The goal of spiritual work and personal growth for me has always been happiness and enjoying how it feels to be alive each day. To reconcile the inner conflicts and live harmoniously with myself. It’s why I call my platform Practical Transformations. It doesn’t matter how many beautiful ceremonies at sacred sites with wonderful energy experiences I have, at the end of the day it matters how I live each moment. How do I use that beautiful sacred energy to fuel my passion for transforming beliefs and strengthening my ability to deliver the emotional body to freedom?
I have always been a fairly happy person even at my darkest times, my tendency is to cut through the jungle of the mind to return to a happy place. Yes, I said it, I like to go to my happy place!
The mind resists the movement of the ocean of time and feeling. When you can surf the waves as they happen, eventually the mind surrenders and each moment brings satisfaction. By satisfaction I mean a neutral acceptance and embracing of the feelings in the moment they are perceived. When this is practiced daily, each moment becomes an opportunity to let go of the labels we put upon our feelings and be completely free in that moment. Regardless of the story there is nothing to judge and therefore everything to enjoy. Being alive is an awesome mystery unfolding just for you.
As a young pup in my 20s seeking a spiritual adventure I imagined that an obstacle for me was the changing nature of feeling every day. If I was cranky I would question if I was doing something wrong. Many of us in the personal growth arena know all too well the pitfalls of increased awareness… You often end up with more things about yourself to criticize! Now I’m not good enough at being happy! What kind of a spiritual warrior am I! When will I ever be good enough!
So I got back to basics and took a look at how babies manage their days. Babies don’t judge themselves for being a little cranky! They revel in it. When they are hungry they howl!! If something strikes them funny…they giggle! Simple reactions to the world around them and the new body they are learning more about each day.
When I was starting out as a social worker almost 30 years ago, I was part of a partnership with our public health team to look at improving outcomes for new mothers. One of the first things we taught them was how to learn and track the daily ups and downs of their infant every day. I never really thought about this before and when I saw the tracking results I was struck by this because it was absolutely normal for every infant to have periods of cranky unsettled emotional swings and crying for no reason at all! That is normal. Now this may not be any big surprise to parents out there, but I would venture to guess that regardless of your awareness that every baby is like this, you still judge yourself when your mood doesn’t exactly match what you think it should.
Somewhere along the way we got the idea that we weren’t supposed to be what we are and that normal fluctuations of feeling in our bodies should be controlled because it isn’t good or safe.
The next thing we taught the new mothers was how to maximize and ensure that they were using the best ways to engage and soothe their baby. Basically guiding the mom to understand the unique rhythms of her child and the best way to connect and take care of her baby’s needs. The purpose is to create a foundation for the mother and child to have a positive relationship and for that baby to grow in a secure, emotionally healthy way.
I also learned that there is no comparing myself to anyone and if I’m looking around any room for someone like me, I best look in the mirror because that’s the only place I will find me. Likewise there is no one definition of what it is to be happy. But there is one definition of taking care of that little being, that little baby inside of you. Yes I said it, your inner child needs you to attend to it. The way you take care of it might look unique but nurturing yourself with total self acceptance for how you are in every moment and every day is the key to a healthy, emotionally secure you.
Feeling every feeling life brings is the key to being happy all the time. When I look it up the definition of happy is to be content. Letting go of judging the feelings we have is a step back to living with the eyes of a child. Embracing each new day for what it has to offer, accepting yourself as you are today.
I made a promise to myself to enjoy my life and it’s naturally led me to enjoy the ups and downs, ebbs and flows of each and every day. Taking this attitude that everything can be enjoyed means even the things that are unpleasant can be filled with contentment and peaceful acceptance. If you are sick with the flu you can still be happy and take good care of yourself just like you would a little baby. And if you find there is difficulty enjoying your moment, that is a signal that a belief has lodged itself in the lens you are looking at things with. This is just an opportunity to bring more conscious awareness to what you are putting out there in the world.
Likewise, I had a litany of judgments about myself for how I reacted to things, felt about things in myself and my life. If I felt elated or joyous and that feeling dissipated or gave way to another feeling that was not as pleasant, I worried that I was doing something wrong because I couldn’t hold on to that feeling I judged as being the “good” feeling. I was searching for life to feel a certain perfect way but reality could never match with my imagination. So I was a failure because I wasn’t happy all the time. I had such a strong image of how everything was supposed to be…I hardly had any space to enjoy what is.
If you can see it and let it go that easily, awesome! Let yourself naturally surf to the next feeling. If it’s sticking with you and disrupting your peace then it might need a closer examination. Leaning into the feeling of being and letting go of the thoughts as they happened led to a total revolution within me and it became my motto and message. Freedom is being at ease with yourself and the normal shifting waves of feeling we experience as humans!
And for me that is happiness.