Aspects of Happiness

By Ron Esposito - June 2013

Recently Dr. Deb Ooten sent an article to the Conscious Living Center staff entitled “22 Things Happy People Do Differently” (http://www.lifed.com/22-things-happy-people-do-differently).  As I read the article a few of the aspects of happiness really hit home for me in regard to my personal practice.

Above all, happiness is an inside job.  Ultimately, no one or no thing can ensure my on-going happiness.  That is my job.  I have found that happiness is a by-product brought forth by consciously choosing and practicing the states of being elucidated in the article.  Below are a few of my favorites.

Don’t hold grudges…Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and thinking it is going to kill the other guy!  It actually eats me up from the inside out and has power over me.  Holding onto being “right” adds to my suffering.  When I practice letting go I experience serenity.

Express gratitude for what I already have… At my best, my constant prayer is that of gratitude for everything, no matter how you label it.  Envy and jealousy keep me in a state of craving surely leading to suffering.  When I practice an attitude of gratitude I’m operating from a more abundant mindset that leads to real appreciation for what I have in my life.

Never make excuses… I feel the most empowered when I take full responsibility for my thinking, feeling and behaving.  Things happen that are beyond my control and when I take responsibility for my responses, blame and victimhood are lessened.  I serve myself and others best when I admit when I have been wrong and take action to change what I can.  No going around the left end.  Tell it like it is, baby!

Get absorbed into the present… In reality, the present moment is all there is.  Living in the past or the future is a distraction from the present moment where life is actually taking place.  Certainly the past and future must be considered for our conscious evolution but real life is in the present moment.  Be here now!

Avoid social comparison… As soon as I start comparing, somebody is going to be above or below as opposed to “being in the mix”.  “Comparing mind” reinforces the illusion of separation.  We are one.  Live and let live.

Never seek approval from others… If I try to be everybody’s everything, I end up being nobody’s anything.  It’s none of my business what others may think of me.  Approval seeking is a cruel master inviting resentment with someone else being idealized and put on a pedestal.  It can be a good thing to listen to what people have to say; I may learn something.  In the end, follow your bliss.

Meditate… Focusing on the breath and being present to the moment, observing the mind, heart and body.  When thinking, imagining, remembering, planning, feelings and sensations are noticed they are labeled as such and gently let go, returning to the breath.  Meditation creates more space internally and helps develop a centered quality.  Getting in touch with “just being” refreshes our whole organism.  Forget about not having any thoughts, etc.  You’re going to have them.  The deal is to notice and return to the breath.  Be gentle, you don’t have to do it “right”.

Accept what cannot be changed… The Serenity Prayer pretty much sums it up: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”  Acceptance is the real beginning for change.  When I realize that most things are out of my control, I can focus on what is in my control.  And when I’m conscious, that is me.  When I work on myself the whole world is better off.  When I accept “what is” everybody suffers less.  That’s wisdom!

In conclusion, Meher Baba and Bobby McFerrin got to the nub of it all when Baba said and Bobby sang, “Don’t worry, be happy”.  I always thought that sounded trite.  As I have evolved and gotten older, I have come to experience those words as true.

Know, Love, Serve.


Ron Esposito, M.A. is a certified Life Coach, Enneagram Teacher/Trainer and teacher in the School of Conscious Living.  Contact: ron.esposito@goconscious.com

 

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