I recently met two people traveling through South East Asia filming for a documentary "Return To Happiness". The quiz question they were asking everyone in their path was "What makes you happy?". It's a fair question to ask, however what really got me thinking was the implication of this question; the implication that you need something in order to be happy, that there is an external element required.
So often I hear people referring to Happiness as something that they are working towards, something that they are trying to achieve or striving to be. I hear people associating happiness as something that resides outside of themselves "I will be happy when I have x, y and z" or "when such and such happens I will be happy" . I too have been guilty of associating happiness as an external quality to achieve. The problem here is that when you achieve "x, y and z" you are temporarily happy, that is until the next external situation or object of desire arises.
Through my experiential existence I have learnt that true Happiness is a state of being. Happiness is within you, it comes from within you and lives within you. It is something that you are not something that you have. It comes from a place within you where you connect with the Universe, Eternal Light, Divine Energy, your True Self, God or whatever terminology you wish to use that describes or defines your spiritual connection. It is a state of being where you transcend beyond the ego and the physical realm and connect with your True Self, your Spirit or the Divine and be at one with the universe and the laws of nature.
With this I believe that each of us is already happy, we just need to realise that which we already are. It's like a dog looking for its tail. It can keep looking around for its tail, or chasing the one it already has but until it realises and accepts that it already has a tail it wont ever be happy. Coupled with the realisation that we are already happy, is the acceptance of happiness. Acceptance of happiness or receiving happiness is something that can be a lot harder to do then it sounds. Many people don't actually allow themselves to be happy. This could be due to a warped belief system, external conditioning or other life experience but it hinders their ability to receive happiness and accept it as something that they are and deserve to be.
With that understanding of happiness, what do I believe makes you happy?
- That which connects you spiritually, which allows the expression of your True Self or Spirit
- Living breathing your values
- Acting with love and compassion towards yourself, others and nature
- Allowing yourself to accept happiness
- Living in the present moment
Happiness for no reason is real happiness. Finding the happiness within you is the path to finding the happiness outside of you.Therefore you can run about in the external world chasing external objects or ideals but until you return to the source of true happiness of who you truly are then real happiness wont happen.If you are happy then you are open and more receptive so that divine love and energy can flow through you and with this more and more love and happiness will be available to you.
I know that this can be challenging to actually do, to allow yourself to be happy. A few tools which might be useful are:
- Joy List - write a list of things that you can do physically in the external world that brings you happiness and connects you to yourself internally. When you are having difficulty connecting to your inner happiness, you can do something from your joy list and reconnect with that inner state of being.
- Gratitude List - write a list of all the things that you have right now that you are thankful for. Write and rewrite this list often as being thankful or grateful is an inner attitude that will help you expand your inner world and receive and accept more things to be grateful for.
- Do something for someone else or give something to someone without expecting anything in return.This one is magic.
The challenge is to live each moment in the present. Connect with the happiness in this very moment. Let yourself be happy for no reason.
Love and Be Happy. Dare to Be.