Have you ever searched for happiness and noticed that the pursuit of happiness actually made you sad or depressed? All too often we search for happiness, when we need to pursue states of joy.
Many feel their happiness or “peace” in their life will come once they get that raise, publish that book or marry that man. Many people are not spiritually evolved enough to distinguish the difference between internal and external happiness. And most people chase the external world to fulfill their inner world happiness.
Happiness, like a treadmill starts and stops frequently. Many people believe that once they reach a state of happiness that life will be forever smooth sailing. This is not the case. Life is a continuous process of processing life situations, emotions and events.
Happiness is not forever. Happiness is defined as "a state of being happy." And being happy is defined as, "a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment." Why is being happy so difficult?
What most people lack in their life is contentment. As stated above, most people seek material things or pleasures from the external world in order to fulfill their inner world.
Without contentment, we never seem to have enough in life, which is ironic as modern society is the most abundant life mankind has ever experienced. We want more money. We want a nicer car, better clothes, a better job title – most people are not content with what they currently have or own. And most people do not appreciate the basics such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
And when we’re not content, how can we be happy?
Happiness seems like an end point, but life has no end point until we’re six feet underground. Even if you reach a state of happiness, life will flow like a river with highs and lows. We will enter time periods of happiness and sadness. It is the reality of life.
Joy on the other hand is, defined as “The emotion evoked by well being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires,” and a “feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”
I don’t believe that joy stems from success or good fortune. I see it as an internal fulfillment of being content and finding love and joy in the divine.
Whether you call the above, God, the creator or the universe, receiving love from the divine is one of the best moments of joy one can experience. God loves us unconditionally. It's the same unconditional love you receive from a pet.
We find joy through things that we love like reading a book, hanging out on a beach, cooking for friends, making love to a spouse. Joy is living in the moment and enjoying the happiness from that activity. Generally, happiness is connected to material items as an outcome or reward once you achieve or get something.
Joy is also appreciating what you have during times of stress and chaos. We may not be happy, but somehow we can be thankful and find gratitude in one area of our life.
Happiness is an emotion. Joy is an attitude of the heart.
Emotions, like the ocean, ebb and flow, and happiness, like our human body, is a temporary experience. We are emotional high addicts (stimulus and response). It’s why people are shopping/drug/sex/food addicts.
Eventually, the “high” of the new item wears off. And we need more of the stimulant in order for the body to respond with that happiness / high feeling.
Happiness will come, and happiness will go. It is important to find the joy in everything, even during the hard times, as these are the moments where you grow and transform your life.
What do you think about happiness? Is it better to chase joy instead of happiness?
Happy Fourth of July.
Today is the day of freedom. The day we reflect on our rights, happiness and freedom as a country. America is not a perfect country but there has been no better time in human history than the present.
Freedom is a bell that rings daily, a bell that we all want to ring.
We all seek freedom. Financial freedom. Freedom from our jobs. Freedom from the system.
Most people will never find freedom because they are solely focused on the material and earth-plane world. They believe money will set them free. They believe a relationship will make them happy. They believe a car will make them look cool.
Many of these "things" are compensation tools for something that is lacking inside.
What most people "need" is to set their soul free. This doesn't mean through self-employment or globe-trekking, but to walk the path of growth for their mind, body and soul.
“The great efforts to move our lives forward always come down to a new moment when we interrupt our fear and activate our freedom by choosing how to feel, interpret, and direct our lives.” – Brendon Burchard,
There are two types of wolves that exist in life and in our mind. A white wolf (being of the light) and a black wolf (darkness). Most people torture themselves with dark wolves and invite them in carelessly into our lives, and repeat the same behavioral loop patterns. The lower mind focuses on these instant pleasures, which in turn keeps us locked in from the freedom we seek.
Most people need to break free from the constraints that agonize their soul.
The soul yearns freedom from behavioral loops, bad habits and limiting self beliefs.
