Posts Tagged happiness
The word I really want to use is surrender, but I’m not really sure what that word means in the truest sense. I’m going to barge right ahead and use it anyway.
Once every ten years or so, I get to the point where I just want to surrender. I feel like I have done everything that can be done to accomplish my goals, and nothing seems to be happening. The feeling usually lasts for anywhere between three minutes and three days.
The funny thing is I find that I actually get somewhere when I reach this point. In one sense, it’s a scary place, a place of desperation, a feeling of being at the end of my rope. But I’ve found it can be an auspicious place. I wrote this yesterday on the subject (in less than three minutes).
I want to go higher, but don’t know how. It seems like I’ve tried everything, only to fall, crashing back to earth, unkindly.
I think, however, I’ve been this way before. When it seems like I have looked in every crevice and corner, turned over every stone, in search of the faintest glimmer of light—the light is usually not very far away.
There comes a time when Grace is met by human effort. I know that Grace will have to come sooner, rather than later, because I have been relentless in my pursuit of peace, joy, and love. Life becomes much easier when you know what you want.
One of the good things about advancing age is that it makes it easier to focus on priorities. I mean real priorities—the meaningful stuff, because the clock is ticking, louder and louder. There simply isn’t time to screw around with trivialities and false values. I’m tired of the tricks my mind plays on me. I’m tired of chasing my tail. I’m tired of being lost in the fun house of illusion.
I want the real thing—the beauty within my heart—and I know that it can’t be far away. I’ve been everywhere, done everything, made a fool of myself, and accomplished a few things. You can’t elude me much longer, dear Friend.
Photo Credits: “Sunset Over Mexico” by Bettina Schwehn / uniqraphy , Illusion Photo by Mateusz Stachowski
Open your mental windows. Let your attitude bathe in the sunshine of optimism. Don’t worry about the possibility of sunburn.
That’s a pretty corny metaphor. Just imagine, however, what would happen if every chronic pessimist on the planet took this advice.
The cost of healthcare would plummet. There would be fewer traffic accidents. The unemployment rate would nose dive. The average human life span would increase by five or ten years. These are just a few of the likely outcomes of a few billion upgraded attitudes.
My optimistic attitude is based on the belief that at the very center of the universe in which we live there dwells a loving kindness that cares about our happiness and well-being.
When I choose to believe and to feel this way, life becomes easier.
Through the eyes of optimism, I see the world as a place full of endless possibilities to express myself positively.
There is a voice in my head that tries to convince me otherwise. I suspect I am not the only person who hears this derisive, discouraging voice. The only difference between most of us in this regard, it seems to me, is how we deal with this voice.
I used to believe the discouraging voice in my head was a friendly voice. I believed it was there to warn me not to try things I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. It has taken a lot of growing through painful experience to learn the critical voice was not my friend most of the time.
On the surface, it would seem an easy task to learn the difference between healthy self-restraint and the paralyzing fear engendered by an over-abundance of self-criticism. Perhaps the messages a person hears as a child from parents and teachers makes a difference in the way he or she responds to their inner critic. A strong self-image provides a safe haven from the twin sirens of doubt and fear.
I have found it helps to express your fears to a friend or to a mental health professional to get an objective view of your thoughts as they relate to accomplishing goals. Most fears, when expressed out in the open, prove to be phantoms made of irrational thinking.
The dream in your heart needs to be nurtured with positive, reinforcing thoughts in order for it to manifest into a concrete reality. It takes a persistent, consistent effort to escape the prison of the jailing voice of discouragement.
Being optimistic is an act of loving yourself and your possibilities. It is an act of flying above the clouds of doubt.
Personal fulfillment and the joy of helping others flow from the fountainhead of optimism.
An attitude of optimism leads to an active life of freedom.
Opportunities for growth and prosperity surround us constantly. Smile. Open your heart and embrace these gifts as they come your way. The loving force at the center of life beckons you to become your highest, happiest, and best self.
Waiting for a connecting flight from Asheville to Charlotte on my way home to Fort Lauderdale, I look around me at the faces of my fellow early morning passengers. The feeling of happiness within me contrasts sharply with the reflections of dulled spirits I see sitting row after row at the departure gate.
In defense of my fellow passengers, it can be argued that even the hardiest soul has a difficult time smiling at the ripe hour of six in the morning with nothing to look forward to besides a long, cramped flight in cattle-car-coach. Yet here I am, feeling a sense of contentment so overpowering it compels me to share it with a young lady sitting two seats away. We enjoy a pleasant, meandering conversation before going our separate ways.
