Happiness is what we all seek for. Happiness, bliss, feeling good – ‘achalaga’ as they say here in India. The entertainment, yoga and wellness industry are all based on the same offering – providing solutions to the eternal problem of ‘How to reach happiness’? A mystery to some, a permanent state to others. Some of the Babas wondering in the Himalayas seem to have reached this mysterious space inside, permanently. Smiling in cold, smiling in heat, with shoes, without shoes, with food, without food, all the same. But how?
For most of us, happiness is connected to unhappiness. One doesn´t go without the other, and since that is the case, mostly we remember happiness especially, when we are unhappy and are longing for that comfortable, blissful feeling of flow again. When we are utterly blissful, we don´t notice so we don´t bother too much, until happiness is gone again, reminding us of our human shortcomings and our attachments to external circumstances, seeking external sources for happiness. Nothing is eternal, nothing is permament, everything is fleeting.
So we keep seeking after peak experiences: another training, another workshop, another relationship, another job, another chat window open, a new blender for the house, new clothes, new friends, another online-conference, another trip, new, fresh, different. Eternally scratching the surface, always feeding the desires of the mind, which never fill the soul. Always going after the mountain top, forgetting that after every peak there is a valley to be passed and the experience is not about reaching the top, but about getting to know the whole mountain bit by bit. The mountain that is you.
Until we reach the point when we realize, nothing of the external fullfillment works. Nothing of the transitory is filling the internal space, which we so much feel in pain with sometimes. If anything, it is only covering up that which holds the secret key to happiness. Why? Because that which is already full, can not be filled from external sources. It is already full, whole, and complete, if we listen to the pain that comes from running away from ourselves, our true feelings and our hearts desires, and take a leap to dive deep inside.
If we would listen, we would find out, that life in itself is entirely simple. And that happiness is based on the principle of simplicity. Simplicity in thoughts, simplicity in feelings, simplicity in being oneself. Simplicity in appreciating that which has already been given to us and that which we keep receiving every day without seeking after it. Simplicity in appreciating our own life. Simplicity in appreciating our health, our daily food, our home, our family, our friends, our opportunities – first world privileges for real.
OSHO, the great mystic, says that there are three different types of happiness, aiming all for the eternal JOY which is God or the Source itself.
One is pleasure, which is of the body, a physical sensation.
Second is happpiness, which is of the mind, a mental idea about a sensation.
Third is bliss, which is of the spirit, an overall experience into which mind and body dissolve.
Happiness: So How Do We Reach?
Happiness – or joy – is not outside of us, so it can not be generated through outside circumstances. Happiness is an internal state. It can be enhanced and woken up through outside sources, but the source itself is inside. It´s a space inside that contains everything. So it can not be filled, it can not be created, it just has to be uncovered. So, how to uncover it?
Emptying What is Full –Filling What is Empty
First of all, emptying ourselves – of well, ourselves. Emptying ourselves of ideas we have about how others should be and how we should be. Emptying ourselves of goals, targets, and the future. Emptying ourselves of the past. Emptying ourselves of emotions that don´t serve us. Emptying ourselves of criticism, judgement and expectations. Emptying ourselves of fears, guilt and shame. Emptying ourselves of to do´s, to be´s or don’ts. Emptying ourselves of – well, our egos.
And once the vessel is completely empty, there is all of a sudden a space that is full already that it can even let in more of what we seek after – happiness, joy, bliss!
3 Steps to Happiness
Step 1: Gratitude – Also called the MAGIC
The more we empty ourselves, the more we are able to receive. You might have heard about the Law of Attraction and the power of positive thoughts. It´s a complex theme and not as simple, as it seems to be in order to truly work, but let´s start with the foundation for it: Gratitude!
As you start your day, so your day unfolds. Simple.
If you start your day with gratitude for everything you can think of, you immediately raise your vibration to the energy of the heart and attract more of the same frequency. So, start your day with gratitude!
Think of everything you can think of starting with your health, the food you´ll eat, the people you´ll meet and whatever you´d like to see or experience in this day! Start each point with three times thank you, as three is the magic number that multiplies energy tenfold and thank you is the magic word to work the magic. For exmple:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for my healthy, fit and strong body.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the healthy and healing food I´ll eat today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for my day running smoothly and effortlessly.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the being aligned with the divine will today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the enlightening conversations I engage in today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the good news that reach me today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful friends I meet today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you the brilliant ideas that I have today and put into practice.
…. and so on and so forth
Include everything you´d like to experience, see unfold and bring into your life, even if it is not there yet. When the mindset is in the Now and vibrates on the level gratitude for everything, even if it has not arrived physically in our lives yet, the energy and manifestation will follow. I never start a day without the gratitude practice, and whenever there is a morning when I don´t give it the time it deserves, things usually don´t go in the right direction. Gratitude as first thing in the morning is consciously deciding to start the day on the right foot!
The more gratitude you practice, the happier you´ll feel!
Also, whenever there is a situation in your day that upsets you, try to see the lesson in it. Instead of getting upset about that which did not work or didn´t went your day, see what the teaching is. There is always something to be learned and there is always something we can improve in ourselves in order to not attract the same situation again. Be grateful for the everyday lessons!
Step 2: Don´t switch on the internet in the morning, before you´ve done your practice!
No matter if you practice yoga, meditation or gratitude, find a practice that will set the tone of the day. Stay with it for the first couple of minutes or hours and start your day with the practice as a foundation stone for the day. Get your breakfast and tea after the practice, and only after you´ve done all that switch on the devices. Stay with your practice, start the day with a calm mind and a relaxed breakfast and then consciously set a timeframe and space for emails, social media and such, without letting it distract you. If you make your emails and social media a priority, the´ll run your day and probably ruin the actual more important priorities. The calmer the mind, the more efficient will be your email responses and the clearer you are on how much time you want to dedicate to communication and how much to actual tasks. Think: First things first!
Step 3: Turn of the internet at night
Yes. Don´t go to sleep with flashy lights of a screen in front of your eyes and the last impressions from you facebook or instagram timeline to infiltrate your dreams and well deserved sleep. The light of the screen interrupts the natural pattern of sleep and the visual stimulation of the social media streams will add extra garbage to be digested by the subconscious mind in your sleep, apart from everything that happened during the day already, so that the sleep will not be as relaxing as there is such a multitude of information to be sorted. When the sleep is not relaxed, the next morning will not be relaxed either. And even if you practice gratitude or yoga in the morning, the unrelaxed mind from the night will make it harder to start the practice. So – leave the devices out at night at least an hour before you go to bed.
The Upanishads say:
‘Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they become your habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.’
Whenever you are happy, your are not there. Whenever you are happy, you are part of the Source. Whenever you are happy, you are God yourself! So find out what makes you happy and do more of it. Happiness is not a goal, it´s a byproduct of choosing your thoughts, actions, habits and ultimately your destiny!
May it be of service,