How to Be Happy: An Inside Job

You are not subject to circumstances. You are not a victim. But amidst substantial abundance, there is still so much suffering. Here’s a quote that sums up why I have spent 35 years practicing and teaching yoga and meditation:

Sometimes we operate under the misconception that we can control the circumstances
of the outside world. What we can do is control our inside worlds. That is a gift given
to us. And that is where we must start.

    – Yogi Bhajan
This means that, come what may, a person can create a good life, can find peace and happiness.
Yoga is the art of gaining control of the inner world of body, thoughts and, yes, even our feelings. We can all learn to do that. Granted, the more traumatized we’ve been and the more stressed we are, the more practice it takes.  The key is in the old Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
You can’t change a traumatic past, but you can use it to heal and grow.
Having some control over HOW YOU FEEL is a vital skill  to being happy in this very random world. I would like to see  every human have this basic skill – When you feel bad, you know:
  • What you are feeling.
  • Why you are feeling it.
  • What to do to feel better.
  • How to take that action.
  • …So that you feel bertter.
Repeated often enough, you will be in good shape… happy within the past or present that you cannot change, having acted to change what you can. This is why I am so eager to bring Senses of the Soul to all who will use it. It gives you so much control of that inner life, BUT we control emotions by allowing them to work – not repressing them.
Here is another quote. It so simply describes this Senses of the Soul work:
“Working by your heart means using your feelings and emotions to lead you to your
spiritual sense of existence.”

 – Yogi Bhajan, February 15, 1984
Putting these three ideas together, we see that we can find our way to happiness through our feelings.
Here is an example from an SOS workshop here in L.A. just last weekend.  A woman shared this after a simple 11 minute exercise and guided meditation
“In my meditation…
I felt a great sadness from the recent death of my grandmother.
Then came suddenly a memory of feeling abandoned in my crib as a baby, and crying.
I felt so unwanted and unloved. I saw that it has seemed that way ever since, whether in or out of an intimate relationship.
So sad to realize I never found the love I needed.
I realized that my grandmother was the only person in my life that I ever felt loved by.
I traveled back as my current self and held my infant self. I just gave myself the love I had been wanting for so long.
So simple, now I know I can give that to myself all the time.

(The meditation was Replay and Roleplay with Paranoia Flush, pg. 95-96 In Senses of the Soul book and audiobook.)

The woman above couldn’t change the past, and can’t make anyone love her. But by the smile and peace on her face. I can tell you, she was able to get the love she needed. Love was within her inner control.

This is how trauma is healed: when you can do for yourself now what you couldn’t  do then.  When you can get what you need now that you couldn’t get then.
We can create happiness, get what we need, regardless of circumstances. How? Take responsibility. Know it is possible. Sit and be real and deal with it, and BE with yourself. Work on happiness like a fitness plan. Spend time daily creating happiness, because…
“Happiness is your birthright.”  – Yogi Bhajan


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