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From the VLOG
Finding Happiness: Wandering the Meadow of Perception
Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the Flower in it.(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Perceptions of Happiness
In what often seems a fool-hearted journey to find the balance between work and play, responsibility and fun, family and personal interests, and harmony within, we often seem to be pulled by two equally opposing yet entirely dependent forces that buy for our daily attention. These forces, equal in weight yet fighting by nature, seem to balance inner needs, desires, ambitions, and the dreams we strive towards with their sibling rivals, responsibilities, schedules, and the need to tend to those pesky life tasks that may be menial, but must get done.
Procrastination? Maybe. Giving in? Not! Advancing, “one day at a Time,” if not “one step at a time?” definitely. The art of shuffling? Yes, but only at its best. However, this is the art of cultivating happiness, bringing forth those moments of clarity, balance, and the drive to see the wonders still in the vast meadow of being we call life.
What is it about the two sides of consciousness that so eludes us as we strive to develop inner balance and open our lives to the peace, joy, and happiness we can find within?
In the journey to actualize Self, as it relates to the ego-based self we create to handle day-to-day affairs, we are pulled between the two sides of consciousness. Desire, ambition, and the lofty dreams of Self call us towards moments of reverie, to a place where we can see some distant apparition of ourselves in the future, which somehow has, up to this point, escaped the reality we have created. Yet these reveries are feasible if we take the modern science of quantum physics at face value.
While not reality in the here and the now, they exist, and through perseverance, they will find fruition in our lives at some distant point. There is no more excellent example of this than in those rare but sometimes enlightening moments of deja vu we may experience occasionally. However, what lies within the phenomenon, as the self strives to become whole with the Self-concept we yearn to become.
The self, a concept akin to Freud’s idea of the ego, is commonly linked to the masks we adopt to handle social expectations, social positions, and the need to be identified and labeled to fit within the hierarchical system in which we participate. What Self am I to become, and how does this relate to my current reality? In this question, we will often find those hard-to-find flowers within the meadow, those “Ghosts in the Machine,” or even the hot glowing cinders left over the heap of ash we have created in life.
Self Realization is an elusive yet dynamic state. Much like happiness, it is cultivated through vision and nurtured into reality. As in life, we are called to find ourselves, and no sooner do we begin to ask the questions than we are faced with equally opposing yet dynamic forces that play upon our psyche to promote individual growth.
Example: As I awaken to get ready for the day, no sooner did an inner sense of the rhythm of passion ignite the dance within my soul to find health, balance, and wealth during the New Year than a second, equally opposing voice arose, telling me every reason why 4 AM is way too early to get to wake up, find health, move towards retrieving balance in life, and strive towards my new goals.
Who was this Devil’s Advocate? What route should I take?
In creating happiness, we must strive towards cultivating the meadow of life to nurture those flowers, ghosts, and cinders that will one day become the moments of joy we traverse when we find the reverie of winter’s night. In Spring, we face a time for rejuvenation, new life, new goals, and new dreams. It is a time of rebirth, allowing us to rekindle old dreams, friends, and ambitions that may have been put away but not lost forever.
While there is no one answer about ways to find happiness, it is a cultivation process. As you strive to find balance, you will be met with equally opposing and conflicting themes. These are the dynamics that drive your psychological growth. As you desire towards your goals for the New Year, you will be sidetracked. But this circumstance of life is how your journey moves forward. Life is not a straight line; it is dynamic, weaves upon itself, and grows through its inconsistencies. Finally, remember that as long as one foot goes before the other, you are “Advancing Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams.”
More from Dr. Tom
Are you being your best possible self? Dr. Thomas Maples explores our personal and collective journey to realize our ultimate potential through the lens of psychology, personal development, and the myths that drive our journey forward.