Happiness, often perceived as an elusive state, is not something that merely happens to us. It is a choice we make, a perspective we adopt, happiness is a choice. In this blog, we will explore the profound wisdom of Buddhist concepts such as pre-acceptance and impermanence, and how practicing gratitude can be the key to finding happiness in even the most challenging situations. If your belief system has steered you away from eastern philosophies like Buddhism, I invite you to look at their practices as mind training, and not a religion. I have seen too many die hard Christians make monumental leaps in growth when using mind training techniques to ignore it's effects.
For me personally, I would have never grown as much as I have in my personal development without being exposed to mind training techniques like Buddhist and Toltec practices.
Here are a few of the many frames and tools I've used with myself and clients to get unstuck.
The Choice of Happiness: Happiness is not dependent on external circumstances but on how we perceive and respond to them. Recognizing that happiness is a choice is empowering. We have the ability to shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions, regardless of the external world. Just like happiness is a choice, so is being unhappy. Also a choice, the actions you take that you label as unhappy making, and the belief that you "have to" do anything you do. Saying I have to go to work is a lie to self. "I have to go to work if I want to keep the comfortable and safe life I currently enjoy" would be accurate. Also accurate, "I have not taken the time to weigh out the cost and benefit of this particular job choice." As mentioned in previous blogs, your personality and it's state of integration currently will have a huge impact on your ability to answer that question fully. Book a call with us if you need help sourcing that within you.
Pre-Acceptance: Pre-acceptance, a concept rooted in Buddhist philosophy, invites us to accept and embrace the present moment as it is, without clinging to expectations or resisting what is. It teaches us to acknowledge and make peace with the imperfections and uncertainties of life. "If you can do something about it, why worry? If you cannot do anything about it, why worry?" Seeing the undesired results as a lesson in acceptance, expectations, or taking life/self too seriously is a major step in the right direction.
Embracing Impermanence: Impermanence is a fundamental aspect of existence. Nothing in this world is permanent. Understanding and accepting the transient nature of all things can help us appreciate and savor the present moment. It reminds us to let go of attachments and cultivate a sense of detachment, leading to greater freedom and contentment. Be mindful not to confuse detachment from dissociative disorders. Seeing things from a 3rd party observer is an immersive technique, dissociation is the opposite, it's literally resisting reality. The former is intentionality, the latter is escapism.
Cultivating Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful practice that shifts our focus from what is lacking to what is present. It allows us to find joy and fulfillment in the simplest of things. By consciously acknowledging and appreciating the blessings and opportunities in our lives, we tap into a wellspring of happiness. Get creative with this, find gratitude for the person who made your clothes, cooked your last dinner out, made your car etc....
The Practice of Gratitude: a. Gratitude Journaling: Take a few moments each day to reflect on and write down things you are grateful for. It can be as simple as a warm cup of tea or a kind word from a friend. Cultivating this habit trains the mind to notice and appreciate the abundance around us. b. Mindful Gratitude: Engage in mindfulness practices where you intentionally focus on the present moment and appreciate the beauty and richness of your surroundings. Connect with nature, savor a delicious meal, or cherish moments of connection with loved ones. c. Gratitude Meditation: Incorporate gratitude into your meditation practice. With each breath, let gratitude fill your heart and mind. Express thanks for the gift of life, health, and the opportunities that come your way.
Applying Gratitude in Challenging Times: Gratitude becomes even more vital during difficult times. By embracing the concept of impermanence, we recognize that challenges are temporary. Gratitude helps us find silver linings, lessons, and growth opportunities within adversity. It provides solace and strength to navigate through life's storms.
In closing, happiness is not a destination but a journey. By understanding that happiness is a choice and integrating Buddhist concepts like pre-acceptance and impermanence, we can actively cultivate happiness in our lives. Gratitude acts as a guiding light, allowing us to appreciate the present moment and find contentment in the simplest of things. Let us remember that happiness is within our grasp, and by choosing gratitude, we can experience profound joy and well-being, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.
Peace, Much Love, Live Well,