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  • Brian Tom O'Connor

What If?

Monday was International Day of Happiness. I totally missed it. Although it was founded by the UN in 2012, I didn’t hear about it until Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy on Monday—I was. But it got me thinking...

What if happiness wasn’t something to get? What if happiness wasn’t something that happened? What if happiness wasn’t something that comes from outside or arrives from elsewhere? Or something you find in things, activities, achievements, people? What if happiness wasn’t something to pursue, or to hope will happen sometime in the future?

What if happiness was something that’s already here? Inside each of us, just waiting, hoping to be noticed?

What if happiness was our natural state, simply obscured by our thoughts about fixing, changing, improving? Obscured by the inherent unsatisfactoriness of our external lives? What if happiness was our true self, informed by the unconditional choiceless acceptance of all that is? This acceptance isn’t something new that we need to do—it’s something that awareness already does. So all we have to do is notice it.

We don’t become happy—we become happiness. Or better, we notice that we already are happiness.

Awareness Games are ways to play around inside your mind to uncover the true self of happiness that is the background of all experience.

But because it’s a little tricky, and because different things work at different times and for different people, we play a variety of games. We play with and experiment with awareness—we poke it, squeeze it, sniff it, bounce it—to see if we can stumble upon its true nature—and ours.

And when we discover the true nature of awareness, we discover that it’s always present, always allowing, always open, always loving. We discover that it’s always there. We don’t have to create it or achieve it, but simply notice it.

When we notice that all of our experience appears in awareness, and we also notice that all of our experience appears to what we call “me,” we realize that “me” and awareness are the same. And then, when we realize that all of that presence, allowing, openness, and love equals happiness, we see that we are happiness itself. We just have to notice it. Look past the dust and clouds of fixing, figuring out, improving, getting, achieving, and see that it’s always there, and that it is us.

Play Awareness Games with others at the Awareness Games Meetup in NYC each Tuesday:

To learn more about Awareness Games, listen to this interview with me from the podcast, “The One You Feed”:

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