Do you want to know “The Secret to Happiness?”
Years ago I had a spiritual teacher. I used to go on retreat about 3 or 4 times a year and the profound wisdom that he imparted left an indelible impression on me and the way I live my life. He said many things that dramatically affected me and one of those I have used almost every day to remind myself of why and how I do this work.
He loved saying it especially when new students joined our group because I think he loved shocking them the way he initially shocked us, and watching as we ‘woke up’ to the truth of this question.
He used to teach for a few hours and then we would meditate and at some point he would belly laugh out loud (he had a great sense of humour) and almost mockingly say:
“Do you want to know the secret to happiness?” and of course everyone would stare wide-eyed and shift into hyper attention mode, and he would smile and look around the room, slowly and ask again “do you really want to know the secret to happiness?” and the students who had never heard this question before would sheepishly nod in agreement that they would really like to know, and he would say, in staccato style “being – ok – with – whatever – turns up” – Boom! Every time I heard it it would hit home again and I would feel grateful for the reminder.
When you can realize that being ok, is not dependent on whether or not you “make it” in life, it changes the way you think about life.
I remember when this truth finally became my ‘forever’ truth. It was shortly after losing almost everything and realizing that I was still ok and in fact probably happier than I was when I had “everything.”
A good example of this is watching experienced and positive sportsmen and women who have mastered their game. They may miss the shot or miss the kick or miss the ball and their positive state does not change their demeanor. They can continue in the good frame of mind and make the most of the game. We love to watch those that make it look effortless and take on the challenge with ease. We know that they had to practice and perfect their craft and that they probably have lost dozens of time, but when they hit the sweet spot, it makes us happy and excited for their success, which means that sometimes they may be on top and sometimes they may not but whatever position they find themselves in, it doesn’t change their positive state.
In other words, reaching the goal does not make you more ok and missing the goal does not make you less ok – it just makes you aware of the fact that you missed it or made it.
From what I have come to know through experience is that the burden of placing so much importance on winning, creates stress and worry and that robs me of the joyful feeling of just enjoying the game or the experience. The price I pay is that things usually turn out much worse than I could have imagined.
But when I allow myself to just enjoy the process and I let go of the need to control the way things work out, there is joy and fun and things usually turn out much better than I could have imagined.
Yes, it does take practice if all you have ever believed is that things should work out the way you want them to work out and if they don’t, then you must have done something wrong. This is never the truth. This is a thought and if you have been reading my blogs you will know that I have shifted from teaching tools and techniques and how to change your life and now share how much easier life becomes when your focus is on the fact that you are a part of the intelligence that runs everything and that intelligence is in you.
An acorn does not have to try and grow into an oak tree. It has a built-in ‘intelligence’ that simply creates an oak tree once the seed takes root. Likewise, you do not have to try so hard to be someone or something because it is already built-in to you.
“You are the infinite creative potential of the entire Universe” – Michael Neill
Every time you let go of the need be something or someone other than who you are and simply allow yourself to be guided by this divine intelligence, you will find yourself taking action on the right projects, making decisions with the right mind-set and doing things that fuel you, fire you up and fulfill you at such a deep level that you won’t want to waste any more time doing things that just don’t ‘feel’ right.
This is called being in the flow or in the zone. Can you be there all the time? I believe you can but maybe at varying degrees from full connection to only partial connection. The levels will depend on you and how much importance you place on the cultural demands and/or conditioning that you have been exposed to. You know, the voice in your head that says “oh you know that you can’t” or “why did you think you could live this amazing life” and my worst “what made you think you were good enough?” Those are the voices of your past and has nothing to do with what you can do in your future.
All mental programs come from our past. They are the ways of being that you observed as a child and then copied as an impressionable teenager and then embodied as an adult, creating the set of beliefs that now drive you but this is may not your truth. No-one can know your truth. Only you can know your truth. This happens with awareness, consciousness and connecting with this divine intelligence. You cannot try and find it, or work at getting it and you definitely cannot buy it, chase it or demand that it turn up for you.
This state that I am speaking of comes through Grace. It is the constant, never-ending, always present energy that if you are quiet enough, often enough, will be revealed to you. Just like working the muscles of the body until they are strong and toned, so too will the commitment to slowing down, taking a breath and really listening to the wisdom and the guidance that you always have access to, become the way that you flex the muscle of this way of being. Once this “muscle” of knowing that you already have what you need, to be who you truly are, becomes strong, no apparent disappointment or apparent failure can prevent you from shifting back into the flow or staying in the zone.
I say ‘apparent’ because when we get stuck in the feeling of our thinking in the moment, we cut ourselves off from this intelligence and default back into the trap of trying to control the outcome. Without the knowledge that life is NOT happening to you but life is happening FOR you, you may well fall into analysis paralysis, and cut yourself off from this divine intelligence.
Try this today:
Every time you become aware that you are worrying and stressing – Stop! Take a breath. Get quiet. Switch off your phone. Shut your computer. Just listen. Allow the thoughts that are hijacking your peace to pass like a cloud in the sky on a windy day. The next thought will come. Let it pass. The next thought will come. Let it pass. Until you feel yourself relaxing and leaning into this intelligence. It’s built into you. It’s built into me. Together we can build our world into a better place for all of us. I think you’ll like it. I know I do and if the thousands of people I have coached are telling the truth, I know they do too.