Joy & Happiness

Lean into Joy (and abundance will follow)

No matter how many times I read about it and hear about it, I still seem to struggle with the simple fact that we should always, and I mean always, lean into joy in life.

And by leaning into joy I mean to trust our excitement, and our passion to provide us with all that we could possible need.

Your soul chooses for happy

Too often we have old-fashioned ideas about abundance, and how to achieve it. I received this lessons again last week. You see, I’m not highly motivated by money, but of course it’s on the top 10 things to look for in a new job for example. After all, I deserve to have a comfortable life with nice opportunities. --> Read more

Joy & Happiness

Why happiness is a choice

Happiness is a state of being we all seek, as if it’s something grand and majestic. We seem to structurally forget that happiness is actually hiding in the smallest of moments in life.

It hides in every choice we make and in every thought we think. Although we cannot always influence what happens to us, we surely can influence how we look at the things that happen.

Monday morning blues

Last Monday morning I decided to choose happiness. It was a conscious choice, and it took effort. But I chose it, because I didn’t like the alternative. As the events unfolded, I was living my Monday morning in two different scenarios at the same time. Both based on the same events, but both radically different.

There was the Monday morning where the weather was gray and rainy. I had to wake up at 6.30am in order to leave the house at 8.30am with my 2 months old son (getting ready and leaving the house takes slightly more time now, and one always needs to plan extra time for the unpredictable). We got to the train station on time only to notice that the train we were suppose to take was cancelled.

Traveling alone with a buggy is fine, as long as you catch a train with a low entrance. My next option was in half an hour, which was too late. So I took the next Intercity train (faster, but with steep steps, so not buggy proof), stressed whether someone would help lift my buggy in and out. Once in, I stood uncomfortably in the corridor for the entire journey, since the lady next to me was occupying the only seat. She was way too fixated on her Netflix to notice my struggles.

On this gloomy Monday the elevators were full, the wider entrance gates (good for moms and dads with buggies) to the subway train platforms did not work, people were grumpy and running me over. On this Monday I stood on the rainy platform witnessing full subway trains pass by, hoping the rain would stop and that I would fit into the next one.

All this effort just to have a cup of coffee with old colleagues!

Choose wisely

Luckily there was an alternative, and luckily I only needed to change my thoughts to access it.

Finally a less crowded subway train arrived, and I fumbled in. At least my baby boy was still blissfully asleep. As I reached for my phone, I wanted to tell everyone about the EPIC HORRIBLE morning I was having. I wanted to recount all of the unlucky events I had faced, milk it to the bone and play the poor victim. My mind was busy making a story out of the morning, going over it again and again, and with every replay I felt worse and worse.

Until something within me stopped and asked  – are you going to milk the past few minutes for the entire day? Are you going to let the last hour ruin the rest of your day? Are you going to arrive to your coffee date pissed off and angry, because your commute didn’t go as planned?

I decided not to.

Another kind of Monday

Because there was also another kind of Monday hiding in it all. A Monday full of light, beautiful fall colors and fresh scent of rain.  Sure, my train was cancelled, but it gave me the opportunity to practice asking for help. There was a lovely gentleman who helped me into the train with the buggy, and on his way out asked if I needed help again. There was another lovely human being who said  ‘You go in first‘ when we were waiting for the elevator down to the station hall. Bless these people for shining their light on me, and why is it that we don’t whip out our phones to text about these kind of interactions to our friends?

On this Monday I had enough time and I arrived to my coffee date on time. I had a wonderful time with lots of hugs and laughter. On my way back I walked through a questionable neighborhood and saw two large men sitting in a small car in front of an apartment building. My initial reaction was to cross the street and pass the car from the rear, but I decided to stroll on by with confidence. One of the guys leaned out of the open passenger side window and comments: “Hello beautiful! Yes, I just had to say it.” 

