Eternal Happiness

“For to weigh thy happiness according to that which may befall thee is to live as a slave. And to live according to the Angels which speak within thee, is to be free”

(Szekely, p80)

This is Jesus, speaking about happiness as an inside job, according to dead sea scrolls. From the Gospel of the Essenes. I have been writing a lot about happiness recently, and personal power is a favourite topic of mine also.

In this passage I feel like Jesus is really speaking of personal power. It is straight after the passage about serving two masters.

Religion and spirituality are indeed two separate things. Religion suggests adherence to certain laws and dogmas whereas spirituality suggests a search for the truth and the meaning of life. Many times both words are used interchangeably. I come from a religious background but I steered away from it some time ago for personal reasons, but I have come to realise that some things are true no matter how you look at them, but they are expressed in different ways from different histories and congregations.

Money, possessions, the quest for self-improvement and self  – actualization, these are not in themselves bad things that take one away from God or the Kingdom of Heaven. I don’t think that this is what the teachings mean. It is the attachment to these things above all else that is the problem. Selling yourself out for the sake of these things is the problem.

We all develop a set of values over time. Some were given to us as children or through experiences growing up – some belong to other people and we eventually let them go when we realise that they don’t resonate with us after some time. Some we keep because after all is said and done, they still add value and meaning to our lives.

There is also intuition – the quiet voice within that speaks from our highest self, from spirit, or even the Angels as Jesus mentions above.

When we are willing to go against all of these voices for the sake of the things we think we want, that is when we are divided against ourselves. This is when we lose our sense of self, our sense of peace and oneness and we become slaves. We are no longer able to ask questions about the rightness of the people we work for, about the justness and integrity of the status quo. We follow blindly, and land the blame on our circumstances.

I believe that it is right and just to look upon all that we achieved on this Earth, everything we have earned, our homes, sacred memories, our favourite clothes and the food we eat, our friends and family, and the ability to speak our minds freely without persecution, with gratitude.

What scripture and the ancient writings warn against is becoming dependant on these things for our happiness and sense of self-worth. It in the nature of the universe for things to come and go, to ebb and flow.

And then there is Karma and the lessons we agreed to learn before we born into this world.There are also the reactions and the choices we make that effect our quality of life. The lesson is to have gratitude without attachment.

If you get a bowl of water right now – or go to the tap. Try and clench the water with your hands – what happens? The water flows away. However, if your open your hands up into a cup, you are ready to receive that which the universe wishes to give you. That which is for your highest good.

Let go. Trust.

Sit in gratitude for all that you have and more will come to you. The best things. That which is for your highest good. If something refuses to come, perhaps it is not for you. Let it go and do something else. It may not be the right time. Follow the still, quiet inner voice. That is where the Divine speaks to you.

The power of your ultimate happiness lies not in external things. It is in your perspective. When you are in touch with your inner world, no matter happens, the world can do to you whatever it wants, you will always know yourself. You will begin again and be stronger. Nothing can take your inner world away from you. That is your strength. That is your power.

“Ye cannot serve God and also serve the world. Perchance thy well goeth dry, precious oil is spilled, thy house burneth, thy crops wither: but thou dost treat what may befall thee with wisdom and love. Rains again shall fill the well, houses again can be built, new seeds can be sown: all these things shall pass away. But the Kingdom of Heaven is eternal, and shall not pass away. Do ye not, then, barter that which is eternal, for that which dieth in an hour.” ( Szekely, p81).

Wishing you peace, love and blessings,

Lucy Loizou.

E.B Szekely (1987): “The Gospel Of The Essenes”; 5th impression; C.W. Daniel CO, Ltd, Essex, England.

Flow

In my last blog, I wrote about my newfound search for happiness and I mentioned that I would be getting back to you all and reporting on what I find. I’ve been using several techniques, but the most difference has occurred by my epiphany in my last blog that we are built to be happy, and that it is just and right to seek happiness.

I was sat in bed (my office – as those of you who know me well will know) and was thinking about the days when I am tired – or just after work when I am tired. Or when I have a large amount of time off work, and I feel like I should be resting, but I end up watching so much TV or playing so many computer games that I feel stuck in a rut. There are other times when I feel like a week’s holiday from work is so precious – that I can’t decide what to do with it. There are so many options for me – so much that I really want to achieve in my life, that I feel overwhelmed. I end up worrying that I would be enjoying something else more and so don’t relax into the task or pass – time that I am currently doing.

Does any of this sound familiar?

It doesn’t really sound very present or mindful does it?

There is this thing called “Flow” – I’m sure you’ve experienced it. You’re in the middle of a piece of writing or a consultation with a customer, for example, and time just seems to disappear. It’s as if you lose all traces of self-consciousness and your totally engrossed in the task or project in hand. You forget what day it is, what time it is, the rest of the world, and you feel at peace. Fully in the present moment. You feel great during and after this session – a feeling of satisfaction and then, you’re ready to let it go, and do something else.

“Attention is like energy in that without it no work can be done, and in doing work is dissipated. We create ourselves by how we use this energy. Memories, thoughts and feelings are all shaped by how use it. And it is an energy under control, to do with as we please; hence attention is our most important tool in the task of improving the quality of experience.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Doesn’t this feel like the perfect antidote to my experiences above?

What makes you feel like this? What kind of things bring about this feeling for you? I would like to invite you to write a list of them now. Go on, this blog will still be here when you get back.

