Redefining Happiness with Meditation
You've planned out your life perfectly. You've made all the right choices, calculating each move like a seasoned chess player. By all standards, you are a success. But somehow, life didn’t turn out exactly as you planned. Underneath lie feelings of dissatisfaction, with a yearning for something more. You have a beautiful home, a loving family, and the successful job that dreams are made of. Yet, there is still something missing—like a thirst you just can't quench.
The best-kept secret: Happiness, it isn't "out there."
It's been within you the entire time.
The solution to finding happiness may be simpler than you’d think. You've worked to attain external winnings your entire life. You've listened to others—and focused on the goals that culture has defined as the road to happiness. Emotions surged each time a goal was achieved—but the elation was fleeting. When it left, you found yourself feeling emotionally empty, so you began to plan your next happiness "fix”—and so the cycle continues. Can we find the fulfillment we crave? Will we ever find true contentment and happiness?
Shining the light within
The answer to happiness isn’t "out there." It's right here within us. Our fast-paced culture has done us a disservice. Our focus should be on cultivating ourselves within. This shift to an "internal" focus will encourage personal growth, develop richer relationships, and lead us to appreciate each moment we have in this life. Happiness lies in the gratitude of ‘what is.’ Learn to appreciate your life in the present.
How does one begin to make this shift?
The good news is happiness is within reach; it's closer than you could ever imagine. Happiness rests and resides within you, deep in the core of your being. Waiting quietly, patiently, until you awaken to the "fullness" of your potential. Happiness is being in tune with your authentic "Self." Happiness is found in the pause, the calm, and the stillness of meditation. With practice, meditation becomes the beacon of light that guides us to discover our true north, our higher purpose.
"May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“It's like having your own private pool of tranquility,” and you can go there any time you wish. Meditation takes you to a place of perspective and balance. It delivers a feeling of full and rich contentment each and every day.
Meditation offers individuals a newfound objectivity and the ability to cope with stress in a more positive way. The negative impact of stress is diminished. With meditation, we recover with greater ease.
Studies confirm that after eight weeks of daily meditation practice, the gray matter of the “learning and memory center” of the brain actually grows, while at the same time, the area of the brain related to “stress” shrinks in volume.
Further studies indicate that brain activity in the frontal lobe of meditators shifts to the opposite, more relaxed, compassionate side of the brain. This structural brain health coupled with lowered levels of the stress hormone “cortisol” can interpret to better moods and lessened depression.
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If you’re looking for a reason to include a meditation practice in your daily routine, there are hundreds of studies that prove varying aspects of mind-body-spirit wellness. My advice is to begin a program for these four simple reasons—you’ll become healthier, happier, calmer, and nicer. As my good friend once said, “Meditation offers the best version of YOU.”
Written June 27, 2016 - Posted June 1, 2017
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