I woke up this morning with the realization that I have come to the end of another year. Where did the year go? What did I accomplish? Did I "follow my dream"? Was I sleep walking?
I realized, as I was dropping onto what I call my "anxiety treadmill", or into my "Self Afflicted Misery," that I indeed had a choice, and the gift of free will. Could I use the ending of this year as an opportunity to take an inventory of my emotional and spiritual consciousness?
The end of one thing is always the beginning of something else. This is indeed the circle of life. I love anything new ....new clothes, a new friend, a new class, a new challenge. I am indeed looking forward to the NEW YEAR, but what am I consciously choosing to be different.
As I was thinking about wishing you all a happy new year, I thought what does it mean to be happy? How do we define this experience? How do we know when we are happy? How do we explore happiness from another point of you? Some people think happiness is getting what they want, a car, a home, etc. and then the happiness does not last. This is the moment of exploration when we realize that there is something else, something not yet defined. What makes me happy?
I asked myself what makes me happy? I began writing a list.... And before I had
realized it, I had spent a half hour going over experiences that made me happy this past year. On the list, there were many aha moments with my students, some intimate moments with family and friends, some delicious moments tasting some new food my husband invented, moments of being received, travelling to new places, meeting new friends, even meeting a technical challenge, seeing a sunset, a babies smile, hearing a Beethoven symphony, or Leonard Cohen's "Dance me to the End of Love", or an email from my grand daughter. OH! How grateful I am....so many things touch me. Most of my happiness comes from allowing myself to receive, and to be received. Happiness, for me, comes from being present in the moment.
Then I thought what a great ritual for entering into the new year, asking: " what makes me happy"?
You can do this alone or with a partner, or in a group. How can you experience happiness if you do not know what brings you joy, or what makes your heart sing?
I invite you to do this before New Year's Eve. Set your intention to awaken and to commit to the belief that you are the creator of your happiness.
Happiness, and or bliss (the Guide and Emmanuel promise us Bliss) comes from knowing what you want and being an active participant in reaching for it. It does not come from a belief that something outside of you will make you happy, and it does not come from the false belief that if you do not get it it is because you do not deserve it.
Happiness comes from letting go of your history. Happiness comes from letting go of your self denial and your self castigation. Guess what? Happiness comes from being present in the moment with all of you and with all that is. I see Happiness as a profoundly spiritual practice which requires "blissipline".
Blissipline ( I like this word...I do not know if you will find it in the dictionary) requires a conscious awareness and commitment to saying YES! To all there is. Blissipline requires commitment to being proactive in your life.
Many years ago I heard some Guru say:
"Happiness is a by product of allowing happenings to happen."
I have always liked this thought.
Today, at the end of this year I offer you this mantra for Happiness
Let us practice it together:
Breathing in: I fill my body with acceptance
Breathing out: I release my demand that I, or you, or the moment, be different than it is.
Do this for about ten breaths... and then with the next conscious breath....say.....
"Breathing in: I am aware that I am breathing in happiness......"
"Breathing out: I am aware that I am breathing out happiness....."
Breathing in.... happiness,
Breathing out... happiness...
As we continue doing this with consciousness....we fill ourselves, each other, the World and the New Year of 2012 with Happiness and Love.
The bells of awakening are ringing. The Dharma doors are open.
This year let us walk into freedom.
I wish you the happiness that will come to you when you pledge allegiance to your heart.
*Thank you for you letters in response to the December Love Letter.