Is happiness only a state of mind? Is it something that lasts for a few moments only? Is it only embedded in the image of someone smiling, people jumping with their hands up in the air? is it the image of a peaceful and pristine paradise? is it a work in progress?
We had a two day workshop on Redefining Happiness, and what came up was an interesting and self-supportive array of points to consider within ourselves, to re-look at what one had previously defined as ‘happiness’ and so then walking those points within self-honesty, collecting considerations and looking at practical aspects that are required within the creative and living process of happiness in a self-honest and self supportive manner. So here’s my self-investigation that culminates with the integration of realizations that came through during our group chat on this topic.
Not long ago I would have defined happiness as something that is just ‘bollocks,’ an easy way to sell products, a blatant way to sugar coat self interest or else, but as with all words in our reality, due to the resistance that I had to even look at it, I decided it was rather best to start redefining words and walking a collective process to align our definitions to a common sensical outcome and creation. So, I’ll start here by disclosing my past-relationship with the word happiness.
What I had defined as happiness had to do with what I had learned I should ‘aim to live’ in my life, that ultimate goal that would make me absolutely blissful, content and fulfilled with myself. I definitely had trouble at times pondering what this could be because I could feel ‘happy’ for example before and while I would go to a music concert from my favorite bands when I was a teenager; as a pre-teen I could feel ‘happy’ after having binged in rollercoaster rides, and maybe happy as the experience I had when I first flew in an airplane when I was some 6 years old, also skating, jumping in an elastic bed or swimming were part of my happiness during childhood. Later on I started defining happiness according to being with certain people and in certain relationships, which has also to do with the ‘grown-up’ idea of ‘being happy when having relationships’ for example as a common goal in life.
Also, my idea of happiness was linked to ‘who I wanted to be’ as an artist for example, or a writer at times. I would picture myself being alone and living in some big city and being famous/recognized, earning good money and so being able to travel around the world and having the kind of ‘bohemian’ type of life where I would not have to worry about money and I would only have to pursue my personal satisfaction of fame and glory, lol. I thought that happiness was precisely getting to travel the world, showing my art in such places and having nice dinners with famous people or something, to be ‘in that circle’ of intellectuals and artists and so forth. Fascinatingly enough – and glad about it as well – I got to have a bit of a taste of this last early on as I was ‘sharpening my knife’ to be part of the art world and got to travel to another country and exhibit my photographs and hang around people that everyone would recognize on the streets. So I ‘luckily’ got to see what kind of agenda/day to day living they have, what is it like to be a genuine public figure, what happens to your ‘private life’ and family etc. It was very interesting that my whole expectation of happiness slowly but surely fell down the drain, because I could not feel happy about doing what I thought was going to make me happy, and so with that came what I call a ‘breakdown’ wherein I felt very lost/sad/depressed for a couple of months after having done that trip/exhibit, because I did not know if I wanted to ‘be an artist’ anymore or if that was genuinely ‘my idea of happiness’ any longer.
Right away after that, I started seeking other ‘spiritual’ ways to fulfill this longing for an apparent ‘happiness’ without getting anywhere really, mostly aiming at ‘helping others’ without having the least intention to first focus on supporting me. I kind of knew in the back of my head that it wasn’t ‘it’ and that it wasn’t going to work for real either. So, after this one trip I had, which was almost/exactly 7 years ago, I spent months really looking at whether these ideas I had built around happiness were in fact MY idea of happiness, and it was only 3 months after that when I discovered Desteni and so my perception of everything I had ever desired, wanted or deemed myself to ‘be’ changed almost completely. This is where I started to ponder my previous ideas around happiness as ‘the goal in life’ and got to understand happiness mostly as an energetic experience that one gets as the result of some input, like for example when taking drugs and getting ‘high’ and ‘feeling good’ and associating that with happiness – that type of experience, which is all a mind job of course.
I saw that my idea of happiness had to go through a process of purification if I can call it that, I realize that I had only aimed at benefitting me in pursuing MY dreams and in that, I was in fact forgetting and not considering everything and everyone in that equation. Once that I had a bit of the taste of the ‘personal happiness’ or what I had defined as such, I realized that it actually made me feel emptier and more depressed than ever, because I saw it as meaningless = not doing something that I was yearning to do as in creating a ‘greater change’ or ‘saving the world’ out there.
So, it has only been through walking this process of self-support and self change and having the ability to self-forgive all past ideas, perspectives, illusions and desires for energetic experiences that I have been able to now trust myself in the ability to redefine the word ‘happiness’ so that it doesn’t become this fleeting and flimsy experience in my mind and body, something that ‘comes and goes’ but becomes an actual living word not only for ‘me’ but for everyone as well.
