Monthly Archives: November 2014

Semblance of Happiness


There have been times when I’ve been labeled a bleeding-heart liberal. Often too, I’ve been called a feminist; as it seems I’m generally advocating one thing or another. Truth is, if I advocate anything, it’s that we all find and allow ourselves happiness.

Life is nothing if not imbued with joy. It’s a dry, lifeless experience without it. When we feel joy, we feel the energy of life. Is a tree joyful when its growing – I can’t say. But surely it feels alive. And that is key. There have been times in my life when although physically alive, I was emotionally dead. I had no joy. I was out of alignment to the 10th degree. Unlike the tree that doesn’t have the tool of the mind, and therefore grows as intended, I stunted myself. I formed a rut consisting of a belief system that didn’t serve me, then surrounded it by a moat of fear. I lived there for many years. Then one day, an energy pushed through that overpowered my mind. Every day since I give thanks to that energy, the last breath of air it took, and the courage it infused in me to breathe again.

You may have a moat that surrounds you, dear reader. One of your own making or one that seems to have been built by another. You stand on one side and happiness seems to rest on the other. Don’t ever let fear stand in your way. Don’t ever fall under the misbelief that a life consisting of happiness is not yours for the taking. It is. You just need to claim it, and make it your own.

Each and every day look for the little things that make you smile. Those things that turn your head in curiosity. This may be a person, place or thing. Take back your power, your growth, your joy by seeking out the things that stir you with life. Start small. Even if it is one tree that seems to sit steady against all forms of weather. Maybe its the water that breathes through waves that go in and out. A song, a movie, a color that instantly pleases you. Maybe its the feel of the air as it enters your lungs. If so, breathe it in, hold it there a moment. Then release it back into its environment. Stop and treasure these things.

Joy doesn’t always happen easily. Sometimes it requires us to reach for it. We can not connect with something outwardly that is not a match to who we are inwardly. So first, give yourself permission to be happy with you. If you do not look upon yourself favorably, you will never be surrounded by a favorable reality. That is what I advocate. I have things within my being that no one but me may like. But I decided they’re okay. In fact, I came to the conclusion that they are part of what colors me. Maybe each color, standing alone, isn’t beautiful. But together, it works. I’m happy with that. I’m an advocate of you taking back your power by first being happy with you.  Work outward from there.

Sitting with It


Françoise Sagan dans son nouvel appartement de la rue de Grenelle, Paris, 1956 Philippe Le Tellier

It feels as though I’ve been pushing against the wind to get to this moment now. So odd it is to be busy carrying out my many obligations, all the while feeling the need to write press down upon me; ever-present, never letting up. I’m here now. And that’s all that matters. So with that, I will say to you dear reader, one of my deeper truths, is in coming to terms with inner restlessness. Restlessness, in my opinion, is one of the most potent emotional responses we encounter. I would say it’s as potent as fear, but to me, restlessness is an offshoot of fear. It’s the fear of simply being still within one’s self.

Because when we do, it is then that we notice all of our inner, unfinished business, our insecurities, our hurts. The chatter in our mind begins, either as an angry mob or one haunting voice. So we busy ourselves. We reach for something that will distract, numb or drown out the voices and urges. This is usually what makes meditation difficult for so many. It’s not easy working through the mental layer, with its constant chatter about what needs to be done, then the emotional layer that unearths all that was buried, and hopefully forgotten.

It’s a dreadful state so we bolt. We run toward something that will nullify the feeling. I say dear reader, as uncomfortable as it may be, sit in your restlessness. Let it wash over you. Let it wash through you. Let it bring everything to life. And when it does look around. Doing so is the gateway to peace. One is never free while running away. Freedom exists once we come to terms with who we are and who we’ve been; those things that frighten us; those things that cause us to feel vulnerable inside. That’s peace.

Looking at all those things that trouble you sounds like the last thing one would want to do in order to find peace. Yet, truly, it is the road that will take you there. Because as long as you run, as long as you distract and avoid, you remain the prisoner to those very things from which you long release. You can release yourself by sitting with those restless moments. You’ll be okay. And in time you will come to recognize restlessness as just another layer of your being that needs working through, allowing you a deeper understanding of yourself. Each layer discovered takes you closer to full ownership of yourself. And that is freedom.

But you have to be willing to go there. You must be willing to sit with it. After time you will look back and notice that you’ve conquered many moments that once sent you running. You can’t silence or run from inner restlessness and also find inner peace and freedom. They reside in two different places.

I am a long way from where I want to be in this regard. Yet, I take comfort knowing that mastering one’s self isn’t a title handed to us upon our death, it’s handed to us along our journey. And you will never master yourself, and thereby experience peace, unless you sit with yourself first. That means sitting still even when all you want to do is run.