I’m savouring my positive happy experiences more and more these days as I realise the huge importance of learning to allow periods of joy, love and happiness when they surface. Yes allow. Its probably the most important lesson of all for me, letting myself be happy and for longer periods.
It’s so natural to feel happy and yet I so often put a stop to it. Why do we throw so many spanners in there? We say we want to be happy but do we actually value it and nurture and look after it. I imagine quite a different world emerging if humans turned up their inner thermostats and allowed ourselves to experience more love for ourselves and others, and value much more harmony and joy for longer periods.
How we would soon stop letting ourselves spoil and cover over our happiness with our imagined fears and slights. We would no longer spend time voluntarily consuming material that keeps us horrified, outraged, scared or sad. And we would no longer tolerate those around us soiling our joy or trying to, vexatious, envious or complaining people. The news and media would have to adjust and change to stop pressing the ‘be scared’, ‘hate them over there’, ‘be miserable’ ‘be outraged’ buttons. We are the market and we are getting what we ask for from them, that will change when consumer demand and the market changes.
Advertisers would go out of business no longer able to manipulate our feelings of not being good enough as we would be happy with who we are and grateful for everything. So we would want less stuff anyway as there would be no hole of misery to try and fill with buying stuff. Conflict would be resolved quickly when people start to allow and value their natural state of happiness and that of others. Utopian ponderings.
That was the main thought theme of the day yesterday and today. That it is within our power to allow longer stretches of well-being. ‘But how do we do that?” My fellow misery attached friend asked. By savouring. We start noticing the positive experiences as they arrive. No matter how small and allow them by savouring them thoroughly. Welcoming them. That gives ourselves the message that we can trust and allow them in and that they can stay for longer. Noticing any habitual tendency within to shorten such experiences. We can focus on what is going right, what is working, instead of being afflicted with the constant desire to detect what is going wrong and what is threatening.
“Delight is a secret. And the secret is this: to grow quiet and listen; to stop thinking, stop moving, almost to stop breathing; to create inner stillness in which, like mice in a deserted house, capacities and awarenesses too wayward and too fugitive for everyday use may delicately emerge.
Oh, welcome them home! For these are the long lost children of the human mind. Give them close and loving attention, for they are weakened by centuries of neglect. In return they will open your eyes to a new world within the known world, they will take your hand, as children do, and bring you where life is always nascent, day always dawning.
Suddenly and miraculously, as you walk home in the dark, you are aware of the insubstantial shimmering essence that lies within appearances; the air is filled with expectancy, alive with meaning: the stranger, gliding by in the lamp lit street, carries silently past you in the night the whole mystery of his life…..”
Alan McGlashan, The Savage and Beautiful Country