Why You Need To Take A Sabbatical From Happiness
Janill Gilbert stashed this in People
Arianna Huffington's Sister!
Agapi Stassinopoulos was born and raised in Athens, Greece. At age 18, she entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and afterward became a member of the Young Vic. She moved to the U.S. to act, and later went on to earn her Master’s in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. While her sister, Arianna Huffington, was doing research for her book about Greek mythology, Agapi’s love for the gods and goddesses was ignited and led to two books of her own -- Conversations with the Goddesses and Gods and Goddesses in Love -- as well as a one-woman show and a PBS special. Agapi speaks and conducts seminars worldwide empowering others to create the lives they want. She lives in Los Angeles and New York and is a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post. Her new book is titled Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love (Hay House).
The first is to reframe our concept of happiness. The Greek word for the state of happiness is "euphoria," and the noun "euphoros" means the bearer of goodness. One of the fundamental elements to finding euphoria is to be that euphoros -- bearer of goodness -- for yourself and for others. This means radical generosity, starting with yourself.
I have identified seven patterns that cloud your sense of goodness. Take a look and try to identify which one(s) are standing in the way of experiencing your own sense of goodness.
1. Discouragement: When something negative happens in life, you go down the roller coaster of negative thoughts and feel bad about yourself. This blocks good things from happening to you.
2. Guilt: When we do something that we think we shouldn't, and then we let it linger instead of forgiving and letting it go. (Again, blocking you from experiencing your own goodness.)
3. Comparisons to others: Thinking that those around us have a better life, and thus abandoning our own potential. (Nothing good can then happen to us that is "as good.")
4. Making other people responsible for our happiness: (Feeling completely dependent and victimized.)
5. Feelings of unworthiness: (Blocking good things from happening to us, and attracting things that undermine our value.)
6. Judgements: We are our harshest critic and we never feel good enough.
7. Worrying about the future: We think the worst of the unknown future, which then causes us great unhappiness and robs us of the present.
These patterns all boil down to the basic feeling that we are not good. Each one of us must find the cause of this and uproot it. Where did it start? From a very young age, most of us are conditioned to find validation in how we measure in the world and our levels of achievement. We must learn to separate the two. Our goodness is our goodness, and what we do is what we do.
Become aware of what the recurring theme is that denies you that sense of goodness. We must take mental dominion over these negative unconscious patterns. As Pema Chodron says, "You are the sky. Everything else -- it's just the weather." When we get hold of that reality, the light of our goodness will beam high and bright, and the lesser thoughts and patterns will not be able to sustain themselves.
So, let's take a sabbatical from being happy or unhappy. Forget it! It's putting too much pressure on ourselves, and making us very narcissistic and self-absorbed, which is definitely cutting off the circulation to our happiness.
Instead, practice focusing on being the bearer of goodness, regardless of the things you have or don't have, or what happens or doesn't happen to you. You will then become a magnet that attracts good things and people to your life.
If I have this correct, we should seek goodness, not happiness.
Because if we seek goodness, happiness is a consequence.