Seeking happiness seems to be the thing to do. These are the messages all around us: Go on this holiday to be happy. Eat this food to be happy. Get this job to be happy. Have the perfect family life to be happy. The research would say we’re wired to go towards pleasure and away from pain and therefore we should seek a life with maximum happiness. But could this be an over-worked concept that isn’t serving us?
How comparing from the perspective of the self brings nothing of benefit.
This phrase, “mine’s better than yours”, usually brings to mind a child’s voice, in my head a boastful, whiny voice, combined with the thought of the house, the car, the job, the clothes. All the material stuff that’s chased, believing it brings the contentment we seek.
Language is limited. It can’t not be when words are limited, thought-created concepts and, without realising it, we are using language that keeps us stuck in separation. Even when our words point to truth, we don’t even know we’re doing it so the impact is lost.
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As my daughter drew it, copying from the video, she burst into tears. The tail looked all wrong, far too wide for the body. “But mummy look, the tail needs to go to under its first toe”.
Trouble is, of course, my daughter’s parrot’s toes were slightly different to the one in the video so the tail going to there did make it look a bit crazy-wide.
When we try to copy a pre-prepared plan to the letter, when we expect people to behave in a certain way that matches the movie in our heads, when we think it shouldn’t be raining today because we’ve got that outdoor event, when we think we should be earning more / achieving more….
This is where our suffering begins: when we believe every single thing we think and see it as a solid, definite truth.
Once you really see how our minds work, the more you live in the moment working with what is, instead of what you think it “should” be. The more you’re here, the more you stay fluid and flexible, adaptive and agile, adjusting and integrating, and the better you feel.
All this without having to actively “do” anything. No mind-management techniques, no practicing of new habits. Once you “get” this understanding, the flow just flows.
It’s hard work swimming upstream against the current of the world around us.
Jump in and be in the flow.
Get in touch if you want to know more.
It might just be me but I find this incredibly sad and I hear my internal voice of desperation asking “what on earth are we doing??”.
I also wonder how many people find expectations of self-care just another stress to add to the pile of other things “I’m not good enough at”.
It’s all with good intention but it’s not getting to what really needs to be got at.
Yes, look after ourselves better but not in this way.
Not when looking after our own health is a to-do list or goal.
I have a lot of time for you Michelle Obama (assuming she actually said these words in the quote!) but self-care can’t be attached to a “we need to” i.e. “we should”. Anything along those lines is a force, a push, a cajole, a tell, an expectation that’s being put on us from outside of us, a standard that if we fall short we’re rubbish (and then we give up).
Yes, look after ourselves better but not when we believe we have an important role to play in getting things “right” with our health and wellbeing, because the more we do this the more we get in our own way.
Layering our thinking and piling expectations into our heads only takes us further away from our innate wellbeing that we already have inside us; in all of us. It takes us away from letting our system right itself, which it does all the time if we stop meddling.
Instead, when we drop all that thinking, looking after ourselves becomes the most obvious thing to do. Anything else just looks bonkers! And we don’t need someone outside of us to tell us what to do or how to do it.
If you’d like to talk more about what this means for you just get in touch.