Happy people laughing.

What do you need to be happy? I mean really need? Where does your happiness live?

Does it live in your bank account? Do you find it in the comforts of a paycheck, a job title or a dollar sign?

If you need those things to be happy, then what happens when they change, as all things do?

Is happiness something you find in a number on your scale, or on a tag on the back of your pants? Is it a size, a weight, a certain way that your body looks?

What happens when you age, when your body swells with the magic of pregnancy? Where does your happiness go when you grow sick and frail, or find some extra pounds hidden along your waistline?

Is your happiness dependent on certain external factors being “in place”, “just right”, working out as your mind deems fit?

If your happiness rests on your marital status or on your child’s need for you, then what happens when you lose those things?

What are you left with, when all is said and done?

When the money is dried up, or when the trips are no longer affordable? When your physical appearance changes, or your children grow old and leave the house? Where does your happiness go when you get divorced and find yourself alone with the quiet of evening?

Did it run away with your spouse? Did it crash with the stock market? Did it leave when your plans didn’t work out?

When you give away your happiness – to the number on your paycheck or the size of your jeans or the status of your relationship – you lock your Self in a prison of your own making. You become confined by fear and control and rigidity and lack – trapped in a space that doesn’t allow for the flowing tides of life to come and go, for the ups and downs, for the guaranteed impermanence of all things.

(As the Buddha said, “Everything that has a beginning, has an ending”.)

So where does happiness really live?

It lives, as Jack Canfield said, “on the other side of fear”. Where there are fields of magenta wildflowers swaying gently in the breeze. Where you find laughter and the sweet scent of freshly cut grass and freedom.

Freedom from the mind’s delusion that in order to be happy, you need anything outside of yourself. Freedom from the false belief that you weren’t actually born with everything you need already inside of you, all of the intelligence and capabilities, the incredible power and strength to grow and thrive and reach your highest potential, to fully actualize into the magnificent spark of the Divine that you are.

Happiness is not something external.

Happiness lives inside you – because happiness is what you are.

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