In the Name of Happiness
If you google “how to find happiness” and “books”, you will encounter 29,000 possibilities. We are a society obsessed with the pursuit of finding this elusive state. In my journey to understand how our mind and body work, I have found this seemingly noble quest can be a very big part of the problem. The Greek Stoics focused, not on finding happiness, but instead on finding serenity by confronting fears and challenges. Often we try to hide behind positivity to push that which we see as negative away. We might think that if we change our negative thoughts or feelings around, then we will open up to greater happiness. Perhaps, like the Stoics, we need to dive down deep into those places and sensations that we push away and be more accepting of the present in whatever form it takes. By getting into the thick of it, we can actually feel everything including greater happiness. By shutting down, by putting a fortress up around the feelings that are strong, that are hard to control and that scare us, we also end up putting a fortress around ALL feelings—even that evasive happiness for which we are on the look out.
Brene Brown, a social worker who has studied vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame, shares this:
Start on your mats! Settle in, get comfortable with discomfort and breathe even if your mind is saying g0, get upside down to find uncertainty and vulnerability. Let those strong feeling surface when opening your hips and let the salty tears drip down your face in savasana. Wear your vulnerability on your sleeve, be open to your feelings and use these honest moments to lead you to greater joy. Namaste.
If you love reading about the mind and the way to greater happiness like me, check out these books that I have been reading lately: