I went away for the weekend to chill with a girlfriend. On Friday night we decided to watch a movie and we chose Collateral Beauty as neither of us had seen it yet. The movie is about a successful advertising executive played by Will Smith, who is reduced to a clinically depressed loner after his young daughter’s tragic death. During this time he writes letters about abstract concepts of Love, Time, and Death. I won’t spoil the movie but suffice to say, since it dealt with time, love and death, it got us thinking.
After the movie, my friend asked me, “Are you happy”? The question took me by surprise as I was not displaying any unhappiness, so I wondered why that question. It was a question I had pondered when I wrote my last book, The 30 Laws of Flow. So since I knew the Law of Polarity, that was how I answered. The Law of Polarity shows us that in order to know happiness, we have to also know sadness. In our dualistic world, you can’t know happiness without experiencing sadness. This goes for all of our emotional states. It is one of the privileges and greatest challenges of our human experience.
We can choose to be happy as an adopted attitude but I propose that what we are looking for is more appropriately described as flow or harmony, serenity, joy, bliss or love. Flow seen in this way is an acceptance, a receptive state of being. So when asked, am I happy, I described the state by using the word serenity instead of the word happy.
The word happy has so many connotations. The state of happiness will be triggered by completely different circumstances for everyone. The greatest teachers and sages throughout time have said that only the urge to find your real Self can make you truly happy.
When we start the transformation of expressing our inner selves in the external world, we become more open, removing the filters and masks and letting spirit move through us. A sure sign of this is when we are happy for no reason, feeling content, peaceful—it is coming from within us, we are no longer separate from it, and we are in a different state of consciousness, in the flow.
So when my friend expressed that she was not happy, we explored her inner world to discover the reason. What became clear is that a book project she had been passionate about had been left behind and she was not having fun doing what she was currently occupying her time with. As soon as she spoke about her book project, her energy changed and there were an aliveness and a joy back in her voice. So it became clear that rekindling this project would connect her back to her soul’s work.
Fascinating how after that conversation we saw in the village a placard saying “Happiness is not a destination, It’s a way of life.” Also, Denis Waitley said, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” So two great reminders that happiness is an inside job.
So I will leave you with the question, “Are you happy?”