Dr. Chopra has always written about inner happiness, discovering ourselves, loving ourselves and not taking our reality too seriously. Most of his writings are about letting go of the idea of who you “think” you are and simply just “be”. His most ambitious undertaking can be found in his work “knowing God”; which focuses on exploring the notion that we all can have a direct experience with the divine. I invite you to look it up and read more on it. I will certainly write more about it later…today I want to focus on his teachings about inner happiness and how to achieve it…
Inner happiness is not just a divine quality of our true self but our birth right. Our soul was created joyful, free and likes to play. We came to this life to experience a different reality, to expand our consciousness yet we seem to have taken the “game” too seriously; instead falling for the trap that this reality is all there is. Since we were young we are taught more to focus on others than ourselves, and on all that could go wrong or “is” wrong with us vs on all that could go right and on our talents. Since we have been conditioned to live focusing on all that could go wrong, it is only natural we would grow with a sense of emptiness, and dissatisfaction. What happens then when those feelings become too intense in us?…we end up sabotaging ourselves, giving up on life and our dreams, seeing ourselves as failures, helpless or we start practicing self destructing patterns in order to fill the void. We seek to bandaid a deeper problem with a momentary solution. This would not be the case if we had been allowed to be; if our talents, our raw state of being had been nurtured. Had that been the case we would see ourselves as divine, as creators. If we saw ourselves as creators, momentary pain, dissatisfaction, setbacks, would not be something which would scare us to the point of self destruction. We would not be seeking outside “soothers” every time we felt hurt, unhappy, dissatisfied, instead we would see those things for what they are “momentary states of life pushed on us by the universe for our growth”. They are put there by life to help us rediscover each time just how powerful we are, how much we can trust our own choices, how magnificent we can be; for that is the result of making appropriate choices each time we are faced with setbacks. With each setback we transcend, we develop an inner strength which develops and feeds true inner pride.
If you seek for a great example of who we were created to be, what our true self looks like, look no further than young children. Young children who have not learned to worry or take themselves too seriously. Children play and laugh freely finding wonders in the smallest things. We define it as “finding wonders” when really all they do is see reality for what it is, a game, one that is meant to be enjoyed without self destructing patterns, without seeking to escape. They are intensely creative because they have not yet built layers of conditioning as we later on do; layers which constrain our imagination and create our own self imposed limitations. This gap of “childhood” is getting shorter and shorter as we push our children to grow too fast, partly in order to keep up with the new “tech era”. Technology can be very helpful indeed, but if it does not go hand in hand with spiritual development we are doomed; instead raising a new generation of robots. Technology is supposed to be of service to us not the other way around. More and more children leave behind that marvelous time in life where anything is possible, and we as adults think we are doing them a favour by pushing them to keep up with the pressure from external sources/peers. That is how ill our society is becoming, always thinking of keeping up or outdoing our neighbour vs focusing on our own potential. We have the power to change the direction our society will take, by helping future generations awaken to a new way of thinking where THEY are the masters of technology not its servants. Where children grow up recognizing this life is a game intended for growth, nothing else. We need to humble ourselves to their magic, and respect what they can teach us about our essence. Children are so in touch with their intuition, as adults we tend to dismiss this or mock it, rather than recognizing it for what it is “a form of intelligence which transcends the rational mind”. Children can teach us to stop being superficial or trivial, and the realization that happiness is an experience that comes from our deepest spiritual nature.
To return to happiness is to return to unity as it changes our perspectives from ego to spirit. Ego is ruled by fear and insecurity, it believes it can control everything. We all have these moments because we are all wounded children who were taught to focus more on what was right about someone else and compare it what was “wrong” with us; therefore creating a dissatisfied state of being. Ego then deludes itself to be grandiose and seeks self importance, why?…how else was a child supposed to cope with being taught to focus on all the things that were negative about him/her vs all the good things everyone else had. A totally uneven/unfair and delusional ground. To return to seeing ourselves as spirit is to accept were always infinite, eternal, beautiful. When we start to embrace this,we start to let life happen and start to naturally separate ourselves from anything, anyone that may hinder our own healthy and powerful reality. To go back to our original state is to promote tranquility in our soul, which predisposes us to laugh and to be happy.
The following secrets are meant to help cultivate more love, creativity and joy in your life. They will help you change the focus of your internal reference point; changing it from “mind focused” (ego and its limitations) to “spirit focus” (true self) where freedom and happiness can be found and which is our birth right.
