Happiness Is In

Happiness is in the ‘ing.

Have you ever noticed how some people, who seem to have everything in the world they could possibly want are miserable, yet others who seem to have very little can be so full of joy?

It would appear that happiness is not attached to the having of any specific object or of financial gain.  The ownership of a particular object may bring you satisfaction or pride but it doesn’t bring happiness in itself.  Financial gain can certainly offer more opportunities for freedom and self-expression, but the happiness itself is free.

It’s not what you obtain, but what you are doing, thinking and feeling that brings happiness. Happiness is not static, it is the vibrational response to your feeling regarding a particular situation or thought.  Happiness only dwells in the present moment.

You don’t get happiness from the new car you just bought, you get happiness from taking it for a drive to your favourite picnic place, or cruising around sightseeing, or driving around town and showing off your new car to your friends.  It is the activity you partake in with the car that creates happiness, not the car itself.

Does this sound familiar?  “I’ll be happy when…”

When we think that we will be happy when…., we actually won’t be happy at all because by then we will have formulated another “I’ll be happy when…”  There is nothing wrong with creating a new desire to move forward with, but it is not the desire, or lack of the desire, that makes you happy or unhappy.

Happiness is in the doing, in the current moment, in your attitude.  You can only be happy when you are doing, therefore, you can be happy planning and partaking in the activities (or work) to obtain the money to buy the car.  And then you can be happy using the car.  This can be applied to anything, even a relationship.  It is not the new hunk of a boyfriend (or spicy new girlfriend) you just got involved with that you plan to turn into a partner that makes you happy…it is the action of enjoying the relationship that makes you happy.

In fact the plans you make can bring you anxiety, not happiness.  Happiness projected creates anxiety, not happiness.  Happiness only dwells in the present moment and is connected to the activity you are doing in the present moment.  What you are doing includes what you are thinking and how you are feeling about that thinking.

While you may not always appear to have complete control over what you are doing, you do have control over what you are observing or focusing on about what you are doing.  You have control over what you are thinking and control over what you are feeling.

Regardless of whether you are driving around town in your new car, working at your job or simply sitting on your veranda with a hot cuppa enjoying the autumn sunshine.  The essence of happiness is found in the enjoyment of what you are doing, thinking and feeling right now in the present moment.

Marie Rose

The Power To Change Your Outcome

MINDSET…OR THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR OUTCOME

I had the opportunity to attend a play the other night that was put on by a well-respected theatre group based in Heidelberg, Melbourne.  The reason for my invitation was that the assistant director is my nephew (and Godson).  The invitation was sprung on me suddenly and my circumstances around attending this play were not ideal. Let me share….

I have very recently commenced a new position which requires me to commute and stay in Melbourne 2 days per week (I live on the NSW border, Murray River territory).  Whilst I am pleased to have this position it does interfere with other business activities that I have, and as such I generally take my own work with me to Melbourne to complete in the evenings.  This trip was no exception, and I had some time sensitive work with me which was feeding my natural anxiety affliction.  On top of this it was “end of month” which creates quite a bit of pressure at my new Melbourne position.

All in all, attending a play was really the last thing I wanted to do!

I was feeling travel weary, I was tired, I was stressed and thinking about that time sensitive project that wasn’t getting done.  I felt obliged to go to the play. However, I also was pleased to get the opportunity to see one of my nephew’s plays as I had never had the chance to do so, living so far away.

Can you relate to this scenario?  That sense of pressure coming from every direction, and trying to be all things at once.  You get it all done, you see it through, but you feel frazzled and grumpy doing it.

So that was me, I arrived at the theatre cool and collected, exchanging pleasantries, but actually feeling totally frazzled and grumpy.  The play was a comedy and I was thinking to myself I could do with a laugh, it better be funny!  As you could imagine, I am sitting in theatre and the play starts, I am in this Adrenalin fed grumpy mindset and the play just all seemed very silly. Grump, grump!

That’s when I thought, I have a choice.  We always have a choice.  We may feel limited by the circumstances around us but we are always in control of the ultimate outcome from those circumstances.

I changed my mindset.  I told myself, “You cannot change the fact that you are here so resign yourself to it and relax”.  I then asked myself, “What is a good outcome that could happen from being here”?

I then relaxed.  I focused on how good it was to be able to be there and support my nephew.  That this opportunity had arisen while I was on one of my Melbourne trips and I didn’t have to make any extra effort, how lucky was that.

The play then started to be entertaining and funny.  I became so much more aware.  I started to appreciate what a brilliant job these actors were doing.  I started to notice the little nuances that each actor was bringing to their performance to engage the audience.  Then, as a bonus, after interval my seating was changed and I was able to sit next to my nephew for the second half.  It was a great play, and I had a wonderful time.

I didn’t get to bed until 1.30am and I was concerned about how tired I was going to be working the next day.  But the next day went smoothly and despite being tired I achieved a great deal and even drove home that evening, a 4 hour journey.

