The four connections that contribute to your happiness
The connection to yourself
It starts with this one. If you are not able to connect to yourself, you won’t be able to genuinely connect in the other areas. Why? Well, you are the one who spent the most time with yourself. If you don’t like/love yourself, how could you like/love another person? It’s not possible.
How do you talk to yourself? When you make a mistake or fail at something, do you beat yourself up for it, or are you patient and compassionate towards yourself?
Let’s take an example. It’s winter, you’re walking on the street with your best friend. They slip on the ice and fall. How do you react? Well, if you’re not a psychopath you don’t beat them up for being so clumsy, you go to them, help them stand up, and ask if they’re okay.
Now let’s imagine that you are the one who falls. How would you react? “Oh my, I’m such a failure. I can’t even walk properly. Shame on me.” If your reaction is along these lines, I’d recommend you to be more loving, compassionate and patient with yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay not to do things perfectly.
F.A.I.L = First Attempt In Learning
I’ll give you a challenge through which you can improve your connection with yourself.
In the morning, after waking up go to the mirror, look at yourself in the eyes and say “I love you.” See how you feel. See how your mind reacts. It’s a chance to catch your self-talk and improve it. The next level challenge is to say it out loud. Hardcore level: Do this naked. And see if there are parts of your body which you don’t like. If there are, focus on that particular part and say “I love you.” See how you react just by reading this and when you do the exercise. Have fun.
The connection to others
Can you peacefully set your boundaries? Can you express your needs to your partner? For example, do you share what you like in bed?
To put it simply: expressing what you want and don’t want in an honest but confident way without feeling guilty or awkward.
If yes, you’re great, you can go to the next part. If not, it’s okay. I have good news for you: you can practise it. And again, see how you feel in these situations.
Challenge number 1: If someone asks a favor of you next time, simply say no. Without any explanation. You don’t have to explain why when you say no. You don’t owe anything to anyone. You are free to decide what you want to do with your time. Let that sink in.
Challenge number 2: Express what you want to your friend or your partner. Something that you haven’t dared to express. Step out of your comfort zone and just say it. It’s more important to express it. Whether your needs are met or not that’s another story, but I believe if someone loves you it’ll be important to him/her what you want.
How do you treat other people? When I’m at a restaurant, I love to see how the other person treats the waiters and waitresses. It says a lot about people.
There’s a Buddhist saying, which goes:
It doesn’t matter how smart, talented, cool or rich you think you are. How you treat others says everything about you.
The same goes for treating animals. How you treat them says a lot about you. For example, I couldn’t be with someone who would hurt another animal. It’s a no-go for me.
The connection to the world
How do you treat nature and the environment around you? Is it important to you how the Earth is being treated? What do you do that is good for the Earth?
This is a huge topic, just like all other connections. My goal is to awaken people, to raise awareness about these things.
Next time you take a walk in a forest, pick up litter on your way back. You may very well inspire others to do so.
A friend of mine organized an event to clear a forest of litter. His sister was picking up trash and she started crying. She said it’s so great that they are together, they do something to make the Earth a better place. Simple, small steps can have a huge impact as well.
What can you do to give back to the Earth? Take small steps towards it.
The connection to your situations
Do you think that tough situations work against you, or that they are there to help you grow?
Let’s take the example of lobsters. A lobster is living its life, everything is cool and then, after a while, its shell becomes too tight, it’s uncomfortable. So the lobster hides under a rock, casts off its shell and produces a new one. This process happens a couple of times in a lobster’s life. It’s the pressure that makes the lobster grow, to produce a new shell, to be “reborn”.
Let’s say the following situation is in your life: your boss at work is rude, shouts regularly at you (and at others), shames you (and others) in front of others, etc… It’s up to you if you view this situation as horrible, him being the bad guy, and you being the poor guy. Or, you can view it as an opportunity to stand up for yourself and set your boundaries. You could say: “Don’t talk to me like that. What you’re saying is correct. But how you say it is not, and I will not accept it from you or anyone else.”
The way you perceive your situation is key. It can make you a victim, or it can make you someone who is in control of his/her own life. The moment you start taking responsibility for what’s in your life the moment you become free and the creator of your fate.
There are three options to a situation in your life. Accept it, change it, or leave it. It’s up to you how you live your life. Be active. I believe in you.
About the author:
Bali has been into mindfulness for 5 years, which has been a huge part of his life. It affects his life in a very positive way. Bali has been coaching for 4 years and teaching music for 2 years. He’s bee involved in sports since he was 7 and has immersed himself in the world of movement, doing Calisthenics giving Capoeira classes as well.
Bali offers different methods and techniques to achieve well-being mentally, emotionally and physically through trainings, coaching, mindfulness and awareness. He is an Ex-mechatronics engineer and now is a trainer/coach/music teacher/optimist and life enthusiast.