Happiness Isn’t Peace!

 

baby                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A few days ago I read an article by Eckart Tolle on Happiness and Peace. He suggested that when many people are searching for happiness, what they truly desire is peace. “It’s a state of heightened aliveness, when we become more conscious rather than less, and this requires an awareness of the kinds of thoughts that habitually go through your mind.” (Eckart Tolle)

In the past I often made a list of what I wanted in my life, “Happiness” was on my list. When thinking of what I wanted for my children, I wanted them to be happy. Now Peace Of Mind takes priority. Happiness is fleeting/temporary. I am happy that my family is coming to visit. I am unhappy that rabbits ate all my lettuce. When at peace with that inner deeper level inside, the emotional highs and lows do not occur.

Three years ago I was experiencing ecstatic happiness when I received a call that my first grandchild had just entered this world. I hung up the phone with great excitement and joy followed immediately by the thought that I wanted to call my mom to tell her that her first great-grandchild had just been born. I burst into tears and sadness when I couldn’t call my mom because she had passed away one year earlier. Even in the midst of my grief I was aware of how the intensity of my emotions had changed in an instant.

I seek peace of mind. When happiness enters my life, fantastic! When unhappiness enters, I try very hard to accept what it. Byron Katie said “When I argue with reality, I lose but only 100% of the time!”  When my coaching clients are stuck in a repeating negative thought, together we delve into the thought, questioning its truth and how that thought plays out in their life. Often there is a recurring pattern or behavior that a client wants to change yet they are unable to stick with it. Here the old negative thoughts are over-riding the good intention for change. Once old thoughts are released, new behavior is possible.

I had been in the pattern of thinking “I will be happy when (I lose weight, I have enough money, my kids are happy, I have the job of my dreams). My thoughts were taking me away from the present moment, projecting into a future that may or may not match my expectations. This movie, as Tolle calls it, is not reality.”You can’t see the present. You’re too busy with where you want to be next or where you were, which causes stress. The only solution is awareness, awareness that the voice in your head is really just repeating thoughts – no more, no less.”   Thich

The question I ask myself is this, “Am I going to read about, study, go to more courses on being at peace OR and I going to Stop, sit down and BE at peace?” I know how to do it. I know how calming it feels to be still in the present moment. All is well in my world when I sit in peace. So, another question for me is “Why do I often think it’s more important to accomplish tasks than to BE present in peace?”  What pulls you away from BEING in the present moment? What thoughts enter your mind?  I would love to hear!