To Be Happy

At this crucial point in history, you stand at a fork in the road. You are not alone. People from diverse cultures worldwide are at their own forks in the road. Choices must be made before you can take the next big leap forward.

The fork in the road represents choices that are necessary as humanity births a brand new type of world. Some of those choices involve revolutionary redefinitions of how to live as a human being. To define yourself and your world based on old paradigm views will keep you locked into the outmoded systems you want to leave behind.

It is now time to redefine what is true for you, what sort of life you want to create, how you want to express yourself in the world, and what it really means to be happy. As part of that, you will want to create a new yardstick to measure your successes. The traditional fear-based yardstick of competition, comparison and greed has no place in the new world you want to live in.

To be sure, humans tend to be motivated by a desire to be happy and to avoid pain. This motivation is the key underlying factor shaping most peoples' lives. It is normal to want to be happy, and to experience happiness on an ongoing basis. Who wouldn't want this?

The Happiness Dilemma

There is a dilemma, however, when you live your life based on old-fashioned worldly markers of happiness. People tend to do this unknowingly, continuing patterns put in place a very long time ago by those who did not understand the true basis of happiness.

These patterns include limiting belief systems about happiness which are held at a DNA level within humanity today. The patterns go back countless generations, and they also include beliefs held at the mass consciousness level. For this reason, no one is exempt from carrying limiting belief systems that relate to happiness. It is common, for example, for people to believe that they must have a certain something or someone in order to be happy.

In modern times-especially in Western industrialized countries-happiness has been linked with outer conditions. These external circumstances include things like money and material success, fame and being recognized for good works, material possessions, a happy marriage and successful children, youth and attractiveness, and good health.

The idea has been that if you have the right situation, you can be happy. While happiness will depend in part on your outer conditions, you are setting yourself up for ongoing disappointment if these external things are your chief benchmark. Associating your happiness mainly with outer conditions sets up an endless race to discover and manifest the right circumstances. It is an endless race because it means the person in the race gives their power to external factors and status symbols which are forever in the process of change. All happiness based on these types of temporary milestones is doomed.

Subtle Messages All Around You

It is now common knowledge that happiness cannot be bought. However, when your world is fueled by consumerism, there is a normal tendency to want to acquire whatever you are told is necessary for happiness. Imbedded everywhere within the culture are subtle, and often not so subtle, messages about what you must have to be happy.

You learn to buy into these messages from an early age. By the time you are old enough to walk and talk, you are conditioned to ask for things. The idea is that these things have some magical ability to make you happy. You are also conditioned to want what others have, and to compete in the world to obtain those things. Society's long-practiced methods of reward and punishment set up an endless loop of insatiable desires. You are rewarded for certain behaviors and punished for others.

For example, if you go along with your company's mindset rewarding employees who work 80-hour weeks, you may progress faster up the corporate ladder. Success, in the traditional sense, has long been linked with hierarchy, earning power, and one's ability to generate prosperity to secure one's future. If you are successful in this way, having learned to play by the rules, others impressed with your accomplishments will admire you and want to be around you. You will receive attention and some people may even envy you. It is no wonder, then, that you learn to associate acquisition of external things with happiness and even with being loved.

The typical focus of acquisitions are the things you feel you need to be happy. Depending on your stage of life and conditioning, those things can be anything from a new car, a home cushioned from the noises and intrusions of neighbors, a high-status job, a food you loved in your childhood at the holidays, or the latest electronic gadget you see advertised all over town.

Having Things is not Good or Bad

It is not good or bad to have such things. The important thing to realize is that you will not create a true state of happiness by acquiring these outer world things. None of the material things you could acquire are permanent. The new car could be demolished in an accident tomorrow. The quiet home could become noisy when different neighbors move in next door, or become less private when a high rise is built and you have neighbors peering into your windows. The high-status job could be lost in an economic downturn. Your favorite food, once eaten, joins a never-ending list of temporary pleasures. Gadgets, even the newest models, will become obsolete.

Similarly, any of the external states of being you could achieve will at some time change. You start life as a young person and grow older. Your relationship with a loved one changes-when feelings alter, life paths adjust, or through separations including death. Your money is useless to you once you die. Likewise, great fortunes can be lost as quickly as they are made.

