Big decisions about our relationship, career, residence and more are highly influenced by what we think will make us happy. This is mostly influenced by advertising, the media, upbringing and the educational path. On these paths the pursuit of happiness is often times equated with the pursuit of titles, money, comfort and possessions. This is a never ending process. As soon as the goal is reached it’s not enough anymore and something new is needed. This process is also called the rat race and in the rat race the pursuit of happiness is an economic driver.
We intuitively know that there must be other ways to happiness. Ways that do not include that we need to consume, we must have accumulated a certain amount of money or acquired certain titles to be happy. A more direct way.
This article describes ways to the deep-seated permanent happiness that comes from within, independent of external circumstances. Here’s what we learned on our Journey.
Again and again I find myself believing that ecstasy and emotional highs equate to happiness. Even if these things have their place in life it’s important not to forget that our ground state is happiness. Just as we are physically healthy from the ground up, we are mentally healthy. We clearly see that in the eyes of children and people who live in the moment. The look inward and awareness of ourselves bring us back to inner peace and contentment.
You’re not the voice in your head, which assesses your circumstances and affects your positive or negative state of mind. Rather, you are the consciousness that perceives this voice. The consciousness that perceives the question, “Who am I?”, as addressed to itself. When you are aware of your true identity and thus release the dependency of your well-being of your circumstances, happiness can be found in any situation.
Meditation: One way to practice this kind of consciousness is meditation. In the past we have written the article “Introduction to Meditation”, where we teach a simple meditation method in two steps. Deliberately engaging in everyday activities, such as consciously enjoying a meal and being aware of the tastes unfolding in your mouth, is also to be found in this category.
Limit Emotional Numbing: Emotionally numbing ourselves with alcohol, television, gossip, addiction, entertainment, drugs and more distracts our gaze inward and restricts our consciousness and our human experience. When I limit emotional numbing in my life by watching TV (in my case YouTube videos), I’m get closer to my inner self and happiness.
Life goals: Defining what we want out of our life and acting and living according to it brings us closer to our inner source. Lisa and I have both done this by defining life categories, such as family, relationship, occupation, health, .., which can differ from person to person, and setting and writing down goals and roles – the identity with which we want to identify ourselves in this category – for each of these categories. Working on your own life goals is an ongoing process in which your goals adapt to your situation in life and current conditions.
Living Your Dharma
What makes you feel alive? I learned the principle of dharma from the author, physician, ayurvedic practitioner and researcher Deepak Chopra. Your dharma is your unique talent, which you like doing and are able to serve humanity with. This can be multiple things. Everything that makes you forget time while doing it is part of it, also known as the things that get you into flow state. According to Chopra you will never have to worry about your personal finances when you are living your dharma, as through that you create abundance in your life as well as in other people’s lives by best serving them. This is not limited to your job but encompasses different talents and activities.
Imagine you would fill your life living your dharma? Create a list of talents you enjoy and of your favourite activities and think about how you can best serve humanity with them. I’m also currently in the process of repositioning my life according to my dharma to create abundance. This way of life greatly increases my deeply felt happiness. Living your dharma, means living according to your innermost self and there is no external circumstance that can take that from you.
Living in the Now
Ultimately I want to share the most direct way to inner happiness with you. Living in the Now. Stress and sorrow often come from the fact that we imagine how certain situations could evolve in the future. In the moment reality shows that it’s not as bad as we would have thought us. By living in the now we break free of this thinking pattern and we have the freedom to feel deep happiness in any moment. Being present in everyday life can be practiced by concentrating on the senses, in our work, while eating, in a discussion. In addition, it helps to not immediately judge circumstances as good or bad, positive or negative, but to simply accept things as they are. The same also applies to situations where forgiveness is due, towards ourselves as well as our fellow humans, so we set ourselves free from sorrows of the past.
I hope I could show you an alternative view to the pursuit of happiness, which is found here and now deep inside you. If you have anything to add, or if a few points are unclear I’m happy to read and answer your questions and comments.
The Journey itself is my home.