I realise that’s quite a bold claim — but here’s the thing, I can state it by virtue of the fact that we are human and because there are some pretty basic truths about being human that are true for us all. So when it comes to what I call the ‘spice girl’ question — tell me what you want, what you really, really want. I already know the answer. No matter who you are, what has happened to you and what you currently think.
At the physical level our answers might be incredibly and specifically different. We might want:
A new car or house
Our body to look a certain way
An amount of money tucked away
A particular type of lifestyle
To acquire certain things
To achieve a career ambition
To make something
At the emotional level we might want:
A certain type of relationship with a partner, child, friend, colleague or client
To feel good about ourselves
To make a difference
To have fun
To feel better
But in the end, if you chunk it up high enough, you will see that every desire we can have is ultimately a desire to experience some version of love, joy or peace. Even when we do those crazy things we can all sometimes do — those things we do to cope, manage and fix. (YKWIM ;) We do them in order to get away from insecure feelings and get back to that feeling of home. Everyone, when it comes right down to it — wants to experience peace of mind. I call that experience — a feeling of wellbeing.
Now it can look pretty compelling that ‘things or circumstances’ have the power to create that wellbeing for us (or take it away). Things outside of ourselves. Like when I get home after a long trip and I lie in my own bed in my husband’s arms after a good meal and a nice chat — that my experience of wellbeing is coming from that. Or when I’ve been concerned about an outcome going my way and then it does.
It really does look like my experience is related to my circumstances. The truth is (rather thankfully) it isn’t. It comes from my own thought in the moment. Which create my feelings. Even when I’ve been concerned about an outcome going my way and it doesn’t. It can really look like when my teenage boys are doing that thing where they can’t leave each other alone that my stress is coming from that. It’s just that sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it doesn’t.
The truth is that my state of mind is the variable. And that changes. And because it I know it changes I have learned that I can leave it alone as it will always return to centre. To wellbeing.
Now, there’s another missing piece that truly understood and insightfully seen is the most incredible game-changer for anyone’s experience of life and it is this. You don’t have to do, or have or be anything to have what you really want. And if you think you do, you are over-thinking it.
You don’t have to do, or have or be anything to have what you really want.
You are already are what you seek. And what you seek is spiritual. Love. Joy. Peace. A feeling of wellbeing. It really is that simple. Our essential nature is present. (Like a baby’s) And full presence with no concept of anything lacking, missing or broken — is where wellbeing is at.
You were born that way. And but for our innocent habits of conditioned thinking and intellectual arguments we have against it, that wellbeing is always there. It’s not the variable — it’s the permanent. To touch base with, to come from, to know, to have, to be — to come home to. Without trying.
Now, I know this does sound simple and even too good to be true, too easy, Maybe even idealistic. And yet. Think about it. Haven’t you had a feeling of ok-ness when all was right with the world and nothing needed fixing — although your circumstances hadn’t actually changed. That feeling came from inside you.
What if we’ve got it all wrong, and that welbeing is our essence and the rest we made up. All of it. The grand illusion.
What if we as human beings have been operating under a fundamental misunderstanding for generations that we needed something outside of us to change to make us feel ok? And this search was made endless by the (mistaken) idea that there is never enough? What if enough was exactly what we already are — on the inside? What would that mean for you? For the those you care about. For the world? For starters a whole lot of activity and searching and effort-ing and thinking and strategising and fixing and coping and managing wouldn’t be so needed — leaving a lot more space for the good stuff — the stuff we really, really want.
What if enough was exactly what we already are
I like the story Eckart Tolle tells about it in the Power of Now:
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger.
Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.”
“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
You don’t even need to believe. You just need to know where to look.
Elizabeth and her team offer programmes that help leaders, teams and organisations access their wellbeing, wisdom and lead real change for good.
To find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisational Wellbeing https://www.wisdomandwellbeing.co.uk/
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Leadership Wellbeing www.leadershipwisdom.info
For speaking engagements www.elizabethlovius.com
The Wisdom and Wellbeing Collective Social Enterprise: We facilitate social projects of real change aimed at a global shift in wellbeing. http://wisdomandwellbeing.co.uk/