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Archive for March, 2011


If you’re struggling with how to define your life beyond material goods, Deepak Chopra has seven ways for you to make the shift, once and for all, to a purpose-driven life and authentic happiness.

One of the most positive ways to live is to look on every obstacle as a hidden opportunity. This holiday season poses huge challenges for those among us who have lost their jobs or feel financially insecure. Even if you don’t fall into that category, the evening news brings worries on many fronts, from the deficit to terrorism. I’d like to propose that there is a common problem in all these things that you can turn into an opportunity.

The problem is how to be happy.

Right now, the American way of life defines happiness along lines that are quickly being outmoded:

You will be happy if you consume as much as possible.

You will be happy if you have money, the more the better.

You will be happy if you can distract yourself with video games, television, the Internet and movies .

You will be happy if you fall in love with “the right one” and raise a family in a house you own paid for by a secure job.

The current economic downturn has affected all these factors, and even before it happened, high divorce rates were undermining the traditional model of the American family, moving from job to job was becoming increasingly common and rates of depression, anxiety and drug use continued to soar. As a background to all these things, stress is rising in everyone’s life.

Instead of ignoring these trends, why not go to the root of the problem, which is that we need a new way of being happy. What do divorce, terrorism, unemployment and buying big-screen TVs have in common? They all show that happiness can be taken away, because when you depend on anything outside yourself to make you happy, your happiness is vulnerable.

A new way to be happy would be based on the following new principles:

1. Life has a purpose. When you live up to that purpose, inner happiness develops.

2. Inner happiness can’t be taken away .

3. In place of consumerism, you can base everyday happiness on relationships .

4. In place of distractions, you can fill your time with activities that make your heart grow .

5. You can find a place beyond fear that crises and anxiety cannot touch .

6. You can find a place of peace that stress cannot wear out .

7. Wellness will make your body happy .

If people took at a look at their lives and made real attempts to follow these seven principles, a new kind of happiness would be born that no one can take away. Let me go through each point briefly.

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The greatest goal you can set this year is to make peace with your life, no matter your circumstances. These 10 powerful insights from Eckhart Tolle will get you started.

Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle

  1. Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it.
  2. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, “I am ruined” is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering.
  3. See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.
  4. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment.
  5. Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.
  6. People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time.
  7. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.
  8. Equating the physical body with “I,” the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body’s condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily.
  9. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.
  10. If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.

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