Life is multiple experiences on a continuum, where each experience is slightly different from the one after it and yet, the extremes are apparent opposite to one another.
Chasing elusive happiness:
Do you have reasons to be happy? Do you keep reminders to be happy? Do you often wonder how to be happy always? As we all grow, we are taught to pursue happiness. These thoughts exist, because we are made to believe that at an esoteric level, the purpose of life is to achieve happiness one day at a time! This thinking evades other experiences that make us complete. The frustration of chasing elusive happiness and then not achieving it makes us sad.
We would like to unravel a new quest, as soul travelers – what if happiness was only an experience on a CONTINUUM?
CONTINUUM is a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct.
The MIND HOUSE. Come, let’s explore the rooms:
I spent my childhood vacations at my grandparents’ ancestral home. It was a spacious mansion with multiple rooms, high ceilings. The doors folded both ways inside to an old-fashioned latch that ran through the middle. Each room served a different purpose for the family, and people visited different rooms as per their moods, and yet at the end of day came back to the room that felt most at home, rested, belonged, and happy to retire. There was a center courtyard, where the family gathered around to celebrate conversations.
Now imagine, what if living in our mind was just like living in a spacious home. Each element of the CONTINUUM as rooms of a spacious home called the Mind House. Sometimes, we may get stuck in one room losing the mental flexibility to move to other rooms.
We urge each of you to ask a question:
- Are you aware, which room you occupy currently?
- What brought you (triggered you) to this room?
- What is keeping you in it (or why you are continuing to stay in this room)?
Money, fame, productivity and many such pseudo drivers are the key influencers in our lives. The pursuit of these in the facade of attaining happiness is deceptive. Freedom and beauty are, to be aware of the room you are in, experience of being in that room and then ability to adapt to the new room with time. In the context of HAPPINESS CONTINUUM, instead of oscillating between the two extremes, journey is to be in the center of the CONTINUUM for as long as possible.
We get this adaptability when we focus on ourselves without the external distractions (people and digital devices), that allows us to flow instead of getting stuck and be rigid. How do we then increase our self-awareness to build mental fitness, and flexibly to help us oscillate in the center of the HAPPINESS CONTINUUM? Our understanding is that, happiness is one of the experiences on the continuum, and our journey is about relishing all the experiences on the continuum without the exclusion or avoidance of any.
Let us build the MIND HOUSE:
Each of us has a favorite spot or location in our house where we feel most comfortable. Similarly we have a room in the Mind House too. You may walk to different rooms but there is one room where you feel you belong.
- Building Foundation: Human relationships and belongingness
In life, people are the foundations of feeling of belongingness. You feel belonged and loved only through human relationships at home, community or work place. A sense of belongingness allows us to reprioritize relationships, and place people above success. This is the first step to building mental flexibility.
- Fortifying Pillars: sense of meaning and purpose to life
Individuals are beyond their jobs, or the roles we perform in life. How we contribute to the community truly matters. Becoming aware of our passion then, is the next step towards oscillating in the center of the HAPPINESS CONTINUUM. This also provides the mental strength to sustain during difficult times.
- View from the roof: Transcendence
The mental flexibility to come out of all the rooms and see life from an aerial view gives clarity and perspective. When you look at life from an elevated perspective, you become aware of the narrative you are telling yourself. It makes you grateful for not being a victim of the past. You are what you tell yourself – a storyteller of your life to yourself and the world.
Hence, the journey on the HAPPINESS CONTINUUM may feel like a roller coaster ride but the beauty of the experience lies in trusting the safety mechanisms developed along the way and hold on to the iron bars with assurance that, you were meant to enjoy the fun of the ride.
At MIND CELEBRATIONS, we hope you treasure and celebrate your mind each day proactively.
About the Author:
Dr Kanan Khatau Chikhal is a Psychologist and an Executive Coach with more than 20 years of experience and assisting 10,000 plus clients in her practicing career. She is the cofounder of MIND CELEBRATIONS, a pioneering PROACTIVE MENTAL HEALTHCARE concept which helps organizations and individuals to build daily rituals to be happy and fit in every way. For measuring and auditing current Mental Fitness levels of yourself/teams/organizations, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.