On that morning I decided to take it. So I smiled and concluded ‘what a fine Monday it is, and I AM beautiful!‘

Wire yourself for happiness

A podcast interviewing the founder of the World Happiness Summit tells us that we humans are wired for negativity. Positivity has no influence on human survival as such, but looking out for danger and possible things that could go wrong, has. This heritage still lives on today – when we have something negative happen, we want to share it with as many people as possible (this asshole did this to me, can you imagine!!), but when something positive happens (a kind stranger helped me today), we rarely say a word to anyone.

My Monday morning commute is a small example of the constant storytelling we do to ourselves. Because honestly, how many times a small, fleeting negative moment has stayed with us for the rest of the day? How many times have we milked an incident or a negative comment until everything else on that day felt negative too?

Wiring yourself for happiness doesn’t always come easy, it takes practice and focus like any new skill we are learning. The beauty is that it’s up to me to choose the thoughts I let in, and to choose the reality I get to live in. So you bet I will choose the best possible version for myself.

 

 

Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

Are we failing or are we growing

I must admit, during the past months I have felt like I have been failing instead of growing. Like I have given up on all that is important, everything I strived so hard for, everything I worked so hard for during the last four years only to return to the same spot where I left years ago.

Except it’s not the same, not even close, but it was not the future I imagined myself having either. At least not the future I imagined when at the end of 2013 I quit my job after 1.5 years of retraining and coaching, and sat in a plane with a one-way ticket to the Philippines.

Sure, I am happy with my current state of affairs. I received everything I asked from the Universe, yet again. A year ago I made a list of the things I wanted: to live in Europe (close to Amsterdam preferably), to work for someone else for a change so that my creative side could take a break, to earn a decent salary while remaining flexible and not stressed out, and to work with fun people. I have all of this now, all of it. Even the exact amount on my account every month as I wrote on my yellow post-it while sitting on the front steps of my ocean side bungalow a year ago.

So why the feeling of failure?

First Attempt In Learning

It seemed like I had forgotten all of the reasons I wanted to come back to Europe, and all of the reasons why I wanted to settle down for a moment. For years I had been striving and pushing forward on my own, being the first bird on the flock flying thousands of miles in a short period of time. I needed to rest, my creative juices were dangerously low and because of that I wanted to lay low. After one of the grandest adventures of my life so far, I was simply craving rest.

Why did I forget the age old saying: If you are tired, learn how to rest, not how to quit. Somehow I was afraid that my resting was synonymous for quitting. And that made me sad.

Lucky for me my employer has provided me with a year long training focusing on personal development (love!), which includes four private coaching sessions. During my previous coaching session I had one clear goal. I needed to figure out a new plan for myself. A new direction, something to dream of, something to strive towards, since clearly without a plan and dream I don’t function well.

Over a hot cup of tea and few too many biscuits my coach reassured me. F.A.I.L. was just First Attempt In Learning. She made me write down all of the things I love and am passionate about, and we gave the project a name, Future 2.0. I let out a sigh while giving this name to my project, and sheepishly said “because I have to do it all over again.” Meaning, I already once did this, I struggled with my job, figured out something else to do, quit my job, swore never to return while setting off into the sunset, yet here I am, back to START.

“Do you think life is constant growth and success?” asked the coach. “People try out things, do different steps, you go two steps forward and one step beck. Nothing that you have done is lost, and nothing in your future is locked. Everything is possible, and doing it all again is not failure, it’s simply a chance to do better.”

So there I sat. Looking at the fat cats in the garden, and continuing to draw more inspirational words on the large paper on my lap. Yes, if I have done it once, I can do it again. The familiar energy and excitement started to bubble within. I wanted to jump up in joy and excitement. I felt the fire, I was back on track!

Future 2.0

After an hour session I sat with changed energy. I was grounded, my breath was deeper and I felt excited. Confident and excited. I have time. At this moment my new project is just a large piece of white paper with words on it I need to connect into a concept. It includes the simple goals I need from my new life – flexibility, creativity, passion, good income and collaboration with fun people.

And I do what I do best. I start slowly to manifest this together with the Universe. Back at home I taped the paper on the back of the bedroom door and decided to dedicate that entire door to my Future 2.0. A simple Vision Board is not enough, I need a Vision Door. I look at it daily, I look at all of the things I love doing and the things that inspire me, and I let it brew. I give myself few years, there is time, although it is difficult not to jump into action just now. But first things first, brewing.

Growth, not failure

I now understand that everything I did in the last four years was just growth. It was playful learning. I dabbled in coaching, yoga, webdesign, concept creation, writing, meditation and other creative pursuits. I learned from all of them and now I need to take it a level further. Kindergarten is over, it’s time to dig deeper, to allow myself to focus. But before that, there is rest. Reboot.

Yesterday I walked along the forest paths and sides of corn fields in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. During the late afternoon I wondered when the corn would be planted, because seeing the tall and proud corn fields was always one of my favorite sights. But now I saw simple grass growing on the fields where corn usually grew, so I asked about it from my in-laws. “Sometimes before the winter grass is planted onto the corn fields. They let it grow, and then mix it up with the soil as natural fertilizer before planting the corn.”

And it all made sense to me. My favorite fields remain, although something else, something much less prominent and magnificent is growing there now. It turns out that nature too needs to take a break, to do something else in between big pursuits. It, too, needs to rest, recuperate and gather strength.

It’s spring and I follow nature. What is one year, or two? I remain true to my purpose, it’s written in my soil.

Joy & Happiness

Space for love

My body now carries two souls, yours and mine.
My body now carries two hearts, yours right below mine.
Just get here, little one, and I will show you the earth.
I will show you the earth and you will teach me of heaven.

I have been steering into my fear for some time already. I feel my heart wants something, although my mind is terrified. If I feel there is a path for me, I don’t hesitate to follow it, although my mind may hesitate and protest. But my heart knows, and I trust it. I also trust that the fear I feel in these moments will eventually subside.

And sometimes within the very thing we fear we’ll discover the key to everything we have been searching for.

The bigger things I fear

One of the things I have always been afraid of, was having children. For most of my thirties I convinced myself, and those around me, that it wasn’t for me. I was deadly afraid of losing my independence, ruining my relationship, losing the autonomy of my body and in general losing my lazy Sunday mornings. No, I thought, I could not risk it. Let other people reproduce, and let me remain independent and unattainable.

At the same time the very thing I longed for most, underneath it all, was to feel connected. To connect with others, with my family, with friends and loved ones. I wanted to shake the existential loneliness I have always felt in my independence. I started to wonder if perhaps all my running around the globe had been escaping the realities of these feelings and fears? Because sometimes, when my guard was down, I felt the tug. But fear always took over and I shut down.

Until my heart knew again, stronger than ever. I felt that a major circle had gone round, a major chapter had ended, and a new one was about to start. My heart whispered, give love a chance. Surrender to love and let life fill you.

So I did.

Come through me

I sent an open invitation to the Universe declaring that I would step out of my own way. I faced my fears and jumped once more, declaring that I would be ready. If someone wanted to come and join us, I would be open. If not, I would be fine as well. I could live with the decision of the Universe, but what I did not want to live with was a decision based on fear. Because that’s what I had been doing all along. Deciding against something, deciding to run away from something, deciding for something based on fear.  And this was not a way to live. I wanted to choose for love, go forward towards connection, I wanted to choose life.

Come through me, my child, if you wish, I am ready for love.
I am reaching within to find endlessness for you, to carry space and to share my power.
I will stand here, both feet on the ground, my heart full of space for all that it is you are.
Beauty, light, love.
We are down here, we are together, we are open.
Come through me my child, if you wish.
The earth is an amazing place.
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Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

The secret of seeking your purpose

For most of my twenties and thirties (although I still have some of my thirties left) I have been a seeker. I’m always seeking something or someone, seeking my purpose, seeking my passion, questioning everything but never truly finding what I thought I was after.