“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.” – Melody Beatti
It takes strength and courage to walk away from the things that no longer serve you, but nourish your higher mind, the higher self that seeks more in life.
Stop letting people walk all over of you.
Stop saying yes to everything when you want to say no.
Stop doing things that make you feel empty inside.
When you remove the clutter and dirt from your life you purify the soul. It's like cleaning a garage.
So how do you remove the clutter? Listen to your intuition and seek help. Counseling, yoga, mediation, vacation, eating healthier - whatever is driving you to a better life, seek that out. You need to choose tools that will help you deprogram your mind.
Humans are biologically programmed to focus on the negative. It's how we've evolved for our species to survive. At some point in your life you have to draw the line in the sand and take a stand for what you want in your life. Something healthier. Something more inspirational. Something just better.
Unless it's a loved one, stop worrying about other people and begin to take care of yourself. The more you focus on your soul development the more you break free from the constraints on society. The higher you vibrate and trust in God, things in life will manifest - we just don't know when, where or why. The divine has no timeline.
“You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.” – Philip Arnold
What do you think? How can you set your soul free?
Is love the most powerful force on the planet?
I’ve pondered this question countless times. Each time I enter deep thoughts regarding this topic, I do believe the base of human existence roots to love.
I have two cats. Snickers and Smittens. They are like the sun and the moon. Snickers is as emotional as the moon and craves chronic affection. Smittens is as fiery as the sun. You don’t touch her unless she comes around. She hisses and sometimes swats her paw if provoked. Some would call her a bitch cat. No matter how fiery she is, she too craves love. Although it’s on her terms, even the most miserable human being craves love, affection or attention from other human beings.
One example is through the Christmas Carol story of Ebenezer Scrooge. He looked at his ghosts and witnessed his life as a miser. Through processing the emotions of his life, his family and Tiny Tim, Scrooge was touched by love. Love, and personal reflection, changed his life.
Years ago, I read a study that housing professionals conducted with homeless people. Through the eyes of the homeless individual, they saw everyone living these perfect lives with people they love meanwhile they suffered on the street not knowing when they’d eat or how much money they’d get that week. They too craved love.
I talked to many friends who’ve had cold or tyrant parents say that all they ever wanted was their mother to share that maternal love and affection with them or their father to show emotion.
So maybe love is the most powerful force on the planet?
Humans continuously search for love. I believe it is natural to want to give and receive love in various forms. We want something to love so we buy a pet. We love watching things grow so we plant a garden or raise a child. Many spiritual people are obsessed with finding self-love.
Even Einstein, a brilliant man of science, questioned the capacity of love. He wrote countless letters to his daughter, Lieserl, one that had a powerful impact on his thoughts of love, which you can read here.
Einstein stated, "To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of
patient and waits
faithful and upholding
soulful / emotional fulfilment
deep affection / spiritual bond
impatient and impulsive
endangers, or looks to its benefits
disloyal and unfaithful
greedy and selfish
physical / imaginative
at “first sight”
conditional (I love you if…)
craving for sexual desires
Although the money, sex and conversations maybe nice, most people ignore their soul crying inside because lust has become the drug that's consumed all rational and logical decisions.
Ask yourself, "Am I in love with this person? Or am I in lust?"
True love is Godly.
God is love. And He wants the best for every person on this planet. Now for that lustful red devil, he wants to keep y'all hooked on drugs, sex and rock-n-roll to trap you from the truth - a soulful, deep connection between two people.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
A moral compass can be seen as “doing good,” or interpreted today such as, “I’m better than you” because I am doing good. The perversion of social media stigmatizes kind acts because everyone wants to be in the limelight or to be praised for their good work.
A compass is a navigation tool to get you back on path when lost in the wild or in the dark. Ironically, the needle points northward, which symbolizes our souls connection to God, the universe and source. The moral part of the compass includes the mental processes of our soul’s direction or guidance. It's the balance between the head and the heart.