By all rights, I should appear as glum and bored to the other awaiting passengers as they appear to me. I’ve logged barely a few hours of sleep thanks to a five AM wake up call and the persistent, loud snoring of a friend who shared the expense of my hotel room. Yet I feel so alive and awake it seems like a miracle. My spirits soar like a nimble 757 jumbo jet taking flight from a short runway.
Let me assure you: I’m no stranger to boredom and depression. And I most certainly don’t feel this happy all of the time. What I’m feeling this morning is the direct result of attending Prem Rawat’s talk in Asheville. It’s a classic case of cause and effect, and it makes me realize that I often see my life in two parts: before and after, much like a tooth whitening commercial.
Before I began listening to Prem Rawat, happiness had become an increasingly elusive commodity, from my post-adolescence years to about the age of thirty-three. During this time, I had my own ideas of where to find happiness, and I pursued each and every one of them with zeal. And then the zeal began to ooze out of me like a rubber raft with a big hole in it. Even though I was still a young man, my life seemed to weigh more heavily upon me with every passing day. Fortunately, before all of the air in my psychic tires escaped into the ether, a friend told me about a teacher who claimed to be able to show people how to find a fulfillment from within independent from anything on the outside. What a concept. I was ready to try anything.
That was thirty years ago. In the “after” stage of my life, I’ve been using the tools Prem Rawat handed to me to combat boredom, depression and fatigue by nurturing an inner experience as refreshing and alive as cool water from a natural mineral spring.
I gaze through the airport’s windows, appreciating every minute of beauty and stillness reflected in the misty morning breaking outside on the tarmac, where the ground crew readies the small airplane assigned to whisk us away to Charlotte. From there, we will scatter to our various destinations, back to the lives we are constructing for ourselves. I wonder what those lives are built upon.
I know that I want to construct my life on a foundation of happiness. I am determined to use the tools I have been given to make happiness a priority and a reality. And how, you may inquire, do I propose to achieve this goal?
By following my heart to an oasis of peace, joy and contentment within.
Grayson found it hard to breathe. Sweat poured from his forehead, down his crimsoned cheeks, onto the stiff collar of his white shirt.
The cubicles surrounding Grayson in the sprawling call center buzzed with activity.
“This is Grayson Sellers speaking. May I have your contract number please?”
“I only speak English,” Grayson replied.
“Where are you from, Amigo?”
“We’re not supposed to disclose personal information. Please describe your problem so that I can help you.”
“Don’t get excited, hombre. I ‘m just being friendly.
“I appreciate that. The problem is we have to complete a certain number of calls in an hour. If we fall short, we have to have a good explanation. Now, how can I help you?”
“Do you like your work?”
Grayson made no reply. They hadn’t given him a script for a situation like this.
He peered over his cubicle walls in all directions for signs of his supervisor. She was cruising three rows to the south in a bright pink dress and one-inch heels. Despite the low heels, the sturdy woman easily topped six feet. Her keen eyes scanned the room for the slightest hint of operator error.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m not crazy about working here, but the pay is great.”
“I’m a landscape architect—love my customers and they love me. Business is booming like you wouldn’t believe.
“I’m happy for you.” Can we please get to your insurance issue?”
He imagined the explanation for losing control of his temper and the call. The customer was excessively friendly.
“Working indoors is not my gig,” the caller elaborated.
“I get panic attacks.” The words tumbled out of Grayson’s mouth by themselves.
“I feel for you, Hermano.”
He heard heavy footsteps approaching. The supervisor pulled up like an army tank reversing on its treads. “You’re sweating, Sellers. Do you have a fever?”
Grayson dabbed his forehead with a handkerchief. “Just a little summer cold, Mrs. Wilson”
“Be sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze.”
A few rows away, an operator raised her voice. Mrs. Wilson’s head turned like a turret. She clanked away.
Another casualty of the telewars, Grayson thought.
“I could use another good man. Why don’t you call me after your shift?”
“You don’t even know me.”
We’ll talk. Then I’ll know you better.”
It was against the rules to use customer records for anything except work for the company. There was a rule attached to almost everything he did inside these walls.
Against his better judgment, Grayson jotted down the name and phone number on his computer screen.
The call proceeded smoothly to completion.
That night, Grayson dreamed of a plant nursery in South Miami he had visited as a boy. He played tag with his younger sister among acres of Royal Palm trees. He wandered between rows of potted orchids blooming in beautiful pastel colors. He inhaled the rich floral perfume. The warm sun and a cool winter breeze kissed his cheeks.