‘All I want in life is to be happy’ is a common goal in our lives, but this also means that we have been defining happiness with as many different meanings as there are minds in this world, some common aspects are linked like money, good relationships, good sex life, being the best at something, having good health and such, but do we ponder then why have these become desires instead of ways in which one actually lives the construction of such happiness? Why have we made of happiness an ideal, an ever elusive ‘goal’ in itself instead of practically assessing: what do I require to do to build a general stability in my life, a personal and collective wellbeing, a point of financial stability, what can I do to develop supportive relationships? How can I nurture myself in a way that is beneficial for my body? How can I stop worrying about this/that situation in my life? How can I change the world system so that it benefits all instead of preventing ourselves to live our fullest potential? How can I develop my expression and support myself and others with it?
See, happiness usually comes with a desire to ‘have no worries’ or be completely devoid of responsibility, without realizing that if one simply places oneself swimming forever in a beach at the Caribbean and do nothing about oneself or ‘the world,’ man, one could end as the richest yet most disgraceful person in the world – why? Because happiness is definitely something that entails us LIVING in a full manner in this world – and within this, what does it mean to live fully? To be a point, a person that lives and creates one’s personal well-being while at the same time contributing to the collective well being.
The problem that we have at the moment is that our general ideas of happiness have become very varied, very personal, even linked with products to buy or so – how can that be? This is why here we propose looking at happiness as the ways in which we can practically empower ourselves and each other to fully live in this world.
Within the documentary called Happy, many definitions and ways to live happiness are shared, and it’s interesting to see of course, to have a look at how personalized this idea of happiness has become whereas in other cultures/parts of the world, the idea of happiness is embedded within a collective wellbeing. There they define 2 aspects of happiness the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects, which I will share here now as parts that I have come to realize within walking this process.
We got the intrinsic aspects which have to do with
- Personal growth: which is precisely what I have seen is and has been absolutely life changing from 7 years ago, to walk this process of self-support, to develop self-honesty, to develop common sense which is the consideration of what’s best for all; to realize that I can change myself, that I have the tools, that I can trust myself in being able to walk through any point in my life to get to a point of stability within and without. This is definitely essential as an overall self-process that I can attest here is a genuine source of wellbeing, because one is also no longer defined by emotions or feelings to define myself, so I rather focus on supporting me, my mind, my body to live in a general stability.
- Close Relationships and the feeling of living in community: developing relationships with people even if they are not in your immediate environment, but relationships where self-support is the starting point is within my life and experience one of the most gratifying things, to be able to support me and support others, and work with people that are equally walking a process of taking responsibility for themselves, living day by day within the commitment of supporting and changing themselves to within that, also change the world is one of the most satisfying things as well. It would have been very tough to do this process of personal support alone, maybe impossible – so I definitely recognize the power of walking with a group of people – physically or non-physically around – to support oneself in this process of self-change and self-support. These relationships go beyond a ‘friendship’ or a feeling, they are genuine bonds of co-creation that will surely be long lasting.
The Extrinsic goals:
- Money is something that is definitely needed to create a financial stability for oneself. It is definitely something to question if a poor person claims to be absolutely happy, how can that be if happiness is about living up to our utmost potential? That means then requiring at this moment in this world money to be able to obtain the necessary resources on this. So, this is a genuine point that one does require to be ‘happy’ at this stage, to have a dignified living – which is definitely different from only desiring money as an ultimate goal – nope, money is a means to create such support and to nurture/sustain ourselves properly, but ultimately, greed is of course also a point to debunk within self-honesty, because no amount of money can create ‘wealth’ in itself if we weren’t living in our awareness of the interdependence we hold to each other individual and part of this reality.
- They claim that Image, personality and status or popularity is something that also gives happiness. I question this as a sense of ‘ego’ creation, though in a redefined manner, this can comes by default when one works on oneself and one starts focusing one’s life to support oneself and so be an active agent of change in the world. One’s words, thoughts, deeds start speaking for themselves and so this ‘recognition’ is not then a popularity game of sorts one participates in, I’d rather place it as the ability and potential we all have to stand as an example of what is possible to live and become when establishing living principles of what’s best for all in our lives. This is then a point where one can simply recognize and acknowledge one’s living day to day actions and see the benefit of them for what they create as a consequence, and develop a sense of honor to oneself and all life around us which is definitely what I can also link to a sense of happiness, of fulfillment, of genuine stability and way to prosperity.
There was also a point wherein I simply denied all happiness to exist, and yes just as love defined as a slight or overwhelming churning of energies within ourselves, as an energy experience it is definitely not something that I could ‘forever experience,’ because it’s only momentary which indicates: it’s a mind job. Thus happiness had to become a word that I can mostly live through the consideration of how can I build, create this point of self-support, self-stability in my life and reality, how can I cooperate and co-work with others in order to create a change in this world. So, what’s interesting here is that me desiring to ‘change the world’ would have been also a point I would link to happiness, but little did I know that if I had only sought to ‘change the word out there’ I would have missed first my personal point of self-responsibility: changing myself, first supporting myself.
So I do say here that happiness as a word to live by does imply first self-responsibility: taking care of ourselves, ensuring one has sufficient money to live in dignity, where one has the ability and continues to improve one’s life, to challenge ourselves further, to develop ourselves to our utmost potential, to live by the law of placing the extra effort to get things done in a way wherein I can genuinely say ‘this is my creation, this is my expression and I am satisfied with it.’ Within this of course comes the consideration of how within me living by these principles, what I do in the ‘outside world’ will thus be the constant and continuous expression of what I live within and as me – this is thus how I have defined my ability to live happiness within giving myself, my life, my day to day a purpose which is to make of this world a place wherein we call all live actually happily, so that happiness stops being a ‘desire’ in our minds, but instead becomes a genuine and feasible practical method, a way and series of actions and steps that involve each one’s participation to co-create such happiness in reality.
This is how I see that in order to create and live happiness = the whole must be contained, everyone must be considered, because if we leave one person outside of this consideration, then that one point will make us all miserable again, because this life is about learning how to coexist as equals and so within this, I see that happiness in its FULL expression is not yet ‘here’ as the definition of all living parts in this world having a dignified and satisfying existence. I see that happiness is a ‘work in progress’ when it comes to genuinely Living it at a global level – however, it is possible to work on creating a general stability and support for oneself to live in a responsible manner, which I’ve found to be actually a great source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
In fact, living this process of self-support with the Desteni tools is an awesome practical way to create and build this happiness for oneself, it won’t definitely make you all tingly within yourself, nor would it come with ease either, it does take actual work, dedication, discipline, consistency, self-will, determination, self-leadership and creativity to do this, but these are all aspects that are definitely worth investing one’s life and time on. Having said this, it does make sense to say that aiming to be ‘happy’ within this context and consideration, to create happiness for everyone in this world is a cool thing to aim at, because it will enable us all to create a general well-being wherein we can actively and continuously create and make of this world a system of support, of living-life instead of merely surviving or having to strive to ‘make a living,’ where our relationships become necessary pillars for us to thrive instead of obstacles to achieve personal gain and self-interest.
If happiness is a common goal in each one’s life, it’s best to then recognize it as something that can only genuinely exist if we all first place the consideration of creating this happiness, this stability, this self-support, self-care, and self-honesty within each one of us individually, so that then we become a +1 person that becomes a pillar to build this happiness in the world, no matter where you are: our lives, how we live/what we do in each moment, how we walk our day to day defines what we create collectively. So, it’s about time we stop seeking for happiness ‘out there’ and instead focus on creating it within and without.
What I can share as the practical way to do this is by walking this process of self-support, I hadn’t ever been satisfied with my life or even would dare to call myself as ‘being happy’ because I was a Grinch, so unhappy about life /the world and blaming everything and everyone for why my life wasn’t ‘working,’ instead of realizing that I do not have to ‘seek happiness’ out there, I have to actually recognize my ability to create it, to become it and to establish it/share it with others in this world. Sounds nice, yep, but it takes actual work and dedication to genuinely live it, it takes guts to also be able to let go of previous definitions of ‘happiness’ by testing it out, seeing if what one had defined as happiness is really a constant and continuous point I can live within my life that is Best for All for eternity – and there, first steps of self-honesty will emerge.
It’s surely enjoyable to take the wheel of your life, and this is precisely what we learn to do in this process, so I recommend it 100% percent.
I commit myself to any time and all time required to bring this world back to that which is life, regardless of what it will take and I commit myself not to allow the values the mind as me have become to determine what is real value. Until this is done. – Bernard Poolman
I dare you to start questioning what happiness is for you and if you’re ready to live genuine happiness, join us here:
Read people recognizing their self creation abilities in the 7 Year Journey to Life blogs