The greatest desire in all humans is to feel really alive. It’s the inspiration for so much of the greatest art and ideas. Without the highs and lows of life we can’t feel that kind of intensity.
We believe that happiness can be found once we have eliminated everything that makes us unhappy or that makes life difficult, but I put it to you, that you need to be happy now with everything just the way it is. I know you know and I bet you have heard this before, but when you’re fed-up, your just fed-up… right?
I don’t want to give you something else to beat yourself up about. I think it can be really easy to know how you should be living and it can be another thing doing it. I don’t mean live in a space of constant gratitude and push for nothing. It means to know that there is purpose for you in everything even if you can’t see it when you’re in it.
I have been looking back over a diary I wrote when I lived in San Francisco as I am using it as a basis for a fiction book I am writing. I have been amazed by things that happened at the time, annoyances, things not working out, or things going great. Upon reflection I can see the perfection in everything that happened that was working towards my dreams. In fact the things that brought me the closest to my dream were often the things I was really bummed out about at the time.
Everything that is happening to you right now is a miracle, magic is happening all the time. I remember at one point in particular when I really hated everything. I was sulking; I’d invested a lot of time helping a friend come out of a serious 10 year drug addiction. Somehow I thought that things might go in my direction, as if I had made an investment of my pain and trouble with the universe and now it was payback time. I took a job as a waitress scooping ice cream, even though I was a trained stage manager and could have been working in theatre. I thought I was well off my path in life, that I had taken a massive step backwards and I was making my own deliberate attack against me. It was to give that inner critic voice a field day to run riot with how ridiculous I am. But something else happened. I learnt how much I enjoy making people happy, and let’s face it, ice cream makes that easy. I would give them just a little bit more, make a theatrical event of ‘as it’s you, half an extra serving of topping’. I loved seeing peoples face light up when they felt they were getting something special because their smile had been the brightest that day. I still do that now with clients, when I go over the hour because this conversation is important to me, because you are important. That ice cream job taught me so much; I met amazing people some who are still in my life today. It set me up with some of the most extraordinary experiences, and places to stay when I travelled. At the time, I and everyone I worked with complained like hell about the job. I wish I had enjoyed it then as much as I enjoy the memory, although in the memory my feet don’t hurt like they did!
Life is about having extraordinary experiences feeling them from tears to laughter. The problem we have is the voice in our head that commentates on how well we believe we are doing. It looks at other people and makes us wonder why we are not where they are. It makes us feel like we are not enough. I understand the use of tools to quite the monkey mind and I teach many of them. Yet one belief would knock that monkey on its arse, and it’s this –
That everything is a miracle and you can’t get it wrong.
One of the greatest ways I changed the negative thoughts about myself is to not banish those negative thoughts, but to invite the opposite to coexist. As to banish the negative thoughts is to agree with them! For example ‘I hate you’ ‘shut-up don’t think like that you idiot’. There is only you in your head so don’t be hateful to yourself! You are the thinker of your thoughts, so you can think ‘I hate you’ ‘That’s true but I love you too’. Then start deliberately telling yourself ‘I love you’. Then in the end you will find the pop up ‘I hate you’ voice turns into a pop up ‘I love you’. It’s not the words in your head that create the feelings. It’s what you make the words mean that make the feelings.
Laugh with the voice in your head more and there is no need to banish the words. They become a source of entertainment. After all we humans are hilarious when we stop taking ourselves so seriously!