I’m often amazed how much my life has transformed since I began to focus my attention on qualities I wanted to experience, rather than things I wanted to have. This is the shift I describe in my chapter of The Thought that Change My Life Forever, a collection of the pivotal moments of life-shifting thought from 52 authors around the world.
Now that the books are available and I’m sharing the story with others in new ways, the wisdom of this lesson is floating back to my awareness, infusing itself into my analytical deliberations and whispering new options. I’m beginning to recognize new outcomes that are a direct result of my new attentiveness to ease, grace, joy, abundance and love. I literally wake up every morning wondering how wealth will show up for me today, curious of the ways appreciation will be exchanged and excited to discover new levels of trust, courage and happiness.
Oh, sure I still catch myself being stressed about work projects, or bill payments or my upcoming move…but then I recognize that being stressed isn’t helpful toward what I’m wanting: ease in insuring workshop participants have all they need to learn, exchange of money for a warm home, food, electricity and internet; and a graceful transition to a new home and a new state.
This transition, or perhaps addition, has helped me to distinguish the difference between happiness from a new Ipod vs. happiness from deep intimacy vs. happiness from meditation. There are some who may argue that those states of happiness are the same. But for me the means and the ends are noticeably different now. And being involved in this book project, I am discovering more and more people who would agree that the human race can no longer afford to limit itself to Ipod-level happiness or even sex-based happiness. Both of which have created such disastrous addictions. A deeper level of joy IS possible. If you are reading these words, there is a voice within you that already knows this.
One teacher I’ve been reading lately is Malidome Some. In a really beautiful interview he shares that:
…the individual can no longer afford to live by values such as the systematic accumulation of material goods as the yardstick by which to measure happiness. The spiritual thirst that is latent in everybody can never come to a place of fulfillment unless people begin to think of each other as potential brothers and sisters. Otherwise, they can never reach on the inside the same level of wealth that they’ve reached outside.
No matter the amount of time you are currently spending to reach for outward things or experiences to make you happy, you can begin right now to identify what joy is present in your life. You can begin right now, to focus on the last time you deeply laughed until your sides hurt. You can begin to recall, right now, the unconditional love someone expressed to you for even a single moment.
I DARE you!
You might be pleasantly surprised how peace reveals itself.