Since teaching classes about Happiness over the last few months, I have been inspired by the material I have reviewed as well as those who attend my classes (I hesitate to call them “students”, for at times, they are my teacher). I have challenged myself to do more than talk the talk but to walk the walk side-by-side with those who show up each week and (like myself) aspire to be happier. Let me say, that I believe myself to be a pretty happy person but have also found many areas for improvement.
In the Art of Happiness, The Dalai Lama said “one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness. That is the way.” A very eloquent way of saying find out what makes you happy and do more of that and find out what makes you unhappy and do less of that. While simple in concept, practice can prove challenging. This is the path I write about today.
Through mindfulness I realized outdated thoughts still haunted my Happiness. Old hurts not consciously thought or spoken of have thwarted my strivings to be Happier. Each time I have taught a class about Happiness, I have been reminded of the power of choice – the choice to be happy – or not. The four rules of group are: no blame, no shame, no guilt and no complaining. When faced with the stark choice to be happy or unhappy, the choice is clear. Superimposing the same clarity of choice, forgiveness is an easy choice to make over continued resentment. So, I made the choice – and I made it before I had even consciously made it.
I booked a reservation with SkyDive Utah to jump out of a plane over one week ago. I was not exactly sure why I had done it, but I had done it and it felt right. As the day came nearer I sensed that this was more than just doing something different. There was a shift happening within me and the jump was to represent something special.