The Quest for Happiness

by Cheryl Brewster

I have found that the authentic life is a simple life; that awakening into deeper truth, authenticity and simplicity is more about dropping things than it is about gaining them.  The desire to connect even more, from this deepest, most authentic part of my heart is what has emerged over the last year. It comes with a high price and yet no price at all, because the letting go while at first glance seems painful, is in reality the letting go of pain. The price that appears so high in the beginning, cannot compare to the value of what is received or restored.

My attempts to explain my experience are summed up best by one of my favorite authors, Anthony de Mello from his book on Awareness… take a look at what he says here about Happiness:

“Do you want to be happy? Uninterrupted happiness is uncaused. True happiness is uncaused. You cannot make me happy. You are not my happiness. You say to the awakened person, “Why are you happy”? and the awakened person replies, “Why not”? Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why?

Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!

What labels do you have in your life that are not contributing to your happiness? They could be a certain outlook, expectation, assumption, habit, any number of things.  The bottom line is, by dropping this dead weight, happiness emerges. And nothing is more inspiring or contagious than happiness! 

In my intuitive mentorship programs, I stress the importance of the ABC’s of Intuition; become AWARE of the inner wisdom inside, BREATHE it in, and CONNECT to the heart… the same is true of happiness because it’s already here… the power of imagination and enthusiasm expands it even more. So when something challenging or difficult comes up, I encourage the habit of asking the question “What would happiness do in this moment?” The question is brilliant because it surfaces illusions which are in fact delusions to let go of. Try it, you’ll like it! The more I practice this, the easier and more juicy it becomes.

Simple. Authentic. Happy. Awakened.
That easy, that profound, that Wow!

The greatest wealth of all – to know and own one’s self

by Cheryl Brewster

“To give oneself has no meaning unless one possesses oneself. You can give only what you have.”- Albert Camus

This quote reminds me of the power of self love…. we all want to give our best to the world but if our inner critic is having a field day, then we’re not really owning ourselves and our meaning. I find it amazing in my own life and in my clients’ lives that when we come across uncertainty, we can revert to the automatic flight or fight response…. catching ourselves and coming back to the awareness is the process of continued intuitive expansion – letting go of what no longer works, or has outgrown itself. It’s a good thing. May not always feel that way, but it is a good thing. With greater ease, we remember that we can do this, are doing this, as we allow ourselves to find meaning in the midst of uncertainty. Napoleon Hill said that every challenge, obstacle and heartache has an equal or greater benefit. I love that! I’ve always recognized that when I take the time out to really look for the possibility of that benefit, even when it doesn’t feel that way, that I am assigning myself a Meaningful Life…..

The Quest for Happiness

by Cheryl Brewster

I have found that the authentic life is a simple life; that awakening into deeper truth, authenticity and simplicity is more about dropping things than it is about gaining them.  The desire to connect even more, from this deepest, most authentic part of my heart is what has emerged over the last year. It comes with a high price and yet no price at all, because the letting go while at first glance seems painful, is in reality the letting go of pain. The price that appears so high in the beginning, cannot compare to the value of what is received or restored.

My attempts to explain my experience are summed up best by one of my favorite authors, Anthony de Mello from his book on Awareness… take a look at what he says here about Happiness:

“Do you want to be happy? Uninterrupted happiness is uncaused. True happiness is uncaused. You cannot make me happy. You are not my happiness. You say to the awakened person, “Why are you happy”? and the awakened person replies, “Why not”? Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why?

Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!

What labels do you have in your life that are not contributing to your happiness? They could be a certain outlook, expectation, assumption, habit, any number of things.  The bottom line is, by dropping this dead weight, happiness emerges. And nothing is more inspiring or contagious than happiness! 

In my intuitive mentorship programs, I stress the importance of the ABC’s of Intuition; become AWARE of the inner wisdom inside, BREATHE it in, and CONNECT to the heart… the same is true of happiness because it’s already here… the power of imagination and enthusiasm expands it even more. So when something challenging or difficult comes up, I encourage the habit of asking the question “What would happiness do in this moment?” It’s a brilliant question because it aligns with creativity and possibility rather than any avoidance or overwhelm that may be lurking below the surface of our awareness.

The quest for happiness will always be found in the present moment, the only point of power there is.

From Fear to Joy

by Cheryl Brewster

As I was considering story ideas for this article, I had a strong hunch that I needed to talk about overcoming fear and finding joy. However, I was finding myself stuck. How was I to write about fear in a compelling way since I was experiencing a minor state of fear myself in the form of writer’s block? While letting the idea simmer for a few hours as I did other work, the answer came to me in the form of a paramedic and a military bomb expert talking on CBC Radio about dealing with fear. I love how synchronicity always answers the questions that I’m working with!

When we feel fear, it is very real to us and may very well seem like a “life-or-death” decision. So how do people who face fear as part of their jobs deal with it, people who actually have to make life or death decisions? How do they find calm and focus?

The paramedic discussed handling “elevator thoughts”, those worrisome thoughts that she has when going up in an elevator to a response call – as she’s standing still, waiting, noticing her imagination running wild. She explained that such thoughts can cause your body to go into the fight or flight response even before knowing the facts of the situation. This is fear of the unknown and a reactive need to control the outcome. She said not using alarmist language is critical to keeping a focus on staying calm and being helpful, as is trusting in her training and experience.

The bomb expert talked about “fear soup” – the rush of adrenalin and worrying thoughts that toxify the body. He said he does not want his body to be sick, so why do that to himself with worry? His advice was to focus on the present, and have a positive vision of outcomes.

We are not all paramedics nor bomb experts, but we all still feel fearful at times. The lessons of using positive words and thoughts, as well as an appreciation of what you have already achieved in your life, are crucial to keep in mind when feeling fear about a major business decision, career change, and other life events. Create positive images of your future and do not get stuck trying to control the unknown.  Take Your Stand in keeping these images in mind, rather than the fearful ones that may come up.  The Intuitive Life is a focused one; where we put our attention determines the quality of our experience. When you find yourself wandering off, of when you’ve noticed that fear has crept in again, Keep your inner vision clear through the Power of Your Stand. This takes practice and courage, but the reward is freeing yourself to allow joy into your life. Look for Part 2 of this article in my next newsletter, when I will provide insights into finding and keeping joy in your life.  Until then, consider this practice:

Before you go to bed at night, practice “Take Your Stand – Live the Life You Imagine!”  Do a mental review of what inspired you during the day, including what you enjoyed and appreciated about yourself, your learning and growth.  Really savor the pleasure of your experience and being you. As Joseph Campbell reminds us, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”