We talk about being happy, wanting to be happy, wishing we were happy, not wanting to be unhappy, but do we know what really makes us happy, what we are striving for?
As I journey in business and in life, I’ve been on a quest for happiness and expansion, for peace.
My coach asked me recently ‘how will I know when I’ve achieved my goal of happiness’?
What does that mean and how will it look?
What will it feel like and how do I define happiness?
I’ve been dwelling on that question and I find it’s remarkably difficult to answer. Really, there’s no end until we don’t exist – at least in this plane anymore – so if there is no end, it’s an ongoing journey and a continuous quest. I like to think it’s an expression of who I am in my everyday life, as I move through the world.
We’ve been acculturated to define happiness through external gratification.
Can we really start living simply?
Do you ever find yourself thinking you’ll be happy when _______ happens?
What fills in the blank?
So many things…when I have more money, lose weight, have the right outfit, meet the ideal mate, find my right livelihood, get in better shape, the list is never ending.
If you take any of those individual goals, any of which might be important at a given time in your life and think about the journey to achieving any of them – what does that feel like?
Can you be happy and delight in the grace of small every day happenings? A touch, a gesture of appreciation, your health (whatever state it’s in), your body (that too, whatever state it’s in).
I’ve found external gratification only goes so far. It never brings me quite the happiness or freedom I expect it will, or should.
What I’ve realized is that I already have an abundance of happiness in my life. It’s not the things I have, or the places I’ve been.
The most beautiful, happiest and most liberating place in where I realize I do not need things to feel free and complete to living simply. It’s an inside job to find happiness.
Living simply has changed my view of happiness and changes my view of success and what that looks like.
I work at experiencing the detachment and separation from traditional definitions – and believe me, it’s real work! And it’s a journey one not to be rushed.
Detachment from the material and the life of acquisition allows me to see myself differently and find a new validity and purpose.
I am present and awake, alive and well in the current moment.
I invite you to use that phrase for yourself and to express gratitude for all that you have, all that you are, all that you do, and all whom you love.
Aim for ways to transcend yourself; deepen your mediation practices. Notice and appreciate the windfalls and blessing whatever they might be; however they show up. Celebrate anything and everything around you that is wonderful. Dwell on what inspires (in-spirit).