I don’t claim to be a perfect human who’s constantly happy and relaxed and problem-free. One of the main reasons I write blog posts like these is to remind myself that we can achieve happiness through our thoughts and that there’s always a way out of negative thought patterns.
I’m the first person to admit that my thoughts spiral into a whirling, angry, negative tornado at the first sign of a threat, but along the way, I’ve learned that there is a way to step out of the storm and into the sunshine. When I first read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I had all these mind-blowing insights and realizations. That book pretty much freed me from my negativity and bad thoughts.
…For a few days. And then I forgot. And then I remembered, and then I forgot again.
The point is that it’s all a journey, and the universe will show you the same wisdom over and over again until you can’t help but remember it. I had forgotten the wisdom I learned in The Power of Now until I picked up a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, out of thousands in the book store. I knew nothing about this book before and I had barely even read the back cover when I decided to buy it.
Between the pages was all the same wisdom I had already learned, but had forgotten: we are not our thoughts or our emotions. We are the consciousness that watches it all flowing in and out of our minds like clouds in the sky. Once you step outside of yourself to watch your manic thoughts and intense emotions and realize that they aren’t you at all, they’re simply happening to you, you’ll feel a sense of peace and calm that seems to be increasingly rare in this day and age.
This is the real secret. We always have the choice to stay stuck in our negativity and feelings, or we can step outside and watch them from afar like clouds or waves or flames dancing in the night. Whenever you feel yourself getting lost in your story, or your problems, you can choose to stay in them, or you can simply notice them and let them pass by as “objects floating in the universe” as Singer would say.
For a long time, I thought that the idea was to always be happy and positive, and to squash negative thoughts like bugs on my windshield. But really, this isn’t the point at all, and in my opinion, this is an impossible task that will only lead to guilt when you fail. We can’t rid ourselves of negative thoughts because we’re humans and it’s in our DNA to worry and protect ourselves from big, dark, scary things. The point is to shift from your fear-based thoughts into the driver’s seat where you can watch it all happening and bring awareness to the situation. Once you’re aware of what your brain is doing, it can actually be sort of funny.
For example, you might have an itch on your elbow and then the mind will think “that’s weird, why am I itchy there? Do I have a rash? Do I have cancer? I’m probably going to die. Who will take care of my cat when I die?” And so on, when really all that happened was that your elbow was itchy. Once you see this happening in real time, you can begin to understand the way the mind works and simply let these thoughts pass you by.
It may seem like a woo-woo concept, but it is actually so simple. Choose to be happy every second of your life, no matter what happens, and you will be.