Are You Happy Now?
10 Ways To Live A Happy Life
Author: Barbara Berger
What a question! Are you happy now? We want to put a nice face on … smile … and say yes. But so many times that is a mask that we put on to cover the fact that we are not happy … that we are perhaps even unhappy. “Are You Happy Now?” is a book of wisdom to be worked with, to be placed in our lives, to be made part of ourselves. Each of the ten ways is part of the path to a happy life.
The ten ways are:
- Accept what is
- Want what you have
- Be honest with yourself
- Investigate your stories
- Mind your own business
- Follow your passion and accept the consequences
- Do the right thing and accept the consequences
- Deal with what is in front of you and forget the rest
- Know what is what
- Learn to see beyond impermanence
That is a lot to digest! The message? Be authentic, and take responsibility for yourself. Not a bad message at all! In her introduction Berger tells us how this book came about – as an offshoot of her personal writing about what she needed to know to live her life in a better way. She was doing this to clear her own mind – the end result with her sharing this is that her readers have a way to clear their minds and lead a happier life!
We all worry, we all have insecurities. The deal is to get past that and lead a full life … a happy life. Each chapter deals with one of the ten ways to live a happy life. I love the very personal manner in which this book is written. Berger speaks from her own life experiences, with more than a touch of humor. When we can look at what we see going on in our own lives through the lens of another person’s life, we gain perspective. That is what this book is all about – perspective. One of the phrases that I find to be so true, referencing how we deal with life: “We muck it up by fighting the way of it.” In other words, we do not allow life to flow.
From the book:
“… when we drop our interpretation of events, we find that happiness is our nature.”
Unhappiness is only a thought in out mind. What a concept … and a true one! Berger presents a great caveat here – “Live in the present, do not project into the future” . She is specifically referencing dealing with pain, but this could be referencing anything that we are dealing with.
Berger talks about the stories that we tell ourselves, and the expectation that we put upon ourselves. The “What if …” and “I’ll be a success when …” that we run through our minds. Happiness is an internal thing, not an external thing. We are the only people that can make us happy or unhappy.
I found that each chapter in this book was very well written, and brought it’s point home in a manner that the reader could accept, and that allowed them to take a look at themselves in a non-judgmental manner. This book acts as a mirror to who we are at the soul level.
I love the epilogue – “Don’t believe what you think.” We suffer because we believe what we think … and what we think is our own perception of what is. Let go of that perception, and we see the “what is’ for what it really is.
At the end of the book is an exercise in writing down what you feel about each of the ten ways. This is a beginning … a beginning into moving your life into happiness. This book, and these exercises, are excellent tools of empowerment!
© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.