There were times when I was seeking slow, and there were times I felt pressure and panic, because there was such a conflict within me and a deep desire to do something else. Those years I longed to find out what there was to be known, I longed to be somewhere else, be someone else, but I didn’t know what, where, who or how. So I kept running and seeking. I found bits and pieces of peace, some in yoga, some in meditation and some in life coaching. I sought answers and truths in spiritual books and in personal development courses, and although I felt I was making progress, the journey I was on came without an end in sight.

Stuck in seeking improvement

I guess you could say I was stuck in seeking. I was stuck thinking that there was something out there for me to find, something outside of myself that would show me what I needed within. Somehow I thought that the next course or spiritual book would show me the light I knew I had inside.

I was stuck thinking that a place or an experience would wake me up and show me the light. And although intellectually I knew it’s more about peeling layers than adding them, I could not switch from being a seeker to becoming a practitioner.

Until recently.

Something has shifted in me lately. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it feels like a huge wheel has turned in my life, I am back to square one and I get to start again, wiser and calmer. There is an inner peace present I have been seeking all my life, and although I love it, it confuses me.

Why now? What changed? Why can’t I tribute this calm light to any specific moment in my life? It seemed to creep in silently without bells and whistles. All of a sudden I just noticed I wasn’t seeking anymore. I am practicing.

Spiritual development in the rain and the wind

In my physical life it looks like I have stopped running, stopped searching and returned to the box so many are living in. I have left my ‘free’ island life and returned to corporate, but somehow everything is different. I am realizing that spiritual development needs to be actualized wherever we are, in the grittiness, among other people, in the rain and the wind, and not only in endless lazy days while enjoying sunsets over the ocean. But I needed to sit on an island for 3 years to realize that spiritual lightness needs to be grounded wherever I go and in whatever I do, including the corporate.

But about this peace within. For the first time there is no inner conflict. There is no panic, no fear, no other place to go to, no other version of me to be. I feel like my personality has finally made a pact with my soul, and the two are now working together. And it has nothing to do with where I am or what I am doing for a living.

Life itself is the purpose

There is no great corporate ambition, only sheer joy of working. There is no larger life goal I need to find, because life itself is the purpose, life itself is the goal, the way, the path. I don’t have to spend my days searching for meaning, I don’t have to find my passion, nor do I have to save the world. Meaning and passion are here, in everyday life, and I feel at peace. For the first time there is no tug of war within. I don’t have to strive towards anything, I’m free to enjoy life, to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing, as if none of it really matters, as if the only thing that really matters is choosing joy.

All of me is out, all of me is loved and I wish to be nothing more. What a strange feeling, contentment. It feels like I finally understand what this is all about. And it is so incredibly simple. It is light, it is love, it is beauty and it is peace.

I am the way, I am the path.

Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

Let’s talk about freedom

Something quite unthinkable has happened to me. I have returned to Europe, I have returned to a corporate job, and I am feeling incredibly happy about it! Actually, it feels like freedom.

People often ask me why I would want to give up my freedom and return to work. Why would I give up my life on a tropical island, far far away, and return to Europe where it rains a lot and where the temperature hardly ever reaches high enough to wear loose dresses and flip-flops. Why would I not want to continue waking up next to the ocean every day, but instead opt for spending my mornings in commuter trains to an office, similar office I so desperately wanted to leave four years ago?

The main question being: why would I want to give up my freedom?

So let’s talk about freedom

Freedom is the ability to choose for yourself and to follow your own course in life. Freedoms is having a passport (or two) which open up most borders without questions. Freedom is being able to travel, being able to jump on a plane and decide what country you would like to live in next. Freedom is about the feeling of self-regulation, responsibility and autonomy.

Freedom is the opportunity to leave when you want. To spend years on a tropical island, to experience boredom and poverty, and then leave it behind. Freedom is education, opportunity, possibility, future. Freedom is being able to work, getting hired, earning a good salary and having carefree lunches with colleagues.

Freedom, just like happiness, is a moving target.

Today freedom for me is being able to surround myself with friends who feel like family. To be able to choose to work, knowing that somewhere down the line there is an option to go again.

