Here’s another excerpt from Easy – Deconstructing the Art of Effortless Creation. It comes after all the stuff about making the practical aspects of life easy: projects, time, possessions, etc, and encapsulates my vision and hope for the deeper side of life…
First edit is complete. Thinking about publication early July.
Chapter 45 Sustained Extreme Happiness
There’s one more chapter I want to add before the end. It doesn’t quite come into the category of making life easy, but it is certainly important for making life worthwhile.
The last few months have been rough ones for me. That thing I alluded to about adding unnecessary complexity to my relationships and emotions has been playing out on a massive scale.
Now, I know that I create whatever I want in life; I choose how I feel, how I respond to the things that happen around me, the circumstances of my life. So for a long time I asked myself: why would I choose grief? Why would I choose pain when I could choose happiness and peace. I know they exist; I know I could create them. So why not?
But somehow, the idea of “happiness” just didn’t attract me. After the intensity of the everyday experience I was creating with my grief, how could mere happiness compare?
In common human experience, there are two experiences we associate with vivid happiness: new love and new babies. All other forms, as far as I could remember, tended to deliver a much milder form. Nothing special. Nothing wildly exciting. And that’s what I craved.
Then I stopped myself. I recognised a semantic pattern, a resignation to something just because it was common in the status quo. I was assuming that just because sustained extreme happiness was not common in the world, I could not create it. But of course I could.
So here I am, having formed the idea of sustained extreme happiness. People I tell about it respond sceptically at best. There’s the caution of someone confronted with mania, fearing the depression which traditionally follows.
But why shouldn’t I create this? We see prolonged grief all the time. I myself have lived it, brilliantly, for months on end. Why not flip the coin, live the other side. The intensity is possible, we all know that; it’s just the flavour that would be different.
Having seen the vision, I’m certain it’s possible. Having chosen it for myself, and, by contagion, for the people around me, I am sure it’s on its way. There are clear moments of it already, glimpses of how it looks in reality, how it feels, how it is.
I’m eager to see the form it takes longer term, the circumstances of life that form around the central emotional experience. Life is already pretty good here: close relationships, physical expression, beautiful environment, work I love, plenty of time and money, and vibrant good health.
What more is possible? Watch this space.