Do you feel like something is missing in your life? Perhaps you’d like more recognition, money, connections, or experiences, and you think that not fulfilling your desires is what makes you unhappy? Most people do, so let me share a story to help you understand where your dissatisfaction really comes from.
There once lived a king who was gloomy and unhappy, always stressed about all the aspects of ruling his kingdom. On one occasion, he came upon a poor farmer who was smiling and singing happily as he worked. Curious, the king asked him what made him so happy. The farmer said he enjoyed his work and didn’t need much; he was content with a simple life.
Still intrigued, the king consulted one of his advisors. “How can it be that such a poor peasant is happy while I am not? I have all the wealth and power and live a life of great luxury. What does he have that I don’t?” The advisor replied, “Your Majesty, the reason why that man is happier is because he’s not a member of the 99 Club.”
“What is the 99 Club?” the king inquired. The advisor replied, “The best way to understand the 99 Club is to leave a bag with 99 gold coins outside the farmer’s home. The king agreed and had one of his servants drop the bag at the countryman’s doorstep. When he returned home from the fields, he saw the bag and brought it inside. Once he opened it, he was overjoyed to see that it was filled with gold coins!
He counted the coins and was surprised that there were only 99. Convinced that nobody would leave 99 rather than 100 coins, he counted again and again and then looked everywhere trying to find the missing coin. After a while, he was exhausted and decided that he was going to work harder than ever to complete his collection of 100 coins.
From that day on, his life was completely changed. He started working longer days in the fields, but he no longer sang while he worked. He was grumpy and resented his family for not helping him achieve his goal. All he could think about was getting the elusive 100th coin to complete his collection, which made him very unhappy.
The king was puzzled by the drastic transformation he witnessed in the farmer, so he asked his advisor, “Why isn’t that man happy or satisfied anymore?” The advisor explained, “Your Majesty, that’s because the man is now a member of the 99 Club, which is made of people who have enough to enjoy life but are always striving for that one extra thing they believe will make them happy.”
Peace = Self-Awareness, Self-Reflection & Surrender
The ego-mind is greedy. It is continuously producing thoughts and desires, along with the belief that pursuing those desires will bring pleasure and happiness. But the nature of desire is dissatisfaction, since it arises from a sense of lack, so the enjoyment you may experience when you fulfill a desire is the momentary absence of desire. Needless to say, it doesn’t last, because the ego swiftly creates another desire to make itself felt.
Desires keep you moving forward to experience what you’re meant to experience, but they also keep the ego-mind active, disconnecting you from Consciousness by creating attachment, illusions, expectations, and fears, as well as other negative emotions when you find obstacles or opposition. Some desires are deeply ingrained and others are easier to drop, but most of them are sensory-oriented while a few can be more liberating, such as the desire for spiritual enlightenment.
Having desires is not the problem, if you understand that they’re just fluctuations of the mind and the mind is always churning these and other types of thoughts. But when you identify with them, you disconnect from yourself by giving your ego-mind the control of your perception and behavior, just like the members of the 99 Club.
Being fully present, anchored in yourself allows you to enjoy life as it unfolds instead of resisting or fighting it by expecting it to be something different in order to meet the needs of your ego. Here are a few guidelines to help you gain emotional and spiritual freedom by reclaiming the power you’ve been giving your ego-mind that prevents you from living a joyful life:
- You are your life. There is no separation, because your life is not something external; it is the continuous experience of yourself in a variety of situations projected on your mind. The world arises when you wake up in the morning and disappears when you go to sleep. Without you, nothing exists, for you are the Awareness that turns it into your reality.
- Only the present is real. Your perception is colored by the past—previous experiences, impressions, and desires—but you can only experience life in the present. Only the present is real; everything else is mental-emotional fluctuations that come and go—ideas and memories about you, others, and life.
- Joy is your true nature. When you anchor yourself in yourself, in the present, you experience inner peace, freedom, and love. This is the joy you keep looking for outside of yourself that can only be found within, as you remove the ideas and expectations that block your essential nature.
- Embrace life as it is. Every experience offers you these possibilities: you can accept or enjoy it in the present; you can resist it, which causes you pain; and you can get attached to it, which produces expectations and desires that eventually result in pain as well. Your best choice is to openly embrace every moment, whether pleasant or painful, without the self-centered-ness of your ego—participating as a witness, a vehicle of Consciousness.
If you comprehend that everything happens exactly as it is meant to happen, for it is all a play of Divine Consciousness experiencing itself in infinite forms, and that your life is perfect as it is—one experience leading to another experience to help you learn from them and become increasingly conscious of yourself—then it becomes a wonderful journey of self-discovery.
Clearly, this requires self-discipline and self-awareness to dis-identify from the ego-mind at every opportunity, because this identification is the real cause of all your suffering. Once you remove it, there is nothing but peace and joy. So contact me today to reclaim your true divine nature by developing emotional and spiritual freedom to live a truly joyful life!
© 2022 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.
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