HAPPINESS IS A MODE OF TRAVEL...NOT A DESTINATION

Make happiness a priority

Next to sobriety, most of us want above all else to be happy, joyous, and free, but rarely do we put happiness first in our lives. What kind of role models have we had? Was being happy and loving ever said to be more significant than being neat, getting good grades, or abiding by the countless, unending rules of life? We place mountains in the way of our happiness when we make happiness dependent upon achieving goals (money, education, health, marriage, having children, getting promoted, etc.) Good feelings need not wait in the wings till after the applause. Happiness first! Happiness now! Can be our motto and will actually fuel our effectiveness as we trudge the path from one happy space to another.

Personal

Authenticity

Being authentic is being yourself -- it is walking like we talk. Happiness actually relies upon and accents personal authenticity: it doesnít diminish as we might fear! The happier the person, the freer he is to revel in his own, infinitely-faceted individuality. It is possible to unlearn the lessons (conditioning) in "how to be" -- how to act, what to say, what to want -- and to become our own person, responding mainly to inner spiritual cues that lead to genuine fulfillment. Anything else is a sham, a lie, a pretense, a nothing -- the very antithesis of happiness. The stunning irony is: what we really are is exactly what we would wish to be!

Letting Go of Judgement

What holds us back? What keeps beautiful thoughts and experiences at bay? What is it that limits your possibilities? No, not "circumstances" but rather our own limiting, usually negative judgments about ourselves, other people and situations. Opportunities for great happiness open up whenever fixed judgments are discarded. Efforts to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, possible and impossible may serve us to some extent, yet in our rush to judgment, we usually end up distancing ourselves from most of our creative and miraculous possibilities that are just as willing to materialize as are their heartbreaking opposites. Judgments based upon outworn beliefs keep us incarcerated until we (who are also the jailers) hand ourselves the keys. Are these real keys or are they bogus? Will they really open the way out of jail? You be the judge.

 

 

Being Present

Unhappiness does not exist in the present moment! When we are fully attending to this moment, regrets about yesterday and concerns about tomorrow -- states that stop happiness dead in itís tracks -- do not exist. What is happening inside of us is whatever we have chosen to give our attention to. This focus, in turn, shapes the reality that must eventually manifest outside of us in materiality. Focusing on the past or future drains the present moment of every drop of pleasure and power. There is the all-to-common predicament of the "in-the-head" lover who is so hung up on the embarrassment of past performances and so much in dread of future failure that frigidity or impotence is virtually assured. How can a lover, who is not presently loving, love? How can a person who is not presently living live? The solution seems almost too simple and obvious: Love Now! Live Now! Give yourself entirely to NOW. Leap into life with your eyes open. Now is a happy place to be. Give yourself permission to be happy. Its OK!

Being Grateful

It goes almost without saying that when we are happy, we are grateful. Gratitude gives birth to happiness. Gratitude is one of the sweetest and fastest ways to embrace happiness. Obligatory "thank-yous" forced by well-meaning parents upon children just learning to speak may taint its genuine expression in later years. In addition, gradual divorce from oneís own essence (via societal conditioning and other outside influences) places gratitude on uncertain ground. Feeling grateful -- whether to God, friends, nature, or to anything at all may even be perceived by a shaky ego as a threat to its dominion -- a diminution of sorts. The gracious state of gratitude is one of delight, enjoyment, and appreciation -- moments in which one strongly recognized the blessing and wonder of an experience. In the glow of such awareness, who could not be happy?

 

 

Deciding to Be Happy

The first five items may all be found within the all-inclusive sweep of this concept and in fact need not be individually considered by those who have learned to empower their decisions. This giant step -- this evolutionary leap -- is an acknowledgment of our capacity to alter our beliefs and feelings, as well as take an active role in guiding our responses to events and people with a clear and conscious intention. Itís ours to decide the degree of our participation in personal happiness, freedom, and love. It is an invitation, extended to all, that will not go away. Donít be afraid to accept it. Just say yes -- and experience what youíre saying yes to.

 

 

Being Forgiving

If we are ever to be happy, we must learn, at whatever cost, to be forgiving. If somehow we can begin to believe that the universe is as it is and that all of us, each and every one, are all doing the best that we can, forgiving becomes easier.

 

 

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