There is no doubt about it…I’m happy. Stop me at any random moment, and there it is – the deepest acceptance, heart full, primed for joy.
It’s not like I’m grinning from ear to ear in every moment. I’m simply happy. I don’t worry about the future or fret over what is happening now. I’m just here, present, awake to things as they are. To say that I go with the flow is an understatement.
The key to happiness is to let go. I have found that when I let go of ruminating, defending, and getting caught up in the drama of situations and relationships, happiness is here. It’s the most natural thing and miraculous at the same time. Right here and available by letting go.
This is not to say that troubles don’t arise. The other day, I woke up with a cloud of irritation over my head. I knew I could have easily been short with the people around me, which would have created disharmony and tension for sure.
But I was consciously aware of the mood that was paying me a visit, and set an intention to be kind in my interactions. I felt the urge to snap back, but chose kindness instead. Poof! Irritation gone.
Effortlessly Being Happy
I don’t fight unhappiness so I can make sure that I stay happy – it takes much less effort than that. I have seen that what I thought was true about myself and the world is actually false, and I’ve completely lost interest in it.
Anything personal – needs, demands, expectations, rules about how the world should work, what people should do – I just don’t give it any attention. I function in the world as a person with a name, age, gender, and appearance, but what I really am is peace.
I trust completely, which is why I don’t need to rely on thoughts, or even feelings, anymore. I know that the intelligence and clarity of life is perfect, and that’s where I live. Nothing personal to this illusion of “me” matters.
Even if you don’t consciously know this experience I’m describing, you can try it on to see what it feels like. Here is a window into my experience of daily life.
Ignore thoughts. It’s taken a few years, but I really see that about 98% of the thoughts that appear in my mind aren’t useful. They’re gibberish with no meaning. So I don’t pay attention to them. Play with that just for a short time, and you will see problems vanish.
See everyone and everything as yourself. It is true at the absolute level of reality that there is no separation. The essence of you is the same as the essence of everyone and everything you see. Live like this for 30 seconds, and you will be in awe of the magnificence that you can’t get away from if you tried. (And sometimes we try very hard.)
When you are unsure or confused, stop and listen. Don’t get panicky, scrambling to figure anything out. It won’t help. Instead, stop, bring your attention back to presence, and just listen. This is how I order food in a restaurant and plan many of my days. I check in and let myself be guided.
Feel urges, but don’t act on them. Remember when I was irritated? I didn’t act on the urge. Stay very conscious when you are triggered, and make the choice you really want that benefits everyone. I know it’s hard, but do it anyway. Have happiness be your highest priority always, and the rest falls right into place.
The body is your friend. When you are distracted by unhappy stories, bring your attention into the body. Just let the physical sensations be as they are. They will ground your attention as you return to sanity. This was helpful for me for a long time, but only rarely necessary now.
When you are triggered, always shift your attention to being aware. Thoughts, feelings, tendencies, stories, these are all objects that arise in awareness. Let them go, and simply be aware. Awareness is your true nature – boundless, completely at peace, infinitely loving. Live here in glorious surrender. That’s what I do.
Be fully conscious. In order to be fully conscious, you need to let go of all ideas about anything and everything. Pay attention to no mental activity whatsoever. In the silence, there is no body, no separate you, no space, no time. All division falls away, and only This remains – aliveness, awareness, being.
Happiness isn’t mysterious, and it is more available to you than you could ever imagine. It’s right here. I’m not special or extraordinary for knowing this. If I’ve had one blessing it is that the fire to know abiding happiness grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and for that I am on my knees in gratitude.
How to know the art of practical happiness? Follow what is most alive in you. Then live it up in joy and celebration.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear…