The only thing you can control, which is your own perception and attitude (very stoic, BTW). While I was fairly happy before, I very recently had an “A-ha moment” of realization that happiness is about deciding to be happy. Years of meditation/philosophy led me to it, but it doesn’t have to be that way, I was just ready when I was ready, I guess. Not tomorrow, not when I get a raise, not when I’m out of debt, not in Hawaii, not flying, not when I get a favorite meal, or when any other needs are satisfied, right NOW. And now I see and feel the dance every day.
Don’t just do something, sit there!
I mean really, really sit there. No thinking, no judging. No naming, categorizing. Just be. Feel the wind, but don’t say “that is the wind.” Don’t wonder if it is a sea breeze or a land breeze. Don’t measure…gail, breeze, 10 knots, 4 mph…just feel it.
Feel the warmth of the sun. No judging….it’s too hot. Hotter than yesterday (comparing). I wish it wasn’t so hot. I wish my son could be here with me in the sun. I wish I had spent more time outdoors with my wife. I wonder if my daughter gets outside. Don’t do that! Just–feel–the–sun.
Sense your breath. Don’t name it. Feel. Lungs filling with refreshing air. Expelling CO2. Refreshed. New Oxygen, refreshed. Wonderful breath. Two working lungs above the Earth’s surface. Someday those lungs will be nothing but carbon below the surface…good to know…now back to just breathing…so content.
“Either there is a fatal necessity and invincible order, or a kind Providence, or a confusion without a purpose and without a director. If then there is an invincible necessity, why dost thou resist? But if there is a Providence which allows itself to be propitiated, make thyself worthy of the help of the divinity. But if there is a confusion without governor, be content that in such a tempest thou hast in thyself a certain ruling intelligence. And even if the tempest carry thee away, let it carry away the poor flesh, the poor breath, everything else; for the intelligence at least it will not carry away.” Marcus’ Meditations Final Book.
So many of us want a sure bet, a final answer, a dead ringer for the truth. Continue reading
“How ridiculous and what a stranger he is who is surprised at anything which happens in life.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations Book 12
I think once you fully accept the concept of never being surprised by anything in life, the happier you’ll be. No matter how ridiculous or egregious, it’s probably happened before and it will happen again. This ranges from all kinds rudeness, violence, abuse, lying, etc. Also included are personal tragedies, loss, failures.
Certainly there are things that could pleasantly surprise us as well, but again, these events are part of the rise and fall of life.
Never be surprised.
A public Stoic Serenity blog:
And thanks to her blog, a 10 themes of Stoicism video: