The answer to happiness and personal fulfilment

by Richard Sumner on May 13, 2011

‘Self esteem is the life force of personality, and if it is suppressed or diminished so is the person.’ John Whitmore in Coaching for Performance.

I chose this quote as the message really resonated with me. Self belief.. and self esteem seem so essential to our sense of well being, happiness and creating a positive can do attitude which in turn generates many positive outcomes for ourselves. And yet we do so seem to struggle with and get weighed down with our sense of worth. By doing so it seems we rob ourselves of our good mental health, wealth and happiness. This was summed up brilliantly by someone I met yesterday who shared with me ‘I have a lot to offer and yet I am standing in my own way!’ We hold the key to creating our own world and then we do nothing with it, because we do nothing about the way we feel about ourselves. Is that because we feel much more comfortable with battling with our feelings of low self esteem and confidence? As Marianne Williamson says about ‘Our Deepest Fear’ in her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’

I recently went to a day of mindfulness meditation (at a Zendo centre in London) and I am listening to the question/statement “of course in the West the norm for our cultural mindset comes from ‘…Underneath it all ‘ I don’t really like myself’ I am not good enough’ ‘clever enough’….’thin enough’…. ‘confident enough’…. Really Just Not Enough.!! If only I could earn more, lose weight, look better… then I could find happiness.

Luckily the answer to this fundamentally huge all pervasive problem of not only not loving ourselves but even having some difficulty at times liking ourselves all that much is wonderfully simple …. all we have to do is nothing. We have to do nothing on a really regular basis, this is helped by a great deal of practice preferably twice a day morning and night.

Having been introduced to mindfulness meditation a few years ago, having done a course in it, even practiced regularly from time to time I am not unfamiliar with the solution to personal freedom and happiness being this artfully simple solution of doing nothing. However it appears, (and there have been many great books written on the subject) we human beings find this incredibly difficult, ‘we suck at keeping it simple!’ We really excel in complicating, creating fuss, doing drama… thinking… worrying…. stressing….. and my aren’t we far too busy to do nothing!

Can it really be that simple? That all we have to do is accept ourselves the way we are? Accept that there is nothing to fix? And then proceed to do nothing?

Really if the answer to happiness and personal freedom is this simple why is it so difficult? But it seems that but every time I am stop trying I am already there.

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