Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. — Mahatma Gandhi
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. — Nathaniel Hawthorne
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. — Martha Washington
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. — Thomas Jefferson
The Navajos, or more correctly the Diné are great people of knowledge who have lived in North America and in the Southwest for thousands of years. Diné is a culture that deeply honors kinship and spiritual aspects of life. Diné philosophy is about restoring and maintaining balance in life.
As a Westerner, I intimately know about life out of balance. I sought the usual Western values of success and wealth, status and importance in a vague promise that my world would be in balance and harmony. Perspectives change when you stand on the precipice of death and stare into the great void. I have learned true balance is the seed of happiness is cast to the winds, which can bring joy to you individually and joy to all.
I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona, and in the great Southwest over the past few decades. Flagstaff is in the northern part of the great state of Arizona. Northern Arizona is simply beautifully rugged terrain. It is a mix of majestic mountains and varied forests of aspen, ponderosa, and piñon pine. Flagstaff offers a unique climate, unlike most other parts of Arizona in that you need a warm, snuggly jacket and gloves for winter snowstorms that blanket mountains and shorts for the summer heatwaves pushed up from the desert 7,000 feet below.
Beyond Flagstaff, the northern region stretches away from the ponderosa pine forest, through piñon pine, and towards the stark desert lands. Wide vistas of the Mesa Lands open upon the desert. As a non-native, I am a visitor to this beautiful region that edges out the four corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. I am an often respectful, and sometimes a clumsy, interloper in the Native American culture. I have adapted some practices that I have grown to understand. I’ve misinterpreted a few others.
The Diné culture supports the individual goal and achievement of a meaningful life balance. Balance is represented by the four sacred mountains that include Blanca Peak (in Colorado), Mount Taylor (in New Mexico), Hesperus Mountain (also in Colorado), and the San Francisco Peaks (in Flagstaff, Arizona where this story starts). The four sacred mountains signify four directions in life. In reflection of the four sacred directions, the day is segmented into four distinct times – each is represented by a particular direction and a given color.
By close observation, the earth spirit holds the four directions giving rise to the possibility of an individual life in balance that can be achieved. As caretakers of this land, it is our responsibility is to achieve individual balance with the earth. The essence of life – a deep yearning to be happy – can then be realized when life is in balance.
Before my event, I occasionally sampled aspects of spirituality and religion. I was a part-time spiritual explorer. I sought answers to scattered questions of life. Often, messages that we receive from parents and peers can have a negative impact and often corrupt the pure view that we held as young children. By the time many of us reach our early twenties, often we are jaded by skepticism. Our ability to live fully a life rich with love and compassion is often tarnished.
The event evolved to an opportunity to investigate the messages that I received and their deeper meanings. The event took on a state distinct from this world, which seemed clearer than this dreamlike world that we live in. The messages spoke to the pervasiveness of love in the now and the hereafter. They spoke to the spiritual aspects of who each of us is in the world, our balance with the spirit of nature, and what it means to be truly human. Balance is the essence of happiness.
The event gave me a stark blessing for focus. We are in the here and now of a multifaceted thread of life stories. The focus on this “here and now” was achieved in a dreamlike state of absence from this world. I received assurance and evidence that we do not ever walk alone in this life. We also do not die. We only transition. We can relax into the truth of being eternal. This life is a mere shadow of the spirit world. This life can be viewed as a dream and the life hereafter as the real world that we get to transition to.
I was also gifted a guide. I was, unknowingly, introduced to her early on in this journey. In the ebb and flow of my jaunt around northern Arizona, she supported me in my existential search. After the event, I did not understand the messages received prior to the life-threatening event. I even questioned my sanity. However, I still wrote down each and every word of the four messages received.
Doubts of my sanity vanquished on the night of my heart attack. My spirit guide was there as I re-awoke to this world. She supported me. I understood what my spirit guide was talking about in the four messages. The essence of life is to live in gratitude and to share happiness. Further, in day-to-day living, we can map out directions that provide us with opportunities to uniquely contribute to our family, and our community, and to direct our thankfulness and gratitude for living in this moment in time.
By observing patterns in our day and the beliefs that we anchor to, we can examine our own nature. In the examination, we have the opportunity to re-balance our lives. Using the four essential directions, we can meter our life in harmony with the spirit of Mother Nature and Father Sky.
In this book, I will share the four messages that I received. The messages are a roadmap to balance. A process to support balance and happiness is discussed too. Each message is offered to you as a possibility to expand in the warm light of ongoing love. Love is the nectar of life and our ultimate goal. Your level of happiness will be enhanced by practice, patience, and self-love noted in the messages.
It is my sincere prayer that you will find this book to be an offering to you. This gift can provide a direction and a path to return to your original and authentic self and show the way to be in balance. Our happiness is a choice that we can regain and that we do ultimately control. Look to nature, the land, and the sky, and seek out happiness and joy. Your intention will guide you!
(c) 2019-2022 Ron McFarland, All Rights Reserved