How Happy Are You?

What makes you happy? 

“I want it now!”

We are all guilty of this at certain times and situations.

It’s what makes the quote that starts this post so infuriating. Where’s the flash? The magic? The happily ever after?

I’m guilty of it and I’ve worked on myself for many years from different angles and modalities. The kicker is that while we want it to be a noun, life is a verb.

Because life is a verb, it’s always moving. Because it is always moving, approaching it with fixed ideas as if it were a noun causes discomfort and stress. Stress is what happens when you believe where you are and where you want to be are far apart. The amount of distance between those two points will describe the amount of tension in your mind and body.

We come by our stress perspective quite honestly

Though we are on top of the food chain, we’re still animals. Our animal brains are always searching for patterns and predictability as a form of survival.

That’s why we gravitate towards anything that makes life appear to be a fixed point. A doctor’s opinion, a religious tenet, a strongly presented opinion…all can carry a gravitational pull on our safety programming.

Finding the shift from stress to grace and ease is not flashy or magical

It takes skill and skills are like muscles. They need to be worked with some amount of resistance and repetition. Resistance does not mean something is wrong, it means life is giving you exactly what you need to get stronger and move forward.

Understanding this point requires a shift in perspective.

The shift towards what we’ll call happiness can be another fixed idea we attach to.

This quote from Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard is a more accurate representation of what I’m talking about.

“The search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exultation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred and obsession, that literally poison the mind. It is also about learning how to put things in perspective and reduce the gap between appearances and reality. To that end we must acquire a better knowledge of how the mind works and a more accurate insight into the nature of things, for in its deepest sense, suffering is intimately linked to a misapprehension of the nature of reality.” – Matthieu Ricard

You can live daily life and not carry the burden of your mind poisons. That’s happiness.

How do you think of happiness? How do you manifest it?