Does enlightenment mean being happy all the time?

buddhaIn our world, there is a value for living in a state where we feel happy all the time.  Societal conditioning emphasizes the need to acquire goods that will make us “feel better” (also promoting the idea that things aren’t good as they are).  For those of us to seek to find truth outside of that conditioning, we may be drawn to this idea of enlightenment.

Enlightenment is defined in a Buddhist context as “a final spiritual state marked by the absence of desire or suffering”. It is an idea that many people on the spiritual path seek out as a kind of “warp zone” (for those of you who played Nintendo), or quick path to an ultimate or higher state of being that will allow us to exit the world of duality and ups and downs. I know this attempt, because much of my twenties were spent in pursuit of this. Through many different experiences, I discovered that enlightenment is a state that will never have any end or goal.  If we were not to experience the rollercoaster of experience that life brings, then we would not be here in the first place.  We will get to that ultimate still place again, but for now, we are to discover, and learn how to navigate life.

True enlightenment is about contentment, and finding a way to stay deeply centered and connected to your self no matter what is going on in our outside world. Whether we feel happy, sad, angry, afraid, or disillusioned, we can still have access to our center and be in touch with peace.

So, we are not meant to be happy all the time! (Whew, is that a burden lifted?). It is okay to be on a path of conscious growth and still feel uncomfortable or anxious.  It is in these precious emotions that our intuition speaks and guides us to the next step in our evolution and understanding of who we are.

You can learn to work with (instead of against) your emotional guidance system though simple strategies that will change your life.  You can become less in reaction to situations, more connected in your important relationships, and more authentic in how you show up in all the domains of your life (work, family, friendships, etc). Through this attunement, we reduce our stress, find magic and delight in simple places, and create spaces of deep presence and healing for ourselves and others.

So enjoy what the material world has to offer, be balanced, and invest your energy in discovering the gifts of your inner being.

If you would like to find out more about how to utilize the information of your emotional guidance system towards enhancing your well-being, please contact me, or ask a question in the comments below.

With gratitude,


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