A mindset of resistance burns a lot of energy, it makes us tired, and stressful periods become more challenging.  Resistance prevents you from experiencing the fun and pleasures of life.  Resistance also prevents you from gaining the wisdom and lessons available from the experience.

Life is full of the unexpected, inevitabilities, and situations that can’t easily be dodged.  Like Monday morning staff meetings, or parent-teacher nights.  All mixed in with the pressures of your day to day.  But the outcome of these circumstances is yours to create.  Ask yourself; what is the most useful attitude I can take right now and what possible positive outcome could occur?

You always have the power to transform the circumstance from the inside and create a positive outcome for yourself.  You create that outcome by the way you view the situation, which subtly affects the energy you give out.

That change not only alters what you become more aware of, it also alters the response from the world around you.  Whilst in reality it may seem very difficult to always be in that positive mind set, it is actually the contrast that teaches you where to find that positive state by challenging you to find a different and more useful perspective.

Marie Rose

Why Can’t We Change?

WHY CAN’T WE CHANGE?

Why can’t we stick to that diet?

Why can’t we stop smoking?

Why can’t we start exercising?

Why…it’s a funny twist in our instincts.

In simple terms we have two levels to our consciousness. The first level or primary level is that which we share with animals.  An animal is conscious of itself and its need to survive. This is the consciousness of our instincts, the things we do, mostly unconsciously, to preserve our life. These instincts include the desire to be accepted and part of the pack/herd. This consciousness is aware of fear when it perceives some form of danger.

This is a pleasure seeking, pain avoiding consciousness. It learns by association.  We utilise this ability to learn by association to train animals to serve us.  For example, our pets and farm animals.  In return we supply them with a life style that is more safe and comfortable than they would be able to provide for themselves.

We also use this level of consciousness to develop our own habits. Some habits we have chosen to teach ourselves, like having a daily shower or going for a walk.  Other habits are created by our response to some sort of pain or desire such as smoking or overeating.  This pain or desire can be emotional or physical.

Either way, once the habit is entrenched we usually enjoy doing it and it is not hard to keep doing it. Regardless of whether we want to do it or not and it can be very hard to change a habit, just like it can be hard to stop your dog from digging up the garden or pulling the washing off the line.

Our second level of consciousness is the individual self-consciousness. Where we are conscious of our self and our need to survive but we are also aware that we are conscious of our self.  This added awareness gives us the desire to create as well as survive.

This level of consciousness also contains the ability to make thoughtful decisions, have self-discipline and exercise will power. These are the attributes that give us the capacity to train our own primary consciousness so that we act in a way that suits our more consciously chosen direction.

Unfortunately what often happens when we decide we want to teach our selves a new habit or change an old one is we approach ourselves with a sledge hammer firmly grasped by our will power and driven by self-discipline. Guess what, it doesn’t work (can you see the little puppy cowering with fear).  It feels very uncomfortable and we give in to the fear of ourselves.

Training or retraining our primary consciousness requires the same firmness coupled with kindness and patience that we require to train a new puppy. In fact, these days, a new terminology is being frequently used in regard to training animals and that is to “educate” rather than “train”.

So, our self-consciousness is there to educate our primary consciousness so it can serve our creative purpose. In return for achieving this service our primary desires are fulfilled to a much more comfortable level than our primary instincts can achieve by themselves.

The first exercise is to become more aware of our behaviour and what parts are servicing us and what aren’t. See if you can recognise on a day to day basis what things you do unconsciously, what things you do as a learned habit (wanted or unwanted), and what you do out of conscious decision in the present moment.

© 2016 Marie Rose

What you LIKE v What you WANT

WHAT YOU LIKE v WHAT YOU WANT

If you truly live in the present then you won’t waste time doing things you don’t want to do. Which brings up the question; if you only do what you want, then you will never get what you need to do done.  I think this question confuses what we like doing with what we want to do.  So let’s look at the difference between what we like and what we want.

Now the boundary between what we like and what we want is fuzzy to say the least but I will try to simplify the concept.

The things we like doing often have many positive outcomes like lifting the happiness chemicals in our brain. Many “like to do’s” have other positive outcomes like exercise, relaxation/stress relief, creative stimulation, etc.  Some of our “like to do’s” can be physically or mentally destructive…and as individuals we need (or want) to evaluate those more destructive likes.

Sometimes we are able to incorporate our “like to do’s” with our work, which is a delightful outcome. Sometimes the things we like to do remain purely leisure or hobby activities.  These activities can give us an outlet from the more tedious side of life and create a better life balance.

On the other hand the things we want to do are not necessarily things we like doing. For example, you may not like going to the dentist but if you have a toothache you probably will want to go.  The things we want to do are often driven by greater desires or goals.  In the progress of achieving a desired goal we will often want to do things we don’t like, to achieve the stepping stones to that outcome.

Therein lays the discipline required to achieve our vision of success. Whatever it may be that you want to achieve will have elements in it that you don’t like as well as elements you do like.  So it depends on how much you want the outcome to whether you are able to do the components you don’t like to achieve it.

© 2015 Marie Rose