Laughter, the best medicine: Our healthiest response to life is laughter, genuine laughter. We all experience loss and sadness, however joy and laughter can help dissipate suffering. So if you are sad, don’t surround yourself with even more sad situations. I do not mean simply go in denial and push anyone who may be struggling or having a bad time/day. That is an extremist attitude which will only mask the problem. However if you find yourself unable to cope, it is healthy and understandable to take a break from negative situations; until a time when you feel strong enough to deal with extra stuff. That is not selfishness, it is simply self love/self care.
Think about the times when you feel momentary genuine happiness, you feel joy and laugh from the heart; when this happens you are taking but a glimpse of your original state of being and your eternal reality. For that split moment you experience something that goes beyond the illusion we constantly perceive as real. If you can learn to focus on that, to be participant of healthy happy moments, these moments will begin to unite with one another and instead of being the exception in your life, they will become the norm. More importantly instead of being the expectator/participant you will become the creator of your own joy. This primordial state of joy will become your normal condition. That is why is so important to be genuine. Laugh when you feel like laughing, cry if you need to; tears are but a beautiful release of bottled pain. Don’t go around putting a smile simply to be accepted, when you do this you sacrifice what is most precious in you for a temporary delusion of acceptance which can be taken from you at any time. Instead become your own source, and you can only do this by allowing yourself to be all that you are, all that you feel without masks.
There is a creative solution for every problem: Believe it or not is the self imposed limitations we have been taught to put in our minds that are the reason problems arise without a solution. Had we been taught to embrace our greatness instead of being taught to see ourselves as miserable ants who have to always be looking down at the ground, who have to be thankful for a miserable existence, we would not be having such a hard time figuring out solutions to our problems. We would realize each question carries with it its own solution. The problem lies in us as we have been taught to think in sequence (before/after) vs being taught to think and see outside the box, outside the limited boundaries of time. We have forgotten problems are really just lessons, some we will succeed at, some we will fail at but is all good; all of it is natural/ normal. If we understood this, then we would understand problems and solutions are emerging from our universe at the same time. There is no problem thrown at us which does not have a solution that comes with it, we simply don’t see it because we have been taught to narrow our focus to a point where we don’t see anything but what is right before our noses. When we learn to accept ourselves with our good and bad aspects, our consciousness expands. As a result we start being without any effort required; feeling happiness in what we do which will only create positive results.
Obstacles are nothing but lessons and opportunities in disguise: Obstacles are our true self sending us signs that we need to change direction or take a new course of action. It is our higher self letting us know whatever lesson was there for us to learn has been achieved and there is another one awaiting. If your mind is open you will know this, however most us see obstacles as painful experiences (and they are- for a time -but they are also more than that).
We resist because our ego taught us in terms of owning things/people. It is our ego that tells us we are losing, when reality is we don’t own anything or anyone. Everyone is free. Listening to our ego does not make us bad, it simply means we still believe the old paradigm that we are small/helpless/scared. There is nothing wrong with feeling those things, or with feeling the anger that may arise from situations where one has been hurt. We are not perfect; I certainly am not. We need to stop deluding ourselves from believing we need to be perfect and realize being imperfect is actually what makes us unique, and able to see differently than everyone else.
The secret to overcoming obstacles is to abandon rigidity and to embrace spontaneity, accepting we can not plan ahead to face the next challenge, whatever will be will be. Many people hold on to situations/people no matter how unhappy they are, afraid of being seen as failures or being judged without all the facts being exposed. First of all who the hell gave anyone else the right to demand explanations for your choices about your own life. Anyone who thinks they know what happened when not being an active participant of the event is someone who likes to live focusing on someone else vs looking at their own life, and their own problems. No one knows exactly why you make the choices you make but you. Yes if you go seeking for an opinion from others, expect to get positive and negative feedback. However we need as a race to stop taking offense to feedback when we ask for it. We need as a race to stop giving our opinion when it has not been asked, and certainly we need to stop thinking we know best how our neighbor should live when our own life falls short. Surround yourself by those who are capable of respecting your choices without direct or indirect punishment, you deserve more than that. Life sent us knew challenges in order to be open to new mysteries and to discover what we are capable of.
