In pursuit of happiness

Happiness, the one emotion we strive to achieve.   What will it take to make you truly happy? To feel content, to feel bliss?

What is happiness?  This state of mind, this feeling tends to be synonymous with success – success with health, with relationships with work and finances. We associate happiness with situations and people.  But why? Why do we give away the power to feel happy when this is a state of mind? A state of mind that is fully in our control.

The general consensus is that when everything is ok, I will be happy, at peace.  But in reality that seldom happens.  When we are at peace, when we are happy, then everything falls into place.  To feel inner happiness, without this being attached to people or situations is the key.  For me, this has been an area of great importance and development.

For me, the pursuit of inner happiness is the epitome of success.  I am happy and content with my life and all the challenges I have faced.  I have all I need and more. This state of mind has been achieved through adopting three specific practices: acceptance, awareness and gratitude.   When we don’t accept a specific situation whether that is related to relationships, career, finances or health, we become stuck and stagnate in a swamp of negativity and helplessness.  This lack of acceptance results in the creation of a negative narrative and it all begins with one negative thought which leads to another and another and before you know it you are tangled in a dark web of negativity.  This conditioned behaviour of overthinking leads to a number of negative emotions from stress and worry to frustration and anger.

However, when you begin to accept a situation, there is no struggle as the brain succumbs to the notion of what is, allowing the healing process to accelerate.  This then results in moving forward with a renewed mind set – where an alternative thinking pattern provides a more positive perspective.

As well as acceptance, be aware of your thoughts – observe them. When you are aware that your thoughts are taking on a negative form, shift this thought pattern.  The most effective method to do this, is through practising gratitude. Focusing on and appreciating what you are grateful for in life begins to create harmony and bliss in your life.  Think, say and most importantly, feel gratitude from your heart. It is when gratitude from the heart is achieved that you feel happiness emanating from within.

The practice of gratitude is very powerful – don’t underestimate the power of being thankful and appreciative.  For me, this practice has created within me a glow of happiness like a warm, glowing fire on a cold night that provides warmth and light.  The first words I utter as I awaken, are always those of gratitude: I am grateful for a good night’s sleep; I am grateful for a comfortable bed; I am grateful for my job which allows me to have these comforts.  Like this, through the day, be thankful constantly for everything and see the glow of happiness expand in your life.

Let there be love

It’s taken me over 40 years to come to the realisation that LOVE is all there is.  I don’t mean to fall in love with someone or to love material things like your car, house and possessions. Although this love has its place. I mean a love that is deeper, a love that stems from the depths of the soul.  The love I am talking about is pure, inner love – the love for Divine, for the Creator.

With love in my heart, I feel contentment.  It is this love emanating from my heart that is resulting in the negation of negative feelings and thoughts. I now feel I am able to fully let go of previous anger, resentment and blame.  This feeling of love in my heart is allowing me not only to forgive people, who in my past, I feel have wronged me but more than that; I now feel positively towards these people – something I thought was never possible.  When I think of these people, I see them doing well in life, I feel my heart smiling for them.

Oddly enough, there seems to be an internal expansion of the realms of the heart. There has to be as the love I feel sometimes seems as if it is not containable within the heart in which it resides.   For me, the month of Ramadan acted as a catalyst in magnifying this closeness I feel for my Lord.  The practise of constant gratitude and meditation has created within me a realm through which my form is beginning to evolve, as has my practice of meditation. This now takes the form of focusing internally on the heart, which follows an inherent urge to allow the heart  to recite His names – ‘yaheyyo yakayyum’ (The Ever Living, The Self Subsisting).  These words resonate with my soul and create a connection with my Creator that is magnificently blissful!  This allows the heart and mind to connect as one and generates a feeling of oneness that radiates from within and creates a feeling of connectedness to everything.  I feel the warmth of love surrounding my being, holding me, reassuring me.

Let there be love.  Allow the heart to feel love.  Allow this love to negate all ill feelings towards other people and situations and heal wounds of the past.   With love filling the heart, it possible to let go and to have greater faith in the Divine Creator – in his plan.   Allow this beautiful emotion to dictate the course that life takes.  Let the heart take over and submit to the will of love, the will of the Creator.   Love is God and God is Love – with love, you feel the presence of the Divine encompassing you.  Begin this wondrous journey through adopting the practise of gratitude, kindness and meditation and feel connected to the Almighty.

This journey of self -discovery, I feel is only the beginning.  There is much to experience, to feel and discover, learn, love and evolve.