It takes great skill to avoid being impacted by the constant media hype telling you that happiness is something you "get." If happiness is not something you can "get," what is it and how do you manifest it in your life?

First, true happiness is a state of being. In the dualistic world of human life, happiness is as impermanent as any phenomena. Human conditions are in the process of ongoing change. A vibrantly-colored rainbow in the sky after a cleansing rain can bring feelings of happiness. What happens after dark when the rainbow fades from the sky? Even if nothing unpleasant happens that night, how do you maintain a feeling of happiness?

A Rainbow in the Sky

Happiness is not based on being able to see a rainbow in the sky.
When you are experiencing true happiness, you can have the feeling of a rainbow in your heart and that is enough.

That may sound easy to do, but it is not. In fact, generating happiness is not something that you do at all. It is more about being. It relates specifically to the quality of being you learn to manifest in the midst of life's chaos and ever-shifting landscape.

The truly happy person discovers how to accept life as it is, and learns to integrate both pleasure and pain. Pleasure is enjoyed without grasping, and pain is worked with skillfully. To approach pain in a skillful way is to understand that it is not shameful to have pain. It is also helpful to remember that painful cycles, just like pleasurable ones, are temporary. Everyone's life will have a mixture of both pleasure and pain. The truly happy person says "yes" to life, regardless of how situations appear. This person learns to continually return to a mindful state and to look deeply within.

When you look deeply enough, you realize that you are Divine and unchanged by any worldly experience of pain or pleasure. When you connect with this realization-learning to peacefully coexist with all sorts of circumstances-you can move into a happy state. What you discover through this learning and self-inquiry is that underneath your human-conditioned patterns is a Divine being, full of love and joy. This part of you is at peace with all of your varied situations, and can help you to access that peaceful state.

Happiness is Like Tending a Candle

Happiness is like tending a candle sitting on the sill of an open window. When you light the candle on a calm night, you may enjoy its flame for hours without interruption. Light the candle on a stormy night, and depending on which way the wind is blowing, the candle may not stay lit for long. Whether calm or stormy, once you light the candle, it begins to change form. It will eventually burn out. The candle will do what it will naturally do. You can choose how you respond to the candle. You can be watchful, noticing how it burns. You can tend the candle when a gust of wind blows out the flame, relighting the wick. You can close the window so the candle will stay lit longer. When the candle has completely burned, you can replace it with a similar type of candle. Likewise, you can choose to replace it with a different type of candle. You can do nothing right now, too. You can simply let the extinguished candle sit there.

The candle has a light that can brighten your night. To keep the flame burning, you will need to take actions such as relighting the wick. You will need to be watchful, or the ever-changing candle flame may burn out without your noticing. It is that same way with happiness, a feeling that can brighten your life.

Happiness-that seemingly elusive or short-lived feeling-is accessed as a state of being through your attention and action. It has much more to do with your state of mind than with external things. Happiness will not automatically continue, just because you access it. It is a state of being that will require your ongoing mindful attention and action. When feelings of happiness disappear, you can renew the happy feelings through your attention and action. Choice is involved in both activities. You have choices in what you pay attention to, what thoughts you think, how you allow things to affect you, and in how you act in response to life's circumstances. Conscious choice is the key here, becoming more and more aware of what you are choosing. The more that you do this, the easier it will be to return to a feeling of happiness regardless of what appears to be happening in your outer world. This is possible to achieve, one moment at a time. This happens in the present moment, with a present-moment focus.

Obstacles to Happiness

The following are a few of the numerous obstacles to happiness. Invite input from your intuitively guided reason as you contemplate each one. Be willing to consider how each of the obstacles may have been a factor in your own happiness over the years. Set your intention to approach this without self-judgment or the need to feel superior to others. Remember that everyone is impacted by these obstacles at some point in their series of human experiences. Each person also has the potential, in some life, to learn how to be happy. Be open to the idea that this could be the lifetime you master this.

Associating happiness chiefly with specific outer circumstances. Have you ever thought that you would be happy if only you could meet and love your soulmate? How many times have you told yourself that if you only had more money, all of your problems would be solved? How often have you thought that if you could only have a job that expressed your soul purpose, then you could be happy?

