Mahatma Gandhi once said that “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.
But how many of us think one thing and say or do another? Feelings of fear, guilt or obligation often get in the way. Or sometimes simply the business of living.
We want to challenge our boss about the way he speaks to us, but we are frightened that his behaviour may actually worsen as a result.
We want to eat only sustainably produced food but we feel guilty about making a fuss when out.
We don’t want to attend a party with our partner, but we feel obliged to go.
When we do something that conflicts with our values, we are in dis-harmony. Over time this dis-ease with ourselves can lead to just that, disease. For it isn’t just happiness that emanates from harmony. It is also health. For any organism to be healthy it must be in harmony.
Unfortunately we have become detached from those principles that produce the very harmony that can give us both health and happiness. And as that has happened the natural world has also fallen out of harmony.
To be living in harmony we need to be honest with ourselves: about our thoughts and about our values. The more we listen to our own inner voice or inner child, the more we are likely to find ourselves acting in harmony with those thoughts and values.
One of the joys of childhood is being free of the fear, guilt or obligation that many find themselves plagued with in adulthood. Children can be truly happy because they are not yet confused by the divergence between what they feel they ought to be doing and what they actually want to do. The inner child and the outer child are one.
So next time you find yourself in conflict, ask yourself whether your visible actions are really in tune with your inner thoughts.