There are moments when I’m at work or at home and I feel like I want to work on something, but i can’t quite put my finger on what I want to spend my time doing. Not even necessarily a project, just lacking some inspiration about how to spend my time. I have a feeling it may be because I don’t often get a day or a whole weekend to myself – having two teenagers at home. It’s quite a stuck murky feeling – and these are the times when I end up procrastinating and watching telly all day – but if i’m honest I’m not really enjoying it after the first movie or program, or after the first 45 minutes of gaming.

This morning – I wrote a list like the one I asked you to write above. Now, we are going to take a few moments to think of other projects that are important to us as well, that perhaps we have been putting off, but that we know – once we start them, we’ll get into flow and won’t want to stop. Redecorating anyone? Or how about clearing out that anything and everything draw? Add these to the list too.
It would be good for us as well to add important things like rest, play time, fun, and exercise to this list too.

Is your list ready?

Stick it up somewhere that is easily accessible (don’t worry – you can keep it private if you want to. But make sure you can get to it easily).

In our day-to-day lives, we are going to start connecting to ourselves more. Our emotions, and the physical sensations of our bodies. Are we tired? Hungry? Full of energy? Stressed? I usually pray, but you can do whatever process you feel comfortable using to get in touch with yourself – to find that place of calm in your centre. Ask yourself “what do I really want to do right now?”.
We may find that we get an immediate answer and don’t need to check our list, but if we don’t, we’ll go and look at our list and see which item draws our attention or inspires us, energizes us, the most.

Now we are going to devote at least half an hour to this item.

Don’t worry – if we get so engrossed and in the flow we can keep going with it until it no longer interests us or for up to a full hour.

Notice that I switched to using the word “we”? That was on purpose, because we are in this together. Rising tides lift all boats – not sure who first used that phrase – but it’s true. This is how I experience my flow and joy. What energizes me – inspiring myself and the people around me to live happier, more fulfilled lives,

So what do you think? Are you with me?

As always, I welcome your experiences, thoughts and feedback.

Peace, love and blessings,

Lucy Loizou

 

Happiness

Something has switched in me recently. I am beginning to crave true and lasting change. Too long have I remained attached to my past and the feelings of unworthiness that beset me too regularly from my negative experiences. I thought I had dealt with them all but in the end I feel I may have got stuck in rumination. Have you ever experienced this? Where you feel that you won’t have moved on from something unless you have fully analysed the situation and yourself? It is possible to get stuck in this phase and then it blocks you from truly moving on – rehashing the old wounds and keeping you stuck in a cycle of sadness and grief.

Once the lessons have been learned it is time to move on and actively engage in life again – in the things that bring you joy. As some of you may know, I am an avid reader, and my passion lies in what makes us tick. Why are we here? How are we here? How to make the most of our sojourn on Earth? I have come to realise through my reading sessions that we are here to be happy. We are built to be happy. Happiness isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity and the key to our well being.

In William Bloom’s book – The Endorphin Effect (2011) – he describes how our bodies are built to receive hormones that induce inherent feel – good. Feelings of wellness and joy. indeed, not just us, but even single celled organisms contain these receptors. He goes on to say:

“That tiny single – celled creatures posses endorphins is a profoundly optimistic piece of information. It means that every cell of our multi – celled body is capable of experiencing endorphins and that the propensity to experience happiness and euphoria is biologically built in to each of us. This allows us to put forward an unexpected but exact scientific statement: Happiness and pleasure are built in to the biological foundation of the human body.” (p24, Bloom, 2011).

This, to me, is good news indeed. I have always believed in a higher power, and knowing that there is the built in capacity for joy and happiness leads me to believe that happiness is a natural part of our make up. We are supposed to be happy.

So why is it harder for some of us than for others? Well, many of us are waiting for outside circumstances to change before we allow ourselves to be happy. Many feel we are born with a tendency to low mood and depression. many of us that we have no right to do things that induce happiness until we have completed the many goals and tasks in our life plan, that never seem to get completed. Some of us feel guilty when we feel happy.

Did you know that there is now scientific evidence that proves how our happiness levels are affected? In her book, The How of Happiness (2010), Sonja Lyubomirsky explains how our levels of happiness are made up. 50% of our happiness is controlled by our genetic make up – we each have a built in happiness set point which is controlled by our genes. So if our parents suffered low mood and depression there is an increased likelihood that we will as well. From her research, it was discovered that only 10% of our happiness levels are affected by outside circumstances, such as bereavement, promotion, an increase in wealth etc. This leaves us with 40% being affected by our day to day choices and behaviours. This means we have a whole 40% of control in which happiness is an inside job. In which it is our responsibility and choice to determine how happy we are.

This, to me, is extremely good news and I am currently experimenting with myself as to which behaviours, changes and attitudes I can adopt because I now believe that is it inherently my right to be happy most of the time!
I will be sharing my adventures in happiness, so please stay tuned, and feel free to share with me your views and opinions and any interesting experiences on this topic.

If you feel stuck and could do with a gentle nudge in the right direction from your angels, please feel free to get in touch with me and book a session for an angel card reading. It might just give you the next steps you need to take to find your happiness.
Much love and many blessings,

Lucy Loizou

William Bloom, 2011; The Endorphin Effect; Piatkus; London.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2010; The How Of Happiness; Piatkus; London