At this time of year, especially during the holidays, we are inspired to be grateful and merry. Dare I say happy? As if we weren’t already. Yet we are constantly bombarded with the message that we are missing something. Is it a loved one or that Peloton bike we are grieving? Is it our family in another state or presents under the tree that we long for?
Consumerism and marketing set the pace for how things should look and feel in our lives and in our homes. And from that very biased slant, during the holidays, we are often left with a feeling of wanting more than we have already. It makes us feel like we should be seeking something greater. Like we are not enough. Or maybe just a little too much.
Very rarely do we receive the encouragement to settle in and allow ourselves to be just right, in the present moment, with what we have. Contentment is like a distant star we wish upon.
Buddha says, “There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.” When we hear that happiness is external, something outside ourselves, we hear it the loudest. In Buddhism, grasping, clinging striving is the exact opposite of happiness.
The key, instead of being unsettled with happiness, is realizing there is nothing wrong. We can find reasons to be happy and we can also find that happiness does not require a reason – which is true enlightenment. Both are valid. We can have fun and also relax in the knowledge that we have everything required for happiness.
There are two things we must do, then.
One is to surrender to that which brings us joy. It’s great news! We can have fun and play just as children. We can see the world through fresh eyes of magic and wonder. It’s within us. If happiness is the path, you might ask yourself: What would make the happiest holiday for me this season?
Two is to nourish rather than deplete yourself. Embrace the abundance of your life as it is, acknowledge that you are enough, you have enough, there is nothing to fear, there is no lack. Gratitude is all encompassing – it is not just focusing on the positive. During the holiday season have gratitude for the fact that aside from what you have or don’t have, you are a whole and fully equipped human.
The outside pressure to become something more than you already are is fierce. This holiday season rest easy in the knowledge that to find happiness you must go no further than yourself.
Please contact Rachel Gordon if you have questions about Buddhist psychology and integrative, holistic techniques to address mental health issues and promote total body wellness. If you live in the Denver/ Castle Rock area and would like to learn more about what Rachel has to offer through Humble Warrior Therapy, please call (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule.
Tags: Buddhist Psychology, Feelings, Holidays, Living in the Moment, Mindfulness