True happiness? It is a choice within us!
This is an interesting theme to be writing about as in my work as a coach I have heard so many statements with this little word “happiness” and “happy”:
- “Only when this scale tells me I’m 60kgs (9st6lb), I’ll be happy”.
- “If I go vegan, I’ll be happy”.
- “If my husband (or wife) loves me, I’ll be happy”.
- “If I earn so much money, I’ll be happy”.
- “If she apologizes, I’ll be happy”.
- “When my son starts work and leaves, I’ll be happy”.
- “If you do as I think you should, I’ll be happy”.
- “If you say that I’m right/tall/beautiful/thin/well-dressed… then and only then I’ll be happy”.
Actually these things can give people a momentary sense of happiness but at the same time it is vulnerable, ephemeral. Can you feel the sense of need on the previous statements? “I NEED to be 60kgs”, “I NEED to go vegan”, “I NEED to be loved”, “I NEED money”, “I NEED them to behave” and so on… So this deep sense of need itself generally is the antithesis to real, long-lasting, sustainable happiness as it is based on external factors, on external deeds and behaviours… on things, situations, people and on a time (normally the future) outside of our control.
At my workshops I teach a happiness formula that I want to share with you today, it looks simple and at the same time it encloses a strong commitment with self-awareness, personal change and understanding the concept behind empowerment.
Here it is:
Happiness = being coherent + being grateful + flowing in the present moment + choosing wellbeing + letting go!
Being coherent – whatever you do, make sure it matches what you think and feel. Self conflict, guilt, shame, self-loathing, depression and many other “negative” feelings come from not being coherent.
Being grateful – David Steindl-Rast tells us in a very beautiful way that everybody wants to be happy and to be able to achieve that you should practice gratefulness (and not the other way around -> only the happy are grateful). Gratefulness is putting things into perspective, is being grateful for every moment and opportunity given for you to live, experience and learn. It is seeing life as a set of continuous gifts from which we can learn.
Flowing in the present moment – I often remind my clients that there is no other moment than the present one, so why do we keep allowing our mind to travel and dwell in the past or to worry in the future? So whenever you feel your mind drafting to negative thoughts, be mindful, be present of how you are moving, breathing, of your heart, temperature, colours, shapes around you, can you hear that noise between your ears?
Choosing wellbeing – whatever you do, make sure it feels right, that you feel well doing it, choose to build a relationship with that person that you feel is great at her or his side. Choose work where you feel passion, not the one paying you better or giving you a better status. If it does not feel right for you, don’t do it!
Letting go – Dr. David Hawkins tells us that when we let go of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours we can regain the power we had given to the world. When you let go, life requires less effort. The increase of pleasure and happiness is constant. You stop needing others to feel our own fullness and you are with them because you choose love and joy.
Christopher McCandless, told us that “happiness is only real when shared” and I would add that in order to be shared there is first the choice of feeling it and then the detachment of needing to share it, or that will be a source of unhappiness on itself…
So I would say…Go! Be happy and share it with others without needing to.
Health & wellness coach.