The subject of happiness, how to land it and how to keep it has been taking a front seat in many major magazines and news periodicals recently. Figures show that the US currently ranks 23rd on a list of happiest countries despite all its apparent wealth and freedom. What gives? Our guest on this week’s Chi For Yourself says there’s a difference between the usual Western concept of happiness and the experience of deep contentment and joy. Dr. Thomas Bien is a leader in the field of mindful psychology and conducts workshops on mindfulness and meditation. He is also the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters on spirituality and addiction.
Do you live each day consciously or unconsciously? We would all like to think that we are conscious during our waking hours; that we are consciously making decisions, consciously choosing how we act, react, speak, listen, and think. But do you know that in order to be conscious you must be aware of your Self? Do you know who you are? Are you living out who you truly are? Take a moment to think this over, and continue reading on…
Now that you’ve taken a moment to consider how your actions reflect your inner Self, did you come to the conclusion that how you live just may not be who you really are? You may become angry or frustrated from experiencing certain circumstances, but anger and frustration is not what is composed of your Self. All those molecules and compounds that make up your body, mind, and soul are certainly not angry or hostile ones. This you must realize. So why is it you express every emotion within the spectrum of human emotions? Do you choose to? Or is it a reaction?
If you stop before each thought and action to give yourself time to decide first, you begin to live consciously. If you do not let yourself decide, you defer to reaction: you go into autopilot mode and act or think in terms of your strongest emotion (anger, fear, sadness, etc.) since it is what has taken over. This is how you allow your ego (your mind) to take over and take control away from your real Self (your soul). This does you no good because this is what living unconsciously is. If you are not consciously making a decision, then you are unconsciously and mindlessly reacting. Your ego is not YOU. If you believe there is a difference between your physical body, your mental mind, and your spiritual soul, then you must take into consideration each of their downfalls and learn how to allow your soul to shine through with everything you do.
Do you notice how sometimes after a typical reaction, you may feel a little remorse? Perhaps it really wasn’t very necessary to tell off that waitress who got your order wrong for the second time, or speaking rudely back to that customer service representative who was just trying to do his job.
Life can be hard; it can get frustrating no doubt about it, but it doesn’t mean we need to project negativity right back at it. This does nothing for us.
How can we begin to live consciously? Here is the secret: right now, close your eyes and find the greatest feeling you have ever felt: such as the immense love you have for your child(ren), or that time when you were the most in love with a partner. Pinpoint that highest note of all your experiences. Feel that fulfilling joy and let it linger until your whole being is saturated with it. Hold onto this…
Love is the purest thought, emotion, and experience a soul can choose to live out. Yes, choose! We can choose to think, act, and live the rest of our lives with love being the core of it all; the seed that grows our human experiences; the cell that divides exponentially. We have this awesome Godly power because we are all God.
Now take this feeling that you have just re-experienced within your Self. Take it with you every morning when you get out of bed; take it with you to work or school; take it with you when you go out with your friends; take it home to your family; and take it to bed at night. This ultimate essence is what you will base all of your thoughts and actions on (notice I did not say reactions!). You will re-experience this each time you are confronted with a problem, a situation, a confrontation. Then, after some practice, you will call upon this beautiful part of you every time you think a thought, speak a word, and take an action. Love will be the root of everything you do. Your ultimate goal is to be who you really are, and who you really are, is love. Love is what creates us, the universe, and everything in between. We attract what we project out. So project out only love!
The funny part about this is that in order to know your Self (love), you must also know and have experienced love’s complete opposite: fear. If love attracts like things, fear deflects the same way. So we know fear because we act on it. We make decisions based on fear. We fear our boss, we fear not having money, we fear rejection, and we fear physical pain and death. We know this because we end up reacting out of fear everyday for many of us.
So turn it around. Turn our fear into love. When we stop fearing, we end anger and frustration. We stop feeling like we need to take those negative feeling hostage, only to release them out onto others. We can begin to fill those empty places with much needed love. Fill your life with more of YOU by bringing consciousness into all you do. Love is all there for us to use. So take it. Take it and run with it.
It will not be easy. You have to practice and practice until it becomes second nature to you. It will require intention on your part, which requires energy. If you invest in this, the universe will invest in you.
Love before and after you think or do and your life will evolve. I promise.
Emily A. Rider invites you to browse more great articles she has written about living a more spiritual life at http://www.higherspiritualliving.com. This site contains may topics from meditation to evidence-based research; from spiritual cleansing to the paradigm shift the U.S. is currently beginning. Come gain knowledge and new perspectives on living spiritually now at http://www.higherspiritualliving.com