Life Is Not Happening To You, But Responding To You

“I believe that we can, in a deliberate way, articulate the kind of people we want to become. We can articulate the culture that we would want to exist in our family, and you can then, as the rest of life happens to you, you can utilize those things to help you become the kind of person you want to be.” — Clayton Christensen

Life Never Goes According to Plan.

Even though it was the Master’s Day of Silence, a traveller begged for a word of wisdom that would guide him through life’s journey.

The Master nodded affably, took a sheet of paper and wrote a single word on it: ‘Awareness’.

The visitor was perplexed. “That’s too brief. Please expand on it?”

The Master took the paper back and wrote: ‘Awareness, awareness, awareness’.

“But what do these words mean?” asked the stranger helplessly.

The Master reached out for the paper and wrote: ‘Awareness, awareness, awareness means AWARENESS’.

The delightful tale by Anthony de Mello highlights the power of awareness in your life’s journey.

Life is not separate to you, but flows through you as a guiding source.

This is meaningful since happiness is directly proportional to your level of freedom.

Your life results from your beliefs and past conditioning.

Research shows that as little as 10% of the external world influences your happiness.

“Your life is not a task or chore, but the endless discovery and expression of your true and essential nature,” states author Robbie Vorhaus in One Less. One More: Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly.

For example, you can endure suffering and still choose happiness. I know it may sound hard to believe, but stay with me as I make my point.

Happiness requires letting go of whatever competes for your peace of mind. It is not dependent on outside conditions matching your needs.

Happiness requires letting go of whatever competes for your peace of mind. It is not dependent on… Click To TweetLet’s be real shall we? Life never goes according to plan.

There is always something going on to disrupt your inner peace. For example, victims blame outside conditions for their discontent because they are certain life happens to them, not for them.

I’m not articulating something new, but conveying it so you can empower your life.

“We realize that our quality of life is not dependent on the experiences arising in the world or our minds, but on the level of mind they are rising to. We can feel good even when we do not feel good,” affirms author Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness.

Negative Thoughts

If happiness is not dependent on external conditions, it must arise from within?

Indulge me for a moment and let’s consider this to be true.

If happiness is an inner event, you can choose it as a focal point irrespective of what is happening outside of you.

For example, your mood can suddenly change because you are accustomed to respond to an event out there.

Your feelings show the level of your thinking, in so far as they expose the truthfulness of your thoughts.

If you experience negative emotions, it’s certain they arise first from negative thoughts. So, attend to your thoughts if you wish to improve your emotional wellbeing.

I enjoy the quote by author Michael Neill in his book The Space Within: Finding Your Way Back Home, “But unrecognized thought demands our attention and fills our consciousness. And when we get caught up in thought, we lose our way.”

Conversely, you might consider yourself to be a positive person most of the time, but be dragged down by negative thoughts when something does not agree with you.

“Absolutely everything you experience in your life is a result of what you have given in your thoughts and feelings, whether you realize you have given them or not.” — Rhonda Byrne, The Power

You have the power to control your response when you refuse to allow external conditions to disrupt your emotional wellbeing.

There is power in knowing you are the master of your mind, when you can change your reaction to events outside of you.

“If I continue to give negative thoughts attention, then of course they grow in importance. If I stop giving them the time of day, then they have less room to take root and grow,” avows Mark Coleman in Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic.

In contrast, the victim blames outside circumstances and remains stuck in this dilemma. They cannot find peace of mind because they presume they are powerless.

So, what can you do to become empowered as the creator of your life?

First, understand the essence of your true nature beyond your thoughts.

Many people identify with their thoughts to the degree of believing them to be true. Yet, those same people rarely venture into the silent expansive awareness deep within.

“Every problem we have in life is the result of losing our bearings and getting caught up in the content of our own thinking; the solution to every one of those problems is to find our way back home,” states author Michael Neill.

Oftentimes, it is easier to put up with negative thoughts than to notice your thinking. But it comes at a cost to your long-term happiness.

So what will you choose?

Gratitude as the Source of Happiness

Second, make happiness a regular feature of your life. This requires turning your attention to the prevailing goodness in your life.

Focus on gratitude, not for what it offers you but for who you become.

Life comprises dualities as the framework of the entire universe. There is night and day, hot and cold, male and female energies. Knowing this means recognising the opposing forces at play.

This is illuminating because you can choose happiness or the corresponding emotional states accompanying it.

It is said, you will see it when you believe it. The premise is to find within you what you wish to… Click To Tweet“Try it. By consciously letting go of some form of daily negativity, and conversely, embracing something positive and heart-felt every day, your life will change as you become happy, move toward life mastery, and successfully fulfil your heart’s dreams, goals and desires,” affirms author Robbie Vorhaus in One Less. One More.

You might usually be happy unless something unexpected crops up, then you are pulled into a gloomy state.

Sometimes life tests you, not on whether you pass or fail, but to give you the experience of what you hold true as a belief.

So, you might be cut off in traffic when running late for work one day. Through the experience you are invited to respond in a positive or negative manner and test the power of your belief.

It is said, you will see it when you believe it. The premise is to find within you what you wish to experience and create the internal state to correspond with it.

As you project the vibration, life responds accordingly. Opportunities and situations become an extension of your predominant thoughts.

But it must happen within you before outside conditions match your expectations, acknowledged as the outside—in response.

Author Robbie Vorhaus reaffirms this point: “Listen. Your heart is calling you to an adventure, a lifelong exploration of your true self, and the revelation of your life’s purpose. If you listen, truly listen, each and every moment is calling you to follow your heart and be happy. And once you acknowledge your heart’s calling, nothing will ever be the same.”

Appreciate that you are the master of your fate and outside conditions need not dominate your inner landscape.

You are a powerful being, capable of choosing any experience you want as the expression of universal energy. I know it may not seem obvious because you are convinced the energy is foreign to you.

It is what the Master conveyed to the traveller when he asked for wisdom.

A deep appreciation for life supporting you, given the power you seek is within you all this time.

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