She drew an oval loop like the one I have pictured above. She described that during life you are continuously traveling around the loop. You'll encounter good experiences at the top of the loop, and unpleasant or negative experiences at the bottom of the loop. Her contention was that throughout this loop of life, that it was impossible to sustain happiness, but possible to sustain peace. An interesting thought. It seems to me that they both take a lot of awareness and conscious effort to consistently sustain, but that it is possible to sustain them both a majority of the time.
For me, it's simply not acceptable to just live in peace as a goal. It seems to me that I could be peacefully stuck in the bottom of the loop. I could be peacefully stuck in a depressive state, I could be at peace to a certain degree with the negativity. For me, it's about not getting stuck in the muck and being peaceful at the same time. For me, it's how do I move myself through this experience as gracefully, as productively, and as swiftly as possible? For me, there's a duality involved...maintain my peace as a goal, but sustaining my happiness is also a goal.
This view of happiness as being dependent upon a set of circumstances is an outdated view. Positive psychology has proven that not only is it possible to sustain happiness, but that there is a huge advantage to sustaining happiness and positivity. Scientists have also determined that your happiness is only 10% based upon external factors, 90% is based upon how your brain processes. So, when you are in the bottom of the loop, just like with peace, your happiness will be more dependent on how your brain processes the experience.
ALL of these things are a choice. A choice as to what your goal is for your life and what your intention is for your life. They all take awareness and a conscious decision and choice whether it be peace, or happiness, or love, or gratitude, or forgiveness, or compassion, they are all a choice.
Certainly there are cycles to life, we've all witnessed the ebb and flow, but is peace enough to have as a daily goal? Personally, I choose to be happy, to be positive, to be optimistic and for so many reasons. First of all, it just feels better and secondly there are proven amazing benefits to my health, my productivity, my creativity, my relationships, my success.
Peace is an awesome intention, but I desire for more. It's not satisfactory, to me, to set my daily intention as one of only peace, that's not good enough for me, I want more. I choose to set my daily intention for peace and happiness. And while I'm at it, I choose to set my daily intention for love, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion too. It's a tall order yes, but an attainable and sustainable one.
I've heard people lately try to trivialize the notion of being happy. And I question where does that end? Should we then question the idea of being consistently grateful, because how can we be grateful when all these bad things happen in life? Should we question the concept of love, because how can we love when all of these bad things happen? And really what is holding us back? Yes we are human, yes we are flawed, things happen in life, does that mean we need to concede to being stuck in the muck? Does that mean we need to concede to only achieving peace? Does that mean that we shouldn't set our intention on being happy? What does that mean for you?
I believe that there's more fun to be had. I believe in infinite possibilities. I believe that peace and happiness and love and gratitude are all possible. I believe we have a choice as to whether we choose to be positive, or we choose to be negative. What do you think? I would love to hear from you!