Everything has a cause. The light make seeds grows, a word of hatred may give birth to war, if I cut myself with a knife I start to bleed if I jump from the 20th floor, I die . There is always a cause and a consequence and if there is a cause for pain, there is a cause for joy. If there is a cause for the endless hatred, there must be a cause for eternal love. And if there is a cause for deep sadness, there must be a cause for well-being and happiness.
Our mind guides our choices. Our mind due to mental projections and thoughts of anxiety, fear, jealousy, make us worry for the future and make us suffer because of attachments. Our mind is very subjective: what we consider good for us can be bad in someone else’s opinion, what for us is an enemy may be a beloved family man to someone else. The classification of events and people, aspects, behavioral patterns, rules and cultural habits and social differences, are all mental structures. Everything is essentially subjective.
Even the self-esteem that comes only from external awards and prizes is subjective: everything can change, the gap between our aspirations and reality can be very big and in this case, can bring pain.
True and genuine self-esteem starts from the certainty of knowing that human beings, in one way or another, can always flourish and find a solution, being aware that whatever happens we can deal with it, and knowing that a basic inner strength drives us to find a solution. Real inner confidence is when we are aware that anything happens, we are able deal with, in one way or another.
The mind is constantly changing and it is influenced by all kinds of thoughts, from jealousy, to hatred, to anxiety, and the mind itself will never give us inner peace. It is in the absence of these thoughts and finding our inner center that we can find happiness, well-being and inner-strength. In this state of well-being, we become independent of any external situation. But living in this state is a skill that can be learned.
Our thoughts can change our behavior “thoughts become things” but our own thoughts can give us a completely subjective interpretation of what we have around us and transform our lives into a living hell. The simplest example that comes to my mind is the one of the anorexic girl: although she is obviously sick and too skinny and her body is skin and bones, continues to look think of herself as a fat girl. Similarly, a jealous man can see betrayal in any behavior or a pessimist can also see malice in the purest generosity and willingness to help.
If we compare our economic state to the poorest people we feel better and lucky, if we compare it to millionaire’s life, we feel worse. How’s that possible? Two seconds ago we felt rich and lucky compared to poor people. Now all of a sudden we are a nullity if we compare ourselves to Bill Gates?
Mind plays with us and has no stability. Our thoughts are the filter and to find the peace we should have not filter: observing reality in an objective way by living in the present moment is the only way to enjoy our life and be happy for no reason.
Our control over external events is temporarily, out of control and illusory . We need to develop a kind of tranquility that is permanent: wind can shake the surface of our sea and that can make us feel sad, but the deep serenity that comes from a state of inner peace is always there, it’s the depths of the ocean, it’s present and never goes away.
We can also try to monitor, analyze, understand every single thought , but the truth is that thoughts , positive or negative they may be, are always influenced and manipulated by the external environment, so controlling and analyzing them one by one can be a waste of time.
We can see them emerge, see what causes them, understand why we feel sad or anxious or depressed, but happiness is experiences when we live in the present moment, now and here, in the absence of thoughts. That’s when our essence manifests, that is when we experience real consciousness and awareness. It is this awareness, free from influences, that gives us well-being, in any situation.
Everything in the world is constantly changing , even our thoughts, personality, beliefs . The only thing that remains stable is our awareness, our essence, which is our true being, free from any form of manipulation . It is only in this state of inner peace that we can be happy and serene.
Try to stay in a state of constant awareness , alert and mindful, all the time. Meditation is the best way to do that, you only need to practice. I am a beginner as well. I have so much to learn but when I live in the here and now, I can say that I’m happy to be alive.
Yesterday I was on a plane to Milan. I spent the weekend in Edinburgh and visiting the Rosslyn Chapel, famous for the Da Vinci Code, and for its symbolism.
Although I loved the city and I was very happy to have visited the chapel, I could not stop to notice how being in a different country was no more of major interest. I used to be very fascinated by travels, but this time I often found myself in contemplation. I decided to spend this weekend completely away from everything (no Facebook and no cell phone), just trying to figure out in which direction my life is going and to understand the purpose of my life.
If I compare it to that of my friends, I am very lucky: I get the chance to read a lot, do researches, travel without having to beg for a day off to my boss and I have many friends and family members that loves me. My life is certainly blessed.
Despite this, my doubts about the purpose of my life haunted me. In front of the St John Cathedral, however, I decided one thing: overthinking hurts. 😉 I may look extrovert in my life because I have the tendency to put others at ease and do everything to make them feel good, but I’m basically an introvert and a person who spends hours reading, thinking, researching.
Some time ago I wrote an article according to which happiness is also about having goals: that article was missing a key point. I asked one of my best friends which is, according to him, the purpose of life: he thinks everyone has a purpose , everyone follows their own passions as a goal and that becomes its purpose. There are those who want to be a doctor, a scientist, others who want travel the world and others to help people. But my question is: in this path, where is joy and eternal inner peace?
Some time ago I was convinced that my purpose in life was to learn. I thought I was born with the sole purpose to grow, learn and flourish. I wanted to learn everything about. But this is impossible. And it’s also terribly boring. Mental fatigue, devoting yourself to 12 hours of intellectualism, in the long run can lead to lack of joy and extreme boredom. Mere intellectualism does not make me feel good: it often leads to headaches, overthinking, considering too many points of view and to be too focused only on myself.
Then I discovered volunteering: you feel useful, you help others, make them feel good and it makes you feel so good that I have no words to describe it.
But volunteering can soak you up tremendously, making you forget about yourself. I do not think I could volunteer every day for years. I am convinced that it’s good to help others, but it is also necessary to take care of yourself and think about your emotional health. Volunteering should be taken in small doses, and that’s why volunteering missionaries go on war zones for limited periods of time. Enduring the suffering of other creatures involves a great psychological strength.
So I realized that what makes me feel better is the inner peace, mixed with fun and humor.
Laughing, having a calm mind, be detached from events, having goals but do not being obsessed with them, to me it’s the best way to face life.
I love to laugh and I think that every long lasting relationship include great laughs in it. Being free to enjoy life, being calm, being happy just for the fact of being alive, I think it’s the best satisfaction.
When you have water to drink, food in the fridge, people who loves you, and a warm bed to sleep in, what do you want more? Making comparisons is to suffer, millions of thoughts is to suffer , struggling to get to a mirage is to suffer .
Living in the present, being grateful for little things like the relaxing sound of rain or for the fast internet wi-fi that allows us to be in contact with the world.
Having a mother and a father, having friends to laugh with, having people who smiles back at you, sharing life and simply enjoying it.
We do not need designer handbags, jewelry, status symbol or millions of dollars. If we love what surrounds us, we do not need anything else.
Similarly when we face difficult times, it is this inner peace that must flourish. Pain is inevitable, but losing our minds is one thing, keeping a serene mind is another. When my grandfather died, I suffered terribly , but a certain serenity surrounded me: death is part of life and is just avoiding attachments that we can find peace.
What is the purpose in making 10 million dollars a year, if you suffered for 365 days? It makes no sense. The journey is important as well. Living a fulfilling life is important, and that does not mean traveling like crazy and partying every night. Living life in its fullness means to fully live in the present, enjoying every moment and living in the here and now, in a state of full consciousness and well-being.
While I was on the plane, seeing the landscape below and all these little beings called men, made me laugh a bit. We are millions, each with its own history , issues, culture and in our mind the world revolves around us. In our mind we are the center of our world. We are only a tiny percentage of all that is the Earth . We’re just ants, viewed from above . We think that we are king and queens, but viewed from above we are just many little creatures who inhabit this earth, like every other species (the only difference is that we apparently have the supremacy .)
So when we face problems, losses, difficult situations that are predominantly only in our mind, try to look at yourselves from a plane. You know what’s the view? At first everything has a standard vision , then everything gets smaller , until you see human beings as small as ants. Then even cars look like ants and soon we are immersed in the clouds, completely distant and detached from what once looked so near.
A hypnotic technique widely used is to see our situation from an outside perspective. It usually tells the patient to be look at himself from the outside, like a stranger would. Some suggest to see the situation you’re in like a mute movie in black and white. Some suggest to look at the situation from a third, fourth point of view, to be completely detached from it and have a completely rational point of view. This whole process is usually applied to a specific problem: using kinesthetic, auditory and visual modalities in a smart way, you have an objective point of view of a complete stranger.
My question is: instead of applying this technique to every problem, why don’t we just live in the present moment , in the here and now , enjoying life, serenity and well-being that this state of perpetual awareness and consciousness and inner peace can give us?
We need to take control of our lives even when we are focused towards a goal: if we want something , we can not panic , be overwhelmed by emotions and lose control. If you want to pursue a goal you gotta have stability , determination and above all not be influenced by any external event. The practice of mindfulness, living in the present moment , it is also important in a more materialistic point of view.
Every time we learn something and practice, neuronal connections are strengthen. When we learn to drive a car, at the beginning we need to pay attention to how you drive and to every action we make. After a while all this becomes automatic. Even for habits and behavioral changes is the same process and the same process also works for the development of awareness, peace , love, compassion and inner peace. If we walk the same path of awareness every day, soon we will become aware naturally and live in the present moment naturally. If every time we want to scream at somebody, we stop this habit, thought and emotion and stop reacting the instant in which it occurs, and instead we give space to another emotion, such as patience and kindness, soon the new neuronal path of patience becomes stronger and stronger , and that anger weaker and weaker, leaving nothing else but a powerless little thought that flies our mind.
Living consciously in a state of constant awareness is possible and therefore it is also possible to be able to develop constant serenity.
Speaking from a wider point of view, renouncing to bad feelings is only good for us. Bad emotions make us feel sick and corrode our mind. Why spending hours or lose minutes of our lives with something that hurts us?
We need to develop positive emotions, which are the ones that give us comfort and happiness. Just as certain emotions harm us, we should make sure to take the time we need to develop positive emotions that make us feel good, like joy, happiness and love .
The only way to be constantly happy is to live free of attachments, in a state of high consciousness and cultivate emotions like joy, kindness and love. The only way to do this is to maintain a high level of awareness and living in the here and now.