Are you willing to do what it takes to be truly happy?

No matter what anyone says they want out of life, it all boils down to happiness. Every human being is trying in some way to find or maintain happiness. Do we even know what true happiness is or even why the goal of every human is to be happy? Honestly, I did not know either. What we do know is that we were born a human being while we could have been born an infinitum of other species. Damn good reason to explore more, right?! While all other species live based on survival and instinct, we, as humans, have an ability to do a lot more than that! What are we doing with this ability?

Take some time to write down what you believe makes or would make you happy. Assuming that list is complete, look it over and cross off anything that is impermanent, subject to change or won’t last… Reexamine your list. Most likely nothing remains. Everything we think we are happy for or that makes us happy is outside of us. This is called conditioned happiness rather than true happiness.

A conditioned happiness is dependent on either an external person, place, thing or something that may change. Use an example such as the physical body. We may say I will be happy when I reach a certain weight or look a certain way. When we reach that goal, we find that there is something else we want and therefore our so-called happiness is not so! Another example is finding a life partner. We believe this will make us truly happy. Have you noticed the divorce rate is climbing? It may happen or have already happened to you. No partner is a life partner. We hope it to be that way, but we cannot control the future or another being. If we do find a soulmate and it does last, we still seek something else… the wanting never ends. The truth is that we have no idea what we really want. If we do know, we do not understand that it won’t make us truly happy.

Arthur Schopenhauer says, “It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find anywhere else.” The yoga scriptures and ancient philosophy tell us that true happiness exists within us and not externally! Nobody can take happiness away nor give it to us. True happiness is a feeling of contentment that lasts 24/7 without interruption no matter who or what comes or goes. This means if someone leaves you, or you lose your home or even your loved ones you would still be happy. You may think, how could I be happy without my family, home, car, job or business? The greater question is how do I find happiness within myself and not be dependent on my list?

The answer is through YOGA! But, not the yoga postures. Don’t we wish it was that easy? Yoga is not based on postures and breathing techniques. Those are ways to bring and maintain the health of our physical body so that we may actually be able to perform the disciplines that bring us closer to our inner happiness or Self. (Note the capital “S”) We currently know ourselves in terms of our perceptions, feelings/emotions and thoughts. What enables what we know? Beyond our material layers lies our essential Self, Spirit, God, Divinity, Potential or SOUL! Yoga is the union to our real Self, where eternal happiness lives. If you are interested in the methodical process of getting there you are in the right place. It takes particular physical, mental and intellectual disciplines that set the right direction and take us to the pinnacle of our existence. Even if we fall short of that we will be moving closer to who we truly are.

The home of true happiness lives within us. Rather than running around our entire life trying to find joy in outside things and beings, let’s spend more time developing ourselves through yoga. Then, we may experience a lasting happiness and not a conditioned one. Are you willing to do what it takes to truly be happy?

To continue the journey, join our monthly Vedanta study groups via video or in studio. Additionally, inquire about our Life and Teacher Training: https://ensoulyoga.com/costa-rica-training-2019/

Plug EN 2 your true happiness!


A Three Step Guide to Solve and Resolve

As the New Year approaches, we have an opportunity to reflect on our life and measure ourselves. What were our goals or resolutions last year? If they were not attained or achieved, have we moved any closer? Are we making the same resolutions each year only to continue to fall short of that goal? More importantly, was there a solid thought-out plan of action? If the answer is anything less than a resounding YES, continue to read on…

Resolutions are not the culprit. Our lack of thinking, planning and acting sets the course for failure. Whenever there is a problem, there must be a solution for resolution! The issue or weakness such as as an addiction, bad habit, old thought pattern, unhealthy relationship or work environment etc.. can be easily identified. The solutions aren't as easy… But, if we truly want lasting change and resolution, we must take the necessary steps, listed below, to get there.

  1. Define resolution: Be clear on what a resolution is before making one! The dictionary defines resolution as:

    1. The act or process of resolving: such as

      1. The act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones

      2. The act of answering: SOLVING

      3. The act of determining

  2. Identify the problem: Becoming aware is the first step to making any change. Be completely clear on what needs to change. Once we are aware, we are ready for step three.

  3. Devise a plan of action: This is the solution! The process involves resolving, analyzing, answering and determining. In other words: THINKING it through using the voice of reason, our intellect.

    1. Write a reasonable plan of action that can be followed daily. A checklist might be helpful.

Perhaps we have done the three steps listed above and are still not progressing. Who ever said change was easy? We may be impeding our own growth because of our focus. Where is the focus of attention in the plan of action? Take a few moments to answer that honestly. Once we have reflected, ask if any part of the plan has to do with NOT doing something. If so, there is our problem! There is no such thing as giving up a behavior or habit. That is impossible. One may only take up new and different thoughts and various actions to replace the old ones.

Instead of creating a plan with a list of things we are not going to do or things to get rid of, make a list of all the things we ARE going to do! Remember: we cannot give up anything. We may only take up something higher! This is the concept of renunciation. A synonym is growth. For example, examine a child. They love toys and to play. As they grow they discover better toys. These better toys replace the previous toddler toys. As we age, the toys continue to change. There is simply a process of outgrowing the older toys and moving on. When we shift our focus to something higher we automatically lose interest in the lower.

Think about our resolution. Let’s say we want to stop being unkind to others. We cannot just stop being unkind! Instead, try to change our attitude. What new thoughts could we entertain? What actions are we going to take? If we want to give up smoking and we say, “tomorrow my plan is to not smoke”. Good luck with that! In only a matter of time, we will be smoking. The alternative of constant obsession and craving is just as harmful. Instead, focus on the NEW ACTION: Take a walk outside, read an uplifting book, make some hot tea and read the newspaper, call someone who is supportive, get your ass to yoga class… whatever it is, we must have something TO DO. If not, forget about reaching your goals.

Now we have a three step guide to solve and resolve! It is a process. Enjoy the ride and have a happy New Year!