When true happiness shows up, the ego is bored with it: It's too plain, too ordinary, and it doesn't leave us feeling special or above the fray. It doesn't take away our problems, which is the ego's idea of happiness. The ego wants no more difficulties: no ore sickness, no more need for money, no more work, no more bad feelings, only unending pleasure and bliss. Such perfection is the ego's idea of a successful life. However, the happiness the ego dreams of will never be attained by anyone. The ego denies the reality of this dimension, where challenges are necessary to evolution and blissful states and pleasure come and go.
When we give freely, we feel full and complete; when we withhold, we feel small, petty, impotent, and lacking. We are meant to learn this great truth, that giving fulfills us, while withholding and trying to get causes us to feel empty and even more needy. This truth runs counter to our programming, which drives us to try to get something from others to fulfill our neediness, only to end up even more needy, grasping, lacking, and unfulfilled.
We can make room for more experiences of radiance, peace, and beauty; and when we do, they arrive. When we make an intention to experience peace, when we value it enough to make room for it and invite it into our busy lives, it arrives bearing gifts. We make room for this guest, not by anything, but by just being, just allowing ourselves to rest, once and for all, in this sweet moment with no agenda, no purpose, no reason, but just to experience the moment as it is. We make room for peace and happiness by just noticing them. We notice that they are already here, and noticing them brings them more strongly into focus. Peace and happiness are always here, but they often go unnoticed.
What a surprise it is to discover that you have never needed to strive to survive and be happy after all. Like Dorothy in , who discovered that she always had the means for going home, you already have what you need to be happy and safe. You have never really left Home. However, if you don't believe you already have what you need to be happy and safe, it is as if it isn't true: If we don't know the ruby slippers will take us home, it's like not having them. The ego keeps us from seeing the truth about those ruby slippers- it keeps us from seeing the truth about life. Home is right here, right now, but we may not realize it and there for not experience Home, or Essence as much as we might.
A lot of things are inherent in life -change, birth, death, aging, illness, accidents, calamities, and losses of all kinds- but these events don't have to be the cause of ongoing suffering. Yes, these events cause grief and sadness, but grief and sadness pass, like everything else, and are replaced with other experiences. The ego, however, clings to negative thoughts and feelings and, as a result, magnifies, intensifies, and sustains those emotions while the ego overlooks the subtle feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, adventure, love, and peace that come from Essence. If we dwelt on these positive states as much as we generally dwell on our negative thoughts and painful emotions, our lives would be transformed.
One channel is the Stress Channel and the other is the Peace Channel. We really do have a choice about what we listen to. The Peace Channel can only be heard when we are present in the moment, when we are in the now. To tune in to the Peace Channel, all we have to do is , , , and to what is arising in the moment. To tune into the Stress Channel, we just have to start believing our thoughts again. [...] Eliminating stress is just a matter of tuning out the negative and tuning in the positive and just being, experiencing, and dancing to that music instead of the mind's chatter.
If you were determined to get enjoyment out of every moment, you would learn to do whatever it took. What it takes is not listening to negative thoughts, yours or anyone else's. Disregarding negative thoughts isn't hiding our head in the sand, but simply not allowing the negative to clutter and influence over our experience of the present moment. The moment is never improved or helped by negativity, although we are programmed to think our negative thoughts, worries, and fears serve a useful function. When you really examine this idea, however, you see that negativity doesn't serve. Focusing on negativity and fears doesn't make anyone a better person, nor does doing that help us function better in the world. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.
You need nothing more than the experience you are having right now. It is enough. It is plenty. It is perfect just as it is. It was designed for you, given to you for your experience. All you have to do, and all you have ever had to do is accept this gift. Take it and let it in. Let yourself experience the present moment just as it is. It doesn't get any better than this. This is the simple truth the ego refuses to accept, and it will suffer as long as that is the case.
[...] Essence simply enjoys and commits attention and love to whatever is. In fact, committing attention to anything that is present results in enjoyment. The ego enjoys so little because it commits attention to what isn't present and to what it doesn't have, and suffers over that, instead of committing attention to whatever is. It loves its fantasies, dreams, and desires more than it loves reality.