When I backpacked around the world a few years ago, I found a lot of people travelling who were not just young kids on a ‘gap’ year out to have fun, but people on a mission, with a purpose. Each time I met someone new, and I met loads, I asked why they were travelling? I got lots of answers: I’m travelling to find myself; to find out who I really am; to find a simpler way of life; to find happiness; to see what different cultures can teach me about living; I’m seeking a more spiritual path; to get away from my miserable life…After a while I realised the answers were all the same. The ‘seekers’ felt they had lost something and were out to find it. They were travelling thousands of miles in search of a feeling. They wanted to feel good for no good reason. Wanted to feel happy. Complete.
Truth is it was never ‘out there’, but always inside. People are born complete, and if you’ve ever seen a baby smile back at you, you see happiness already in them. Humans have innate mental health. Unfortunately, we cover it over with so many ‘lessons’, we forget our essential selves. We’re like an onion with many layers covering up what is true for every single one of us – that we are amazing, awesome sparks of energy.
It’s our thinking that creates feelings of loss, despair and anger, grief and hate. That, I believe, is why people who meditate, and in effect stop actively following a train of thoughts, feel calmer, more peaceful and live longer. They are returning to their innate happiness or Grace.
Thinking isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you do. If your thoughts are anxious and worrisome it will affect your feelings and behaviour just as much as when you think in happy, carefree, or positive ways. Your thoughts and the feelings they generate will affect your physiology too. Which do you choose? A thought often repeated tends to become a belief – you have entrained your mind. If you think you are lost or will never be happy or are not good enough, and keep repeating that thought every time something happens, it can become a limiting belief. You stop doing new stuff and learning because you believe you are forever lost or unhappy. An erroneous belief starts to form – even if you did something different, you probably wouldn’t do it perfectly anyway. You have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Well, I choose to start something just a little bit scary, just a little bit out of my comfort zone, something that keeps feelings of excitement and joy, circling round my system. I did it when I decided to go travelling for a year, and I’m doing it again now. I have everything inside me I need. What are you going to do today?