20 Sep 7 ways to find inner and real happiness
by Ed and Deb Shapiro from the Huffington Post
Happiness is one of the most misunderstood words in our vocabulary, yet we search for this intangible state our whole lives. If I only had this or that, if I met the right partner, have a big house, a new car, the job I've always wanted, then I would be happy. The ancient yoga and spiritual teachings stress that happiness is real only when we let go of seeking material and transient things and discover the lasting joy that is within.
Every time we see a giggling baby or young child we're reminded that we are all born with this natural and innate sense of happiness, that it is actually our birthright. We learn about suffering or unhappiness as we grow older, more externalized, and as circumstances change.
We taught a workshop where a number of the participants had lost loved ones in the past years: One had lost her son to AIDS, another had lost her husband, son, and mother all within 12 months, and another's partner had drowned. Others were dealing with specific illnesses or difficult issues in their lives. What really emerged for everyone was the awareness that their real happiness lies within themselves, that it's not dependent on someone or something outside of them. They had lost what they had thought of as their source of happiness — a loved one or their health — and now had to look more deeply within themselves. It was a weekend of many "aha" moments!
Here are some of the ways our workshop participants discovered how to feel happy again:
1. Don't take yourself too seriously. At times of hardship, such as loss or illness, it's easy to lose your humor and even easier to get involved with the negative aspects of what is happening. Remembering not to take yourself too seriously brings a lightness and acceptance to the weight of circumstance around you. Don't forget, angels can fly because they take themselves lightly!
2. Don't identify with suffering, loss, or illness as being who you are. Many of our participants realized how they'd been identifying themselves as a cancer survivor/widow/recovering addict, or whatever it may be, but had not asked who they were without that label or identity. When you don't identify with the negative issues, then who you really are has a chance to shine.
3. It's OK to be you, just as you are, warts and all. You may think you're imperfect, a mess, falling apart, hopeless, or unable to cope. But true perfection is really accepting your imperfections. It is accepting yourself, complete with all the things you like as well as the things you don't like. In this way you're not struggling with or rejecting yourself. Each one of is unique, a one-time offer, but we can't know this if we are facing away from ourselves…
…and there's another 4 great tips. Want to know what they are? Keep reading HERE