There is always a reason to be thankful: As I have said in previous blogs, the purpose of gratefulness is to connect you with your higher self which leads to a higher view of life. You have the power to decide on what to focus your attention, keep in mind whatever you focus your attention on will manifest in your reality. This can be challenging at first. Personally I struggle when it comes to wounds not healed yet, but I also allow myself the room to fail from time to time at letting go of the hurt and anger which stops me from growth. I try to remind myself not to pay too much attention to negative situation/people and instead to retrain myself to focus on aspects that show love and harmony because those aspects will expand my life. Little by little I can see the benefits of this, and just like a mosaic fragments of happiness, of fullness, of positive events/people will merge into a complete image. This image will then replace the limited fearful images created by ego.
Our soul loves all sides of us unconditionally: First thing we need to realize and accept is we are all dual. We all have light and darkness within us (with very few exceptions: Psycho killers / metaphysics believes that some people through choosing not to advance in life and learn their lessons,have given up their soul; they are empty).
Our higher self/our soul loves us with both our darkness and our light, because it recognizes our darkness is but a something we need to transcend. It recognizes our value, because it knows all is part of a bigger plan which is in place to develop the level of our consciousness.
From the conventional point of view people who have strong self esteem are bound to have a strong ego, and this is usually cherished by our society, why?…because it promotes competition. These people feel life’s challenges are material/tangible and so they enjoy testing themselves against the obstacles presented by society, as a reward they get money status and possessions, however when faced with the challenges presented by the universe in order to expand consciousness they tend to become rigid which really is a sign of being afraid. It does not mean those who seek to enjoy life through its material achievements are bad, that would be the wrong way to look at it. Material possessions, gains, can be beneficial and helpful, however it is something we need to look at as a bonus rather than the goal of this life. To go to the other extreme to condemn people who embrace material things is just as wrong. The universe/our soul does not condemn it as long as it does not hinder us from personal growth. The universe rewards us with those things to enjoy in life and it is not seen as bad so long as it was not taken from your neighbour. Ultimately however we need to focus on the value of the soul without taking this notion to an extreme which is the case of many religions (all religions have something good to teach, however most religions have lost the original meaning of what they were supposed to be teaching). Our soul is infinite and never changes; since all the events (good and bad) don’t happen just to our “persona” but to our soul, then all experiences are connected and must be cherished.
You are safe: Many of us live in a state of anxiety, feeling isolated and threatened by all potential danger of life. We live like this because we forgot that fear is but an illusion, and that our true self can never be hurt. “All fear is born of duality” is a phrase used through the ages by some of our most advanced teachers/sages. They tried to teach us to realize we are one with existence, when we have learned to accept this then we feel no fear because nothing can ever harm us. A good way of letting go of fears is to question your thoughts and opening your conscience. When you feel afraid, remind yourself you are safe even if you don’t believe it at that moment. Analyze what is happening to your body; what is your breathing doing, observe all of it, your behavior, your tone of voice. Then ask yourself this question “who is observing this?”…the observer my is your inner being, that silent loving center which exists independently and is external to your fears. The OBSERVER IS THE REAL YOU!. Learning to look at things that way will help you feel the fear without being paralyzed by it, fear will then be only an alteration/ a momentary lapse within your broad field of consciousness. Your field of consciousness is so broad, and FEAR IS SO SMALL IT CAN NOT HURT YOU. The observer is so stable it will help dissipate your fear and help you experience more of the real you; full of happiness and peace.
Your life has a purpose: No matter how lost or confused we may feel, our life has a purpose; you are the ones that determines that purpose. The more we learn to listen to our soul/to the observer, our purpose manifests itself; unfolding in our daily life as part of a greater plan. The more we listen to the observer (the real you) the more connected we become with that plan, the more connected we become with the plan, the more it will manifest in our lives. If you want to be sure of your purpose I recommend spending time meditating, and engaging in other practices to expand your awareness.
You are a co-creator: You are a co-creator with the universe and you have infinite energy at your disposal. The type of energy we invoke at any time depends on our own level of consciousness. Most people rely on ego energy otherwise called superficial energy. We all do this, the trick is in letting go of superficial energy. The ego easily falls prey to the illusion that the urge to achieve, anger, competitiveness, fear, etc are the only things that are real. Ego does this because it ignores the higher energies of love, compassion, fairness, truth. The road to happiness is subtle and with each step we achieve a new mental plane where new levels of energy become available to us. To have access to this creative power we need to reconnect with our true self/the observer. Our true self is the one that connect us with the fundamental energies within ourselves, which we have forgotten about but are not lost. It is then we become able to create with ease and enjoy the manifestation of our healthy desires.