Mental Wellness, Podcast

#31 Nothing is Permanent, Embracing the Good & Powering Through the Bad

In this episode, I’m talking about something so important – impermanence. It’s a big centerpiece of buddhist teaching – nothing is permanent.

In one of my favorite books, 10% Happier, Dan Harris writes, “As best I could understand it, the Buddha’s main thesis was that in a world where everything is constantly changing, we suffer because we cling to things that won’t last.”

Once we understand impermanence, we can decrease suffering.

I think there are two things we can do once we can really internalize and accept that nothing is permanent.

1 – When things are good we can embrace them, love them and enjoy this part of our lives.

2 – When things are NOT going as planned, when life is not good – we can understand, this will pass.

I remember standing at the scene of a crash – looking at the crushed family vehicle  and the kids toys and a little boy’s pillow on the side of the freeway. I remember looking at all of these things indicative of any family’s road trip. I thought ‘Yesterday this mom had everything. Yesterday, they had plans for a trip, a routine-family trip. Today she doesn’t have one of her boys.’

I contemplated this. I went over and over again in my mind how this could have happened. One steep hill, one sharp turn and a life taken and many lives forever changed.

I witnessed people’s lives changed in a moment over and over again. It was the signature of news ‘nothing is permanent.’

With this understanding… that life is fleeting – it can give us more gratitude for what we do have now and help us live in the present.

And I’m not only talking about a fleeting life in terms of the physical life, but life as we know it. Maybe it’s just right now you own a house, you have a working car; maybe it’s clean drinking water and a cable subscription or good health or a job.

When we know the things of this life are fleeting, it is easier to find the joy in this very moment.

Hear more about how you can embrace the good and power through the bad by clicking on the “play” button above. You can also listen to Happiness in Progress on iTunes, Google Play Music or here.


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