You can Relate.

The Art and Science of Being Happy.                            

It has been said that life gets fulfilled in relationship. When I first heard that, I immediately thought it meant, you know, marriage, partner, parents, children, etc. I thought it was all about people. But what if the sage who said it meant something that includes more, and maybe quite different, relationships too? What if we have a “relationship” with everything? People yes, but also objects, ideas, our brain/body, life itself, the weather…

Relationship: n. having a connection, association, alliance or involvement with.
Consider this: How we “relate” (connect, associate, align, and involve) with the circumstances around us, including, but not limited to, people, determines how happy we are. How do you relate to rainy weather? Are you glad for its contribution to the crops and the snow pack? When you accomplish a long sought after goal, do you celebrate in a way that matches the effort you expended? When your side by side refrigerator/freezer goes on the fritz, do you chant, dance, and appeal to its conscience or do you pick up the phone and call a repair person?
We have nearly gazillions, yes, I said gazillions of possible relationships. Speaking of relationships, it is in their very nature to evolve, morph and adapt. Given that fact, here’s and interesting idea. What if we just decided to evolve HOW we’ll “relate” to everything? For instance, what if we decided to relate to our thoughts the same way we relate to, say, our cars? With our cars, we have the keys. We tell them when to turn on, when to turn off, how fast to go, and where to go. We steer. We value them and use them to our advantage. With our cars, we know we’re the boss.
What if we “related” to our thoughts in the same way? Tell them where to go, ignore the options that aren’t that, value them and use them to our advantage, and see what happens. When we steer our car straight ahead, we may notice the opportunities to turn left or right, but that’s ALL we do. Notice them as options. We don’t negotiate with our car to TRY to get it to go straight ahead. We don’t think we HAVE to turn. We just adjust the wheel to where we want to go. What if we told our brains what to think about?
Now, you and I know that our cars, just like our brains, perform a myriad of functions we DON’T tell them to; i.e. heart beating, pistons and synapses firing, hair growing, valves pumping, fuel burning, exhaust being produced. Miraculously, these functions happen without our conscious awareness. Thank goodness! Isn’t it fun that we get to benefit from these complicated activities without being in charge of them?! AND, isn’t it wonderful that a small amount of effort on our part, turning the wheel slightly, produces a series of events resulting in the outcome we want? In both cases, where they go is still up to us!
The GOOD NEWS is this: Even we do turn where we didn’t want to, (thoughts or cars) we can circle around the block and end up with a whole new set of options.
Relating to our “thinking machine” (a.k.a. our brain), the way we would our cars, might just put us in the “driver’s seat” J of our lives in a whole new way. A more direct route to our happiness and well being, perhaps?  Even with a few detours, we’ll be better off than letting it run on auto pilot.
Set your “thought GPS” deliberately, the way you would the one in your car. Trust your driving skills and sense of direction. Happiness is just around the next turn…(or thought)…so enjoy the ride.


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