The Art of Feeling Good

Today I woke up with a song playing in my head. This is the song:

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 As it’s my bad habit to think too much about everything, I did it again and I thought a little bit more about this, just in case there was an opportunity here to learn something new about myself. Why this song? Why today?

What I realized was that it’s part of a theme I’ve been actually pondering upon for some time now. Where does “feeling good“, “being happy“, “living life to the fullest” really come from? Does it come from outside of us?

Lately I have started stumbling upon more and more resources pointing out that the answer lies within, not outside of us. That, in itself, is nothing new. What was new to me was the idea that if you want to reach that source of inner joy and peace, you first have to gather the courage to confront yourself with all your negative emotions – sorrow, fear, rage, sadness, despair, guilt –  live through them instead of running away from them or drowning up in them.

I am now reading a book by Richard Moss, a doctor turned visionary thinker and teacher. The book is called “The Mandala of Being – Discovering the Power of Awarenes“. It basically analyzes where we go when we run away from ourselves. And he says there are 4 places where our minds take us – the past, the future, the notion of “me” and the notion of “you”. This he calls “the mandala of being”. At the center of it is “Now” or “the Beginning”.

There is a wonderful metaphor he uses, that really helped me understand what he means when he says we are all more than our memories of the past, our hopes for the future, or our judgements about ourselves and others. The metaphor goes like this:

All our thoughts and feelings are like kites in the sky. They fly on the sky of our beings. And we live through each day thinking that a kite or another is US. In fact, we should be wondering who is the one holding the strings to that kite. 

If, for example, you are sad about someone in your life disappointing you or your life not going the way you want it to, it makes sense to imagine that sadness is a new kite flying on your sky. But since you are able to observe that sadness, it means YOU are not the kite. YOU, the real YOU, is just someone holding the string.

It’s a bit philosophical, and it’s almost impossible to describe in words who that “real ME” actually is. What is obvious though is that, although ME includes all the kites flying around in my life, I am NOT any of those kites.

What Moss suggests we do, is to start observing the stories we tell ourselves. Stories such as “I am not good enough”, “I have made a mistake”, “I need people to like me”, “I depend on others to be happy” and many more. And then we might start to analyze where those stories take us – do they take us in the past – regretting things we did or didn’t do; do they take us to the future – worrying about what is to come or setting high hopes for our future happiness; or do they take us into some sort of judgement about ourselves or about others? Wherever our stories may take us, they surely take us away from the present moment.

The NOW moment, Moss suggests, is the only real thing we can count on. It is the place were we can always come back to in order to find our true selves. It is the place where, if we learn how to stay there, we can find all the joy and peace we have spent so much energy looking for in other places.

NOW may well hold the secret to the art of truly feeling good and at peace.

But to learn how to “seize the moment”, “live in the present” – we need to gather the courage to confront all those negative “kites” flying around in our sky, look at them and recognize them for what they really are – a feeling, an emotion, a thought – not ME!

That being said, I invite you to find your own kites, look at them for what they truly are and then learn to come back to the NOW, to the beginning of yourselves, to that place where you are whole.

I am trying hard to make this conscious exercise and I’m finding new meanings for “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life”. I’d be glad if you shared your own experience of this. Perhaps we can help each other learn to live more in the NOW and less in some random kite on the sky of our beings.

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