This weekend I was incredibly fortunate to attend Deepak Chopra’s presentation at the Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago. When I went I had no idea I was going to be seeing him – because I went there to work. As a member/practitioner of the Infinity Foundation, I volunteered to work at the booth for the day – which resulted in one of the most surprising and fun days I’ve had in a while.
To begin with, I ran into very dear friends, who I had no expectation of seeing. We chatted, laughed and hugged – and my heart was overflowing with joy and light. Then I was able to “pop” in to the last few minutes of Gregg Braden’s talk (inspiring!) and listen to my dear friend, Shawn, perform his beautiful song “I choose love.” Immediately after, I met Gregg with Shawn and Gregg signed his book, “The God Code,” for me. None of this was planned when I decided to volunteer my time. It is true that those who give receive much more in return. Finally, I learned that we were invited to listen to the keynote speaker, Deepak Chopra, as exhibitors at the conference. What an amazing gift! To follow are just some of the tidbits, quotations and inspiring words I was able to gather during his presentation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. He was truly inspirational. He is funny, incredibly intelligent and compassionate. He is dedicating the rest of his life (and his personal resources) to the frontier of science: the Technologies of Consciousness. Truly amazing. Enjoy.
“Different states of consciousness create different biology.” Meaning: our thoughts and emotions actually create physical changes in our bodies.
“The body itself as a structure is a hallucination…. The body is a process.” Meaning: since the body is always in a state of generation and regeneration, it is more like a river with flow, than a solid state of being. Therefore, when we see our body as a solid structure-it is a hallucination. When we accept it as a process, we open up our world to the myriad possibilities of change.
“Everything exists, all at once, as a possibility.” Meaning: our Universe, and our selves as a microcosm of the Universe, have infinite potential.
“When you change the way you look at things: the things you look at will change.” (Max Planck – Quantum Physicist) Why? “Because there are no ‘things’ there are only possibilities.” Meaning: everything is comprised of energy, which is always in a state of movement and process; therefore, nothing is the same as it is when you look at it for a 2nd time. Everything is in a state of potential. Everything is possible.
Now, there has been actual scientific research on happiness. As a result, these scientists have created a Happiness Formula. Deepak shared all of this incredible information and statistics with us, as follows: The formula: H=S+C+V; where H is Happiness, and:
S is a Set point in the brain that is fixed within the first 3 years of life, by mirroring our parents. i.e. If your parents are unhappy or negative, you will be unhappy and negative; you will have learned how to view your experiences in life through this filter. S=50% of the formula; however, the good news is you can change your set point two ways: 1) contemplative meditation (focusing on compassion, loving kindness, and the joy of others) or 2) cognitive therapy (question limiting beliefs)
C is Conditions of living. Are you rich or poor? Yes, it matters. There are far fewer happy poor people than happy rich people. However, the focus is mostly on financial well-being. If you don’t have financial well-being, you will be an unhappy person; C=10% of the formula.
V is Voluntary choices. There are two categories on how people choose to spend their time/life/money: 1) personal pleasure, such as sex, shopping, food, etc. Personal pleasure brings transient happiness. Or 2) the expression of creativity, and desire to make other people happy, which brings lasting happiness. V=40% of the formula.
So – if we can change our Set point, modify our Voluntary choices, and improve our Conditions of living – everyone should be happy. Right? No. Because there is another layer: existential unhappiness. This is a human-specific element of happiness, and it is comprised primarily of worry – worry about our future or past; about death; about money or illness; about becoming unhappy once again.
The solution to existential unhappiness? Finding out who you are: Enlightenment.
There is a great story here – about a dog and a man. A man kicks a dog, and the dog gets angry. They don’t see each other again for 10 years. 10 years later, the dog remembers the man’s cruelty and wants to bite him. The difference is that the dog didn’t spend the 10 years in between dwelling on the man, and worrying about when he would see him again. Think about that.
And by the way: thoughts, emotions and feelings are contagious. If you have a happy friend, your happiness goes up 15%; if they have a happy friend, it goes up another 15%, even if you don’t know their friend. And so on.
There was so much more to share with you – but this is the primary focus of what I heard. Happiness is a choice and it is within our control. If you are unhappy, you have the tools, power and possibility to make changes that result in happiness. This is a powerful statement. And it’s all based on actual research and scientific study. The quotes and their meanings I’ve shared before the Happiness Formula simply reinforce these truths.
So – are you happy? What one thing can you do today to start heading in a different direction, if you’re not? And if you are, do you still have existential unhappiness (worry, fear, etc.)? What can you do to change that?
In Love and
(P.S. Don’t forget to vote in my new poll. Vote on what topics you’d like me to write about in the future. Polling is open through July 31st. Thanks!)