"On the ocean of life, let your mind be the ship and your heart be the compass."
-James David Manning
According to Psychology Today, one of the problems in today’s society is that we are “amoral,” meaning lacking a clear compass or a foundational guide. Although there are plenty of immoral things happening today, as well as throughout human history, it is evident that people are losing their way.
In the past, our ancestors used tools like the Bible, The Golden Rule or nature as their moral compass. Religion was used as a method, or a compass, to control the primitive pagans and instill some form of “humanity,” which led to the church controlling the state. Since then, we’ve evolved and it seems that people need a new set of values for their compass.
Humans are multifaceted creatures. There is no one perfect person and it easy to admire and love someone like JFK, Martin Luther King and Oskar Schindler for their courageous work. However, all three of these men were either womanizers or had multiple affairs outside of their marriage.
So how moral were these characters? It is only fair to analyze all areas of the character. It is easy to judge the moral humanitarian character as a ‘good’ person, but what about the destruction caused to the wife’s heart? Today, with the exposure of powerful men taking advantage of women, we see another part of one’s moral compass suffering. People are human and make mistakes.
But it is important to learn from these mistakes so one can better setup their future. People who don’t have a moral compass (or a connection to it) often make the same mistakes again and again. Most cannot look in the mirror and admit their mistakes, weaknesses or the pain they caused to other people.
So how do I improve my moral compass?
Respect is a quality that we should have for ourselves and others. It is defined as, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” We respect ourselves and others through our thoughts, actions and behaviors.
What do you think of yourself? How do you speak about others? How do you treat your body? How do you treat your coworkers? If we respect ourselves, we generally respect others (and our home).
Integrity is moral uprightness and the quality of being honest, and having strong moral principles. This is self-explanatory, but many people lack integrity. For example, a woman meets her soulmate. But, her soul-mate is married. Confused by lust and emotion, she cannot see that his heart is already taken and that he is a human being too. I’ve seen this happen where the two have an affair and the man ends up not leaving his marriage and the soul mate is crushed.
Let’s look at this scenario from the lens of respect and integrity.
Why do people ignore respect for their pure selfish motives? Why did the woman not have respect for her body, but also for the wife and child? Why did she not respect her emotions? High emotions clouds good judgement.
Instead of rationalizing and respecting the situation (or keeping it platonic), both succumbed to love, lust and animal instincts without integrity or thought of how these actions will affect other people. The reality is that infidelity always catches up and the truth will always be exposed.
Marriage is the most sacred bond on this planet and it is important to block temptations and respect the bond and vows that were created by two people. Read more thoughts on my "Soul Mate is Married" blog.
What are your thoughts on a moral compass? Check out my latest Sunspiration post on Steering your Ship with Your Moral Compass.
Sticking to your moral compass isn’t easy in today’s world, but it’s the one way to evolve our souls and consciousness.
Forget the career goals. Forget the goals to strive for success or lose a certain amount of weight.
This 2018 is dedicated to transforming our inner worlds. And to that I must follow my own path of taking years of lessons and REALLY focusing on who I really am and who I want to be in this world.
We all have. No one is perfect. And trying to succeed in this fucked up world of Instagram and Facebook likes (which I've paid plenty of mentors who praise popularity as a means to success) it's easy to get caught up and lost in this superficial world. And when this happens we take those who are closet to us for granted because we have trust that they'll always be there for us. Until one day it's gone, and all the shit blows up in your face, not realizing that your blinders were on in many areas of life.
“Our life is fritted away by detail. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify,” said Henry David Thoreau.
Embrace Simple Living
I have a friend. He's a devout Christian. And like a broken record, I've heard him continuously say throughout this past year that life is not that complicated. We humans make it complicated. We tend to psychoanalyze everything to a degree of complexity that I'm sure our therapist doesn't even understand. Our ancestors thrived on simple living. Marry the one you love. Raise children. Cook Whole Foods. Move your body. It's simple stuff and as I've written in the past, The Art of Simple Living is easier than we think.
