Make the Happy Happen!
Think back to a time when you were very happy. It could have been just a few minutes ago, or maybe yesterday, or perhaps years...
Now bring that memory clearly into your mind, as if you are actually there in that moment. Ask yourself, "Where is my happiness coming from?"
It may seem that the outward experiences we have, our perceptions of the external world, are what bring us happiness. A sunny day in the park or at the beach, special time with friends and loved ones, a good joke, an engaging book or movie... We have these experiences and they make us happy, and so we try to have more experiences like them, so we can continue being happy.
And what happens when bad weather comes? Or no one is around to see us? Or we've read all the books and seen all the movies that we care to? Even worse, what happens when our outward experiences are not so good, maybe even hurtful, and all around not very happy?
Many people become unhappy in these situations. Rightfully so, of course, especially if their experiences call for sadness or anger or any other emotion besides happiness.
It is okay to not be happy.
I am not one who proclaims that happiness forever is the way to go. I accept all emotions that come to me, as they are, so that I can learn everything I need to learn from them. Eventually, however, I use certain emotions less and less as I continue to develop my awareness and hone my vibration.
Yes, it is okay to be unhappy. What I would like you to consider here is that happiness — and other emotions as well, but for now I am focusing on happiness — comes from within you, not from outside of you.
Think back to that happy time...
Think back to another happy time, and another...
If you are skillful with your imagination, then you can tap into that happy feeling even now. And if you can do that, then you can prove to yourself that the happiness you feel in this moment is indeed coming from inside of you!
Yes, there are some experiences, as compared to others, which facilitate happiness more. Some experiences help us to feel happy more easily. Ultimately, however, the feeling of happiness does not come from those experiences. It arises from within!
The feeling of happiness rises up and out from within you to meet your outward experiences, as a response.
Many many people do not realize this. They believe that happiness exists "out there" somewhere, and that the only way to be happy is to have more and more happy experiences. They end up chasing happiness. And the truth is that all this time, instead of looking for a way to be happy, they could have just practiced... being happy!
If you want to be happy, just be happy!
Now, I know this is easier said than done. Of course, of course, I know this! However, practice makes perfect, and this is a skill that you can practice. Yes, in a world which can often seem to weigh us down, being happy is a skill. Think about it...
Really, think about it! Think about that happy time, and all the happy moments you have ever experienced. Remember them, sense them, feel, see, hear, touch, smell, taste them in your mind! And allow that feeling of happiness to rise up within you. Hold onto it, cherish it, and keep that flame lit. Kindle it again and again, and soon you will have a nice bonfire to warm you even on the coldest of nights.
Without going on too much longer, I will make a general point about neuroanatomy in relation to how this skill evolves. The more you focus on those good and happy memories, the more you play them over and over again in your mind, the stronger those neural pathways will become. You will be able to return to them more and more easily as you practice more and more.
And then — and this is the super excellent part — that feeling of happiness will begin to take on its own form. It will come free of the memories and exist all on its own in your brain and mind, so that all you need to do is remember to be happy. Focus on happiness, and there you are — happy!
This can be done with any emotion, and is often done unintentionally with undesirable emotions. More on that in a future post. Until then, farewell!
And don't forget to practice! Being happy is a skill!