Expressing love in a conditional way. Do you remember how as a child you were hurt by caregivers who professed to love you, but expressed that love with rigid conditions? What did you learn from how you were treated? What kind of relationship patterns you witnessed as a child became a part of how you gave or received love as an adult? For example, what kinds of expectations do you place on those you love? How do you treat those you love when you are not getting your way? How do you block others from giving to you? In what ways are you hard on yourself, refusing to give yourself love? How do you punish yourself for supposed wrongdoings?

Evaluating yourself based on what others have. What happens to your feelings of happiness when you compare yourself with others? Can you still be happy when you notice that your neighbor has something you don't? Do you find yourself comparing your level of success with what others around you have achieved?

Giving away your power to others. Do you think that others control your ability to be happy? Have you decided that a certain person is responsible for your being happy or unhappy? Do you sometimes feel content, and then as though another person "took your happiness away"? How often do you question authority figures-including doctors, the news media, and government leaders-who give you bad news? Do you allow these doom-and-gloom messages to shift you from a contented mood to one of despair? When this happens, do you realize that you are granting these other people a power that is yours alone? How frequently do you contemplate your true power as the Divine being you are?

Living with a past or future focus. Are you waiting for something to happen before you can be happy? What is stopping you from deciding to be happy right now? What about your past have you decided has spoiled your happiness? How much of your time do you spend reminiscing about something happy in the past, complaining about how you are not enjoying that now? When you are feeling discontented, how often is that feeling actually stemming from something occurring right now? How often do you worry about something in the future, preventing you from accessing a happy state in the present? Do you frequently find yourself daydreaming about an ideal situation you aren't able to have right now? When you remember that your past is not happening now and that your future is not guaranteed, what's keeping you from discovering how to be happy now? Are you aware of when you feel happy in the present moment, perhaps for no particular reason, but simply because you feel it?

Not knowing when you have enough. How much is enough? Do you have a healthy inner barometer that tells you when you are satisfied? Do you update your "enough gauge" throughout your life to reflect changing circumstances? Have you learned to be satisfied with what is appropriate for you, or do you measure your satisfaction by yardsticks others use or society sets? What does it take for you to feel content? Can you access feelings of inner contentment even after receiving troubling news? Do you know yourself well enough to confirm when you are satisfied, when something is missing, and what or how much more of something you truly need?

Focusing on what you do not have. Do you find yourself focusing on what you do not have, either complaining about the lack or worrying about what will happen if you don't get it? Is your list of what you don't have longer than your list of what you feel happy about having? How often do you question the things on your "must have" list, letting go of focusing on things that are no longer really relevant or needed?

Approaching life with a negative focus. Since it is common for humans to be conditioned to see life as a series of negative happenings, how much of the time do you allow your mind to cast a black shadow on your experiences? Do you find yourself thinking in a negative way a lot of the time? Do you sometimes do this even immediately following a happy event or receiving some very good news? How does this thinking spoil your happiness in the moment? Do you have a habit of expecting the worst in situations, and then when something bad does happen, reinforcing the pain by viewing it from a negative perspective? How often do you make the effort to contemplate the blessings and potential benefits of a distressing circumstance? What do you do to turn your thinking around? Can you let go of how big a mistake looks in the moment to see beyond the error and embrace a bigger picture?

Allowing negative emotions to rule your responses. How do handle destructive emotions? What have you done over the years to become more intelligent in how you deal with emotional states? Have you discovered what your own emotional response patterns are? Are you in touch with when you feel angry, sad, hurt, disappointed, and fearful? When you feel these things, how do you manage the feelings so they don't negatively color your responses and actions? When feeling angry, do you get on the phone and shout at a loved one with hurtful words? If feeling sad, do you withdraw from your outer world in a way that harms self or others? When someone hurts your feelings, do you impulsively act on the hurt, saying something mean? If you are disappointed by someone, do you find skillful ways to respond or do you allow resentment to sour your relationship? When feeling fear, do you take action based on the fear or allow your intuitively guided reason to prevail?

