Identify Your True Source of Happiness
As we begin our exploration of happiness, it’s important to understand how we define what happiness is. As many Eastern wisdom traditions teach, there are two types of happiness. The first kind of happiness comes from things turning out the way we’d like them to. This is known as happiness for a reason. We say, “I’m happy because I have a family and friends,” or “I’m happy because I got a promotion,” or “I’m happy because I’m going on vacation,” and so on. This kind of happiness is inherently fleeting because it depends on external reasons that can be taken away from us at any time. Although we tend to avoid thinking about it, we can lose our home, our job, our savings, our health, and our loved ones at any time. These are temporary, external sources of happiness that come and go like a passing breeze.
The second type of happiness, in contrast, is an internal state of consciousness that allows us to be happy for no reason at all. It is independent of the circumstances, events, people, and things in our lives. This happiness comes from the realization that our true self isn’t our body, thoughts, emotions, personality, possessions, accomplishments, relationships, or any other time-bound attribute. Our essential nature is pure, unbounded consciousness, also known as the field of all possibilities. The attributes of this field include happiness, love, timelessness, compassion, creativity, wisdom, silence, and grace.
This series is called Awaken to Happiness because we are focusing on experiencing the happiness that already exists within us. Just as a radiant sunrise can be hidden behind the clouds, our inner happiness can become obscured by constricted awareness, limiting thought patterns, and emotional turmoil. Yet no matter how long we have been lost in fear and limitation, we can learn to rise above the clouds of conditioning and awaken to the source of happiness within us.
Cultivating Your Intentions
Consciously choosing our intentions is the most powerful way to begin any project, journey, or dream. By becoming clear about what we desire and setting an intention, we are planting a seed in the fertile garden of pure potentiality. As we nurture that seed while simultaneously releasing any attachment to the outcome, we come fully into the present moment. We spontaneously take the most evolutionary actions and experience the expansion of joy, love, and harmony.
As you begin the Awaken to Happiness series, give yourself free reign to consider your intention for the next eight weeks. Your intention can be a simple one. In fact, for the purpose of this exploration, simple is probably best. Here are a few ideas:
My intention is to . . .
- Open my heart to happiness.
- Follow my joy.
- Be happy for no reason at all.
- Awaken to love and happiness.
- Live with a light heart and spirit.
This is your own personal intention, and as long as you find an intention that resonates with your heart, there is no “wrong” way to set it. In general, however, it’s best to write your intentions in positive language rather than in terms of what you don’t want, because the important part of formulating intentions is to generate a field of awareness that feels whole, content, and complete.
Intentions also tend to be more powerful when we write them down where we can see them throughout the day. We have created a template where you can type in your intention and print out as many copies as you like. We suggest taping them to your computer monitor, a bathroom mirror, your car dashboard, and anywhere else that you will see them regularly and be reminded of your deepest intention for happiness.
Affirming Wellbeing Through Mantras
This guided meditation led by program consultant and Vedic Master Gabrielle Forleo will help you go deep into your own inner silence, moving into the world of spirit, where you can manifest your own happiness and wellbeing through positive affirmations.
Consciousness in Motion
Yoga for Body-Centered Awareness
Triangle, The Happy Pose
The basic triangle, or trikonasana (pronounced trih-koh-NAH-sah-nah), is a yoga pose that provides an excellent stretch throughout the entire body. This pose is a good choice if you are feeling sad or depressed, or anytime you want to open yourself up to a flow of positive energy.
Known as the “happy pose” because it opens your heart center and allows joy to fill your body, this pose also relieves tension in your neck and back, tones leg muscles, improves circulation, and strengthens the lower back.
If you are new to yoga, you may wish to begin with Standing Side Bend to strengthen your torso. This pose is less intense, yet offers many of the same benefits as the Triangle pose. As you begin to feel more flexible, gradually move into Triangle.