What Does It Take To Be Happy?

learn to be happy with spiritual counseling & coaching Let me ask you, are you happy? If not, do you know what would make you happy? You can probably observe there are both positive and negative things in yourself and your life, but did you ever imagine it would be the way it is when you were younger? And more importantly, what expectations of your future self do you hold now?

Everyone wants to be happy, but both from personal experience and years of working with many types of clients I’ve learned that happiness becomes increasingly elusive when you approach life from the mind, without integrating aspects that offer a broader, more heart-centered perception of things. That is, when your experience of life is colored by judgment and comparison: where you are as opposed to where you think you should be.

This approach disconnects you from yourself. First of all, life doesn’t come with instructions; you navigate it as best you can, and learn as you go, so holding on to judgments and regrets serves no purpose, except to rob you of the present. Also, the ego-mind will attempt to block true happiness, because happiness is your divine nature, and the purpose of ego is to create and maintain the illusion of separation from others and from your divinity—to give you the sense of individual sensory experiences.

In the late 1930s, the Harvard Medical School launched a research study, known as the Study of Adult Development or the ‘Grant Study,’ as a counterpoint to the disease model of Western conventional medicine. What set out to clarify which conditions enhance well being, by following the lives of  268 healthy Harvard sophomores from 1939 to 1944, turned into a study of human happiness and what makes a ‘good life.’

Obviously, World War II was a good incentive—nothing prompts us to put life in perspective more than the threat of death—but back then it was revolutionary, since medicine hadn’t discovered the impact of genetics or classified mental illnesses yet, and it showed little or no concern for the emotional and spiritual components of a meaningful life, at least not in terms of how these could promote or prevent ‘disease.’ (This hasn’t changed much, really; if anything, it’s gotten worse since the healthcare system became one of the most profitable businesses, but that’s another story.)

Although limited by the fact that its subjects were only white, privileged male students, the study sparked enough interest to continue on for more than 70 years and inspired new, albeit more philosophical, explorations. Now, the Grant Study revealed that good relationships keep us happy and healthy, which may not surprise you at all. But is this really all there is to it? And if the purpose of our existence is creating good relationships, shouldn’t we start with the relationship we establish with ourselves?

From a spiritual viewpoint, your perception is colored by the ego-mind that aims to keep you in the illusion of separation: the illusion that gives you the experience of being in relationship with others rather than with projected aspects of yourself. Unfortunately, the stronger the ego, the less capable of relating to others or the world in a loving manner, because a distorted self-perception gets in the way. In other words, if we relate to others from our mind, we’re simply projecting attachments and expectations onto them, and they’re probably doing the same.

Ego Blocks the Flow of Love

To connect to someone else at a different level, or even to a personal project or goal, it’s necessary to perceive them not from the mind but with all your being, with the intelligence of the heart, which is a higher, wiser, and more intuitive mind. But although this aspect is your connection to the true you and your true Self, it’s easily tainted with attachments, expectations, and illusion due to past unresolved emotional issues.

You’re wired to be happy, so you’ll hurt and then seek happiness when you disconnect from yourself, but you’ve identified so much with the ego-mind that you believe you can only find that happiness outside of yourself: through people, success, things, money, experiences, validation, and so on. In other words, you’ve forgotten that living is life’s only purpose, and that everything you’ve gone through, good or bad, pleasurable or painful, has led you to who and where you are today.

You are work in progress, and every step takes you closer to your goal, to the discovery of your true Self, where love, peace, and happiness abide. You’re always on the move, discovering, unfolding, learning and unlearning, even if you’re not aware that this process is your eternal destiny. Ego, however, will dismiss all the steps that took you here, all the small victories and miracles that have kept you from giving up or completely disconnecting; all the effort to pierce through your resistance to grow and expand your awareness, in search of your ultimate destination.

Ego fixates on your sensory and emotional identifications to remain in control of your experience, robbing you of the joy that gives purpose and meaning to your life, no matter what your circumstances, and a clear sense of your place in the Universe. How? By shaping expectations and illusions with past impressions: about yourself, about your life, about people in your life, and of course, about the future.

There’s simply no way to be happy if you allow the ego-mind to continue robbing you of the present moment. The key to your happiness is to surrender to the flow of life, with gratitude and humility, since it’s never going to be what you expect or what you think it should be; because life is fluid and changeable (see Why Humility Is Essential For Healing). If you’re not happy now, how can you be sure you will be happy later on, once you have what you think is going to make you happy? Ask yourself, what would I do right now if I had only one year to live, or six months to live, or one month to live? Would I remain in the realm of illusions and expectations or find effective ways to reconnect to the flow of love?

When you’re fully present in everything you do, but without expectations or illusions, or fear, you tap into the infinite creative nature of your soul and allow the true YOU to emerge; you recognize that life is not separate from you and love pervades and connects everything; that the flow of your life is love (Divine Consciousness) and those things you’ve been hoping for are all within you. So contact me today to embark on a fascinating, soul-guided journey, to master the ego-mind, develop emotional freedom, and discover your true destiny!

© 2017 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.

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