Do you really want happiness?

Happiness – we say it’s what we want, yet, so often it seems unattainable. We believe our happiness is based on outside events and, therefore, feel we have no control over whether we are happy or not.

In his book, “The Untethered Soul”, Michael Singer says happiness is a choice and it is one in which we have the power within ourselves to attain if we truly want it.  He says, “Most people don’t dare give themselves that choice [to be happy] because they think it’s not under their control.”  We tend to say, “Of course I want to be happy, but all these terrible things are happening in my life.  If they weren’t happening, then I would be happy.” 

In choosing happiness, there are no if’s, ands, buts, or conditions.  We make a decision to be happy no matter what is happening.  It may be painful, so what?  Do you want to be happy?  In spite of the circumstance you have decided to be happy.  I know someone who fell off his bicycle at the age of 80 and was sure he broke his back on the way down because of the pain and crack he heard as he went down. He slowly got back on his bike and began singing, “Happy Days are here again” all the way home. No one would have guessed he was in pain.

Singer says, “The question is,very simply, ‘Do you want to be happy or not’?”  Period!  So happiness is really about choice. 

We can choose to be happy no matter what is happening or not happening in our life.  If we choose to be happy we do not let outside influences keep us from being happy.

That is easier said than done – unless we practice gratitude. When things “rob” us of our happiness, practicing gratitude – looking for what we are grateful for, rather than what we do not have – allows us to practice acceptance and with that acceptance – happiness.  Remember, the choice is ours and the more we practice making that choice, the further along in our spiritual development we become.

Quote of the Week

“People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.” 

Michael Singer

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Spiritual Aging

Recently I was talking to someone who had just turned 21 and he was expressing how he felt about getting older because he was no longer a child.  I (being quite a bit older) found his fears and concerns amusing, but to him they were no laughing matter.

Aging is interesting because each person feels it at a different time of their life.  It is brought on by different circumstances, but the effect is the same.

For me, that moment was at the age of 40.  My mother had died years earlier and when I was 40, my father passed. I had gone up north for the funeral and when I returned to Miami I could not explain why, but I was feeling, not just sad but lost. The thought then hit me – I was no longer anyone’s child.  I had to face the fact that, not only was I an adult, but an orphan as well.

Aging can be a scary process no matter what age we begin to feel it, but it can also be a part of our spiritual journey, if we allow it.  If we find ourselves physically slowing down we can spend more time reading spiritual books, meditating, or being active in service in our spiritual community, etc.

If we refocus our thinking about aging and use this time for enhancing our spiritual life, we might find ourselves becoming more of the spiritual being God created us to be.

Quote of the Week 

It is never too late to be who you were meant to be.”                               

George Eliot

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Don’t Panic!

In the world we live, stress is hard to avoid.  However, it is not the stress, but how we deal with it that determines the quality of our lives and our level of peace and happiness.

When we deal with the stress in life by panicking not only do we block ourselves from the solutions we seek, but we cause physical, emotional and spiritual harm to ourselves.  

When we face the difficult things in life with a peace knowing that all we seek and need to deal with our life issues can only come when we stop, become still and breathe.  We then can realize all we need is available to us in Spirit. 

In all disaster movies, it is always the people who panic that are the ones to die, and, the hero or heroine, who remain calm, are the ones who survive.

Therefore, when you feel yourself panicking, begin to breathe deeply and say whatever prayer will help bring you some ease. 

Quote of the Week   

(A Buddhist prayer)

May I be filled with loving kindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy.

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Enough is Enough

Summertime —

and the living is easy (and hot and sticky).

It would be easy if we could just blame the terrible events of this past week on the weather but unfortunately these tragedies happen in this country any season, anytime and anywhere.

It’s easy to think that living in the United States make us safe from the hatred, bigotry, racism, and violence we see in many places in the world, but the truth is that we are no safer here than any other place in the world (a fact which has been evident since 9/11).

We now live in a world where just going to a store can put us in harms way.  If you think it does not affect you because you are not a group that is being targeted, you are wrong.  Anytime people are killed because of their religion, nationality, sexual preference, race – it affects all of us. We are all connected, we are all part of the same human race no matter how different we may look or worship.

Yes, we can pray for the victims and the perpetrators but we must also act whether it is by going to the polls and voting for people who will stand up against the violence that has infected our country; we must demand of our representatives that they care more about the people of this country than the lobbyist of special interest groups.

Everyday we can ask for the strength to do what is right and necessary to make it safe to walk the streets, go to our favorite store, visit our favorite place of entertainment, in other words, to live our lives fully and for others to have same the freedom and rights.  If we want to feel safe, pray for the safety of others and take action.

Quote of the Week

“Anyone with a gun can commit an act of terrorism.” Anonymous

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How’s Your Heat Index?

Summer is here in Southern California and temperatures are higher and the humidity reminds me of FL and GA.  It seems that there is a direct correlation between higher heat numbers and lower amounts of patience, tolerance and kindness.

The one thing about the weather is that no matter how much one complains about it, it never changes.  In fact, it seems like the more the complaining, the worse it gets – or so it seems.  

The Truth however is that although it may seem that we live life from the outside in (what happens to us determines how we feel), in reality we live life from the inside out.  Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions determine our life. When we understand this truth, we stop blaming the weather, our medical condition, our age, our income, etc. and take responsibility for our thinking and our life.

When you wake up tomorrow, make the decision to have a great day, to see the beauty all around you, to smile at others, to be the person you were created to be.

Quote of the Week

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go very far with it with it.”

Unknown

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