A Sensa Magazine article I wrote couple of years ago. (Published in November 2013)
In my last article I was talking about the happiness and defining it a little differently. I mentioned that happiness could be called a state of freedom and non-fear. This article is a sequel of my previous article so if possible read that through as well.
I finished the last article with saying that searching for happiness outside oneself is the most insane thing to do. Meaning that to look out to the world and expecting people, situations and experiences to make you happy and fulfilled is the core of our unhappiness, and it's just a crazy thing to do. I promised that in this article I would explain why the outside world can't make us happy, and how we can actually start to experience more of that freedom and non-fear.
Looking for the world to make us happy is crazy because the world is constantly changing. This is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Everything is always changing, nothing is permanent. If the previous statement is true, which it of course is, the key to happiness is not the control of the circumstances. The control of the circumstances is an illusion which can easily be destroyed by a quickly approaching car driven by a drunken driver. So happiness in my opinion (and experience) has nothing to do with control but rather the opposite, the state of letting go. When we learn to let go, we can connect to a free flow of creativity, where life becomes effortless compared to the struggle it often is. Things happen kind of by itself, coincidences occur.
Life is change. If there is no change there is no life. To experience the beauty of life there has to be the opposites. Now you have it, tomorrow you don't. When you loose it, a space has been created where something new can be born. By controlling, we are trying to resist endings and that is why we are hindering new beginnings from happening.
At this time I think it's important to mention that I'm not against using effort to change something in our life situation. I'm not against achieving something. I'm not against having goals and striving to reach them. Actually it's the opposite. I think that having goals and choosing to challenge yourself is the "icing of the cake". It's what gives our lives that extra-fun aspect. What I'm saying is that it's not happiness (or a state of freedom and non-fear) we get from achieving our goals. If we don't understand this, we will set goals from a state of fear and attachment and these "low quality" goals will only lead to unhappiness. How can I be certain of this? Because like I mentioned before, we can't control life, meaning that sooner or later we will meet obstacles that we can't overcome and we won't succeed in achieving the goals. We could say that there is too much invested in our goals, we are expecting too much from them. Achieving our goals should not make us happy. Achieving our goals should be a fun extra, in this game we call life.
Free flow of creativity
I want to give you some examples of these ideas I'm sharing with you. When I start to write an article like this, I don't have an exact plan of where it will be going. I kind of "let it go" and see where I end up. As I was writing this article I quickly noticed that I was writing about themes that I had just thought of, regarding another project of mine. This project is a "health and happiness" program called "Live Your Life". I started to develop this lifestyle-change program just because a thought popped into my mind. What if I combine different important aspects like yoga, pranayama, healthy diet, endurance training and true spirituality (not the Hollywood version) into a four week practical experiment to help people experience life to the fullest. Now I realize that many of these themes could be very useful topics in my article here. This is an example how the "free flow of creativity" work in my life. In the program I have five key building blocks: Eat, Move, Stop, Let Go and Challenge Yourself. In this article I talk a little about letting go, in the future articles you will certainly find some ideas about eating, moving, stopping and about challenging yourself. Thank you universe for the help!
Understanding that we are going to die
Ok, let's get back to the theme of letting go. Do you know that you are going to die? Seriously, are you aware of it? It seems to me that we often live our lives kind of ignorant about the fact that it will all end... relatively soon. Human life, which is around 80 years long is a blink of an eye if you look at it from a different perspective. I think death is beautiful, it's what gives us life. If there was no death there would be no life. Push death away and you will also push life away. When I observe how people live, it often seems to me that they are trying to escape the fact that it will all end. They are occupied with minuscule things, distracted from the only certain thing there is... It's over soon. If you knew that you would die tomorrow, what would you do today? It would probably change the way you approach this moment. Right? Would you waste your time doing things that you hate? Would you waste another moment doing anything else than what really resonates with you right now?
Why am I talking about this? The understanding and the deep acceptance of your own death is a gateway to happiness, or freedom and non-attachment, my definition of happiness. Whatever we do in life, and however well we do it, we can't escape it. There is no finish line, other than death. If there is nothing we can do to escape it, what will it leave us with? Freedom. Freedom to live it how we truly want, rather than how our fears tell us we should. By the way, all fears are based on the fear of death, fear of not being. There are no right or wrong choices. All of them will lead to the same place. Death. It's all just an experience and we always have the opportunity to change what we are experiencing. You might think that you are stuck in your life. In the dissatisfactory workplace situation, in the unhappy relationship, in the less than perfect economical situation, or in general a life you didn't choose for yourself. Lets open our eyes. Nothing is stuck, everything is moving and changing, being born and dying. That is what life is. If you are not experiencing change, it's because you are afraid and you are trying to control something that can't be controlled. Let it go, release the fear and see where the universe will take you.
Be aware that I'm not saying anything about what happens after life. I have some beliefs, but like I have mentioned many times, beliefs are not important. You don't have to believe any version of afterlife to be able to let go of the fear of death. You just have to stop being a child and see what is real.
Connecting with the inner wisdom
So what to do when the fear of death is diminished? That is when you can truly start to understand what you are here for. We all have special skills, special characteristics. Are you aware of yours? Have you had experiences where everything just happens effortlessly, where you don't have to struggle to get something done and you feel unexplainable joy while doing it. It might be something else than what you are doing as your job today, but it might be something you should be involved with, if you truly want to be happy. You sometimes hear me say, listen to your heart. By that I mean go beyond the ego and its fears and find out what resonates with you and with your special skills and characteristics.
So how exactly can you use these ideas to find a permanent state of freedom and non-attachment. It's simple. 1) Contemplate on the fact that your human experience will end with your death. Become aware of the ultimate ending, the mother (or father) of all endings. 2) Experience the freedom this realization gives you. 3) Ask your heart: what is important for me now? 4) Listen and feel, observe... don't think. 5) Act upon what you feel is important to you.. Don't be afraid. 6) Notice how the universe supports you. Find the free flow of creativity and enjoy the effortless state of being and doing.
When you start to live your life with these principles, you will notice that it will become more and more of your reality. You will do what you feel is important and meaningful for you, and you will stop doing things that are based on fear and attachment. You will experience freedom and you will start to live your own life, not someone else's.
Let it go!