We may think of happiness as being in a good mood or an expression of an emotion of joy; but happiness is an inside job, a way of life, defined by such qualities as love, courage, optimism and fulfillment. It is felt and cherished every day, and does not change, even though one’s situation may change. It stems from wisdom and compassion which evolves, integrates and expands our emotional and spiritual awareness.
Happiness is a relatively rare quality, as our society often searches outside ourselves to obtain it, then it becomes elusive and ever-changing. Mr. Trivedi speaks often of the ‘smiley face’, a veneer people hide behind to cover their pain and discomfort. A smile can also be the true essence of a person.
Scientific research validates our neurological ‘fight or flight’ system embedded in our brains, that once helped humans to survive, but now quite limits our life. It is the greatest enemy to our happiness. This fear- based system contains our past traumas, current issues and our fear of the future. This fear response became faster than our rational thinking in experiencing love, or any other activity. This fear system is our deception.
The brain stem, the reptilian brain and the amygdala, conducts the fear system of the past. It can be overruled by the neocortex, its cognitive and intellectual abilities, which links us to our intellect and intuition. These messages are our saving grace; often not heard, but have the ability to calm us down, and tell us that nothing is wrong. However, fear can quickly step in, overwhelm and exhaust us. There must be a shifting balance, the ‘dance of the reptile and Spirit.’ We shift from mind and body, bringing in Spirit which must lead; and is the key to happiness. To be truly happy, we need to feel optimistic, loving and spiritually connected. Learn how to help the brain functions of higher thought and Spirit, to overcome the lower brain functions of fear and survival.
Worry is a huge barrier to our happiness. One example is that successful people can have the fear of losing their wealth; however, research shows wealth does not seem to make people happy. The fear surfaces as anger, perfectionism, pessimism, anxiety, depression and feeling isolated. The irrational mind overtakes the rational mind, and our perception on the situation, becomes one of delusion or untruth. We will think something is wrong in our life, and blame others and situations at hand. If there is nothing to blame, we often make trouble for ourselves, so our outer world matches our inner turmoil. As Guruji says, “What is happening on the inside is what is also happening on the outside”. This is an excellent barometer for disciplining the mental forces in our life, monitoring our happiness.
Courage is a very strong antidote for overcoming the split personality of the fear system. It comes from Spirit, intellect and the higher emotions of love and generosity; balances fear and helps us to thrive. A sense of freedom is necessary to overcome fear and move into happiness. One needs a sense of security, another inside job. Happy people know that nothing lasts, not money, approval or life itself. They simply like who they are, as they are.
Health and happiness are synonymous. It is difficult to be happy without health, and hard to be healthy, if you are not happy. Happy people are altruistic and enjoy helping others; as they know how satisfying it feels. We must be conscious of our perspective. Unhappy people have difficulty distinguishing between major and minor problems. Happy people can prioritize and can turn their problems into possibilities. They are able to see the bigger picture, even when facing great difficulties.
A sense of humor goes a long way, even in the worst circumstances. It changes perspective, and offers a momentary ‘breather’, which can change the trajectory of the situation. It lifts the pain off the heart, giving it over to the Spirit, which can help to ease or heal the problem. Happy people are in touch with their purpose in life. They are doing what they came here to do, and experience satisfaction in their lives. These are qualities that constitute happiness. If one achieves them, there is no longer a need to search for happiness, as it will find them.
A new branch called evolutionary psychology has developed around the premise that today people are still influenced by age -old drives, hardwired into the evolutionary brain. W.O. Wilson states, “Human nature is a hodgepodge of special genetic adaptations to an environment largely vanished, the world of the ice Age hunter-gatherer.” We are running space-age intellectual software with Stone Age neural hardware.
We get trapped by our definitions and perceptions of what happiness is and how it is acquired. Our primitive drives of feelings of “not being enough’ and ‘not having enough’ are still prevalent from our fear- based ancestral influence, which continues to show up in behaviors and cognitions. We should hand it over to intellect and Spirit, but many think the answer is to amass more money. Hence in North America we are working harder than ever, but materialism that is realized is not bringing happiness or freedom. Recent studies on money and happiness has found people in greatest poverty, are much happier when receiving money. Beyond that, money does not forge happiness. When there is a yearning for money, people don’t realize it is a scarcity instinct. They think they are being wise and productive. Perhaps we feel that we will never have enough money. It is time to accept it and rise above it. That will alleviate the traps of trying to buy happiness, trying to find happiness through excitement, and trying to be happy by resolving the past.
Give it all to Spirit who is the Source of All, who will provide the most exquisite path, the gift to happiness! Higher consciousness, the Life Force, the grace of God, the Spirit of soul consciousness is the true happiness in everyone’s life. Live it moment to moment; plant the seeds of awareness, and patience will bring the harvest!