What do you love? What really matters to you? For most of us, the answer is simple: we want to be happy.
But are you orienting your whole life toward happiness? No wonder you’re not happy.
The search for happiness is often misunderstood. If you are hoping to be happy once the right relationship and work situation magically show up, your present moment experience now is frustration and lack.
If you are waiting for inadequacy, resentment, and other inner troubles you experience to finally, somehow, disappear, what are you experiencing now? Inadequacy, resentment, and inner turmoil.
Your life is happening right now, in this very moment. But if you are looking out to the world for happiness to arrive at some other time, your now experience is not so happy.
If happiness is what you love, discover it now. Consider that it is not somewhere else, but here to be revealed, the very essence of who you are.
Maybe you, who you actually are, is simply covered up by worrying, regretting, and telling yourself stories. Maybe you are already everything you are hoping for and waiting to be – happy, fulfilled, completely at peace, heart overflowing.
Be on fire to know by orienting your whole life toward what you love.
How do you meet life?
The qualities you bring to the moments of your life matter, if you want to be happy. Consider being curious, flexible, and open. Rather than living in reaction to things that happen, start asking questions.
- What is the nature of this feeling that is here right now?
- Are these thoughts that I’m thinking actually true?
- Who am I?
Acknowledge the places in you that are rigid, and bring flexibility to them – your brain, your mind, your body, and your heart. Let your grudges completely untangle, your old stories become uninteresting.
Open in every cell of your being to the possibility that who you are is infinite beyond measure. See yourself everywhere.
What does your attention feed?
If you give close attention to anxious and judgmental thoughts, what will you get? More anxious and judgmental thoughts.
If you indulge feelings and dramatic stories, what will you get? More of the same.
You might say that you want to be happy, but where you place your attention shows what you are actually most interested in. Show interest in difficult thoughts and feelings, and that will be your in the moment experience.
Instead, recognize that thoughts and feelings are temporary. They come from nowhere, arise in the space of awareness, and dissolve. They are essentially free, but get stuck when you feed them with attention.
Notice that awareness is stable, unchanging. No matter what appears, you are always aware.
Establish yourself in that which is aware, and let the unhappiness be.
How do you spend your time?
Just as where you place your attention reveals what you are interested in, so does how you spend your time. Simply track it for a day or two, and you will know how your life is oriented.
Do you complain, argue, isolate? Are you overdoing it somehow in your behavior? Who do you spend your time with? Are you sitting in unhappy feelings much of the time?
Now that you are conscious of what you are actually fascinated by, let wisdom guide you. Make the changes that support what you love. Maybe you will meditate more, find a group of like-minded people, slow down, and read, watch, and listen to inspiring media.
Let what you love show in your behavior. Nothing can replace the fire for true happiness.
Resistance is saying “no” to life. A situation or feeling shows up as part of the natural unfolding of reality, and you say, “No, I don’t like it, I don’t want it to be like this. It should be different.”
If you resist, there is no way you can discover that peace is possible in this very moment. You are too busy rejecting what is here to realize that it is actually a doorway to all that you long for.
Study how you resist so you can learn to recognize when it’s happening. You might notice that you:
- Avoid feelings that are present
- Get caught in compulsive behavior or addictions
- Ruminate in your thoughts
- Believe that people and situations should be different than they are.
These are ways of being that say, “No, not this.”
Now feel into the effects of resisting – tension, fear, contracting against life. Instead, say “Oh, this,” with the deepest acceptance and embrace.
Opening or closing?
In any moment, you are opening or closing. You close to escape discomfort and the fear of discomfort. But in so doing, you close to life. You end up spending your precious energy managing your inner experience so you can stay away from that which you fear.
This is not a sustainable way of being (it’s so tiring!), and it doesn’t orient you toward what you love.
Really, uncomfortable feelings aren’t so bad. In fact, when seen with the eyes of absolute truth, they are only sensation and energy, and barely that. They are impersonal, meaning that they come and go and have nothing to do with you.
When you open, you disidentify with everything, including uncomfortable feelings, and you allow things to be as they are. It’s like taking a step back and becoming uninvolved.
But don’t worry, you lose nothing, except pain. And you realize that everything you wanted is already here, awake, and alive.
Really, it’s simple. Orient your whole life toward what you love, and each moment sings with joy.
How’s it going for you? Any comments or questions? I’d love to hear…