The Secret to a Happy Life
Life can be viewed as a tapestry through which many life experiences are weaved. Have you ever felt your life could not possibly get any worse? Have you ever felt so fortunate and blessed that you were afraid to say anything in case you would jinx it? Have you ever felt you gave your all over and over again to “be the best” or to be recognized?
If you answered yes to any of the above then welcome to this human life. We have good news and bad news. The good news, the tapestry of life is weaved with just THREE THREADS – Thank Goodness! That means there are only three types of experiences we can experience in our lives. The bad news, the three categories are not easy to take in all the time.
The three categories of life experiences are: HEAVY (depression), PASSIONATE (effort/anxiety) and LIGHT (peaceful/balanced). Who else is here for just the LIGHT experiences? LOL! If only…
HEAVY experiences can be categorized as trauma (abuse), loss (death of a loved one or separation of a partner) or adverse experience (car accidents, medical issues, financial concerns or job changes). PASSIONATE experiences usually center around things we work hard at – i.e. a healthy lifestyles, our career, or relationships, our hobbies, etc. LIGHT experiences are those moments of pure bliss – the birth of our children, the smile of your pet, moments of a grateful life, etc.
There are positive and negative attributes to all three types of experiences and EVERY human being will have a constitution of ALL of them (some people have more HEAVY experiences than others, others more PASSIONATE experiences, etc).
The negatives to HEAVY experiences are that they often cause us to fall into depression (usually a result of attachment). The good thing about HEAVY experiences is they give us the opportunity to learn impermanence – painful experiences cannot possibly last forever (which is good). However, LIGHT experiences also cannot last forever – so cherish them! HEAVY experiences often give us reference points of something to learn – I know, I can almost hear you all saying, “But I don’t want to experience painful things to LEARN SOMETHING.” Unfortunately, we know this is not possible. If you have lived a painless life, you have truly learned to detach (hopefully in a healthy way). However, this is rare.
So… be kind with yourself when you face HEAVY experiences. There are not timelines to healing. If you need a few weeks, great! If you need several months, no worries! If you need years, I hope not, but you do you!. So the take away: the pain will not last forever and there are lessons of love, gratitude and growth within difficult times.
PASSIONATE experiences also have pros and cons. The Pro: effort often yields fruits (i.e. things that bring us joy – possibly false Gods that bring us joy, but nonetheless, things that seem to make us and the ones we love happy) – vacations, recognition, reputation, money, self-satisfaction, validation, to name a few. That is okay. Working hard gives us the opportunity to SHOW UP and reap the benefits of dedication of hard work.
However, we cannot be all effort, because then we yield no fruit and no time to ENJOY the fruits of our labor.
The con: PASSIONATE experiences can often lead us to burn out, a false sense of happiness (through attachment rather than the Self) and anxiety. Take away: Work hard, but ENJOY the rewards and do not over attach achievement or “busyness” to happiness.
That leaves us with LIGHT experiences – the best ones! These are often the moments in between the HEAVY and the PASSIONATE. To put images to it – this is pure sunlight – where the HEAVY is like a large boulder and the PASSIONATE feel like a well contained Tornado. LIGHT experiences are what we are here for! These are moments of pure joy. There are no negatives with LIGHT experiences. Recognize when you have them, find bliss there – share them, bathe in them and CREATE them in between the moments of HEAVY and PASSIONATE.
Huh, create them? Yes, create those experiences (see below). HEAVY, PASSIONATE and LIGHT also serve as cosmic forces of energy. Meaning, when you feel heavy, unmotivated and depressed weave in PASSION – effort, organization, follow through, routine. When you feel too much PASSION (i.e. a tornado spinning out of control) add some HEAVINESS to your life – rest, silence, be still, skip the routine, add self-care. Yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, gratitude lists, prayer, and connection are all ways to lean in and create LIGHT experiences.
See, you’ve just figured out the trick. Once you recognize life and energy only exist in these three experiences/states you can become an Alchemist to your experiences, adding and subtracting what you need to shift you into peace. So be active in your life, recognize there is no perfect life (there will be pain and there will need to be effort) and recognize if and when they are occurring and what you want to do with them.
So, are you going to be a rock, a tornado or a sparkling shimmering beam of light? Imma be over here in the peace of it all! Who wants to join me?