Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying that people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.
How happy are you? How happy am I?
Or are we worried? Concerned? Anxious? Disappointed?
Unhappy thoughts do not cause happiness.
No one coerces us into seeing a certain way. No one forces a particular view of life upon us.
Therefore, what are we choosing to think? What is our attitude?
Are we simply like a robot, thinking in habitual ways? Is our default set on worry or blame?
Or are we going to gather and integrate new information? Are we going to watch what is going on in our mind?
It takes quieting our minds to pay attention to what it is thinking. A mindfulness practice helps us do this on a daily, moment-by-moment basis.
I choose to meditate so that I can see what my mind is doing. I also study wisdom teachings, plus the new sciences of neuroplasticity and Quantum Physics. I practice mindfulness and integrate the new information being revealed about the mind in both the sciences and psychology.
I am choosing to notice the old neuropathways of worry, fear and impatience as they arise. My practice is to step back and watch rather than join in on the content of these old habitual patterns. I breathe and watch what is arising in the mind. I don’t try to fix anything. I allow the Light of Spirit (my intention and attention) to do Spirit’s work. Mine is to stay aware!
As I cultivate awareness, I feel happier. Sometimes I am more humbled and embarrassed to discover what I am really thinking and feeling. I notice how these judgments continue to cloud my mind.
But I remember these are just old habits. These thoughts are not me. They arise and fall away, but I do not need to believe them. They are just thoughts.
This is how it is for now. They will change. They have already changed. I continue to observe, accepting what is and watching the parade of thoughts, attitudes and feelings.
True happiness comes as we don’t demand that things be different than they are.
It takes a commitment to our mindfulness practice — paying attention to what our mind is thinking and feeling, noticing the sensations arising and falling away in our body. This is also called awareness training.
We simply pause, breathe and notice without trying to change what is or make our experience different than it is.
Contentment arises as we notice the content of our mind without getting caught up in it. They are simply stories. As Chuck Hillig says, “Contentment happens when we allow the content to be what it is, without minding.”
We are not the content. It simply has arisen from past causes and conditions.
Can we allow the content to be what it is? If it’s pain, it is pain. We can choose our response. If we are trying to get rid of something — anything — we are resisting what is. And this causes unhappiness.
Happiness comes as we practice nonresistance.
Everything passes. Everything is impermanent with no lasting characteristics. It is only our memory of the past that brings it into the present.
The truth is that we are refreshed and made anew each moment. This is what the new physics (Quantum Physics) tells us.
We are not our bodies. We do not consist of matter. Mind creates matter. Matter is born and it will die. Our Essence is Spirit.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Can we enjoy it? It is unique. It is here for a nanosecond and then gone, arises again and again. Each time made new!
Remember this song we learned as children:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
It reminds us — four times — to be merry!
For life is not what we think it is. As we see it, we create it. Our attitude creates our experience. Happiness is something we choose as we cultivate mindfulness.
In joy and love,
“Proceed as Way Opens”
by Rev. Blain
On each page of Rev. Blain’s book,
you’ll find inspiring ways to meet
life’s difficulties and guidance to
move forward into a life filled with happiness and joy.
“Proceed as Way Opens” may be purchased on Amazon at: