The Key to Happiness
That’s a pretty bold topic and statement, I know, and also a very intriguing one. A lot of people have made claims to “The Key to Happiness” and it has been a hot topic forever — probably as long as people have been pondering the meaning of life. So, why aren’t people happy?
We’re going to explore a concept based in Buddhism, what mindfulness is, and really go deep into intuition and finding our truths together; the perfect recipe for juicy happiness.
Back to the key to happiness —what if the answer to this is actually so simple that it’s been right in front of our noses all along?
And, actually, what if it’s SO easy and simple that. . . that’s what makes it difficult for some people?
All religions have explored this topic, some deeper and more authentically than others, and base their teachings around it in some way. The real question, then, is: what’s the truth and where do I find it?
The truth is easy, remember?
The truth is that the key to happiness is found INSIDE. Actually, all of our wants and needs can be fulfilled by going inside.
Bam. So easy.
For most people including myself, we’ve been “trained” to look for the fulfillment of all of our needs outside of ourselves by society, culture, etc. We have even been taught to give our power away in order to be safe, happy, loved, and satisfied. We have been taught to live in separation from others physically, mentally, and emotionally. Well, let’s forget everything we were taught growing up because obviously someone got it wrong — look around, no one is happy!
I think back to when I was a child and the neighborhood park would be teeming with children and their families playing and having picnics. My friends and I would spend almost the entire summer out and about around the neighborhood, cruising on our bikes exploring. We were only about 6 or 7 when we started this tradition and there was never any fear for our safety at the time. Everyone looked out for each other and people from all around the block would come together for big neighborhood picnics and celebrations. My mom was even the head of the neighborhood watch for a few years. Now, in many cities around the States, you shouldn’t go out after dark without some type of protection (women carry tasers, pepper spray, pocket knives, etc.). People don’t even go out trick-or-treating on Halloween any more because it’s not safe to go door to door, walking around the neighborhood after dark. I lived this transition in my neighborhood— I watched as it moved from one pole to the other. I’m sure that others who lived through the 70’s-90’s era felt the same with the “free love” movement. The contrast is deafening.
We’ve gone from loving and celebrating each other to fearing and protecting ourselves from one another.
Remember my last article where I discussed the The Law of Convergence and how our outer environment directly mirrors our inner one*? Cha-chingggg. This applies here. So, if we’re taught to think and live in separation from others, we’re obviously taught to live in separation from ourselves. This is something that’s been brewing and has really sped up as a collective around the world in my lifetime alone, and I’ve still got a lot of life to live. It’s this “us versus them” mentality. You literally see it everywhere from race, gender, sexuality, age, class, and even in terms of body shape and size.
It’s truly insanity.
How do you “fix” separation?
Stay with me here. I like to figure stuff out and put things together. I’m an innovator, a creator in that way. It’s a beautiful gift and I LOVE to give.
What I’d say is the strongest gift that I possess is my intuition; it’s something that I’ve blindly followed without consciously realizing it up until the beginning my ‘awakening’ a few years ago. It has always been there, only my perception of it has changed. Just like happiness, LOVE, and abundance. — they’re always there but we can’t truly perceive them until we choose to.
Now that I’m aware of myself and choose to “go inside” for love and healing, I have been using and working out my intuition muscles.
What happens when you work out your muscles? They get stronger.
I now trust and listen to my intuition loyally and am continually deepening my relationship with it, as I deepen my relationship with myself. This is what helps lead me to answers and to make connections.
Your intuition is something that you feel within your body, some call it a “gut feeling,” that helps to guide you and discern the truth in any situation. It’s also the first feeling that you sense and is always presented in a loving and peaceful way. But, you’ve got to pay attention and observe your body and mind to fully harness the power of your intuition, or you may miss it!
Shortly after this initial intuitive feeling about something is when your brain usually kicks in and the ego tries to give it’s opinion. However, you must know, the ego is skewed and always gives manipulated, untruthful answers based on fear.
Who’s this guy?? No one invited him….
