Life is not a means to an end
With mindful walking, our steps are no longer a means to arrive at an end. When we walk to the kitchen to serve our meal, we don’t need to think, “ I have to walk to the kitchen to get food.” With mindfulness, we can say, “I am enjoying walking to the kitchen,” and each step is an end in itself. There is no distinction between means and ends. There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment; enlightenment is the way.-Thich Nhat Hanh
Wow, this is so powerful to me at this moment.
This morning I attended a wonderful workshop of mindfulness given by Ann D’ Angelo (www.bemindfulbreathe.com). While writing and reflecting towards the end of the workshop, I was struck by the many moments of happiness, I felt in the course of the morning. It inspired me to ask, how willing was I to acknowledge being happy, how willing are any of us to acknowledge that in a specific moment we are happy. Who doesn’t want to be happy, right? Yet, I have kind of veered away from being happy; in my smug, overly intellectualized mind, I have come to think of ‘being happy’ as something trite and banal. Something that is the root of our cultural anxiety and restlessness. Instead, I have placed more value on joy, contentment, meaningfulness, peace; anything but happiness.
I have maligned happiness as the illusive by-product of consumerism. I have thought of happiness as a temporary fix for a job well-done, a feeling that comes only from some tangible achievement. However, once again I am given the opportunity to look at my life differently through today’s lesson. Happiness is the way. With mindfulness, I can bring happiness into my life as a constant way of being. Just as I see with my eyes and speak with mouth, happiness is the way by which I move through the world. I am humbled by the lightness and the richness this change in perspective brings to my day.
I know that I may not always remember that Happiness is the way, but that is why they call it a practice, as Ann reminded me today. Thank you!
If you want more mindfulness then Ann D’Angelo is fantastic. If you are looking for a business coach who loves working with small business owners then contact me, email@example.com.