You’re listening to Art of the Unknown, the podcast about traveling inward, outwards, and onwards.
Hey guys and welcome back to the podcast! You are listening to episode #17 and I am your host Sarah Kreuz. In today’s episode, I want to talk about the topic of happiness. I want to talk about what it looks like, why and how we kind of place happiness in a box. And why it still feels like it’s something that I am constantly searching for.
So before I dive into that horrible complicated and never ending topic, I want to first give you an update as to where I am and why that topic kind of came to be. So right now I am in the Canary Islands, they are a channel of Spanish Islands off the Northwest coast of Africa. I am currently staying in Los Palmas de Gran Canaria which is the capital city of the island Grand Canaria, and it’s funny because again I was not expecting to come any island on my trip honestly. When leaving for Europe during the winter, island hopping was not on my itinerary for obvious reasons but I am here so far so good. I kind of want to talk about why this came to be. Like the title of the podcast suggests, this is about me stepping into the unknown completely and kind of just going with the follow of the universe and what I thought was my initial plan was to spend some time in Croatia and you know what.
Life kind of happened. And not just life, but actually snow happened. That was also not on my to do list to deal with any snow but I decided that I kind of needed to not be in that environment because I am not prepared for the winter at all. So I knew I was going to head to Spain to visit a friend and for some reason Las Palmas de Gran Canaria just kept popping up in my mind, popping up in my mind.It just kept popping up places. It just kept on in my mind calling me towards it and you know how I do I had to go towards it, so I am here I am here for a few days now and its nice it is a little island, it is actually bigger than I thought it would be and I plan on being here for at least 2 months so I am really trying to give this place a shot.
The past few months I have been traveling, I have been either staying with a friend or traveling with friends with the exception of Israel which I went to by myself. I just knew that I needed time to be alone to do a kind of refocus and to purely just give myself that space to kind of re-evaluate what I am doing and more importantly why I am doing it.
So coming to the Canary Islands wasn’t something that I was just looking forward to because of the environment but because I really know that I need time to be alone and time to just gather my thoughts and focus just 100% on me because it feels like the past few months I’ve just been, I feel like I have given up too much energy not to other people necessarily, but just to the universe and I feel like now I need to focus that energy and attention inwards and kind of re-evaluate and kind of refocus myself and really ask the question of what do I really and truly want and this is why the topic of happiness is coming up for me this week because okay I do this all the time.
I point to outside circumstances. I point to people and I point specifically to my environment as to why I am unhappy and in my mind I really convince myself that if I were to change one of those factors or in my case all of them it would change my internal state and therefore make me happy. Although I am aware of this fact, I keep on doing it and for me coming, not necessarily to Los Palmas, but coming to a location where I can just be by myself and be alone and you know contemplate life and just focus 100% on myself. No matter where in Europe I was going to be, I knew it was going to happen but in my mind I convenience myself that once I get to that location I am going to be happy like I am going to do it. It’s going to happen and which is why I placed a little bit of pressure on coming to the Canary Islands and being alone is because I was almost thinking on the fact that once I have that space then I can fill it with happiness.
And I know that, that is not the way it works and that’s not the way that it is ever going to work and its ever worked in the past and I keep moving in search of some kind of happiness or some kind of fulfillment and then once I get there it is not there.It is because it is not found in a location and I know that yet, I keep on convincing myself that it is and even though I am aware of this fact I’ve been really trying to understand and really dissect the reasons why I do this and why I it keeps on coming up and why this.
The need to keep on moving is a reoccurring theme in my life, and yes I love to travel and yes I love to experience new things and learn through travel I get that but there is also a part of me that is hoping and placing my happiness on my external surroundings for me leaving and changing my environment completely. I keep on convincing myself that that is going to make me happy and I still do it a little just a little bit I’ve gotten better, but I just kind of wondering why I still fall into that trap and I know that I am not the only person that does this, we all look to the outside world and we all place the blame on something that is outside of us.
I do this, my friends do it, my family definitely does it and I am sure most of us in this world probably do it. I know the reason that I do it is because for me it is way easier to place the blame on something that is outside of myself than it is to fully and completely confront myself and the reasons why I feel that way and I think I do that because it is way easier for me to pace the blame on something other than myself and by pointing to say my living environment or person or any part of my life. I think it is easier to put the blame on something that is one visible but also something that you know can change but the reason that it is not changing or the reason that it hasn’t changed is an argument that you use to justify the unhappiness that you feel.
So coming to the Canary Islands is really making me look myself in the eyes and look at myself and really kind of question why I am still unhappy. Why I think that something outside of me is going to make me happy and I am really trying to question why that link between my internal world and external world, why that still exist but also what parts of me am I using to contribute to that link and why I am distracting myself from fully going inside and figuring out the problem as opposed to pointing to everything that is outside of me and trying to fix that and I know part of the reason why I am not necessarily you know doing some hard core construction work on what brings me happiness and what happiness actually means is because honestly it is easier not to.
It is way easier for me to distract myself than it is to confront myself. I would much rather place my attention on things that I have or I should say I would rather place my attention on things that I have perceived control over that I can visibly and tangible change in my life than for me to like actually deep within myself and ask myself difficult questions that I don’t want to know the answer to. That I am probably scared of seeing and probably a little afraid of acknowledging so it is far easier for me to distract myself with things of this earth and things that are outside of me than to confront myself and it is way easier to place the blame on those things than it is to fix myself and I feel like that is a bit obvious but it is something I am realizing that I am doing ant that’s where I currently stand.
I currently trying or I am still currently trying to convince myself as to why I am unhappy and I can see my ego doing that and I can see it happening but for some reason I just can’t believe it. I want to believe it, I want to be able to very clearly define the things in my life that are causing me pain and I really want to believe that they are outside of me and that they can change and once they change I will change and I want to believe that. But I feel like now there is a deeper part of me that just want put up with that bull shit, like it is almost as though the ego is lying to me and I know it is lying to me but for some reason I am just okay with it, I am like okay, that’s cool I want to believe you but deep down I don’t, but I think the important part is now that I am seeing the truth that is the lie and I think the next step for me would probably be obviously going a little deeper and really going pass the lies and trying to understand why I am actually truly unhappy but, also what happiness is and what it feels like and how I can obtain it and not just how I can obtain it but also why I am worthy of it and why I deserve it and why I can have it.
So coming to the Canary Islands the theme that has been popping up for me is no longer what is making me unhappy I feel like I am finally moving on from that and the question now is becoming what will make me happy or what exactly is happiness and how do I really truly move into that state of being without attaching it to any specific thing that is out side of me and that is outside of my control.
And one of the things that I realize while trying to transition into I want to say a higher vibration and a higher state of being overall is that I have been assuming that once you attain the things that you want then they will make you happy and I have made that mistake time and time again but, I am finally realizing that no matter how much I change or no matter how many things in my life that I give up or obtain they are not enough to have a real concrete effect on deepest internal states.
So since I have been on the Canary Islands I feel like one thing that I am really trying to do is really try to focus my attention and my energy on things that are specific. So like I said instead of focusing on the things that are or I think that are making me unhappy and instead of focusing on how I can change them, instead I want to place my energy and my intention on something more forward thinking and the fact that what exactly do I want is the question, not what do I want to change and what do I want to get rid off and what do I want to let go of, but more specifically what is it that I want.
Why am I wanting these things and why do I think these things are going to make me happy and I have been realizing that in a way I don’t necessarily know exactly what I want and I am finding that may be the reason why I am not 100% content, and I am finding that if I don’t know what I want specifically then there is no way in hell that I am going to get it and I think that understanding that part of yourself is really important because yeah you can have an idea what you want but unless it is 100% specific, you are just going to be surround things that are kind of similar or maybe a little bit off and you are not going to understand and why it is not making you happy.
For example, again I always placed my happiness, I have always correlated my happiness with my environment so when I say that I wasn’t happy in Portland I wanted to leave I 100% thought that just the fact of me leaving Portland was going to make me happy, but the thing is unless I was very specific on where I wanted to go and why then just going anywhere want going to solve the problem. And the thing with happiness is that at least for me usually I think I have a general idea of what I want and therefore that general idea of what’s going to make me happy is enough and that’s necessarily not the case and I am not talking about what I want necessarily physically I am also talking about what kind of emotional states I want to live in.
I am talking about what do I want for myself what do I want to feel and what kind of life and being and body do I want to kind of possess spiritually and I have lived most of my life up until recently not really understanding what I want. I mean we all say that we want to be happy but personally for me what does that happiness looks like what does happiness feels like.
Where exactly am I placing my values and I know that when I feel the best and when I feel like I am 100% myself and that I am literally vibrating on a higher level. I have identified a few feeling that I associate that with and one of them is freedom, I feel the most at home with myself when I am free. The feeling of being accomplished, the feeling of security, the feeling of being connected and I really thing that by identifying those things specifically then we can start to work backwards from there. So me an example it doesn’t have to be for traveling but when I feel free it is usually when I have the space and the time to be myself, so I’ve been really trying to commit to a daily meditation practice and I find that when I give myself that space and that time in the morning just to 1). Do what I want and to alleviate all pressures that I put on myself. Not just in terms of work or what I need to do but also I tend to put on a little bit of spiritual pressure too.
Meaning that I really try to like to become a better person and really try to understand myself and develop but then I find that it a lot of pressure but that doesn’t make any sense you can’t grow quicker than you are going to grow so why are you placing so much pressure on yourself.