Live a Pure and Honest Life
Honesty is the best policy. The truth will set you free. These simple quotes are the basis of living a pure and simple life. The more we lie, we have to cover a lie with a lie and the snowball continues. If you messed up in your relationship, admit it. Karma has no deadline and the truth always gets exposed.
Embrace a Diplomatic Voice
No more bullshitting or being afraid to talk about sensitive subjects. Lack of communication is what ruins relationships. And it did to mine. At some point we have to "grow a pair" and continuously communicate what is on our minds. It's not about blame or finger pointing. It's about expressing our troubles or desire with eloquence.
We fight to hold on and we also fight to let go.
In the past, I've been so accepting of people and their path in life that I've accepted people for who they are. I am not extreme and I just don't cut people out of my life. That behavior to me is perplexing. But at some point we must let go of the things or people that no longer serve us.
Trust in God
Everything in life works out. Life may not work out as planned but know that every event has a purpose. Putting faith in God embraces our path in life. If there is one thing we can (or should) do in this world, it's to serve God and infuse our consciousness with his light, love, wisdom and energy.
Embrace the Hardships
Crisises are the perfect time for change. When low or at rock bottom, it is the time to analyze thoughts, actions and behaviors and focus on evolving and to become a better person.
Guard My Heart
One major life lesson that I and we all can learn is to better guard our hearts and souls. What we manifest may not always be for our highest good. Some people or situations enter our life as a way of testing us, reigniting areas of our lives that are dormant or becoming the "rapture" to really shake things up. Just remember, especially if you are in a marriage or relationship, always guard your heart and home takes care of their own first. 2 Corinthians 11:14 states, "Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light." What we think is serving us, is actually darkness pulling us away from the truth, our loved ones or steering us off path.
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
The world is messed up. Darkness is on the rise and it is important to maintain a sound mind and body, and step out of the reactive, impulsive nature to keep reaching for the light. Tap into the higher mind and take a moment to think before speaking or reacting.
Wish Others the Best
Forgiveness sets you free and so does wishing the best for everyone. Jealously is normal, especially in the work world. When we embrace other people's celebrations we tap into a higher part of ourselves that is free from the ball and chain of jealousy.
Continue to Discover the Lessons from Nature
Nature has all the secrets. Too many people want to live in a world free from danger, hardship and negativity. In my belief system, we must discover HOW to navigate the darkness. Nature has all the answers. Some animals are monogamous and others are not. Some animals from the same species kill each other. And animals from different herds hunt, prey and kill each other. Some flowers are beautiful and others are poisonous. When you understand the natural world, you'll understand the real world and our human experience.
What do you hope for in 2018? I wish you the best and Happy New Year.
Your experience can create great things,
if you stay in the moment.
Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future is common in this technological age. Social media ignites the idea that everything in life has to be perfect and stirs emotions of how everyone's life looks so glamorous meanwhile ours may "suck." It makes us worry more about the future, and like a hamster running in a cage, we strive for further perfection or this ideal life.
Focus on the now. Focus on what you can do in this moment to make a change, knowing that this is a stepping stone to your future self. These are all lessons I remind myself daily and without further ado, here is the except of "The Power of Now and Then" written by Gary Szenderski.
I have often written about the power of being in the moment and appreciating what is happening this very second. Being in the now is empowering in many ways because it frees us from the burden of the past and worry of the future. Being present and aware allows us to gather more input and develop a greater ability to absorb what is happening now. Noticing details about surroundings or the look and words of people we’re with is heightened when our mind stops living in the past or future and pays attention to what is right now.
It takes real practice to stay in the moment, but it’s worth it. If we learn to use the now as a place of engagement or even refuge from worry, we begin to get a glimpse of ourselves observing ourselves. This self-observation and reflection is extremely useful when applying all of the previous moments of our life – the then– to what will be the new now. In other words, our experience, good or bad, is always with us and available to help construct and hopefully enjoy the now that is currently upon us.
