Perhaps one day you found yourself reflecting on that period in your life when you were your happiest self. Perhaps it was college or elementary school, then what happened? We begin to grow up and take on the belief systems of those around us, including our family and friends.
Every belief from “money doesn’t grow on trees” to proving your value through work comes from a place of survival. Survival happens when we feel valued and needed by those in our community, this way we can ensure we will not be a discarded member of the tribe. Fitting out and thinking separately is scary and not advantageous to our survival.
In many cases, we swapped our childlike joy, novelty, and happiness in order to fit in with the group. Unfortunately, this is costly, because the qualities I just described are experiences we have when we are fully tuned into the present, and we have glimpses of these feelings from time to time. Being outside of these experiences and not being fully present can often feel like suffering and unhappiness.
The key to changing your daily experience in the world lies with something I mentioned above. While it may feel like a long time ago that you felt these sensations of pure contentedness or perhaps a glimpse of pure happiness. All it takes is one or two memories of how these memories felt, to totally rewire the brain for these experiences. As many of my clients have witnessed, the more you live into this memory, the pure essence of feeling peaceful in the moment, the more automatic it becomes.
What is the first step? Get a notepad and pencil and become really clear on a few things.
First, what is your biggest obstacle (ex, low mood, lack of purpose)? Second, what is the opposite experience of this obstacle (ex, low mood equals excitement). Third, write down the last memory you have of feeling this way and meditate on this core experience of excitement a few times per day over the next two months.
Take your time with the exercise and let me know how it goes.