Change on the Inside and Let the Outside Stuff Happen

It’s humbling to watch my audience expand to include people struggling with stress and the blues in addition to those who want to grow younger. I really believe these mind/body/spirit habits can transform anyone’s life.

The result of the techniques I share is happiness, but the other day I got to wondering, “What the heck is happiness, anyway?”

Wikipedia says: “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of wellbeing defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”  Hmmm. Actually, I think we can sum it all up in two words: inside job. But how do we conjure up that inside state of positive or pleasant emotions? Many of us think we get there through the outside.

Scenario #1: If only she’d marry me, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

She says yes, they get married and it’s divorceville in 8 or 10 years. Or 5 or 6 years. Or 2 or 3.

Scenario #2: If only I had a better job, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

He gets a better job and before long, the old boss is gone and he now reports to the boss from hell.

Scenario #3: If only I had a whole lot of money, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

A big windfall of money swoops in, the house is paid off, and oops, the brand new car tangled with a telephone pole and guess who’s in the hospital.

There goes happiness!

My point is that we can’t have sustained happiness inside based on events and situations that happen outside.

No matter how smart we are, no matter how rich we are, no matter how delighted we are with our current circumstances, stuff happens! And our reaction doesn’t just disturb our mental and emotional state, sometimes it gives us the blues. Worse yet, depression.

So how do we have happiness – even bubbling up joy – no matter what?

Well, for an inside job we need to change the inside, not the outside. In other words, let the outside stuff happen. It’s going to anyway.

We change on the inside through inside practices: techniques that we practice every day until they become habits, like observing our thoughts, prayer, meditation, positive affirmations, feeling and expressing gratitude, forgiving everyone, loving ourselves just as we are.

Once these daily practices become habits, then all hell can break loose and inside we’ll remain peaceful. Like in that 17th century haiku by a Japanese poet: “Barn’s burnt down – now I can see the moon.”

If you have any inside practices, please share them with our online community by commenting below. Thanks!!

2 Comments so far:
  •   June 8, 2017 - patricia moran Says:

    Hi Ellen, Wonderful topic,
    Many years I was a really good emotional reactor who had tried many things to not respond with emotional verbage, to things that didnt go the way I expected them to go – for me or others. I was blessed with a friend who looked at me one day and though I was slim he said to me it’s amazing you’re not a lot thinner !! Of course this stopped me in my tracks and asked wWHat do he mean?
    His response was ‘You’re always jumping to conclusions’. Nonplussed I asked what the hell does that mean – ‘Simple’ he said “Think about and get the facts then respond with dignity” Wow !! a big lesson I never forgot and these days in the madness of the world I somehow stay calm inside taking stock of situations, but take what seems positive action for me on the outside.

  •   October 20, 2017 - Ellen Wood Says:

    Hi Patricia. I just saw your comment to my blog on “Change on the inside and let the outside stuff happen.” Thank you for sharing your experience. Wow! A big lesson for all of us.
    Love and Blessings,

2 Responses to “Change on the Inside and Let the Outside Stuff Happen”

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