Photographer: Francesco Marino
We expect things, we feel entitled…our ego's shout, "I should have this or that…now!"
I know half of the people in India don't have a roof over their head, they sleep outside, unprotected from the rain.
Ego: I want to monetize my blog.
If you have an income of at least $3 a day, you are better off than 1/3 of planet. Even after hubs lost his job, in less than a year, we've bounced back even better than before.
Ego: I want more subscribers and better statistics.
If you have a refrigerator, electricity, food, a phone…half of the people on the planet don’t have these things.
Ego: I want a new laptop and iPod.
Take a minute now and notice what you have that people in third world countries do not. They are happy with a pair of shoes.
Our problem is we're never satisfied. We always want more and when we get it, our ego moves the line.
We're never satisfied for very long. We continue to look for the next best thing.
When we fill ourselves with gratitude and appreciation, we can be joyful now. We can be generous now. We can live in the moment now. All of our needs are met.
I think happiness depends on external things. Joy comes from within, our soul.
The following is an exercise from the Institute of Heart Math that I was taught in a Jack Canfield seminar. I'm putting my own twist on the end of it.
It's called appreciation breathing or breathe into your heart.
Locate your heart, just left of the middle of your chest. Now close your eyes.
Imagine your nose and mouth are located in your heart, in the middle of your chest.
Next inhale through your heart and exhale right below your heart.
Inhale slowly, count silently to yourself as you lengthen your breath…1-2-3-4-5 breathing in and lengthening your breath.
Next exhale, counting silently 1-2-3-4-5 lengthening your breath below your heart.
Now think of who or what you love: your spouse, child, music, dog, cat or a parent.
You want to feel the love…like when you’re watching a small child in bed sleeping and you’re filled with appreciation for the joy the child brings into your life.
Feel it, get that higher level of feeling and think of a balloon. Begin expanding your heart like a balloon , inhale and fill it with love…blow in and fill the balloon.
Then pinch off balloon so it won’t come out as you exhale. Do this breathing in and out into your heart, expanding your heart and filling it with the love you feel for what or whom you have chosen.
The original ending from Heart Math requires you to focus on a vision, dream or your desires when you're in the altered state of love.
Keep breathing in and out, lengthening the breath in your heart while visualizing how your life will change and what it will look like if you take action.
Because of our never ending desire for more, I've changed the ending.
When I'm in the altered state of love, I see a vision of love and basic needs being met for everyone in the world. This takes me out of my greed and ego state.
Another change you can make is instead of seeing a person, animal or object you love you could envision all of humanity.
This change, I've added, reminds me it's not "all about me." We are interconnected.
A man went to a family counselor and explained that he deserved to have his child because he could give said child so much – a nice house, property, material comforts and lifestyles. The child would be happy.
At no time did he mention love, nurturing, care, support… laughter… affection. Sometimes I wonder just how we arrived where we are today and our thinking that money and the material are our highest priorities.
I have read that there are societies in different parts of the world (far less affluent than the US) that have a greater number of people who are happy. They have less and yet, they are happier than we are, in general. It seems that we have so much that we forgot that perhaps what it is we left behind was what we seek in our attempt to buy everything we can… the community, the “village” the family time, the rituals of aging and maturing… the focus on meeting the primary needs…
Wonderful and powerful post.