So, that first “nudge” that you get is an intuitive message of truth and all other thoughts or feelings after that are from ego. Listen to the first one and follow what feels loving and good. THAT’s the truth. Anything that feels even a tiny bit constrictive or bad isn’t authentic.
I think many people, myself included for a long time, ignore their gut instincts and instead give their power to the ego because of the ego’s persistent, and usually LOUD, voice.
Don’t fall for that.
Another great way to use your intuition is allow it to guide you to people and things that/who you’re meant to work with or focus on. Remember, intuition is really a truth-o-meter. Use it.
I feel out people, places, and things to see what I resonate with. That’s how I find my truth.
Another thing to note is that one person’s truth may not be another’s. So, what is my absolute truth may not resonate with you, and that’s ok. I’m not trying to teach you what the the truth in life is, I’m teaching you the tools on how to find that yourself.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. -proverb
So, one of the first things that I felt drawn to and instantly resonated with (intuition) at the beginning of my awakening was the ideas and teachings around Buddhism.
There are so many varying practices surrounding Buddhism, the same way Catholicism and Christianity have evolved and grown to hundreds of different sects.
Buddha is my man. Well, I mean Siddhartha Gautama, the most famous Buddha and most widely associated with Buddhism, is. When you see pictures or statues with “the Buddha,” it’s probably him.
A Buddha is one who has attained Bodhi — wisdom, an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection. The term Buddha literally means enlightened one, a knower. The goal of all people following Buddhism is to seek and obtain Enlightenment.
According to the Tibetan Thubten Yeshe, enlightenment (also called Nirvana, salvation, revelation, moksha, or mukti, among others depending on the religion)
[means] full awakening; buddhahood. The ultimate goal of Buddhist practice, attained when all limitations have been removed from the mind and one’s positive potential has been completely and perfectly realized. It is a state characterized by infinite compassion, wisdom and skill.
After obtaining Enlightenment and full Buddhahood, Guatama shared his knowledge to help others on their paths towards this perfect state of love and infinite knowledge, to say it simply.
The #1 concept I resonated with and it was what sparked my spiritual practice, is the idea of observations without judgement. It’s centered within mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of self-awareness that some describe as a state of being in the present moment and accepting things for what they are without judgement. It’s observation without judgement!
**This concept was originally taken from Buddhist meditation teachings, but it has been adapted for use in the treatment of depression and for assisting with mood regulation, and has been found to have considerable health benefits. When you are mindful, your awareness is in the current moment. You become keenly aware of yourself and your surroundings, but you simply observe these things as they are. You are aware of your own thoughts and feelings, but you do not react to them in the way that you would if you were on “autopilot.”
Mindfulness is incredibly powerful and should be the basis of every single spiritual practice.
Let’s put this all together
The key to happiness is inside of us, always. We can find the answers to all of Life’s questions there, and only there. No one on the outside can “save” or give us the answers; they can only guide us there and teach how to find the answers ourselves. We have the powerful tool of our intuition to help guide us, also, but we must learn how to recognize it’s messages. This can be learned and mastered with help from a daily mindfulness practice.
Let’s not forget the fact that your happiness probably doesn’t look the same as your neighbor or cousin’s.
You probably thought by reading this article that you’d learn exactly what steps to take to find happiness or, at least, I’d tell you what true happiness should look like in your life. I bet it’s a little frustrating that I pointed you inward… that I didn’t actually do anything FOR you. In fact, what I did was hand your power back to you after you gave it to me by reading this article expecting to get the magic answer. Okay, most people don’t feel that way, but I thought I’d give a common pattern that is easy to fall into when seeking the answers (love, happiness, abundance, etc.).
So, yes, it really is that easy. Look inside, practice observation without judgment (especially with yourself!), and love yourself endlessly. There is your magical, golden answer. And, let me tell you, it’s SO POWERFUL to take charge in your own life again and love yourself. Like transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly, everything changes and what you once thought was impossible becomes possible.
You are so incredibly powerful and worthy of love and happiness. Once you let go of the belief that it is outside of you and take your power back from everything and everyone, you’ll be be unstoppable.
And feeling so high that the word “happiness” can’t even truly describe it.