What is happiness? Well, of course, we would all like to be happy all the time. Maybe we are overall happy, but then we have moments of unhappiness…or we are in general, most of the time, unhappy but have brief moments of happiness. It would not really be possible, with the trials and tribulations of this life, to always be happy, but I was watching PBS, and they are doing their fund-drive; as part of the fund-drive, they were playing something by Deepak Chopra, and I immediately ran away, leaving my mom to it. Well, she called me about half an hour later, and was like, “This is actually pretty interesting, watch, it won’t kill you or anything.” So, I watched. And then, because it actually was pretty interesting, I took notes when he was talking about what he calls “The Happiness Prescription,” basically a 10 step recipe to happiness. These are what he mentioned, and my comments are in italics.
- Listen to your body’s wisdom. Your body and mind are in touch with the universe, and the universe is talking to you…you body perceives what the universe is saying, and you have to pay attention to what it is saying, so you can respond accordingly. We are all connected to the universe, and what does universe mean? One song. We are all part of the same song.
- Live in the present. Seriously, how important is this?! It’s the one thing on this list that is very very true. The past is dead; let it go, let it rest in peace. Make peace with it, learn from it, and move the heck on. Man, when people are constantly recounting their past ordeals, it seriously makes me unhappy…so imagine how unhappy they are?
- Something…I got lost because I was looking for the bowl of popcorn. Something about meditation, giving your mind a break, letting it heal and recover.
- Relinquish your need for external approval. It does not really matter who loves/hates you, it really does not matter who accepts/rejects you, when you have accepted yourself, and what matters to you. To be honest, the only people whose approval I work for are my parents, mainly because it is their right over me for having raised me and given me the best they had. I love to be loved, but being rejected is just fine. I love this one.
- Relinquish feelings of anger and unhappiness. Seriously, what good do these emotions do? Sometimes, they are worth having, when they motivate you to do something, to reverse the anger or to reverse the unhappiness. But is their really such a thing as feeding off your anger/unhappiness? Perhaps, but not for very long.
- “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” — Nelson Mandela
- Know yourself, by which you will know the world. To me, this really ties back to number 1. And, knowing yourself is really a journey; I know myself now, I know myself of yesterday, but will I know myself tomorrow? Or will I do something that is totally out of the ordinary, and think, “Was that me?!”
- Don’t judge yourself or others. Be aware of shadow energies, your shadow is the thing that is behind you, waiting to embarrass you. You must have a best friend in whom you can confide your shadow energies to, so that the friend helps you overcome these negative energies.
- Well, this is a tough one. For me personally, I think you are either judging yourself or you’re judging someone else. It’s difficult to eliminate judgment altogether. I guess the journey of life is to take us to the point where we judge events/situations before we judge people. After all, that is Allah’s job, and He really hasn’t outsourced it just yet.
- Eliminate toxins from your body and your emotions. The main toxins are found in food, relationships and emotions.
- Replace fear with love. You give love, you get love. You give hate, you get hate. Sometimes, it’s difficult to isolate who is giving to begin with, though.
- Cultivate a witnessing energy. Be a witness to your yourself, to your actions. Be able to say “I am not my past, I am a *witness* of my past.” Ties into number 7, to me.
Note: There are a lot of Sufi principles that I see in this, which is what made it particular relevant/interesting to me.