Sometimes the situations we find ourselves in cause unhappiness, or do they?

There was a situation I found myself in that seemed to cause me unhappiness, until I realised that it was my mind causing the unpleasant feeling. I simply then asked my mind a question, “What will make you happy”? The answers given were nothing but lamentable and shallow Conditions for Happiness.

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‘Sitting beside a beautiful Old Saxon church with the wind and rain sweeping down the valley. This is where I asked my mind the question. It was an eerie yet peaceful place.’

Christmas in Australia is usually a hot and steamy day. I love the long sunny warm days that summer brings. I am experiencing the opposite this year after making the decision to spend Christmas in England with family. The short cold days created thoughts and feelings of dread which affected those around me. I wont write about the stress and drama that this overly zealous mind constructed thought created but I will write about my conscious decision to change.

My first decision was to go for a long walk. The pathways and bridleways amongst the beautiful English countryside have a certain calming energy about them, so going for a walk was a no brainer.

There was a light mist falling, and the cold damp air added to the gloomy scene. The gloom quickly turned into one of excitement as I began to put into place all the positive tools I had learned on my spiritual journey.

One of my main tools is to simply watch my thoughts. It does take time to develop the ability to watch your thoughts, and then let the negative ones go (the ones that cause suffering), but it is so worth the effort.

As I began to climb higher into the hillside, I realised I could simply choose to be happy in the situation I was in, or choose to be grumpy and stay focused on outside conditions. The outside will always pull at us, but it is the inside that matters to most.

After this realisation, my steps became lighter, and I seem to spring along the soft ground as my increasingly uplifting mood fuelled my low grumpy energy.

I eventually made it to the top of the long walk and sat down beside the old Saxon church that attracted many walkers to its eeriness. I soaked up the scene and after a few minutes I knew I was ready to walk back down the tree studded pathway to be with my family again. I had changed from a person focussed on the external to one that focussed on the ability and choice to change internally.

The change brought with it the pleasure of loving and giving that this time of year has to offer. When we give love unconditionally we naturally receive it back.

Whatever situation we are in we always have a choice. Before every choice, and therefore every action, there is a thought. When we are unhappy or anxious or depressed or bored we are not this mind produced state; we are only feeling the emotions around the situation that our thoughts have evoked. The situation therefore is not the cause of how we feel but the thought is.

When we find ourselves in seemingly unpleasant situations we can stay trapped in the shackles of our minds or we can choose to watch our thoughts and simply let the ones go that cause us unnecessary suffering. With an alert and attentive conscious awareness we can make the changes needed to end our suffering by observing how the overly zealous and protective mind creates unwitting Conditions for Happiness.

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