Freedom is to express ALL of me. The corporate, the writer, the creator, the traveler, the yogi, the adult and the child. For me balance and change is crucial. Stuck on any of these roles I would soon find myself imprisoned by the lack of other choices.

What do you want the most?

During almost every interview employers asked me the same question (with a confused look on their face): ‘Having done so many things, what is it that you want?‘

I find it a difficult question to answer because I want so many things, and because in this day and age one is still expected to settle, specialize and to choose a lane.

But darn it, I am free and this is my freedom. I am free to return to a 9-5 job and I am free to love it. I am free to being a corporate girl today, and something else, something new tomorrow. I will not apologize for not fitting into anyone’s box, I will not apologize if that makes anyone uncomfortable. Because I decide, and that is freedom.

So yes, one circle has come around, one big big circle, and I find myself back in the flat lands of the Netherlands, entering the yellow trains daily, this time with a smile on my face. Because I know how lucky I am to be able to be here, how fortunate I am to have a career I can jump back into when I choose to, how lucky I am to earn what I earn, lucky to be valued, loved and respected, living in a clean, organized and safe country.

And when this all stops amazing me, when it stops feeling like freedom, it’s time to move again.

THIS is freedom. And it has very little to do with beaches and coconuts.

Joy & Happiness, Law of Attraction

Gratitude – Start enjoying, details to follow!

Last week I started reading a new inspiring book, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, and in the beginning it mentioned an old story about a telegram sent to a family member which said “Start worrying, details to follow.” This reminded me of a dear friend called Gratitude.

I had to chuckle out loud because it sounds ludicrous and yet we do this all the time. We think our circular thoughts, probably thoughts we have been thinking about over and over for years, worrying about some random future event, making up all kinds of ways how things could go wrong or just worrying without clearly knowing what we are afraid of.

However, the main joy in life is in the exact opposite. Law of Attraction does not bring us what we want, it brings us what we are. It matches our energy and brings us more of the same. If you worry and fear most of your time, you will probably get more of just that – reasons to fear and worry. You cannot get something you do not already have. This is one of those lovely contradictions in life, but it’s not as complicated as it seems.

It’s all for your own benefit

Your best bet is to start enjoying now, because good things are coming. How do I know? Because in the case of my own life, I have solemnly decided that the future will always be awesome, good things are always rolling my way, and everything and anything that happens is for my own benefit. And when I look back, the proof is indeed in the pudding.

The things that at the surface seem hard and sticky are also somehow for my own benefit. Either they shield me from something that would have been even harder, they teach me a lesson I need to learn, or they turn out to be the biggest blessings once I am far enough to see the bigger picture. But always, always, the future is better than anything I have experienced before. This is a soothing thought in the moments of doubt.

That old gratitude

One of the most powerful spiritual practices we can do is gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for – healthy eyes to see the road ahead, yummy coffee in the morning, the wagging tail of a happy dog, anything. When we tune into the energy that comes from gratitude, we can easily find joy and lightness in life. And once we get the ball rolling, we find more and more great things around us. At the same time we can extend this gratitude for all the great things that are coming to us, but which we cannot yet see.

Worrying is negative planning

All those things we worry about are no more likely to happen than any awesome event we may fabricate in our minds. You decide what you attract into your life by deciding what you choose to focus on. Choose fear or love, which feels better?

My choice is clear. It’s all going to be awesome, so awesome I cannot even dream about it from my current, limited perspective no matter how hard I try. Thank goodness for my Universal Project Manager (aka the Universe itself) who fills in the details for me later on. I cannot be bothered to try and plan better.

I’ll just skip ahead and start enjoying already now, and eagerly await for the joyous details to be uncovered.

Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

Do you feel a push or pull?

We are all hurrying to get somewhere. We are aiming, achieving, trying and running, whether it’s towards something or away from something we’d rather not face.

When we think about the things we do in our lives, there are many ways to test whether we’re on the right track. Lately I have been seeing and hearing signs about one way of determining this, namely the distinction of push or pull.

