Inside all of us is the secret to happiness. When we discover where are true selves lie we can have healing and health.
All of you have access to your true self or your soul, if you only dare to look inside yourself. You need to figure out where your true values lie.
‘What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very Self?’ ~ Luke 9:25
Humans have a great need to do something. Instead of learning to just be, we feel that we have no value apart from that which we can accomplish – often on a daily basis. We are humans 'doing' instead of humans 'being.' The secret to happiness is learning to just 'be.'
Here is the almighty goal again. Your work-life balance may be way off in your striving to achieve these goals. Working goals are often tied to the need to make more money. Making more money leads to more overtime and more goals.
You have no idea where you true desire, your true self lies. Health and healing in your life is non-existent or nebulous at best. The secret to happiness remains elusive.
Your in box is always full and you have great lists of ‘to do’ items. You think that you are the only one who can accomplish the never-ending tasks, and that you are the only one who can do them right. You apply great importance to your goals, believing that without great hardship, trial and pain, what you achieve cannot be of any value.
In this path, life is about suffering and sorrow, attaching your emotions and value systems to everything around you. If things don’t go your way, your ‘doing’ is for naught. Then you get caught up once again in the cycle of emotional attachment to what you do, causing more distress.
You then resolve to work even harder to do that which you believe will bring you satisfaction and happiness (or what you believe will bring others satisfaction and happiness, through always having to please others).
Does this sound familiar? Is this moving you in the direction of the secret of happiness? Is this process a spiritual journey or a physical one or a mental one?? Do you have physical pain, emotional pain or spiritual pain?
All of the above! Everything that you are, all of your experiences are intertwined in all three aspects of yourself. To separate them is fragmenting who you really are and divides your parts from your whole. As physical, spiritual, emotional beings, you are definitely more than the sum of your parts. This fragmentation of the body, mind and soul are what causes the chronic stress in your life, and subsequently the pain in the body (See Body Window) to let you know that something is wrong.
I would challenge that you do not have to go through so much hardship, pain and suffering to find the secret to happiness, meaning and joy. You cling to your ideas of happiness, or what would bring you happiness, and if unfulfilled, you ‘suffer.’ If you are able to let go of all your demands and ideas for happiness, you don’t need to suffer, but embrace whatever life may present you.
I believe the secret to happiness is about finding your true self, inside you, where you find Peace, Joy and God. (Christians are taught that the Kingdom of God is within you, after all.) If you spend the time to connect with your inner spirit, you no longer attach so much importance or meaning to the external goals and demands for happiness.
(I use the word God to mean that which you might define as the Universal Spirit, Collective Conscious, or some other term that you prefer to use to define a Divine order of things. Perhaps better, the idea of a universal concept of Love and Compassion. I understand the concept of God, and I prefer it because it is a familiar and comfortable concept for me. You can just as easily use whatever word is comfortable to you, like Universal Spirit or Collective Conscious).
Sunrise over West Spanish Peak, CO
Most of you go through great struggle to find your “true self.” What is the true self? How can such be attainable when you have to worry about paying the bills, paying the rent, meeting the deadline, and rushing the kids off to games?
You may choose to live life this way, never pausing to reflect or just be silent – this is clearly an option. Then, the secret to happiness will be harder for you to find.
Often what changes the course of your direction is something that takes you by surprise: Illness, someone else’s illness, a life changing event of some nature, total exhaustion or just that nagging – that knowing that life can and should be more.
If you are at this point I congratulate you. The knowing is the first step. If you have the knowing, you just need to add the desire - you want to make the change. It would be so much easier just to plod through, taking painkillers and anti-depressants, to numb the pain and numb the feelings.
After all, you have your goals in mind. You want the new bike, you want the new car, and you want the latest fashion. You want your wife to be happy, you want your husband to get that dream job, and you want your kids to attend the best school that money can buy - until something breaks. Your relationship falls apart because you can never always please someone else, you get ill, you have chronic fatigue, you get an ulcer, your knees get injured, preventing you from doing what you love, or you can't sleep.
The secret to happiness eludes you. I have observed this in people time and time again.
The stressors of work or life creep into you as physical symptoms, and it is not until all encompassing life changes are met that healing can begin. If none of these things have happened to you yet, I assure you that you are either very young, or you have been doing something, each and every day, to take the time to contact your inner self. You may or may not be aware of what you are doing.
What I have found personally, after being ingrained for years and years to ‘do,’ that being still and being silent is very difficult.
Stillness practice is the secret to happiness.
It is very hard to learn to quiet the noise and go inside for the answers and to just be present with yourself and with your spirit - to empty your mind of all things - to stare and marvel at a flower or a leaf on a tree - to gaze on a meadow, a mountain. To simply be one with God/Universal Spirit is paramount but something you have forgotten how to do.
I often have a hard time with prayer, silence, and meditation. My thoughts and ruminations from my left-brain crowd what is
supposed to be empty space.
Prayer Pose in Tadasana
There are the to do lists, the goals, the ruminations over the days events and the in box that all constantly pull for my attention.
Sometimes it is as if I can’t bear to be silent, that what I would hear if I were silent would be too revealing, and require action that would take me out of my comfort zone. I have achieved moments in mediation where I have emptied my mind for long enough for revelations to come. That is when I really see the true purpose for my life, the secret of happiness as it applies to me.
After years of practice with centering myself, and trying to be still, it still does not come easy for me. To make it easier, for me, I have developed my own style to find the secret to happiness through physical and intuitive movement.
The best way I can clear the cobwebs and external noise, clear the left-brain activities and be in the moment is with movement. Gentle stretches or Yoga postures or body rolling on Styrofoam rollers, or body balls, combined with deep, purifying breath.
I have always done my own ‘movement therapy.’ I am an independent individual who enjoys the process of self-discovery. The rhythm, the flow, and the focused, gentle body movements are what assist me in going inward. This is where I can leave my left-brain behind I just feel the movements and my sore spots, and the emotions that arise from my movements that stretch and target the deeply held pain in my tissues. This has been the secret to happiness for me.
I use my intuition to know where to move, (See Intuitive Movement ) to move into what I feel needs attention that day. Sometimes I work on my back, other times I feel the need to work on my legs or hips. (Most people hold tension and stored emotion in their skeletal muscles, especially the neck and shoulders, the back and the hips and knees).
I have been doing this type of meditative, self-bodywork subconsciously for years. Only recently have I realized the amazing ability of the body to take you into a journey of self-discovery and healing. I believe this is what has kept me healthy my entire adult life, better than 50 years! It has been the secret to happiness and health for me!
I have discovered that the body and the mind are one and together they access the soul. Emotions that I thought were hidden come out as I move my body. It was as if the body was the storage ground for all my hidden emotions. It was as if the body already knew what my mind didn’t.
One day, in one special meditative moment, the answers were revealed to me. In that moment the culmination of all I knew and learned about health and my own personal quest for fulfillment spoke through me, in one loud voice - The Body Window. The body was a window to the soul. It was a revelation that you can learn what your body is saying to you about the condition of your soul, your inner self.
Learning how to use your body as a window to your soul can be the secret to happiness, health and healing for you as well!