We see people wanting more money, love, power, influence, and better health because they believe this is what they need to be happy and live joyfully. Yes, you may feel happiness initially, but eventually, these feelings fade, and then you want more. The reason for that is because everything we are aiming to bring us happiness is from external sources.
As long as we are unhealthy in our spirit, thinking, and emotions, we will not achieve that level of joy we seek. We have trained our whole life to look outside of ourselves to identify how we feel, and this is backward. What we truly want in life, happiness, and an overtone of consistent joy, will never come to us from anything outside of ourselves.
Even when we feel bad, we attribute those feeling to an outside source. Someone said something or did something. I am having a bad morning because that idiot cut me off in traffic. No, you had a startling moment because you someone cut you off. To continue to feel bad because of others and situations is your choice and only your choice.
From the moment we wake up in the morning, we do two things that will keep us stuck as we are. First, we think about a problem in our life. Or we start to replay an old conversation and create a response to it, and it was not even a good conversation. It was a conflict or differing opinions. But it starts your day by thinking about a past situation and seeing how you could have responded differently, which creates depression. Or we wake up in the morning thinking about the bill that needs to be paid, the work schedule, or seeing someone you do not care to experience. These things have not even happened yet, and you are living them as your now experience. Why? Worrying about the future creates anxiety, and in reality, there is a good chance that the situation will not be as bad as you are creating it in your mind.
At least 90% of the time, we live unconsciously. Living unconsciously is not paying attention or being aware of what is. We go through life thinking about the past or worrying about the future, but we are not fully aware of the right now. The only way to live consciously is to be aware of right now. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Not about what anyone else has done to you or will do to you, just focusing on yourself. You are experiencing yourself at this moment in time. Having this focus is a challenge for so many people and not being able to do this leads to problems, ill health, and unhappiness.
When you learn to live more consciously, you will see a shift in your life. You are less likely to react to people and things around you. You will stop giving over your personal power to external forces and take control of the direction you want your life to go in. It does not matter who you are or what you do. You can be a janitor or a CEO. You will not find true success in life and living until you begin to take this personal responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
At first, this can be challenging. You must do personal evaluations throughout the day to see how you are thinking and feeling. Are your thoughts and feelings coming from within yourself, or are you allowing the external environment to lead you like a puppet?
As soon as I wake up, I have started a practice to ask myself, “Who do I want to be today? Do I want to feel troubled or content?” It is my choice at any moment. I also ask myself what I am thinking. Is it from the past or the future, and is it relevant to what I need to live right now – in the present moment? Am I focused on the present? If not, then why not?
I am as human as everyone else, so my practice of living in the present can be taken over quite easily with living unconsciously. I find myself reacting to people and situations. The closer they are to me, the easier I find myself reacting to them. I also do not like who I am when that happens. So, I have learned to take a few moments to pull back. To recognize what is happening. Not allowing myself to be a puppet to others, situations, or my well-trained unconscious mind and emotions. I am learning to take control.
An amazing thing happens when you begin to do this more often; When you choose to be conscious of what is right now. Life starts to smooth out. Better situations, more interesting people and greater opportunities present themselves. They may have always been there, but we were too tied up with our thoughts and emotions to see that they were there because we live an unconscious life. We walk around, asking, “Why doesn’t anything work out for me?” Well, you have to learn how to open your eyes, be aware, feel better.
It is not an easy practice to begin. Your body is like an untrained animal. When you want to quiet your mind down, it will begin thinking, “I need coffee, I need to go to the bathroom, I wanted to watch the news, I need to make this phone call.” The body is conditioned to moving through life unconsciously, and for the sake of ease, it wants to continue to live this way. You have to train it to focus, sit quiet, and let it know you are in change. I used to set reminders on my phone throughout the day to take a moment to be aware. I would tell my brain to take a short break, and I would look around and appreciate what is around me. Focusing quiets the inner conflicts; this brings the mind in check, like breaking a horse. You are teaching your body and mind to sit.
The more you do this, the better you will feel throughout your day. You may still react to someone, but you will catch yourself sooner. You can easily shift course. How many times did someone say something you did not like? You spent the next hour, day or week, playing out conversations and rebuttals in your mind—what a waste of time of joy that you could have experienced instead.
So, my challenge for you today is to begin to train the beast within. Take a moment to sit and listen to the wind. Hold a warm cup of coffee and enjoy the feeling of warmth. Look up and just let your mind float with the clouds for a moment. You will find that nothing is lost in that moment of quieting yourself, but a lot can be gained.
If you want to know more, I am offering pre-orders of the book “Joy Quest: A Journey to true Happiness. Click the button below for the pre-order discount price. The book will be released in November 2020.