by Robert Kendall www.in8wisdom.com
If you are like me, you want a better life. We all want a better life, we want to be happy, playful and have more fun every day. We want to be healthy, energised, successful, with a mind that is free, creative and filled with inner peace, joy and love.
Ultimately we all want to experience love and happiness, don’t we?
So why don’t we have that?
Why is it so hard to stay happy?
Why can’t I spend my day in joyful, loving thoughts and feelings?
I have spent most of my adult life searching for the answers to those questions. I have done many things, travelled the world, lived in a spiritual community and spent loads of money on seminars, books and courses of all types, I have tried sex, drugs and loud rocking music, all to simply be happy and find the meaning to life.
Last week, I was walking along the beach talking to my inner child, as one does on the beach. I was thinking, ‘what advice would I give to my child about his future?’ and I started to go in a downward spiral thinking about all the problems he will have to face, the struggles, the broken hearts, the health problems and it felt like I should tell him to give up and find a safe little hole to climb into.
But I then remembered that my life also had another story to tell. One of adventure and great love and miracles of success with great learning and meeting amazing people and wonders of nature and its raw beauty and power.
How the colour of sunsets and flowers and the inner light will bring heart openings of love and deep inner peace. How grace, a sense of humour and a connection to the Divine will carry him through the lessons of dark times and I began to get excited for him.
I start telling him that it is worth taking the journey, that it is worth the effort to search and look for the truth in all things. I told him to jump out onto the path and head into the wilderness and follow the bright sun of the new day and the shinning stars of night.
“I am going on an adventure!”, Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit
When I first started my inner journey to discover how to be happy I took myself off to a Psychologist, I was 19. I reasoned that if you are physically sick you go to a doctor so why not see a mind doctor if you have mental issues. In those days you didn’t tell people that you were seeing a shrink, it was shameful to have mental issues.
Anyway after lots of talking, with him hiding a stopwatch under the desk, (‘Stats and Rats’ psychology) I was diagnosed with a ‘mild form of anxiety’ that the psychologist informed me that over 85% of the population have. His treatment was to send mild electrical shocks through my arm while I was thinking about the things that worried me. Needless to say it didn’t work.
Well, I thought, at least the good thing was I’m not crazy or unusual, because most of the people I knew, if the percentages were right, suffered from the same emotional/mental problems I did.
From that moment on I accepted the fact that it was going to be up to me to discover how to be happy.
The one gift I have that I am most grateful for, is that I have a ‘monty python’ sense of humour and no matter how many times I have failed or fallen over, somehow I have found a way to pick myself up and find the path inward to the light and the love that is hidden but not gone.
My Indian teachers have told me that all I can do is surrender to what is arising and trust that when I am ready Divine Grace will lift me and carry me over the abyss of my personal unconscious into the light and love of my True Self, my Higher Self or Superconscious. Oh is that all.
My greatest lesson in discovering happiness, has been to learn how to surrender/acceptance to what is and let go the constant internal struggle. I have realised that it is the struggle itself that blocks my path to happiness. When I am able to give up control, relax, let go into what is arising within me, I become peaceful and still.
I simply have to quieten down long enough (which can seem like a very long time) to hear the small quiet voice within. Love is always present but it will only surface when the mind and heart are free of negative emotions of anxiety, fear, anger and frustration.
But when I am struck it is hard for me to feel or see a way out of my suffering and as long as I feel stuck in the ‘fight and flight’ areas of my brain I will never find true long lasting happiness.
So here is a simple formula to find happiness.
1.Recognise that you have a problem.That you are trapped in your negative thinking or perspective of how things are. Become conscious of your patterns of suffering.
2.Name the emotion that is causing you distress and pain, recognise its symptoms, the thoughts, memories and beliefs associated with it. See how it affects your life and where in your behaviour it causes you suffering.
3. Next apply this simple healing consciousness technology that clears unwanted stress/negative emotion, and that is what I have come to call the ‘Deep Relaxation/Meditation response’ of body, mind and heart.
“simply take some time to practice breathing deeply into your pain while gently instructing your mind to let go, stop struggling with your past or your future and fully relax into the present moment”
Out of all the things I have learned and practiced over the years, this simple formula has served my mind and body well. I have taught it to many people with the same great results. There is only one catch, you have to be willing to use it on a regular basis.
When Deep Relaxation (the art of letting go into the moment) with Breathing are practised with understanding, you will often experience immediate and far reaching results. It always amazes me how quickly I can shift my internal states.
Once you have learned this practice you will be able to use it anywhere.The techniques of relaxation and breathing will last you a lifetime.
‘Note on the fridge’ — Things I must do today, “Breathe in, breathe out, Breathe in, breathe out”
(For over 4 decades Robert Kendall has shared his love of meditation and the restorative aspects of deep rest and renewal on the body and mind.
He offers an online course called ‘Breaking the Stress Cycle’.
Most days, when not meditating, you can find him here firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Rob’s Online course called ‘Breaking the Stress Circle’
Just hit the FREE button, sign in and you will have access to the first two sections of the Course.
Try out the two relaxation cycles to have an experience of inner calm.