“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
Strange isn’t it… we have so much, and yet no one is happy. It’s as if we have forgotten how to be happy. I have been pondering this topic lately because there seems to me to be a correlation between the Goodness philosophy and an ability to enjoy life. Here’s what I mean. In America we have profound privileges and advantages that most people never know, yet nearly everyone you meet is in need of an anti-depressant. Then there are third world nations where the people have virtually nothing, and still they seem to manage to hold on to some degree of happiness. Somehow they know how to enjoy their life. There is a childlike ability in some people to be receptive and grateful for what is available.
In the world of Goodness, we talk a lot about your Nest – the space where your heart lives. We also talk about things that make your nest safe, strong, and cozy. We know that if your inner nest space is not healthy, then no matter how much you have or achieve, you will not be able to enjoy happiness. A large part of what we focus on at SaveGoodness is how to care for your heart by caring for your nest. There are some key elements to nest care that are vital. We know that you need to seek: Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life-Giving Things every day to build and maintain a healthy nest. You have to remove “toxic twigs” or the things that make your inner life unhealthy like: shame, bitterness, fear, and anger. We also encourage living in the present – being aware and connected in this very moment. We have found that forming these habits make it much easier to enjoy daily life because your heart is getting what it needs. When done consistently, they begin to awaken the sensors in you that read enjoyment and satisfaction.
(Theory: Is it possible that our overindulgent synthetic American lifestyles consisting of: sensory overload, constant busyness, over-commitment, unrealistic expectations, computer generated false realities, and no stillness have overwhelmed the receptors that facilitate true enjoyment of life? Could the false world we live in be inhibiting our ability to feel truly satisfied? Something to consider…)
So is it possible? Can we make Happiness? I believe we can, and here’s how!
1. Become aware of your Nest. Get to know that condition of your inner life. Hint: If you are constantly busy and running yourself in circles, then you probably have a nest issue that you are avoiding. Take a long look at yourself and see what needs to stay and what needs to go from your nest. (Read the free download: A Field Guide to Goodness for more info) Work on making this space your priority for a while. Start to tenderly care for the inner you. It is just as important as the outer you.
2. Become aware of this Very Moment. Begin the discipline of living in the moment. Focus yourself on NOW. Calm yourself from the scattered frantic sense that you are being chased, or that the rug will soon be pulled out from under you – and just breathe. Sit still in this moment and realize that at this very second you are here, breathing, living, and let the goodness of this moment meet you. This step is imperative to accomplish the next.
3. Seek Beauty, Trueness, Love, and Life-Giving Things Every day. You must feed your soul just like you feed your body. Most of us suffer from starving souls. We run around trying to fill ourselves up and satisfy ourselves with things that are the equivalent of Cotton Candy for the soul. Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life-Giving Things are nutrition for the soul – vital to your survival!! To take them in you must be able to be in the moment. You must be able to stop and appreciate the beauty around you, discern what is true and real, let love in, and give yourself permission to do things that are life-giving for you.
4. Retrain your receptors to receive real Enjoyment that Satisfies. Remember – It is not what we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness. Most of us have gone so long without feeding our souls nutritional “food” that we have lost touch with what we truly enjoy – what truly satisfies. We take off time for vacation but we are so tired that we can’t enjoy it, or we think that “getting away” is the only source of relief. In reality, we must have small doses of enjoyment that satisfy us every day. We must know what feeds our soul and take time for it. True enjoyment leaves you feeling satisfied and at peace or joyful. We must retrain ourselves with things that are real. We can’t have soul “fast food” every day and expect to have any kind of health. True pleasure and enjoyment are rooted in the soul and are the only source of real happiness.
Think about ways you can begin to incorporate these steps into your life. Don’t be fooled by counterfeits like entertainment (which is 90% distraction and only 10% pleasure). Find the real sources of enjoyment for you – the things that truly satisfy, and make them part of your life. Don’t confuse a quick fix with true enjoyment. A candy bar might taste good for a moment but will not truly satisfy you. It will actually only prolong the real need to be fed that your body expresses as hunger. Similarly, your soul longs for satisfaction that TV, Facebook, and the busy schedule you keep will not satisfy. Beauty, Trueness, Love, and Life-Giving things WILL satisfy your soul! Will you arrest them for yourself? Will you stop to really taste, smell, see and feel the wonder that is around you every day? It is there for your happiness.
Here is the story of a man, Rob Ryan, who I believe is doing that – living from his heart, in the moment, in a real world where he is always looking for inspiration.
Pursue true happiness. Follow these 4 steps to feed your soul!