Core Practice: Choose to Be Happy

MedGalReading2It’s a personal choice to be happy. Everyone has a high, happy side and a low, bored or depressed side, and which side you live in is determined by the choices you make. The choices that lead to happiness are the ones that challenge us, awaken us, and keep us balanced. They are the choices to meditate and work-out when you’d rather watch TV, to be mindful when you’d rather obsess on something negative, to work on your career when it seems easier to just hang out where you are, and also the choice to relax and unwind when you know you need that but are nonetheless tempted to stay plugged in. The choices that lead to happiness are the ones that take care of the things that are yours to take care of and, just as importantly, the choices to not take on things that are not your responsibility. On a daily basis, we are presented with numerous choices, both simple and complex, that lead us to either more happiness or less. When you become the person who makes the higher choice by default, you will absolutely feel happier. The good news is that meditation increases your powers of discrimination and will, so it’s easier to both discern the higher choice and follow it.

Of course, many of the physical circumstances of our lives are beyond our control, but even in these situations there is a choice to be happy. When you get caught in a major traffic delay, you can bemoan your fate which magnifies the misery of the situation, or you can keep on hand great audio books, podcasts and music to entertain yourself while you are trapped in your car. In more dire situations, like finding out your partner cheated on you or that you have been diagnosed with cancer, there is still an opportunity to be happy. Stick with me for a moment on this one. Sometimes the most painful situations in life can act as a catalyst to finally get us to really stop thought, go into our inner light and experience that we are not who we think we are—to see that we’re made of light and are eternal. This is the happiest of all experiences. When everything is going our way we tend to not be very introspective, but in truly unpleasant times, in our disillusionment with how we thought our life would go, there is an opening to experience something deeper. So even amidst the crappiest situation, there is a choice to indulge in the difficulties of your life or an option to go deeper into the quiet and deeper into your soul where true happiness resides. True happiness isn’t about everything working out your way. It’s really about being in touch with your inner light.

Excerpted from the new book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way available on Amazon and Amazon UK. © 2013 Sara Weston

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