I’m dropping the list down to 5 things, because I am essentially an incredibly lazy man.
It’s my opinion that happiness is what you are under natural conditions. When the Buddha had his moment of crisis of faith that lead to his sitting under the bodhi tree until he was good and done, he recalled a moment as a child when (amidst a crowded and chaotic celebration) he was suddenly left on his own. Rather than becoming fearful, he was washed over with a sudden calm joy and happiness that needed nothing to be what it was. Ramana Maharshi talks about this some too, stating that we our happiness itself, by default, and that a lot of our craving comes from attaching a causal link to external circumstances when we experience a relaxed moment of just being what we are. (“Every time I see you I feel happy inside, so I am going to follow you around and sneak creepy looks at you to get more of that!” Not good, m’kay?)
I’ve noticed this tendency a lot in myself (being human and all), and to the extent that I am able to just be, be present, and not be dependent on context, my natural happiness shines through. Which is awesome!
With that in mind, here are 5 things I work on keeping clear of so as not to be distracted from my natural state:
- Give up your need for control
This is a big, juicy, core one. Being human, I find one of my main drivers is fear. Fear of circumstance, fear of people, fear of consequence, etc. To combat that it’s very easy to get into the habit of being in control. The thing about that is (aside from being a sh*t ton of work) is that it keeps me in a state of only experiencing the pre-determined, the safe. Not much creativity, learning, or growth in that!
- Give up your beliefs
Robert Anton Wilson often said, “Beliefs are the end of thinking. Once you believe something you stop considering the alternatives.” I love that! He referred to Belief Systems as B.S., and that is a great little reminder of how stinky they are. As RAW advises, I make a practice of not believing anything, but instead assigning probabilities to guide my decisions. It requires a bit of extra work, but once you get into the habit it frees tremendous resources and opportunities for growth and noticing native happiness. Pure Gold!
- Give up complaining
Gosh, this is a tough one! The point here is not to get all hippy-dippy and intone “all is one, all is love, om shanti…” Noting that something has a negative aspect is a good thing, in my opinion, and helps with little things like survival. That said, persistent “stinking thinking” consumes a bunch of energy, keeps B.S locked in place, and does not allow as well for the opportunity that I could be wrong about something. (Gee, imagine that!)
- Give up your resistance to change
ZOMG! This one is huge! This desire seems to tie back into the fear-driver that is natural from being human, and helps to shore up the chance for survival. The trouble is it also stunts development, closes off opportunity, and denies the possibility of change in others. Bad juju indeed! Change is good! Change means chance. Change equals discovery. Change is what brought us the inter-webs, longer lives, and 17 different kinds of coffee drinks. It’s awesome! Resistance to change puts blinders on our vision, and wherever we are holding blocks to our natural happiness, that resistance greatly decreases that likelihood that those blocks will… you know…. change. 😉
- Give up the past
I don’t mean this in the forget it sense. I happen to think that is folly. What I am more on about is the habit we humans get into of driving down the freeway of evolution, with the pedal to the metal, only looking in the rearview mirror. That’s no bueno! What I more mean here is giving up attachment to the past. Just because things have been a certain way before does not mean they will be that way forever. If that were true I’d be carving this blog on a stone. Fun, but way to time consuming for a lazy man like me!
Well, there you have it. Five little habit we can look at to clear up our blocks against living in, and as, the happiness we are. It’s our birthright, and I for one intend to let it out as much as humanly possible! (See what I did there?)
Thoughts? Comments? Correction? Please let me know with a comment below. I love hearing from you!