FreedomAs I have been journeying in in life, I spend time questing the concept of happiness.  When I mentioned a goal of happiness to my coach, she asked how l would know I had achieved that end.  What is the happiness I was seeking.  I’ve been pondering this question, finding it difficult to answer. I don’t think in terms of end, but rather in terms of the journey.  And the journey is an expression of who I am every day of my life.

Our culture programs us to seek happiness through external gratification.  For many years, I followed that path, thinking things or people would make me happy. When I had or did and felt , then I would be happy. Have you ever had a thought like that?

The quest for acquisition didn’t bring me the freedom or happiness that I believed it would. As long as I looked outside myself I didn’t feel that sense of satisfaction I was longing for.  Or if I did, it wasn’t lasting.

What is real happiness

I came to realize that I have everything – already – in my life that I need to feel happy and be content.  It doesn’t come from things I have or the places I have been.  The most beautiful part of my life occurs when I realize – and am conscious and accept – that I do not need all the external ‘things’ to be free, to be happy.

To change my view of success and happiness – to see it and experience it without the ‘excess’, has taken considerable effort.  It takes continual focus on experiencing the states of separation and detachment.

To live a life detached from material things, and free ourselves from the constant wanting is my current paradigm of freedom.     The most beautiful, yet simple experience is being fully present and awake.

Wealth is something that serves us and allows us to move in the world.  This gives us a certain freedom.  Money certainly has its purpose, but is not for our expression of validation.  I strive now, for a life of simplicity.  It costs nothing to smile, bright and smart. It feels good and it makes me happy!

How to find happiness

It is within.  Aim to discover how you transcend your longings for the material things.  Maybe you will find it deep your mediation practice. Maybe it comes to you unbidden in certain moments.  You can notice those moments and replicate them, holding onto them longer and longer. Notice and appreciate your windfalls and blessing whatever they might be – no matter how large – or small.  Celebrate anything and everything around you that is wonderful.  Dwell on what inspires.  This is where you will find happiness.