As the sun sets this evening over the Saronic Gulf I am reflecting on how I got here and how life is unfolding. I was told once in a seminar that we often see our goals still so far out ahead of us with a long way to go, but if we reflect on how far we have come we get a much better perspective.
We met friends at the beach for a late lunch. I had done an online seminar in the morning and we headed out around 2:00pm. The beaches were crowded with Greek families from yaya’s (phonetically spelled grandmothers) to babes paddling along the shore. It was a happy gathering as everyone enjoyed the second real day of summer weather here in Greece. We enjoyed mezes (many small dishes to share – like tapas) and some cool rosé wine. Afterwards we found our way to the chaises draped with towels and thought about a nap. But first a dip.
It was when I was floating in the buoyant sea green and aqua water that it came to me. This is what I always dreamed of. Living and working in a place that allowed me to be productive and then to enjoy the gift of nature I love so much and that is the sea. I think of my mantra for ten or more years and that is, “I create the world I want to live in and it is populated by people I love and respect.” And here I am.
The world isn’t bad or good it is a reflection, as surely as you look into a mirror, of our own thoughts and actions. Looking back on the crazy synchronicities of the last very short two years that catapulted us out of downtown Toronto working with artists onto and island in the Saronic Gulf, with a book published and a Greek patent in partnership with the University of Athens is staggering and yet perfect in the ballet of people and events that came and went and wove a whole new choreography of life.
Athan and I are more aligned with our deepest values, which are health and natural foods and the fulfillment of our greatest potential. While Athan writes on the politics and science of olive oil changing the industry from the inside out, I write about personal actualization and, not the pursuit of happiness, but the sure attainment of happiness.
Happiness is not achieved by material goals but by the deepest drop into your own heart. That can be anywhere. And what it looks like is immaterial. What it feels like is everything. You will know when you get there.
As we were floating in the water chatting with our friends, as people do in the sea here to soak up all those glorious minerals, T recited a poem taught her by her father about doing things the hard way. Conversation moved on to how people appreciate what they have and how that changes our happiness quotient whether we are rich or modest in accumulated wealth or prestige. And then T pondered, we really don’t have a right happiness, do we? I think she meant we have to work for it or earn it. Is happiness something we earn or deserve? I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly. And when I did I disagreed heartily.
I know our birthright is happiness and that is a human being’s natural state – just like vibrant health is. The thing is we live in a culture that impedes both and makes us think that health and happiness are something to achieve or acquire. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Health and happiness are what we come into this world as babes in full potential of fulfilling. Just think of when you cut a finger – what happens immediately? Your body sends out all the necessary signals to heal. When my children were little we used to call in the white knights on chargers, ‘soldier cells’, knowing that the white blood cells rush to the site and the healing begins. Other than keep it clean, we do no more but expect repair. Happiness is the same.
We know we are hardwired to love and as love emanates out from our immediate caring relationships into what we do and whom we do it with, we inevitably serve our community and society at large. We follow our feelings of love, which always make us feel good and we then reach out to serve the world. We serve the world in whatever way we express our love in our own being and action in the world. It can be on a grand scale or a small scale. Simple kindness to one is as great a gesture as drilling a well in Africa giving a whole community fresh clean water.
What you feel matters. When you are happy what you do comes from love. Love inevitably grows in strength and influence as easily as a smile to a stranger. But love and the natural propensity for happiness will also ask you to leave things behind. Limiting thoughts and beliefs, people, circumstances and all manner of habitual living. This is the only difficult part of happiness. It is where the real choosing comes in. Happiness is within us. We just have to let go of all that keeps us from it.
Me agape (with love)