Any of these?
- Things ‘working’ in your life?
- Getting a ‘To Do’ list accomplished?
- People speaking/doing/acting in particular ways? (A biggie – as if you can control what others say and do).
- YOU speaking/doing/acting in particular ways?
- The weather?
- Where you live?
- Your job/business?
- Knowing something/not knowing something?
- How much money you have/don’t have?
- Being accepted, admired, loved?
We live in so many worlds all at the same time in our minds. Past, future, what ifs, shoulds and shouldn’ts, guilt, worry, shame, fear, anger, frustration, expectation. Every single one of these takes us away from the present moment. How easy to know this as an intellectual concept and how difficult to pull away from these thoughts and emotions as they occur, and to actually experience the mind’s resistance and the wonderful release and freedom when we arrive in the present moment, however brief.
The question “On what exactly are you basing your happiness?” came to me this morning as I was experiencing yet more frustration at the seemingly endless delays in setting up my internet satellite dish. I am staying in a remote (nearest cell and internet connections are 10 miles away) National Forest campground (camp hosting for the summer) and have decided to purchase a portable internet satellite dish so I can remain connected and continue to work in this exquisitely beautiful paradise.
The setting up of this dish has been an extremely time and patience consuming exercise. I just think I have completed it and another issue crops up. A truly grand opportunity to practice living in the now.
I could feel the mounting tension in my chest and throat again this morning – yet another issue to troubleshoot and my plans gone to the proverbial ‘hell in a hand basket’. Extreme frustration and worry that I wouldn’t’ be able to find a solution.
Then it occurred to me: “Am I basing my happiness on this situation being resolved?” Could I not be quietly and ecstatically in the flow of Life no matter what goes on in my outside world? Did my happiness actually depend on my satellite dish working properly? And the resulting consequences of it working or not working?”
And in the reverse, if my happiness was based on my satellite dish working, and it finally was working, how long would that happiness last and how real was that happiness?
They Are NOT Who I Am.
Stepping back from both situations I found myself in a place of awareness, Life pulsing vitally through every cell of my body. And in front of me was this stream of thoughts and emotions, ranging from frustration and anger to excitement and relief – all of them, every single one of them, NOT who I really am. Life, like the river below my campsite, flows on in its fullness in every moment regardless of what is going on around it.
It’s a challenge separating thoughts and emotions – such an integral part of our lives – from the essence of our being – that alive and exhilarating Life Force flowing consistently, reliably and peacefully beneath the surface of those thoughts and emotions.
I feel so much better when my happiness can depend upon that Life flowing through my awareness and not on whatever happens in my mind and emotions. In my deep sadness with my Jazzy passing (here), I was also aware of that Life Flow that told me we are all One Energy and she truly does live on in my heart. As do all loved ones who have passed. That Life Flow is deep and powerful and present – it is the flow of water at the bottom of the river, and the thoughts and emotions we think are so real and important are merely the noisy rapids on the surface.
Mind wants things working, now!
Mind can’t deal with the constant delays and resulting frustrations. In doesn’t want to even consider for a moment that happiness can exist outside these circumstances, that we can still feel peaceful and calm in the middle of apparent chaos. This is beyond mind.
But it’s not beyond the Life Essence I Am.
So on what does your happiness depend today?
What is it that mind says should/shouldn’t be happening that is causing tension in some form to rise within you? Take a moment, step back, scan your body, scan your emotions, they’ll tell you. Then see if you can’t step back from those situations into the Life you are. And keep reminding yourself any time you feel that tension rise, that this simply is NOT who you really are.