The issue very often becomes though, and where most people leave, is in “what to do with oneself” if there was no more pain and no emotional conflict. It is amazing the number of times a relapse happens or that pain will double just before a breakthrough.
So one of the things I do now when I train other healers is to teach them patterns of happiness to foster before focusing on pain. Healers must have this in their arsenal and use this on themselves otherwise helping others with their pain patterns become an impossible task. Healing as I teach it is about having the curiosity to learn another pattern and the choice to choose something different. It does not mean necessarily that you may have less physical or emotional pain at times, it just means you won’t suffer. It means you can have moments of inner peace and relaxation, and moments of spaciousness that increase over time as you learn to hold yourself.
Here is a brief list of patterns of behavior that cultivate patterns of happiness:
1) noticing when the environment is “too much”. Sometimes it just is. Getting into nature and breathing the air, moving the body simply through walking will do wonders. Elkhart tolled once said, “I would not choose to meditate and relax in a disco, no amount of acceptance of my environment or my reactions will make it different than what it is, so I would leave that environment if I can.”
2) Commune with something larger. Pray and meditate with trees, rocks, water, or people. But something that takes you out of “small” you…
3) Find a practice that takes you IN you: learn about YOUR OWN pattern of breathing and of movement. It is the balance of going in and out that reduces suffering, not the “getting over it and only focusing out.”
4) Write down 3 things you are grateful for everyday and really feel it in your body.
5) Know that wherever you go, you can change the environment and heal it. Ten and twenty years ago my spiritual teacher said, “you don’t see your power to change your environment, your ability to heal with just your presence alone.” This rocked my world, and avoiding this has been the source of most of my suffering these last 2 decades. Embracing myself fully and acknowledging one’s power to heal and hurt is deeply sobering and awakening. The thing is, we all have this ability, for some it is not their path to heal, but it does not mean that ones attitude and kindness does not make a difference. I am not talking about being disingenuous, only recognize that people appreciate pure presence, not contrived happiness: if you are relaxed in yourself and have happiness in what you see before you, this will transmit to others.
6) Have an advisor that you can regularly run things by to help you discern what is “real” and in your highest interest.
7) Observe what is before you. It is the only moment there is.
8) Express yourself in writing, drawing, singing, touching, something that allows for freedom of expression without constraint.
9) Look through the eyes of a child. You will find joy in the smallest places. in reality, we don’t need a lot, not a big house nor a fancy car. Only you know what it is but chances are, it has to do with connections with others.
10) Cultivate RELATIONSHIPS with like minded people. As you transition from one state of being to the next, you may lose your friends, your family, your job, but you have you. Hafiz once said:
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My voice so tender,
My need of God
If you think about it, developing happiness is no different than developing patterns of pain, it’s a pattern. The only difference lies in being conscious or unconscious about it.
Choosing to be conscious and aware is choosing to be alive, being alive is both pain and happiness. Having the ability to be in both is a true wonder.
May you in finding new patterns have happiness throughout your being and in so doing make this world a better place.