WHAT IS THIS HAPPINESS THAT WE ALL SEEK?

Your only plan in life should be to be happy at all times! But to enter the natural state of our happiness we need to learn to let go what never served us — conditioned happiness.

It was a beautiful day at the beach in Cape Town. I sat with a coffee in hand watching the thrill of people surfing and riding the most glorious blue-green ocean waves of the Atlantic. The wind that day created big wall of waves, and nothing could have been more exhilarating than to be the one breaking those waves — pushing the limits of human boundaries and touching heaven with the speed of perfection.

I envied the surfers — the thrill they got, the intoxication and the good feeling. Recalling the words of Franklin Roosevelt, yes I do quote politicians at times…happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

As I was sat there enviously watching the surfers on the waves, a surfer, with boyish good looks and a perfectly sculpted surfer-body, asked me if he could be seated next to me. I coyly said, “Yes, sure!” He looked happy and maybe he had a good time out there riding on the waves. Oh! one of those enviable ones, tch!

Then in a very agreeable manner he said, “You know, you are the happiest person on the beach!”

“What! Oh really!?” But I thought…never mind.

Then it dawned on me that we noticed each other at the coffee shop a while ago. So he followed me, aha! But then…I realise later that he followed not me but my happiness all the way to the beach.

There is something ineptly odd but spiritually alluring about people seeking and chasing happiness — one happy person finds another happy person, and follows him/her everywhere — and sometimes for the seeker of happiness it is as if the happy smile of another holds all of life’s truth and answers to existential dilemmas.

Well — a happy person might have some of the answers but not because he or she is special or inherited few happy-clapped genes but because the person made a conscious choice to be happy all the time; choosing happiness above everything else.

It is human tendency to chase and seek and run after the most conditioned archetypal status quo in our society — love and happiness. We look for them not inside but outside of ourselves — in another person or in a job and have mercilessly conditioned our attainment of both love and happiness saying — I will be happy once I have that job; I will be happy once I get married or have children; I will be happy once I get that money; I will be happy once my children graduate or the government changes… So the erroneous thinking is that happiness will come when the circumstances will change.

Adyanshanti, a contemporary teacher on awakening and consciousness, says in Causeless Happiness, “Very often the pursuit of happiness leads to sorrow because it is about ‘something I can own; something I can find; someone I can own or possess’; but once you would have owned and possessed them — this conditioned happiness soon fades.”

Most people have unconsciously borrowed happiness from other people’s experiences, ideas and thoughts, traditions and customs, the popular media, TV, movies and books. They are looking for happiness in the wrong places, asking the wrong questions and chasing it like it’s a quest for the holy grail. Happiness comes when one is free of all these conditions; and free from other people’s expectations and preconceived definitions of what happiness should look and feel like.

People seek when they are looking for something which does not exist or is absent in their lives. They are seeking the conditions and circumstances of happiness and not happiness in its real form and essence. For happiness is an innate human attribute and is a natural state of being — there is no happiness “out there” for happiness is.

Happiness is where you are, within you, and in the present moment where life is unfolding in its fullness. No one can teach us to be happy — it cannot be taught and sought. In our modern society we have reduced happiness to a commodity, as if it can be bought off the shelves and traded and exchanged with other goods and be owned and possessed like a thing.

Happy people do not seek happiness because they are able to tap into their true and natural state of being. They know that happiness can be found where life breathes — in the present moment. They are happy when watching a glorious sunset, listening to the chirping of birds, spending time in nature, engrossed in creative work, dancing or listening to their favourite music, holding the smile in their lover’s eyes — and all of which breaks the limits of human boundaries. And helps them reach the perfection that they already are.

Radhika Mīa

I make soulful art and write soul-inspired articles at www.radhika-mia.com. It is also a free newsletter to help you stay inspired in life. If you have a soul-inspired idea and would like to reach out — would love to hear from you :-).