Unconditional love does not come from the person; it comes through them from the field and is therefore not draining upon their personal energy. If we feel drained, or like something is a lot of effort, it’s coming from our ego/mind construct and not the higher self.

-Michael Hetherington, “You Can Ask the Universe Anything”

Difference between a push and pull

When we are feeling pushed to do something, it feels like an obligation. It takes energy and effort to complete, and it takes a lot of time to recover from. In fact, no amount of time is long enough of a break from it. I’m sure you know the feeling when weekends are always too short and no matter how long your vacation and how far you travel, it’s never long enough or far enough. Push is something we do for other people, something we should do, something that may give us a reward, but that reward is external and ego driven (status, titles, you name it).

Instead, when we feel pulled to do something, we feel an inner drive to do something. The motivation is completely different. There is a burning desire within us, there is an obsession we cannot explain and a never-ending energy stream for our chosen field of love and interest. You cannot wait to get started, you are doing it for the sake of the doing, and enjoying it because you feel joy and lightness. You are expressing your truest self, your nature as you are. Only when we are being true to our selves, when we are in direct contact with our higher self, we feel clear, calm, alert and joyful. And we never run out of energy.

What we most love doing, loves us too

Isn’t this great news? What makes us happy, is the highest truth for us!

When Tony Robbins was asked how he can be energized for 12 hours a day, six days in a row during his events, he said it was easy because he was pulled to do it. Helping people is an obsession for him. When he was asked how he decides what to say or do in situations full of raw emotion, he said “it just comes through me.” A true testament of being one with your higher self. A vessel for the Universal powers that operate through us. We only need to let them.

You see, things get a whole lot easier when we are actually doing what we are called for to do. Yet we struggle, lay sideways on the tracks and protest because we think we know better (or, because we get scared). We want the ego stuff, the things considered desirable by the standards of the given society we happen to be born into. Sadly these are rarely the things that give us long lasting happiness, peace and joy.

Releasing the struggle of effort

When I look around, many of my pull’s have somehow turned into push’es and I haven’t learned to let them go in time. I have been hanging on for dear life onto things that were no longer making me happy, but instead took a ginormous effort to get done. But I didn’t want to let go, because I had been planning them and wanting (the idea of) them for a long time. I didn’t want to let go, because that would have meant defeat, admitting I had possibly made a huge mistake, a wrong turn, and the thought of that was devastating.

So instead I kept on pushing, while I was getting more and more exhausted, irritated and frankly intolerable in the end.

Time to reevaluate. I very well know the difference between the push and the pull, and I know you do, too. Push is heavy and sticky, and pull is exciting and joyful. Pull is something that has most likely been with us for some time now, something we keep brushing off because “it doesn’t pay the bills” or “it’s plain silly.”

But the truth is, if we want to become truly successful at anything we do, there needs to be this pull -energy behind it. There has to be joy,  excitement and motivation from within.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

Live your dream – and move on

Living you dream and following your heart are topics which are getting a lot of air time lately. Yes, I am an advocate of following your heart and dreams, but I don’t agree (anymore) with the way it is portrayed as the solution to all your problems. It is not (as I initially thought and previously also wrote about) the final page of a book, because nobody ever says in a soft voice ‘…and she lived happily ever after.‘

What does it even mean, to realize your dreams? Often this one particular point in life gets all the attention. The one jump towards the one dream. To live your dreams is, according to this way of thinking, a very short-lived sensation. At least, it would be for me. Because I don’t come with one dream only and I’m not done with one jump.

Maybe our dreams are free

Maybe there is a meta-level way of living your dreams, which means being free and able to realize your dreams over and over again.

Maybe dreams are like half-hidden provocative truths hiding behind a layer of lace, as my friend so nicely put it. You see them, but not totally. You can make out the outline, but mostly you have to imagine what is underneath. And when it’s about dreams in life, we fill this mystery with the most positive and alluring imagery we can muster.

We can get so hung up on one dream that we go through an entire lifetime wishing we had done something differently, wishing we had the courage, thinking life would have been better only if…

The thing is that if you do jump, if you peek under the lace, you may have a hell of a time, or you may find out that it wasn’t what you wanted after all. In my case instead of wishing for 30 years I had quit and moved to a tropical island when I had the chance, I did it, lived it and then realized it was nice but not forever-nice. This realization releases energy to dream further, to dream dreams I could not have imagined if I had not done the things I’ve done. Most importantly, I am not hung up on this one story for the rest of my life, and no picture of a white beach with a coconut tree will make me think life if better elsewhere. Been there, done that, now what else have you got for me, my dear Universe?

Living and moving on

What I am trying to say is this. Living a dream life and following your heart is not the one-jump-fix we often think it will be. It’s more of a lifestyle. It’s all about filling your years with several excursions, several jumps and several dreams that roll on and off smoothly. It’s about taking your dreams a little less seriously, and allowing them to be light. They don’t need to be for forever, because nothing is.

What we ought to also remember is that a dream is much more alluring under a seductive lace than standing bare chested in front of you. But don’t be fooled. Live your dream anyway, and then, simply move on.

Joy & Happiness

The elusiveness of happiness

“Maybe starting a happiness jar is not such a bad idea” I thought.

I found an empty glass jar, and cut myself some paper notes. Happiness Jar is a jar / box where in you drop a small note at the end of each day stating what made you most happy that day. Then, at the end of the year (or when having a bad moment) you can read back your happy moments and feel your spirits uplift again.

Or, you can truly realize that happiness really is in the small things.

Pushing for happiness

In life we tend to push, pull, strive and try to achieve. We try to go forward and grow. Whatever we do, the goal is basically always the same: we want to be happy. We tend to think that the NEXT thing (feeling, object, job, relationship) will finally bring us happiness, so we invest all of our psychic energy into achieving that thing. This may take years, and once we finally arrive, we realize that the darn slippery happiness has eluded us again.

So we come up with the NEXT thing, and we push forward again.

Cutting out the middle man

Not that it’s wrong to go forward and grow. Growth is what we do here, we learn, we move and we develop. It’s a natural process of a human being, but there can be very many ways in which we do this.

I recently realized with clarity the very basic principle of any spiritual practice. What if I just cut out the middle man, the pushing and the striving, and decided right now, right here that I was already happy. Since the power lies within me and my thoughts to decide what makes me happy, so why not be completely happy now?

That would be a relief!

No more crazy achievements with the cost of my soul, no more ego-driven attempts to secure my place on this planet. I would already be happy, so it would not matter what I do!

Tricky, don’t you agree. Because when happiness is here and now, where do we go? Do I give up all of my ambitions and just start staring at the ocean? Do I become lazy, poor and an underachiever in life, an outcast of society?

The human mind is strange. It often pushes us to do things that we know will make us unhappy! We know that some job or a certain position in a company does not bring us happiness, but we still want it. As if our ego wants this glamour and fame, although our heart is shouting for something else. The heart often loses this battle, and we push ahead.

The cat’s whiskers

Lately I have realized how simple happiness truly is. I have found myself almost blissfully happy in the mornings reading my book and watching the cats play around me. Watching them play in the sand, watching the line of sunshine getting closer and closer as the morning goes on, seeing the wind playing in the fur of the cats and watching the cats whiskers sway in the gentle breeze of the morning.

If life is so simple, why am I often pushing to achieve something I have decided I ought to achieve? If the meaning of life is to find a meaning to our experiences, and if it’s up to me to figure out this meaning (unless I want to choose one of the pre-chewed meanings our culture has to offer) what is stopping me from fully and wholeheartedly deciding that I am already happy, and whatever I do -or don’t- makes really no difference.

It sounds so simple, but it isn’t.

It’s a daily practice, it’s a daily reminder. It’s a daily check of what really matters, and maybe this new happiness jar with it’s 1st grade look of heart stickers and pink ribbons will help me with it.