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Happiness is Natural

By Martin Klabunde

© 2020 by Martin Klabunde / Collective Awakening LLC

Happiness is natural. Suffering is also natural. Both are products of how we interpret and act upon our experiences. For many people happiness is something they are looking to achieve. One day, when I reach this goal, find my partner, buy that nice car or big house, I will be happy. Yesterday I received promotion and so I’m happy. Tomorrow I’m going on that vacation I’ve been planning for months, so I am happy.

You see, most people make their happiness dependent on something external; as if getting something they desire or reaching a goal is what will finally make them happy. If we look at what makes people happy throughout the world it’s not any of these things. In my experience and with my travels in Central America, Mexico, Africa and Asia, I have noticed that it is often the people we might consider to be lacking in material wealth that feel the most secure and happy. How can that be?

Once an individual is introduced to the ego-based experiences of owning something or considering something to be “mine,” they will eventually become a slave to desires of the material world and will look to that world to fulfill their sense of self and that includes happiness. Achieving something, receiving something, and having a sense of ownership of it is not happiness, rather, it is a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but never happiness. We must get clear on what happiness really is before we are able to find it.

Happiness is your natural state; it is you, as you are today, naturally connected to that universal life force energy that breathes life into us all.

Once a child tastes the approval of others, acceptance, recognition they will become a slave to it. That child will spend eternity trying to get it again and again. These things pollute the natural state of happiness. When a person does not receive the desired result, suffering ensues. Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying these things are bad. In fact, I believe our consciousness is set up perfectly to provide us opportunities to grow spiritually while we are here on earth. So, there is no judgment involved here, only observation. It is our responsibility to remember who we are and our purpose here. Happiness is the path upon which we walk, when we recognize and experience this, our journey becomes purposeful and meaningful.

Happiness is your natural state; it is you, as you are today, naturally connected to that universal life force energy that breathes life into us all. Happiness is complete surrender to all that is, as it is. Happiness is the unwavering knowing that life is unfolding perfectly and offering you all you need to grow, emotionally and spiritually. Happiness is that connection to your inner wisdom, your higher self, your spirit, etc. That connection will give you everything that you’ve been looking for in another person.

One of my clients came to me with a deep desire for companionship. He had been searching for a partner for over 5 years and was beginning to feel defeated and depressed. Upon question him about his motives for companionship it become clear that he felt lonely and unhappy. We had a discussion about relationships and how the purpose of any relationship is to offer us a mirror, a reflection that will show us where we need to grow. We must get into relationships with a sincere desire to serve our partner. Unfortunately, most people enter into relationships looking to receive something. In this case, he was looking to receive love and to get relief from loneliness.

I suggested to him that he prepare his room for a companion by lighting a candle, putting on some soft, relaxing music and lay in bed, and before going to sleep, imagine his ideal partner laying next to him. I suggested that he use his imagination to connect with those feelings of love, companionship, intimacy and create the security he desired. Initially he seemed skeptical and resisted these suggestions. He said he felt kinda goofy doing all this. We discussed the split happening in his mind. On the one hand, he desired companionship and a sense of intimacy, yet on the other hand, another part of him was reluctant to create it and was convinced he needed another person present to fulfill those desires. He was able to see the conflict and decided he had nothing to lose by giving this a try.

In our next session he stated that he had a breakthrough! He realized something BIG that night. He said it was the first night in many years that he didn’t fall asleep with that deep loneliness chewing at his soul. I asked him to tell me more. He stated that at first he felt like he was making it all up, like a child does when he’s playing with his imagination. But then, as he went deeper, something magical happened. He found himself having a conversation and an experience with another part of himself and this part seemed to know exactly what he needed. He felt soothed by the experience and ultimately realized he didn’t actually need anyone to feel safe secure, connected and happy.

The reality is that you’re seeing people as you are, not as they are. People are a reflection of your perception of you.

You see, he connected with his own inner wisdom. He later told me that he had stopped looking for a partner and wanted to wait until he felt he really could offer that person something substantial within the relationship. His entire perspective had changed, no longer was he seeking to receive from a relationship. He was looking to do more inner work so that he could give to another person. Within a year, his future partner showed up in his life. They have been happily married for the last ten years. 

The reality is that you’re seeing people as you are, not as they are. People are a reflection of your perception of you. This is why we say that we attract like minded people in our relationships. We project on to others what we like dislike about ourselves. If you want a partner with integrity, then you need to cultivate integrity first. If you want a partner who is generous, then you need to develop generosity first. If you want to insure that you have a partner that is awake, then you need to wake up first.

Taking responsibility for our own happiness is the key here. Happiness is not something we need to look for, in something or someone. There is nothing to achieve. Happiness is your natural state. We have learned to become un-natural. Happiness is not the absence of suffering; suffering is also natural.

A student asked a guru, “Have you eliminated suffering since you have become enlightened?”. The guru answered, “Before enlightenment, I was suffering. After enlightenment, I am still suffering.”

“What? How does this make sense?” the student replied.

The guru responded, “Enlightenment does not mean that we do not suffer. It only means that I am not attached to the suffering. I watch the thoughts and the experience like clouds. Clouds always change, move, transform and disappear. The tone of suffering changes, it is not unpleasant and my response to it deepens my understanding of life and for that, I am grateful.”

Today you are the clouds, tomorrow you will be the sky. Observe without judgement and listen for the message. All your suffering contains a message specific to you.

Suffering cannot be defined by our current definition of it when we are detached from it. It is simply a natural sensation. The difference is that we are not attached to feeling a certain way, yet we are aware of how we feel and learn to respond, direct and focus our attention on those things that bring us peace. We are creative in finding ways to connect to our inner wisdom whenever we feel off or out of balance. We are mindful that our ego loves to take charge and create challenges for us.

The source of your suffering is your programming, nothing more. If you lived in a pure natural state, you would remember who you are, where you are going and how you are going to get there. The path would be clear and you would be able to negotiate anything that you encounter with ease and grace, Instead, you push too hard, you fight for our future, and you insist to look for happiness externally because you do not know how to create it within. You are asleep!

Today you are the clouds, tomorrow you will be the sky. Observe without judgement and listen for the message. All your suffering contains a message specific to you.

It’s time to wake up! It’s time to remember who you are, what you’re here for and what you’re capable of. It’s time for you to unlearn most of what you have learned. So STOP IT! Stop trying so hard. Stop trying to impress others, Stop trying to get recognition. Stop trying to achieve success. Stop trying to be significant. Stop searching outside yourself for happiness.

Watch this video on how to “Stop It!” by one of my favorite comedians, Bob Newhart:

Funny right? Well, yes it is, but that’s not the point. The message there was simple. It’s simple to change when you finally decide that you’re changing and you commit to the process of change. The questions is when? When will you be ready? Time is moving and you cannot get any of it back. Would it be fair to say that you’ve wasted a lot of your time here on earth with things that never helped you experience happiness?

Change requires two things, time and practice. It took time and you put into practice all those thoughts that got you to where you’re at now. The good news is that it will not take as long to change as it did for you to get to where you are at now. Here’s a hint…

“Know that things can change in an instant
and cultivate the patience to wait forever.”

Think about this statement and if you really understand it, you will be in a state of mind that is fertile for transformation today, not tomorrow, but right now. Get it? 😉 I’ve been reminding myself of this for years and every time I do I cultivate more patience, compassion and tolerance for myself. 

We are born and open book and ready to learn. Life is our book and up until the age of 7 or 8, our environment is writing our chapters. We have been learning about life from observing our parents, teachers, community leaders, etc. We have added many things to our programming by this age and created a lens through which we see the world. By the time we are a teenager we have become delusional and are making decisions through that lens that will affect the next chapters of our lives. As we grow older we may choose to drop our delusions and become more clear on how it is that we arrived where we are. Only then can we begin to make new choices and write the next chapters on our own.

The key to happiness is understanding that we are naturally happy and we must let go of things we’ve aded to our programming, rather than continue to add more things. We must drop our delusions and learn to surrender to the fact that we are on a journey of self awareness and recognize that takes time; you have your whole life to practice this. Its not a race and there is no finish line so enjoy the journey! 

Action Item:

I encourage you to become crystal clear on what you want in your life; in both our inner and outer worlds. We must become intentional and strategic when writing our chapters in the book of life. If not, one day, you’ll wonder what happened as life passed you by. 

The great tragedy of life lies not in how much we suffer,
but in how much we miss.”

Thomas Carlyle

Take some time and write down those things that you would like to change in your life. Next to each one, write the answer to this question: What for? Not why, but rather what for? What is the purpose of your desire to change this particular thing? What are you looking to achieve?

Next, write down all those things you want in your life, both material and spiritual. Again, next to each item, write the answer to this question: What for? What is the purpose for gaining or having this? How will it benefit you? How will it benefit others?

I will end with these two points:

  1. Ask yourself, “Who Am I? Where Am I Going? How Will I Get There?”
    If we ask ourselves these three questions often, we will find that they inspire us to look at our perception of who we are, encourage us to look inward, align with our values, create a strategy and move forward with purpose and intention.
  2. Integrate the concept of serving others into your life journey. When we focus on serving others we insure our own happiness. We are wired to feel good when we serve others so find creative ways to be of service to other people and you have discovered a sure fire way to stay purposeful, aware, awake and create a meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Have fun on the journey and know that you are not the only one. We are all here to awaken. Life is full of distractions so keep your eye on that prize and enjoy the ride!

– Martin Klabunde 

PS…. If you didn’t already recognize it, true happiness is a synonym for inner peace. Click HERE to read another article I wrote on inner peace.

If you want support on your journey, please reach out to me. As a transformational coach, my role is to support you on your journey of inner transformation by providing you reflections, tools and resources that will help you utilize your experiences in a way that allows you to raise your consciousness, expand your awareness, release any inner or outer blocks and create a strategy to move forward.

Transformational coaching is a philosophy that embodies the whole being of the client. It rests on the idea that we have all the answers we are looking for within us and when we tap into that vast pool of inner wisdom, we develop an inner knowing (our intuition) that guides us on our journey. It facilitates an internal energetic process that supports the client in developing greater self-awareness and overcome inner and outer blocks by examining their values, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and actions.

© 2020 by Martin Klabunde / Collective Awakening LLC

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