The power of “then” lies in its symbiotic relationship with our psyche and ego. Whatever we may have learned can be useful in any given moment. And any given meditative awareness of the moment, the power of now is the most fertile time for launching new thoughts and writing new chapters in our life. That’s because whatever path we have taken to get to this place in time, has prepared us for the “new now” we’re about to slide into. If we tap into what got us here, we can create a better version of ourselves from here forward, one step, one chapter, one moment at a time.
Gary Szenderski, Author of Szen Zone
Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher and branding specialist. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change, and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and Szen Zone, often quoted marketing expert, and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California in Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California.
Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Do you have any lessons or tips about the power of now? We'd love to hear your story, tips or guidance to help other readers discover the power of now.
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Odd sensations ran through my body but I ignored the call to pay special attention to my new friendship. My friend went to the bathroom and I saw an email from my Uncle’s friend with a weird subject line, but I didn’t open it.
After meeting my friend, I read the email and it said to call the Westlake Police Department, which matched the number of the missed call on my cell phone. I called the number and an officer informed me that my uncle was found dead in his condo, which looked most likely like a suicide.
Everything in my body dropped. I nearly puked on the sidewalk and frantic, I called my dad hysterical. Not knowing or understanding his death, the first question I had was why and what drove him to do this?
For weeks, I couldn’t keep my composure. I would burst out in tears at the drop of a dime or when hearing an emotional song. My uncle was quirky and a bit eccentric. Because of this, he was outcasted from many social circles. I empathized and understood his mentality.
He had a pure love and passion for the star and wildlife. We often talked about how we wish we could understand what an animal is thinking in that moment when our eyes meet.
Dealing with suicide is never easy. It’s a shock and blow to one’s soul. And depending on the relationship, some people may never overcome the death, especially if it tends to be a child, parent, spouse or sibling.
Here are some recommendations on how to cope and heal from a loved one’s suicide
There are many forms of counseling such as support groups or speaking with a psychologist privately. The first and most important step to healing is to understand the steps of grieving and to communicate your voice.
People will bounce between stages of being mad, sad and angry. It is important to process those emotions as they come and continue support groups. These support networks can give insight on their healing mechanisms and give space for your space. Most people who bottle up their emotions end up in a worse space because they feel lost and not heard.
Build Up Your Spirit
From a spiritual perspective, everyone is on their own path in life. Humans come in and out of our life to learn lessons. Many people seek suicide as a way to escape pain. There is no way one should ever take blame for another person’s choice to take his or her life.
When low, build up your spirit. Whether that’d be walks through nature or scheduling a reiki appointment, ingest nothing but the natural and pure. It is easy to go on benders such as drinking or seeking pleasure externally through sex.
Journaling is another powerful healing method, especially when sitting in nature. Maybe you can take a walk down his or her favorite path? Or visit their favorite beach and have a conversation with their spirit? As much as it hurts, try to remember the positive qualities of what that person contributed to society or the world as a whole.
I thought my uncle was really selfish for what he did, but after consulting a psychic about his death it was expressed to me that his mindset caused him so much pain in this life. Consulting a psychic may not be for everyone but I received the clarity and answers I needed at that time.
In moments of chaos, the power of NOW really helps. Time heals all wounds and it’s important to process those emotions you feel at the moment. Everyone processes things differently, but don’t be afraid to take a break or to stay busy. It’s a balancing act but some people can get depressed and not move forward, where workaholics want to stay busy but sweep their emotions under the rug because it’s too painful to think or confront the person’s death.
Regardless of how you handle your situation, just know the pain gets easier with time. For me, I felt completely healed at least 2 years after my uncle’s death.
Have you lost someone to suicide? If so, what coping mechanisms helped you heal from the person’s death?
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com