We all want to be happy, right? At peace? Content no matter what arises?
Of course we’ll feel sadness and anger again. There’s no cure-all, one fix stop and shop. This is something much greater and much deeper. It’s a path to freedom and happiness no matter what rises up in front of us.
First, though, we have to put aside our intellect. This isn’t an intellectual article. It took me a long time to get out of my mind and into my senses. I lived in my intellect for years, using it to build walls of superiority between myself and the world. Using it to tear down all paths to happiness.
I took a beating because of it. My know-it-all mind almost killed me. It wasn’t until I stopped knowing and started feeling that I finally understood something. And that is where I discovered happiness. There is an infinite river of joy waiting for us all just beyond the limitations of the mind.
So, dear seekers, if you are ready to start feeling happiness read on. If you’re set on understanding these concepts with the mind, you may struggle. You may want to rail against these ideas and present all the logical reasons why they don’t line up. And that’s okay. My intention is to share wisdom that has been of benefit to me. I’m no expert in anything but my own life experiences, and so that is exactly what I will share with you below.
May these quotes from author Dan Millman be of benefit:
“Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’—it is to be here.”
We spend our whole lives working toward our ambitions, dreams and desires. Stop and ask yourself, when was the last time you just existed in the moment? For me, the first time I read this, the answer was never. I had been trying to get somewhere else since my earliest conscious memory! The idea that happiness lies “over there” is false. When we accept this, we begin to see.
“. . . Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”
“The mind is like a phantom.” Does that not ring true with a resounding thud? When we just pause for a second and really hear these words, letting them sink in and digesting their meaning, they’re so simply profound. I had to stop and ask, Is it really so simple? And of course, the answer came floating back through the stillness within: Yes. That’s when I saw it. We can spend hours thinking about taking an action in the future or dwelling on an action of the past, in which case neither one has us living in the present. When we are actually taking an action, we aren’t thinking about it—we are doing it. Stay in the action, and we stay in the present. To live in the mind is to live in the past or the future.
“The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”
To further the point above, there is only here and now. Nothing else actually exists. To waste all our present moments planning and fretting over a future which will arrive as it’s meant to is nothing but a giant waste of our time. If we approach each moment at hand and each task in front of us with our utmost ability and effort, then we have done our best. The only thing we actually have a say in is the effort we will put forth in any given moment of the present. But that only exists in the present.
“You don’t need to control emotion,” he said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”
Only the mind fears emotion. We block emotion, we judge emotion, we suppress emotion. Why? Because at some point we created a story around emotion that simply is not true. Thus when emotions arise, the story arises as well. Pause for a moment and examine the labels you subconsciously put upon any given emotion. Imagine now that emotions are not good, bad or indifferent. When we are living beyond the mind, we see emotion for exactly what it is: energy. It is here we can transform this energy into constructive action. Have you ever fueled a project with the energy of channeled anger? It’s like a boost of nitrous oxide for our motivation.
“Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor and Change.
– Paradox: Life is a mystery; don’t waste your time trying to figure it out.
– Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure
– Change: Know that nothing ever stays the same.”
I leave you with these most wise words of wisdom. In a nutshell, we’ve connected with paradox when we remember that nothing is ever going to make sense and so we should stop trying to understand—that we will find exactly what we’re looking for in the places we refused to look. The mind wants to understand, but it never will.
If we can find humor in the ironies and in our own foibles, we can find joy. There is freedom in humor. A tragedy is only a tragedy because of our beliefs around it. When we’re living in our senses, we feel. So we can feel sadness and we can let it go. There is no crisis but the one we create in the mind. How can we not find humor there?
And last, change. The biggest cause of suffering is resistance to change. Only the mind believes that we can avoid change. Change is natural and necessary, so the moment we stop fearing it the door to happiness opens.
Let it go. Whatever it is.
Take a breath. Deep into your belly. And release. Feel. Breathe. Be.
If you relate to these words, I highly suggest reading The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. It is truly a book to change lives.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Toby Israel