Associating happiness with artificial deadlines. What is your relationship with time and deadlines? Are you able to feel content when you discover that you have missed a deadline you set for yourself? When you set your own timeframe to get something done, can you be flexible with yourself if you need to adjust it, or do you become unhappy and blame yourself or others? How often do you update your deadlines to take into account shifts in life circumstances? How willing are you to cast aside artificial deadlines when they no longer make sense? If you were conditioned to expect a traditional funded retirement at age 65, and then discover that you won't have this, do you become unhappy and close your mind to ideas of how you could enjoy new sources of livelihood? Have you decided that you will become less and less happy as you grow older, or that your happy times are behind you?

Having expectations too low or too high. In what situations do you set expectations that are too low or too high? If you are learning something new, do you expect so little of your abilities that you set yourself up for failure? Do you have a habit of demanding perfection in some areas, setting up an unnecessary cycle of disappointments? What do you do to bounce back when something goes wrong?

Doubting you can change your circumstances. Do you believe you can change your circumstances? Do you think that it is within your power to at least change your experience of what is happening? When you remember your ability to change situations, what do you do to begin the process of change?

Needing to be in control. How important is it to you that you be in control? Do you find yourself trying to control things and people when it is not appropriate to do so? How often do you step back from situations long enough to realize that much of what is going on is outside of your control? Have you developed the ability to clearly know which things you can control? Knowing this, what actions do you take?

Lack of sufficient spirit connection. How much of your day are you connected with your intuitively guided reason and spirit? How well have you integrated spirit into everyday experiences? Do you find yourself forgetting to access your intuitive right brain, trying to force solutions with logic alone? Do you allow sufficient time for quiet inner reflection, connecting with your heart's wisdom? Are you so preoccupied with mundane concerns that you forget to include spirit as you problem-solve and relate to others? When you are in crisis, have you learned to trust your inner guidance about what to do next? Do you remember to access that guidance when feeling lost or in fear?

Seeking out companions with a negative focus.
Do you seek out friends who continually complain and attempt to drag you into their negativity? Do you monitor how you feel when you spend time with others, noticing how you tend to go into a negative spiral of thinking or feeling after even brief encounters? Have you contemplated what pattern you have that could be allowing this scenario to continue, remembering that every relationship has the potential for helping you to evolve? What have you done to change how you interact with these friends?

Trying to make others happy when you are unhappy. Are you trying to make another person happy when you cannot be happy? Do you realize that you cannot help others have happiness when you do not know how to access the happy state yourself?

Being at "war" with what is. How often do you find yourself resisting what is and going to "war" with it? Do you sometimes notice, in hindsight, how your fight with circumstances has prolonged the difficulties? Do you see how your resistance leads to conflict and struggle, depleting your energy? Do you then realize that resistance prevents you from accessing happiness?

Inability to feel gratitude for small things. What does it take to inspire feelings of gratitude within you? Can you feel grateful for life's little pleasures, such as a sunny sky after weeks of rain or a warm bath at the end of your day? When you are experiencing hard times or a major challenge, do you sometimes slip into forgetting about your many blessings? In the midst of your temporary forgetfulness, can you move back into gratitude, remembering that your human life is precious, regardless of what is currently happening?

Moving Past Obstacles to Happiness

Right now, having contemplated some of the obstacles to happiness, you likely have more clarity about what is preventing you from being happy. Your state of mind is the key. It helps if you can decide to be happy. Set your intent regularly to be happy with your life circumstances. Decide that you will be accepting of life events, rather than fighting them. Find something to be happy about, or at least grateful for, when in the midst of troubling situations. Decide you can be happy about something right now, instead of waiting for your circumstances to change. Contemplate happiness, reflecting on what it really means.

Ask your Higher Self for input about your life path. Is there something you are doing or not doing that is affecting your underlying happiness? Is there something you are missing? Do you believe you deserve to be happy, and if not, why not? What have you told yourself since childhood that you must have in order to be happy? Do you feel you must wait for happiness, and if so, why? Also, is this really true? From the perspective of your soul, what could you be doing that's more in alignment with your higher purpose?

As you continue the journey of rediscovering your Divine nature, we surround you with our love and blessings. We are The Council of 12.