We lost an hour of daylight today. That, coupled with the gloomy overcast skies, inspired me to post something a little uplifting and inspiring. Something that may help our readers to nurture some positivity and optimism. In scanning the web for some inspiration of my own, I came across an article written in 2007 by Vicki McKenna for the website Positive Health Online. I loved the content and how she ties happiness into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory; I quote/paraphrase the text here-
We often look for happiness outside of ourselves – through material things or by wishing that our lives were different in some way. Daoist philosophy teaches us that the path of happiness lies within, and certainly one of the defining traits of Daoists Masters is the way they exude a state of happiness, a sense of light-heartedness and fun.
Much of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is derived from Daoist philosophy and tells us that happiness depends on cultivating the Qi (energy) of the Heart whose corresponding element is Fire, and this balance of Fire energy in the Heart will increase our sense of inner joy and happiness. Thus when the Heart Qi is deficient or in excess and Fire is out of balance we may find ourselves experiencing unhappiness and feel agitated and off-center.
The ancient Chinese text, ‘The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine,’ tells us that the Heart is the spiritual and emotional center of the body and on its deepest level is residence to the eternal spirit and source of joyful serenity. Most of us identify with the habitual self – that heavy collection of habits, likes and dislikes that we call ‘self’ and take far too seriously. Instead we need to align ourselves with the joyful lightness and radiance that is the natural state of the Heart spirit and in this way come to view ourselves and others with good humor and compassion.
Daoists tell us to lighten up by embracing without resistance all the events of our lives and all of our reactions towards those events – both pleasurable and painful. As we open our hearts to embrace life, we connect and align with the Heart spirit, balance the Heart Fire and return to our innate state of happiness.
Your homework: let go of the burden of the habitual and serious self with its rigid opinions, its likes and dislikes; relax and find contentment in all that life brings; smile and laugh more; breathe deeper; treat yourself well; forgive; look to the future with optimism and hope.