More Simple Steps to Happiness from James Robinson

The following are more notes from a lecture by James Anderson, author, healer, and teacher of Eastern spirituality who explains that creating a happy life is easy when you follow these simple steps on a daily basis:

Choose Teachers of How to Be, and How You Want to Be: There are 2 Types of Teachers.  One kind of teacher teaches how to ‘be’.  The other teaches how ‘not to be’.  Hitler was an example of how not to be.  The Dalai Lama is an example of how to be.  Both are great teachers and it is important to remember that both were born of the divine light.  In previous posts, I have written that the people who challenge you the most are your greatest teachers because they provide you with the greatest opportunity to rise above adversity.  The people who love you rarely present you with this same challenge.

Be Honest – Especially to Yourself. “The truth will set you free”.  It can take great courage to follow your heart not your head, but your heart is your connection to the divine.  When you follow your heart also known as your gut feeling, you are living from truth.

Expect the Best: Live your life with the expectation that something good is about to happen.  Every morning, do whatever it takes to shift your mood to the positive and expect the best that this life has to offer.  You can positively impact every moment of your life by thinking “This is going to be a great meeting” or “This is going to be a mutually beneficial telephone conversation” and “When I visit my long lost relatives, it will be the happiest of experiences,” and so on.  Expect the best!

Learn How to Love Yourself First: Self love comes first.  When you allow people to see who you are, and you allow people to be who they are, you are coming from a place of truth and magic happens.  During the lecture, James mentioned encountering many people who are more focused on finding someone to love them, than on loving themselves.  He cautions that perpetually seeking a soul mate will attract exactly that – someone who is there to challenge you, push your buttons, and force you to grow.  The greater the challenge, the faster the growth!

Do Something Daily to Connect With Your Body: Our bodies are precious.  On a daily basis, eat healthy food and exercise.  James recommends ‘The 5 Tibetans’ is all you really need in terms of daily exercise.  This technique pre-dates yoga and you can find examples on YouTube and Google.

Don’t Gossip: James explains that gossip creates walls.  If you’re talking about someone else, say it like they’re standing next to you.  Also, when you’re talking about someone who is absent, think more along the lines of, “how can we help this person?”

Detach from Your Thoughts: When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or feeling anxiety, stop and say, “I am not that!” or “That is not me.”  This separates the voice in your head that is causing you to be miserable from the essence of who you really are, which is happiness.  Similarly, when you feel joy say, “That is me!”  Buddha explained that fear, sadness and anger must be peeled away, like the corrosion on metal, in order to reveal the pure essence of who we really are, which is shining light and happiness.

You Must Be Happy When You Are Unhappy: We’re trained from an early age to look for all the stuff that is negative.  However, when you become aware of what you are focusing on, you can shift to focus on happiness, and attract happier experiences.  Being happy in an unhappy world sounds like a tall order.  However, since we are beings of divine light and love, happiness is the one thing that can remain truly consistent, regardless of external circumstances.  In this world, happiness takes daily practice.

Breathe: When we don’t breathe deeply and evenly, insufficient oxygen reaches our brain.  Scientifically, a lack of oxygen shuts down the prefrontal cortex of the brain and activates the reptilian brain, also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.  To activate the highest functioning of your brain, breathe deeply and evenly.  Imagine yourself breathing from the ground up and you will deepen your breath.  This is also an excellent technique for calming the nerves when making a speech.  According to James Robinson, we only have a certain number of breaths in this lifetime, so make them count.

“Detachment is absolutely necessary in order to find freedom and happiness in life”.  James Robinson,