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How to Be Happy - Happiness is Our Birthright
Category: Journeys Written by Robert Wilkinson
Even though we are told we are guaranteed health, wealth, love, and perfect self-expression if we choose to embrace these, one of the keys to life is to be happy while we go through the ups and downs. We can be happy if we learn how to cultivate that state of mind. Today we explore how to achieve an ongoing state of happiness.
I originally gave this to you many years ago. This offering adds substantially to the earlier work, fleshes out some things which were jump cuts in the flow, and reflects what I’ve learned since I first wrote it. I believe that what you’re about to read will help you find and maintain great happiness in your life, if you trust the process and cultivate a happy mindset.
Everyone wants to be happy. There are many ways to find happiness, and many ways not to find it. We chase many experiences in life, some of which make us happy just in the pursuit of them. However, it’s just as true that often what we pursue leads us to tremendous unhappiness. When we learn how to find and recognize happiness, we can avoid being led into unhappiness. As we open our imagination and embrace the journey to happiness, we become happiness itself as we live our lives.
In our quest for happiness, we have to figure out two things. One is recognizing what will truly make us happy here and now. The other is we must learn to be receptive to welcoming experiences which will make us happy, whether we know it ahead of time of not. In other words, we have to learn to recognize when it’s time to BE happy.
It has been said “Happiness is of the mind, joy is of the Soul, and bliss is of the Spirit.” If happiness is of the mind, then we have to understand how our mind works so we can stop the causes which disrupt our happiness. We’ll never be able to sustain a “happy state of mind” if we’re continually generating thoughts which cause us to be unhappy.
Releasing What Makes Us Unhappy
If all of us seek happiness, it seems to me we have to learn how and where will might find happiness, and understand why we believe we will find happiness that way. A huge obstacle to maintaining a happy state of mind is that we clutch at “being happy” while living in a reality which is impermanent. No matter how happy we are, because life moves on and we move on, what makes us happy changes over the years. That’s why we learn to let go of things which no longer make us happy.
In our quest to be happy, we must look at our bondage to any “craving for happiness” we feel, since that prohibits any true happiness from taking root. We’ve all known people that try too hard to find happiness, and so usually miss it when it’s happening. Again, this is where the ability to detach from listening to the scratchy mental grooves we’ve recorded in our minds is paramount.
As we mature and learn to let go of some things while welcoming others, we find that what makes us truly happy changes with time and maturity. That’s why to maintain a happy state of mind, we have to have a certain level of detachment from the things which made us happy in the past so that from time to time we can check to see if they still bring us happiness. While some things will make us happy for our whole lives, other things must be released so new things can come which expand our sense of what will make us happy.
Cultivating an attitude that welcomes happiness means releasing our pessimism and negative attitudes about things and people. The lower mind can be very rigid and negative in its beliefs and attitudes, because it’s often more focused on “knowing” what is “right and wrong,” or “good and bad” than focused on being happy.
This is where we must ask ourselves the classic question from time to time: “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?” While occasionally we can be both at the same time, more often our need to be “right” gets in the way of our being “happy.”
Even when we’ve cultivated an attitude that welcomes being happy, we have to learn to recognize when we have the opportunity to BE happy in that moment. I have known many, myself included, who yearned for happiness but didn’t take the opportunity to experience it when we could because our minds were busy elsewhere. This is where we have to learn to be in the moment, and if there’s an opportunity to feel something fulfilling, meaningful, joyous, or just simply be happy, embrace that experience in the here and now.
Lasting happiness is a state of mind that must be cultivated. Any happiness attached to an object of perception, a person, place, or thing, will be transitory, since all forms pass away. That’s why we can find great happiness in things, but ultimately those things leave, to be replaced with other things.
The trick is to know when and how to let go, and at the right time choose those things that will bring us renewed happiness. Great happiness is often found in giving away something we have valued to another who will value that thing, since it creates space at just the right time. Of course, we can’t take “it” with us past a certain point anyway.
We Find Happiness As We Let Go of Our Separateness
A lot of life’s happiness comes as we let go of inhibitions and fears, including any which make us feel separate from ourselves or others, or Life itself as it eternally unfolds each minute. A feeling of inner freedom is the nature of our eternal Soul-Spirit. The more we remember that we are the joy of being a Loving, Wise, Intelligent Consciousness, the more we’ll experience happiness, since our minds will be attuning to our greater Love. The mind perceiving a greater Love can lead it to happy thoughts.
Because we’re all One Life together, anyone who cultivates an expanded feeling-awareness eventually will come to an ability to experience a great happiness through feeling more connected to Life and “All-That-Is.” It’s a joyous thing to realize our loving part to play in the greater Life that’s all around us. This joy will naturally translate to happy thoughts, since our mind will understand our unity with Life. However, the mind alone is not enough to feel happy. We have to learn to expand our ability to have “happy feelings” and recognize them when they’re happening.
We have three dimensions of feeling; our personal experience of our feelings, the feelings we share with others or which are the result of our direct interactions with others, and the feelings we experience in the collective field. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we also feel what others are feeling, both those in the physical space we occupy and others at a distance. This shared feeling experience can be difficult due to the general level of suffering which the entire world feels these days.
That’s why we have to learn to recognize what we’re feeling, since then we can still maintain an attitude of happiness even in the midst of difficult feelings. It’s not that we’ll be laughing and having a good time if we’re in the presence of sorrow, despair, and suffering, but we also won’t be thrown off our inner equilibrium and can maintain a positive attitude of mind while expressing compassion.
One of our tasks in Life is to understand we are not separate from anything or anyone for even a moment, and also that we are independent of our environment and can choose to generate any thought or feeling we want at any time. We are here to evolve from wondering what’s going on and what we can do to a clear sense of knowing the type of positive ideas, feelings, and actions or inactions we can bring to each moment which generate positive energy into the future.
We all go through tests of Life which challenge us to have a positive attitude. We all have been through difficult circumstances and tragic events which threw us into unhappiness and confusion. While feeling badly during these times is natural, they are also the perfect time to understand and claim our power to change our view and our responses so we come out of the unhappy experience with understanding and wisdom. Knowing we are not trapped in negativity can lead to a measure of happiness in the moment. I find it useful to remember Lincoln’s dictum, paraphrased as “a person’s about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
When we cultivate a happy mindset, it is relatively easy to be positive in our approach to the generic and individual suffering in our world, since our default doesn’t lead to unhappiness. Because we don’t respond with negativity, when we find ourselves in unhappy circumstances, we can instead bring our genuinely happy mindset into play and generate ideas and feelings which cut through the density of the negative feelings. Our ability to choose to be happy is one of the greatest dispellers of glamor, illusion, and darkness we have.
It is said there are four sources of suffering generated by the mind, which are attachments, aversions, illusions, and “the mind suffering over its own suffering.” The antidotes to these are detachment, dispassion, discrimination, and our ability to generate positivity or Bodhichitta in the here and now. As you can see, a degree of detachment, dispassion, and discernment are useful tools to help us redirect energy in the moment. Cultivating an attitude of happiness, positivity, good will and the “will to good” is an invincible tool we all have that helps us create a happy life and offer that promise to others.
As the old proverb goes, “We cannot prevent the birds of worry from flying overhead, but we can prevent them from making a nest in our hair.” Being happy is always right here, right now. There is no other time to be happy. So the next time your mind wants to take you into an unhappy space, you have the power to decide to focus it elsewhere on that which is more fulfilling, more joyous, and more empowering to the happiness that is your Divine Birthright.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
I want to welcome all to drop by our Facebook page at Astrology Arizona and join the social media initiative going on there. Please feel free to contribute a topic, ask about a topic, or anything else related to our new group. See you over there!
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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