Never underestimate the power of your thoughts. Happiness is a state of mind that we can choose in each moment and yet many have a core belief that they cannot be happy until everything is flowing with ease in their world or happiness eludes them because of things that have happened in the past or may happen in the future. Herein lies the challenge of holding a cherished outcome. We desperately want things to go well and yet life has a tendency to offer disappointments. The human condition often experiences frustration, despondency, impatience or anger throughout the day. So much, in fact, that it is hardly noticed and even thought of as “normal”. People seem to look upon authentically joyful people as if something is wrong with them, they are “out of touch with reality” or faking.
Hugh Prather talks about the quest for happiness in this way:
There is a mental state – it could perhaps be called the grounds for happiness – that passes gently and easily over the endless nonsense that litters the day. Like a gentle breeze, it refreshes everything but disturbs nothing. It is happy being itself. And being something, it has something to give. Its opposite is the mental state that is constantly getting entangled and pulled down by almost everything. Unhappiness is undisciplined, agitated, and above all, scared. Having no integrity, no calm inner direction, it takes its cue from whatever problem is perceived to be before it now.
The love within you is stillness, an allowing, and above all, a choice. Happiness and anger cannot coexist and while the ego seeks justification for an angry response, it is still a choice that one makes at the level of mind. Because anger is an aspect of the ego, and does not reside at the stillness of your being, it can be relinquished without hypocrisy. When the mind wants to respond in anger, notice it and choose an opposite response or simply observe what happens when you choose not to include anyone else in your distress. It takes practice, because attachment to outcomes has become habitual for many, but you have the power to retrain the mind. Notice any unhappiness that arises, observer the thoughts that preceded the emotion and take a moment to focus on seeing past the thoughts to the core of your being.
Today my intention is to embrace the Now with joy, taking quiet pauses to experience life without expectation. Mindfulness is a constant practice which brings me peace.