Posts Tagged ‘Happy’

Science of happiness: The 40% Solution from Mindful.org

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So what is this science of happiness, anyhow?

To me, one of the most interesting findings is the now well-documented fact that we humans are notoriously lousy at predicting what will—and will not—make us happy. “People think things that are unpleasant are going to be crushing for a much longer time than they are,” Simon-Thomas tells me a few days before the workshop, which she is co-leading.

“They also think that pleasures, such as a new material possession or an incredibly empowering achievement, are going to lead to long-term boosts to their well-being.

But what the studies show is that we get over and habituate to the things that are frightening or harmful or sad, and at the same time, we habituate to wonderful things.”

In other words, our lowest lows and highest highs don’t last.

“Pleasure is really important, but you can’t put it at the top of the list of aspirations.”

Not only that, it turns out that the more zealously we pursue our notion of ideal happiness or hold ourselves to impossibly high standards, the more likely our efforts will backfire.

“Not having exceedingly high expectations is a key to actually obtaining some measure of happiness,” says Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley who studies the paradoxical effects of pursuing positive emotion.

When I consider my own life, this seems ridiculously, painfully obvious.

How often was I convinced to my core that the next boyfriend, the move to a different city, the great magazine assignment or Off-Broadway production of one of my plays would finally, once and for all, make me permanently happy?

Hell, even the next hot fudge sundae had the potential to turn my life-is-scary-and-then-you-die personality into something cheery and light, at least temporarily.

I may not have counted on winning the lottery, but my belief in future salvation turns out to have been just as fantastical.

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Defining ourselves!!

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Do you define yourself by your losses or weakness?

Subconsciously, I certainly did for most of my life. Perfection was demanded! An impossible request.

My healing path, redefined myself as what I overcame. That felt good.

As I developed, deepened, defining myself faded, I was just present, more and more.

One day while hiking, nature and my breath (my being) merged.

I kind of floated up that hill.

On reflection, my happiest moments were void of thought, engulfed by my surroundings, vivid, sort of timeless.

On reflection, I am present, free of thought much more during the day.

Life has improved, calm, kind feelings surround me now.

I approve of Marty, all of him, finally.

You can find your path also.

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Give Power to where you are.”

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“Do not give Power to what is in your mind, give Power to where you are.”

Dr Andreadinardo.com

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My two cents:

People have this blank stare when I say “Be in the moment, right now”.

Give power to where we are, is specific and engages our senses.

See the greatness of the sky, the trees, flowers, not the thoughts in your head.

A life spent inside our head, grappling with thoughts and emotions is wasted.

What will you have to show for all your thinking.

Not much you could take with you.

Surely happiness was a constant stranger on your journey.

Place all attention on the senses, observe, be, to live fully.

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My Two Cents!

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I ponder what has helped me heal and enjoy life in a calmer more secure way. Running a mindfulness group helps me see what changes impact their journey.

I see simple things have made enormous impact. My ability to focus on the breath, erases all that worry, doubt and unworthiness for awhile.

The time spent ruminating in these negative emotions has been drastically reduced. More time is spent being present, observing what my senses take in.

Being empty of all that distraction, eliminates all that wasted time, no need to heal what never establishes a toe hold.

We remain more balanced, calmer, the exact attitude to cultivate healing and happiness.

I realize how much my inner guide effortlessly brings solutions and ideas forward at times.

Intuition flows much more freely.

My mind which once facilitated PTSD’s torment, brings peace and opportunity.

At least it brings choices, I can decide to entertain where my mind applies “ATTENTION”.

This small skill seems to have the greatest impact on my day to day life.

In this moment, with this breath, I can be present and focused.

We can control that behavior, results are above our pay grade.

It is a small change.

Any thoughts?

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Dropping the Illusion of Control: Beyond Mindfulness

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“As a result of dropping the illusion of control, you may no longer have the same drive (or, perhaps more accurately, no longer feel driven) and no longer find the same meaning in life.

In fact, the collapse of the dream has brought a corresponding collapse in the personal meaning that the dream projected.

