If you want to be happy, choose the light

After looking at this phenomenon called being alive for well over 30 years, I have concluded that what people want more than anything is to just be happy. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. Being consistently happy is a good objective. So what’s in the way of our experiencing happiness, and I ask that question because so few seem to have that experience?

Consider this: when you go to sleep, and let’s say you put on a pair of eye shades to block the light, I’m sure you don’t forget that the light is still there. I doubt you wake up in a panic wondering what happened to the light. When it’s time to get up, you just take off the eye shades and there it is.

But in the world you and I inherited, our ego puts eye shades on our eyes to block the light and we don’t even realize it did that. I could make a great argument for the fact that you’re effectively spending most of your time asleep, totally unaware of what’s really going on around you, not seeing the light, and you don’t realize that’s what’s happening.

What’s the “light” I’m referring to? It’s the presence of joy, love, peace and abundance that is the inherent state of life. As Einstein said, we inherently live in a friendly universe. But the ego works hard to have us not see that. It puts on the eye shades so all we see is conflict, competition, separation and scarcity.

It’s time to take off the eye shades and wake up. And other people are the primary “tool” that has been created for you to accomplish this. Every day you will have dozens of opportunities, if you don’t miss them and instead look for them, to take off the eye shades. Here are some ideas to practice.

First, as in the wonderful nursery rhyme: row row row your boat, gently down the stream, stay in YOUR boat. Stop trying to row other people’s boat. You can’t do that. We try so hard to control everything and everybody. We have a long list of shoulds and oughts. It’s like we’re watching a PowerPoint show and someone shows us a slide we don’t like and we run up to the screen and try to cross out the slide. As insane as it sounds, we do that all the time. Remember: row YOUR boat.

From Lee Jampolsky, here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re not being peaceful:

1.  Am I being in the present without resistance? All suffering is a result of resisting what is. We hang onto and think about the past, bringing it into the present moment, or we obsess about the future, not realizing it will be whatever it will be in spite of us. So stop resisting what is and stay in the present moment.

2. Am I focusing my mind beyond worry? Wayne Dyer calls guilt and worry the two most useless emotions. Guilt is beating yourself up about something that happened in the past that you no longer can do anything about and worry is stressing about the future.

3. Am I robbing myself of what matters? What does matter to you? Is getting that last sale really as important to you as the love of your family and friends or the relationship you could build with the person in front of you?

4. Am I being on the team of light seekers or the team of bull fighters? If you don’t get this one, go back and read the paragraphs above.

5. Am I being judgmental or critical? When you’re around other people, you can’t be in the light if you’re being judgmental or critical. Light or dark, those are two mutually exclusive choices. Want to be happy? Choose the light.