Those of you who have been part of the Shamanic Soul Center community for a while know that I am a big fan of dreaming BIG. I’m also a huge fan of transformation. The two go hand in hand for me. When we have a vision of what is possible, a vision of what our hearts and souls yearn for, we want to transform a present day reality in order to realize that dream/vision.
It’s a wonderful process. Sometimes it can be very demanding and challenging because it strips away layers of beliefs, patterns and ego that no longer serve us. But it can also be beautiful because in the process, we become better versions of ourselves and experience the great rewards of spiritual growth.
A problem that can arise in the process of change/growth is that we put our happiness on hold and make it contingent on the end result of our efforts. So, for example, we think we’ll be happy when we have that beautiful relationship our hearts long for, or when we have that dream job we’ve been working towards, or when we have a certain amount of money in the bank, or when we get the healthy/fit body we want, or when we move into our new home, etc.
The two problems with this approach are that we make our internal state of being dependent on external factors and that we wait for some point in the future to experience positive feelings. Thus, happiness is often just around the corner, or if it’s here, it’s fleeting and dependent on things outside of our control.
We don't have to fall into the trap of waiting for some elusive and fleeting state of future happiness. There is a simple and effective solution to this problem.
What is that solution?
It’s to focus on cultivating joy in the present moment and stop chasing a future state of happiness. We may think of joy and happiness as being pretty synonymous, but there is a big difference between them. Joy (as opposed to happiness) is an internal state that we can cultivate with practice and self-awareness.
Joy consists of opening our hearts and appreciating all the beautiful blessings that we already have in our lives. It’s enjoying the little moments that we often rush past on our way to tomorrow. It’s accepting what is with grace even as we dream of a better tomorrow. It’s looking at ourselves, our lives and the world around us with wonder and awe…because it all truly is miraculous when we stop to think about it.
Joy is not dependent on external factors and it can be experienced at any moment. Being in a state of joy is simply a muscle we develop. The more we practice it, the stronger it gets, and the more of it we can enjoy.
So, my invitation to you is not to stop dreaming or to stop going after your dreams with all your heart. It’s to stop chasing a fleeting happiness that’s dependent on some external factor.
Instead, I invite you to choose to welcome greater joy and appreciation into your life right here, right now…even as you move towards transforming some aspect of your reality. In doing so, you truly get to enjoy every step of the journey instead of waiting to get to the destination to be happy.