Anyway I find that if I just really leave space in the morning for myself to do what I need to do and to do what I want to do then that brings up that feeling of freedom and then in those moments that’s when I feel happy and that’s just an example it could be anything for anybody but my point is that really truly identifying those things that you want are important because once you do then you can head in that direction and then you can also give up everything that is not in alignment with those feelings and I feel like in this life time it is really hard to identify what you truly and 100% want. Trust me I am nowhere near having that figured out, but what I have been realizing lately is that I need to know what I want and in order to get it and in order to feel it and for me there are a lot of aspects of my life that I have no idea what I want.
For example I know that I want to start a business but I can’t even begin to pinpoint what that business would even look like what I am saying is if you don’t even know what you want you not going to get it, and its fine not knowing what you want this is 100% okay that’s where I am as well, but I find that if you don’t know what you want that means that you have to be okay with stepping out and stepping away from where you are and trying new things in order to test the waters and more importantly when you do that you have to be okay with the fact that you are going to try somethings and you know what a lot of them are going to be wrong.
A lot of them are not going to be what you want and you know what some of them are going to be painful experiences and that is just part of the whole of moving towards the path of really truly identifying who you are and what you want and, not what just brings you happiness but in what states do you strive in and I feel like if you can identify where thrive then you can move your life in that direction and it’s going to take some understanding of the self.
Because like I said you can rearrange your life accordingly with all of things that you think is going to bring you happiness and then you can fall short. So I think it is going to have, the roles are going to switch you are going to have identify the feelings that you want and go towards the feelings and then that’s when you start bringing everything else in your life that matched those feelings. It is not focusing on the external world first and then hoping that it is going to bring you happiness it is really trying to identify where in yourself you find that happiness and then rearranging your life accordingly. Because when people say they want to be happy I am assuming that they felt happy before.
I know I have and sometimes the feeling is long lasting and then also and then sometimes it is a bit fleeting, but I know that it is there I know that it exist and I know that I can live in that state of being. I am not saying that we will be happy 100% of the time and I am absolutely not but what I am sure about is that I can live in a state that is definitely more enjoyable than the internal state that I am living in right now.
In order to move into that state of being I am done blaming my circumstances, I am don’t blaming the way I look I am doe blaming pretty much anything that is inside of me and I really feel like I am moving into that place where I can take responsibility for my happiness and really take responsibility and move towards the person that I want to be and I know that this is not something that is going to be done over night it is going to take time it is going to take a lot of patience and I also know it is going to take a lot of experimenting and making mistake but I think welcoming every single partof the process is only going to move you into the direction that you are going to go and I am saying this well of course I am traveling but, the reason why I am traveling is that I am opening myself up to different experiences and different lives and meeting different people.
But I am also really, I am really trying not to put so much weight on the traveling but more internally and I feel like a lot of people do this, they confuse traveling with happiness and although I feel that traveling is very important for difference reasons and not just for feeling free or what not but, for intellectual reasons as well and I think that a lot of people confuse traveling with happiness.
You know what it is not a cure, there is no cure there is nothing that you are going to do that is going to fix whatever is inside of you, only by going inside can you fix it. Yes there is going to be experiences that you are going to have than can open you up to what does make you happy and what you truly want and you get a lot of experiences by traveling and not doing the same thing everyday which is probably why people do it but it is not the traveling itself that is going to make you happy.
I don’t know I feel like a lot of us are still searching for that place not just in the world but in ourselves that we feel 100% content and yeas I am still looking for it too, I haven’t found it, it comes and it goes it’s on and its off like whatever but, all I know is that I am not giving up.I know that I am not settling for anything less than what I want and what I deserve out of this life time and if I just have to keep either moving or something scarier stay still for a while in order to get to that place that I know exist inside of me then it is something that I have to do and I will be okay with it. I guess the key point that I want you to leave with is that when you are really trying to understand yourself and understand your happiness I really at least for me right now, the most important thing is identifying those feelings that you want first.
Identify the feeling that feels good to you and that you want to move towards and I think that once you identify those feelings no matter what they are no matter where you feel them or how they come about or whatever I think it is pin pointing that feeling and then holding on to it and then using that feeling as the goal and not anything external, not anyone external but purely using that feeling and then riding that feeling all the way to existence.
Meaning holding on to that feeling and identifying it an knowing what it is and then using that as your guide and then bringing on everything in your life going in every single direction that is in alignment with that feeling and if it is not then why bother even holding on to it, why even bother putting up with it. Let that shit go, okay, and I think what’s very important here again is identifying the various specific feeling and that you want because once you do then you don’t want to put up with anything less. Once you identify the thing that you want then you know exactly what you don’t want and then you can kick that shit to the curb, okay.
Okay I think that pretty much raps up this episode, again I want to say thank you for everyone that listens to this podcast. I really appreciate all of you and if you have any more questions and if you want to see any more pictures and anything you can head to my website and thank you again for listening and I will talk to you guys next week.
Released: January 20, 2017
Recorded: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain