness is a state, an experience. It is life itself, the essential reality of all things.
Just for one moment, let go of your idea about what happiness is. In fact, let go of all ideas about everything. Drop any words, and notice what is actually here in your direct experience – the peace beyond peace. You have come home.
8. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. These are the words from a recent research study that shows that people spend on average half of their waking hours thinking about something other than the task at hand and that these wandering thoughts cause unhappiness.
When you realize that your mind has wandered, shift your attention into the present. Simply see, hear, taste, touch, and breathe. Experience reality as it is unfolding right in this moment. There is no struggle here, only peace, ease, and happiness.
9. Thoughts undermine your happiness. Become very knowledgeable about the kinds of thoughts that undermine your happiness. Then, when you notice that they have taken hold, relax your attention away from them. Make a vow to say “No” to the thoughts, and say “Yes!” to happiness every time they appear.
These thinking patterns can’t possibly support you in being happy:
- Compulsive worrying
- Regrets about the past
- Stories of how you have been wronged
- Thoughts about how things should be different than they are.
When they are present, you will know, as you feel heavy, tense, and depleted. Now you have the chance to make the essential choice. Just say no, every time. And as you do, you dip into the endless well of happiness that is here in this very moment.
10. Happiness is a choice. There are many things in life you don’t have control over, but you do have a choice about where you place your attention. You can feed stories that keep you afraid, despairing, and emotionally upset. You can convince yourself that you are unworthy of happiness. Or you can move your attention to the truth of what is present now.
I know these mental habits can be intense and consuming. But truth is more powerful. Love is designed to heal. Every time the habits arise, shift your focus to the present. Again and again and again. See what is actually true. Live here, and be happy.
What interferes with your happiness? I’d love to hear…