The prevailing dream in the West is based on the myth of the hero, the powerful person in charge of his or her life who finds ultimate meaning by overcoming obstacles and fighting against the odds to win the prize, reach the finish line, succeed at some Herculean task.

We idolize people who live out some version of this myth—the aging swimmer who overcomes the elements to make it across a shark-infested body of water, the poor kid who works his way to the top of a big corporation, the young girl who sails solo around the world despite bad weather and equipment failure.

(The popularity of superhero movies attests to the fascination with this meme.) Needless to say, the hero dream places the emphasis on the separation between the individual and the rest of reality—it’s a dream of struggle, conflict, and ultimate triumph.

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a hero, you’re still probably judging yourself by some version of this fundamental standard.

Indeed, the ego inevitably takes itself to be the hero of its own story and finds value in how well it succeeds—at making a living, finding a mate, winning love and approval.

But when you realize that you’re no longer the separate center around which your life revolves but just another expression of the greater movement and flow of life itself, the hero dream and the world of personal meaning you’ve constructed around it collapses.

Now what? If the meaning of your life is not founded in personal significance and success, what’s the point?

Instead of struggling to reconstruct the dream and the meaning it provided, which is doomed to failure in any case, you can keep returning to your homeground of awakened awareness and find ultimate meaning there.

When you let go of the effort to make life happen and instead abide as unconditional opennness and presence without a center, you realize that nothing extra needs to be added to this moment to make it more complete—it’s inherently perfect and meaningful just as it is.

By going to pieces as a separate self, you’ve discovered the deeper ground of the undivided, the one without a second, the eternal source from which all apparent separation arises.

Once you realize your identity with this deeper ground of being, the search for personal meaning naturally comes to an end.”

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How do we change identification with the dream character?

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Awareness always starts our path to change.

My dream character was always anchored in my childhood abuse, soaked in criticism, filled with unworthiness, a fragile self image.

My coping mechanism was over achievement, another reaction to the conditioned love from childhood.

Somehow, acheiving things, inflated my worthiness for short bursts of an otherwise shameful dream of my existence.

Looking back this dream was a daily companion, life brought suffering in this created world.

Looking back, I see how past thoughts, judgments about who I was, dominated my life.

How could anyone find happiness in that hollow, unworthy self image.

I created all of that mirage.

Now, I am dissecting parts of my old dream, trading that diatribe in for being in this moment.

I have found, that living in the current moment without judgment offers many opportunities of living fully, even feeling happy at times.

Meditation, focus on the breath, has been the vehicle that helped me release my dream character.

I need not be impacted by my past, need not carry that weight any farther.

It is difficult to be open, to surrender to what we fear, what we have created through our judgments.

Start chipping away at that old self image you been carrying around like a ball and chain.

Please share your thoughts on your journey?

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Beyond Mindfulness: the direct approach to lasting peace , happiness and love: Stephen Bodian

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For example, you may take great pride in your accomplishments—the difficulties you’ve overcome, the relationships you’ve cultivated, the places you’ve visited, the money you’ve made.

But the memories of even the best past experiences can crowd your mind and prevent you from being fully present right now and appreciating the joy and fulfillment that this irreplaceable moment potentially affords.

Or you may find yourself gravitating back with sadness and shame to your failures, your lost opportunities, your mistakes, the people you’ve hurt, the traumas you’ve suffered.

But this haze of negative thoughts and feelings keeps you from having more positive experiences now that might help alleviate your pain.

Or you may keep recycling the story of how you’ve been wronged, abandoned, or overlooked by others, and your resentment has embittered you and cut you off from the love that’s available to you now.

You may suffer because you compare your present experiences unfavorably with those you’ve had in the past or live in constant fear that the same traumas and disappointment that befell you before will happen again.

And your relationships are never really fulfilling because they’re clouded by judgments, expectations, projections, and the shadow of previous heartache and loss.

Wandering endlessly in the story of your life, you suffer because you’ve separated yourself from, and can’t genuinely connect with, life as it is.

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