It cannot be found. The world doesn’t owe it to you. It can’t be guaranteed by anyone or anything, not even by a therapist, an enlightened guru, or by any amount of wealth, fame and power.

Chasing happiness makes it elusive, just like sleep when you desperately want it.  So where does happiness lie? How does one get to possess it?

Let me tell you a story about a wealthy family. 

One day there was this boy who’s celebrating his 8th birthday. As a present, his parents took him down the countryside for the weekend. They stayed in a spacious cabin by the lake, not very far from a small farm. This was the very first time that the family ever spent time away from the city.  

The next day, the father took his kid fishing, and both decided to stay until mid-afternoon to feast on their catch.  After having their fill, they decided to take a longer route going back and happened to pass by the small farm. 

The pair saw the family living there spending some fun afternoon just outside their barn.  Three kids are running around, playing with chickens and goats, climbing and jumping down haystacks. Two men sipping their cup of hot tea while a teenage boy plays a folk song in his rugged jeans with his old guitar entertaining the older men. Coming out from an old wooden house, a young woman and an elderly lady are carrying a plate of freshly baked cookies and a pile of bread, bidding the kids to come and grab some. 

As the father and son moved in closer, the oldest man from the farm noticed them, and without hesitation waved and invited the two to stop by. The rich man hesitated, said thank you and carried on.  

As the pair inch further away, the boy can’t help but look back and glance at the family again and again. Finally, they reached the cabin. The night was already deep and the farm was out of sight.

At the dinner table, the boy recounted his day and out of the blue, he quipped.

Boy: “Dad, I realize they are richer than us”.

Dad: “Who, son”?

Boy: “The family at the farm”.

Dad: “What do you mean? They don’t have much. But us, we own a lot of companies, live in a huge house with lots of cars, you can have all the sweets you want, and you’re always safe as I have servants looking after you, drop you to school and pick you up.  There’s freedom in our wealth, son, you can do anything”!

Son: “Well dad, they have a million lights above them, they have the stars. And the sky is huge, they get to enjoy it every time. They are always together, they look very happy and they celebrate every moment. They don’t just pass the time, they live it, savor it, just like those freshly baked cookies. It smelled so delicious and to them, every moment is treated like that. And it seems they didn’t feel scared.  They don’t have big men watching over them or guarding them. I think they have Someone bigger and stronger than the guards we have. I don’t know. But I just feel they’re richer than us, they’re freer, happier, and I think they’ve got something really special”.

The father was astonished about what he heard and was lost for words. 

My friend, happiness cannot be circumstantial because it’s within us- a sleeping giant that just needs to be awakened. You don’t need any magic tricks, fancy cars, shiny shoes or mansions. You don’t need to be a superstar nor would you need a hermit to reveal an ancient secret to you. Happiness is already in you. You just need to bring it out. Your spark, your gift, your beauty, your goodness, it lies at the very core of your being. 

The challenge? Piece by piece, layer by layer, strip yourself off with your masks, pretensions, pride, hate, with worldly desires and dependencies. Your soul and your heart, in it’s barest state, reveals the true you, and because of so much goodness that lies within that core, there lies not just happiness, but pure joy too.

You are your own joy. Celebrate your being, and move the world beautifully in ways that only you can.

 

Colours

Photo by Joe Shillington

“In the bigger world, we all have roles to fill. Fulfill what is yours and be excellent about it. There’s room for everyone in the Father’s Kingdom”. #sundaewrites Have you ever felt frustrated because somebody else is better than you? Mad because you don’t have what they have or maybe because they’re already doing the… Continue reading Colours

Admit it.  If you’re living in the city or working in a fast-paced environment, it’s normal to end the day feeling exhausted.  Yet when you reach home, there are household chores to finish, priorities that need to be invested in like relationships, personal growth, and side hustles. You need to have ounces of energy left to do these things before you hit the sack.

Truth is, in this day and age, when computers and electronic advances were meant to make things easier and faster, people are feeling more overwhelmed.  We get too much information and too many distractions so we get comfortable with getting things done in an instant-  instant messages, instant food, instant report, etc.  While these are all good, we often times overlook the essential, the basics, the natural, the simple and the quiet.

I am living in this environment too and through time I have learned the value of slowing down. And by that I mean slowing down:

*the pace–  focusing on what’s important

*the heartbeat– letting go of temper outbursts

*the talk– taking more time to listen and get into real, meaningful conversations

*the automatic defenses– to proact and not react

In the process, I have learned and practiced four maneuvers which allowed me to breeze through the day with ease and with a subdued feeling of being weightless. You can try them and see how it’ll give you more freedom- in mind, body, and soul.

1) Stop Complaining

Being a bystander won’t really accomplish you anything. You are not contributing and often disposed to either being critical or indifferent.  Why not become part of a solution or be a champion of change? What if instead of bashing or blaming, you choose to help or fix things?  We can all be more useful to the world by being more helpful and being more caring.

2) Focus and Let Go

You need to focus on things that you can actually do something about, and let go of those that you cannot control. At every point in our lives, we need not know or figure out all the answers before we act or do something. Else, you’d be stuck and end up seeing opportunities pass you by. Letting go also means you need to take calculated risks. Only the person who risks in life is truly free. (taken from a famous poem).

3) Forgive

It’s okay to fail if you do it “leaning” forward.  Take one step at a time. For each step, even if you fall to the ground, take the lesson with you. Important things are, you grow and you keep growing.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, so you don’t get too hard on other people too. When you are more accepting and forgiving of yourself, you become more accepting and forgiving towards others.

4) Restart

Each day is a new day. Don’t compete with anyone. Just be better than how you were yesterday.  The thing of the past, is actually what it is. Today is another chance, and privilege to write another page in the story of your life.  It’s a blank canvas. You can do anything. But fulfill something that you can really be proud of at the end of the day.

Life is short. We already know this but we keep living our lives as if our days are not numbered. So choose wisely and decide now how you want this journey to unfold. At the end of this race, you want to look back and feel glad about what you have accomplished.  Make sure that what you do today, will someday make you feel proud.

“Dear future self, wherever and whenever, I want you to be pleased and really delighted when you think of me”.

Question:

Are you practicing a habit that helps you go through life with ease and more peace? What are those occasions that these habits helped you? I’d love to hear your story. Comment here.

A Hero’s Journey

You don’t know what other people are going through, the sacrifices they had to make, the “ask” that they needed to heed. Fame and fortune are empty shells. The real treasure lies in your capacity to build and rebuild. We all have potential. We just need to start owning it and make something out of it.

In The Depths Of The Night

Most of the answers we seek don’t come easily. At times they don’t even come at all.
But as I resolve to recognize this season as a part of the journey, I just kept on walking even if I couldn’t see the whole road up ahead.