Tag Archives: Success

Love, Happiness and Stillness

8 May

I don’t know about you, but I need an excuse before I can ‘allow myself’ to do nothing – a cold, a broken computer, a problem with the transport. Paradoxically, these problems transform themselves into miracles as I think “Wow, I can spend the whole day doing nothing; I can spend the whole day just reading!”

Like most Westerners, I fill my days with many tasks and activities. And, unfortunately, like many Westerners, I am active because I feel like I should be active. I prioritise what I believe I should do, and not what I would like to do (and please note that should is not equal to must). I am like a wind-up toy: I can be Superwoman for a week, only to lose my powers and go back to being a drained zombie thereafter. I used to feel bad for not being able to keep my energy up, yet it’s hardly surprising considering that my energy is spent on things that give me no joy or fulfillment in return.

I know that I am not the only one in this situation. Many Westerners overwork, give themselves task upon task to do and prioritise action above all else. We are all driven by different motives, but I believe that our main motive is the yearning for love. We all want to be loved, and society now says that to be loved you need to be successful, rich and important. So we spend our time and energy doing tasks that will earn us more money and therefore more status and more recognition, with the false idea that these will bring love and happiness into our lives.

But isn’t it ironic that we are too ashamed to admit openly that what we seek is love and happiness? We rarely get straight to the point by doing something that would directly and immediately create love and happiness.

A home-made meal for two, an afternoon on the sofa with a book, a walk in the woods, an evening playing Pictionary with family, a hand-made card, a bright dress, making collages with friends, redecorating the house, drinking wine on the balcony, dancing in your bedroom…

Our capitalist world has made us believe that love and happiness can only come about from wealth and success, and therefore, from hard-work. Yet wealth and success count little for love and happiness.

Love and happiness are right in front of us.

In order to notice them, all we need to do is stop moving, stop rushing, stop doing.

Through stillness we will come to understand that happiness and love are not goals or ends, but states of being – here and now.

“When you rest in quietness and your image of yourself fades, and your image of the world fades, and your ideas of others fade, what’s left? A brightness, a radiant emptiness that is simply what you are.” ~ Adyashanti

God is 100% with You

7 Jan

This is the first time in a very long time that I have been so excited.
It is the excitement of making the right decision.
It is the excitement of letting my heart make a decision.

Suddenly, life takes on a new meaning.
Suddenly, the day has a purpose.

This is the first time in a very long time that I have felt so joyful.
It is the joy of knowing that success is guaranteed.

Because when your soul is 100% in it, God is 100% with you.

Good is Good Enough

17 Dec

We are all, to some extent, scared of failure. But what is the worst that can happen if we fail? And do we actually exaggerate what we call ‘failure’ and what we call ‘success’?

Today I made a cake for my creative writing group. It was the first time that I’d tried the recipe and, when the cake was baked, it tasted slightly….funny. I wondered whether I should even take it to the class: “I’d be so embarrassed if my class-mates don’t like it”, I thought to myself.

Encouraged by my partner, I took my funny cake into the class despite my fears. Throughout the lesson I imagined my classmates screwing up their faces as they put the first spoonful into their mouths. I concentrated fiercely on the writing in front of me once everyone had a little slice on a plastic plate and were chewing the first pieces of prunes and oats and coconut.

“It’s a really nice cake!” my teacher said suddenly.

“Really good!” echoed my classmate, with a mouthful between her cheeks.

“Mm, I really like it”, replied someone else.

“Very original”, piped in a third person.

I was flattered by the compliments, but knew that they could have simply been polite comments. So I couldn’t believe it when my classmates asked enthusiastically for a second serving. It turned out that this funny failed cake was actually a success!

Despite having baked the cake with love and the positive thought of sharing something with people that I treasure, I was afraid that the cake would not be ‘good enough’. I was afraid that my classmates would forever remember me as an awful cook, and I preferred not to take the risk by not sharing the cake at all.

My cake wasn’t perfect, but it was good, and it brought a lot of joy and pleasure to the people with whom I shared it…and to me, too. Had I left it at home, as I had wanted to, I would have been judging my creation through my own critical eyes without even giving myself the chance to share it with others. I would have never found out that the cake was actually not that bad, and I would have been miserable for thinking that I made something rubbish.

And what if the cake had really been a failure? What is the worst that could have happened? My classmates would have finished their slices politely and left the class forgetting all about it. Not so dramatic now, is it? Not quite the end of the world that I imagined.

We often exaggerate what we call failure and what we call success. We often expect our work and our creations to be perfect, considering them failures if they are not. But ‘good’ is a success, too.

If we try our best and put our heart into something, can we even fail?

Go on, share that burnt biscuit or that unfinished poem with a friend. I assure you – they will be the happier for it.