crabsocks asked: Can you give me a few steps to becoming a happier person please?
Sure, this seems like a fair question. I’ll give some practical tips and some philosophical ones.
1. In the morning, laugh immediately the first moment that you realize you are awake. It is harder than it sounds. Fake laugh, laugh hard, then harder. For no reason.
2. Eat healthily, whatever that means to you.
3. Meditate for ten minutes every day.
4. Engage your body fully in something every other day. Running, yoga, working out, dancing, and swimming are just a few ways.
5. Disengage from electronic devices around a half hour before bedtime. Slow down and read a book, sit for another meditation, or make some tea and listen to relaxing music.
You wont regret any of it.
1. Happiness is not something added to you. It is your very being. When you are feeling truly happy, you are feeling yourself wholly and unobstructedly. Therefore you cannot become happier. Nor can anything give you happiness. The only happiness you have ever felt is the radiance of your existence. Don’t make happiness a struggle, just come to know your existence.
2. Don’t wait for an excuse to be happy. Circumstances, people, objects, all of these things may give us a pleasurable experience that we meet happily. That’s okay. But it is ignorant and inefficient to wait for circumstances, people, and objects before getting in touch with that happiness within. Happiness is not a commodity ruled by supply and demand.
3. If something seems like it can give you happiness, ask yourself how well it will age. Happiness is timeless. A passion, an inspiration, an appreciation, all of these things can groove with change. They are intimate inner forms of love that find happiness wherever they look. They help shift the awareness of happiness from an object itself to the formless art.
4. Life experienced through a human body is a mix of things the mind finds painful and things the mind finds pleasurable. Happiness does not consist in avoiding one and clinging to the other. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn but also the most valuable. I’d recommend the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron as a place to begin.
When she saw Narcissus roam alone in the woods
she was excited at once and secretly trailed,
and the closer she followed the hotter she grew,
as when sulfur is daubed at the top
of a torch and snatches the dancing flames.
Jane Alison, author of Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid discusses what sex, relationships, and love were like for teenagers in ancient Rome.
Image: Echo and Narcissus, John William Waterhouse. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Souls love. That’s what souls do. Egos don’t, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you’ll be amazed—all the beings around you are souls. Be one, see one. When many people have this heart connection, then we will know that we are all one, we human beings all over the planet. We will be one. One love. And don’t leave out the animals, and trees, and clouds, and galaxies - it’s all one. It’s one energy. It comes through in individual ways, but it’s one energy. You can call it energy, or you can call it love. I like to look at a tree and see that it’s love. Don’t you?
—Ram Dass (via shaktilover)