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35 steps to happiness and inner peace

Our bunny was with us all day yesterday. He (or she?) lives under the big blue spruce tree outside the front door of our townhome and we like to think of him as our mascot.

In any case, there he was. And as I watched him nibbling happily at the new spring grass I thought, "Hey. Spring is coming. What a great time to share some thoughts about happiness and inner peace with my readers." So here we go.

35 steps to happiness and inner peace 

1. Yes, the world is in a bit of a fix. But the stars still come out every night just where you'd expect to see them.

2. Your body may be aging but the unconquerable spirit that you truly are is not aging at all.

3. How could your being age? Being doesn't have a form. It exists outside of the range of time and space.

 4. Who you truly are is unborn, and undying.

 5. Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? The truth of that loved one is timeless, just as you too are timeless.

 6. I lost my dad a little over 10 years ago. But I feel the presence of his indomitable spirit more strongly now at times than I ever did when he was here in physical form.

 7. How come laughter is so contagious? On the news last night my wife and I saw a clip of this cute baby laughing its head off every time a letter was torn up in front of its face. It only took a moment or two -- and JoAnn and I were laughing as hard as the baby.

One being. One spirit. One whole.

 8. We think we are separate, individual beings. And we are, I suppose, up to a point. But we are also one. One being. One spirit. And one whole.

9. You don't have to do great things to change the world. Just be still for a moment amid the clamor and turmoil -- and the whole world is affected immediately. The world has a calm center, and it is you.

10. The human voice is a miracle. It's a conveyor for love. Just for fun, try using your voice sometime to comfort yourself. For example, you could say: "It's all right." Or, "Be strong." Or, "You always do your best." It sure comforts me sometimes, makes a difference to how I feel.

11. Respect is at the core of our divine character. Determine to live one day with total respect for people, Nature, and circumstances. It will change your life.

12. Be kind. Kindness is one of the most powerful forces in the world.

13. Are you afraid you may get to the end of your life and find it was all in vain? I have some good news. It's never too late to be still for a moment -- and realize that who you truly are is already redeemed, and already whole. You are already worthwhile, and nothing can make you more worthwhile than you already are.

14. I used to think that stillness was a nonentity, a kind of emptiness, a waste of time. But that was then and now is now. Now I know that stillness is the very source of happiness and peace. It is the truth I was seeking for so long until one day I stopped, and simply surrendered to the source of my being.

15. Do you love rivers? Find a nice stream and gently, with love, let all your regrets be carried away to some faraway ocean.

Which world will you choose?

16. There are two attitudes to life, and they create very different worlds. One attitude is characterized by truth and love and compassion. One is toxic with fear, anger and greed. Which world will you choose?

17. As long as we are in this world, feelings of fear will arise in us. But they don't come only to warn us of danger -- they come also to be blessed, and set free in the light of our own true presence.

18. Are you at a low point in your life? Does it seem as if all is lost? Take heart. There is one thing you can never lose -- and it is your own unconquerable spirit.

19. You are a masterpiece. You always have been a masterpiece. You don't have to add anything to the light that you already are. All you have to do is let it shine more brightly through you.

The truth is true, and all is well

20. A favorite quote from my mentor long ago went like this: "The truth is true, and all is well. Unconquerable life prevails."

21. Do you love birds? Of course you do. Birds remind us that we too can fly -- it is why we have the gift of imagination.

22. When you fulfill your primary purpose in this world, that is, to know yourself and be at peace with your life, all of Nature gives a deep sigh of relief.

23. When you stay true to the wisdom and truth of your own being there is nothing you cannot meet, and no despair that does not contain a blessing within its wings.

Be strong and of a good courage

24. Be strong, and of a good courage. There is a reason why the Angel loves to speak these words to us.

25. The truth is not a teaching, and a teaching is not the truth.

26. Is something troubling you? Don't get agitated. Don't try to push the thought away. Don't try to draw it closer to you either. Just be still, and listen to the wisdom of your own unconquerable being speaking through the fear.

27. Happiness is our natural state.

28. Happiness comes from within. But there's a paradox here. It was only when I stopped looking for happiness in the external world -- gave up on it, you might say -- gave myself up for lost, to be honest -- that I became conscious of the happiness that is permanently present at the core of our being.

29. When we become conscious of our own true presence it doesn't take much to give us joy.

30. Seeing a bird will do it. Or waving to a neighbor as I drive out of our complex, or even -- can you believe this? -- going to the supermarket.

31. Sipping a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, watching a child at play, going to the gym, sitting in my chair or going for a walk... they can all give us pleasure.

32. But while pleasure and pain come and go like storms at sea who we truly are does not change.

What is true is never lost

33. Death is a loss, yes. It can wrench us to the bone. When my first wife died suddenly of a stroke on our 25th wedding anniversary, I was numb with shock not just for a day, but for years.

But now I see that what is true in a person never dies. Only the forms that life creates through which to shine its splendor actually see birth and death.

34. Another favorite quote. This is from the Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi: “Discover the undying Self and be immortal and happy."

35. We will live in a very different world when we replace the fear of death with an increasing awareness of our own divine essence -- and the gifts of the loving universe of which we are a part.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

John Sherry March 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

You know sometimes when you see lists like this Christopher you read quotes and thoughts that are regurgitated all the time. Not here. Wow! Some of these are unique and highly inspiring and motivating. I salute you sir. I adore No.25 about the truth not being a teaching and vice versa but my spirit rocks most to No.19 which is a masterpiece about a masterpiece. Your spirit speaks through you here Christopher and with all the love in your soul. Be well and blessed.
John Sherry recently posted..4 Powerful Self-Acceptance Tips


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

John, I marvel that you’re over there in Coventry — in my old country — and I’m here in the middle of the vastness of the US but we share the same spirit. Thankyou so much for your words. You are a blessing in my life and in the lives of many others.


Phil Malmstrom March 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I have to tell you Christopher, I just love your lists. It’s very obvious that they come from your heart, and from the careful observations and ponderings of a truly special soul. 🙂

Have a Blessed Day my Friend.
Phil Malmstrom recently posted..Miracles and Wonders


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thankyou Phil. Everytime I share your words and spirit here or at your own blog (thank you so much for your blog by the way — a great gift to this world) I’m awed at the strange truth that every relationship or friendship we have is unique. Not to be replicated anywhere. So thankful for the unique connection I feel with you. Stay well.


Joe Wilner March 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm


This list offers a truly powerful perspective to take toward life. We are all born as perfect and natural in a spiritual and essential way. I have begun to realize that inner peace for me comes from ending a process of comparing myself to others and seeking to be kind and compassionate to others. I love that you mention the oneness of everything. I believe that each and every person has an impact and influence on the world from right where they are. We can all feel a sense a meaning and purpose from this view.


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Joe, such a pleasure to hear from you. I think you bring up an important point. The habit of comparing ourselves to others is buried pretty deep in our psyche — how cool, way cool to become more conscious of this pesky but also destructive gremlin and give it the boot…It has no place in us.


Robin Easton March 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Dear Chris, this is fabulous.

You are a master at lists like this, not only in the creative ideas you come up with, but the unique way you express them.

The section that really moved me deeply was “What is True is Never Lost” That is beautiful. So so piercingly beautiful. It cuts right to the core of what is important. But then that is one of your greatest gifts. You have a wisdom that is original and fresh, one garnered through living life fully and claiming it all, no matter what is going on. It gives you a pithiness and depth that is very evident in your insights. As if you take insight to one level deeper than is commonly seen.

Much love to you dear friend,

I also LOVED LOVED your comment on my Nature for Housebound people. Brilliant beyond words. Very moving. Thank you SOOOOO much.
Robin Easton recently posted..Fear- Life Giving Adventure


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

It’s a privilege to walk the planet with you Robin. Thankyou for these generous-hearted words. And thank you so, so much for taking the time to contribute your unique spirit here. Blessings.


Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being March 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

I love the simplicity that shines through this post almost as much as the content itself.

And speaking of birds… I began my day with them as I woke up to snow and had let the bird feeder empty (there’s this little chipmunk…) So before I was even out of my jammies I bundled up and trundled out to the shed and filled the feeders. But the birds always amaze me, and make me think of the quote from the bible which I don’t know but will paraphrase, about how they don’t worry or toil, they live one day at a time, open to whatever life brings.

Hello from me to your lucky little bunny. And thank you!
Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being recently posted..Are You Mistaken About What Channeling Is


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Patti. What did I do right to have such a friend? I love what you say about your birds. Thanks for saying hi to the bunny, he sends his love back to you as I do too…


Steven Aitchison March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Hey Christopher, you’ve truly grown into a great blogger and it’s wonderful and amazing to see.

This is a brilliant post, I loved it. It’s not the same stuff you usually read, it’s unique and powerful.

I hope this comment finds you and your wife well Christopher ,and I’ll speak to you soon.
Steven Aitchison recently posted..6 Reasons Why You Might be Feeling Bad Now


Christopher Foster March 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Steven, to say you’ve made my day would be to understate the matter by a mile. Thank you so much for these wonderfully kind thoughts. I remember well how excited I was when I first connected with you and you have been a true friend and guide ever since.

JoAnn and I are doing well thank you. She’s not into giving anyone a big head, but I showed her your comment just now and she made some very kind and complimentary remarks to me along the line of what a great fellow I am. I do send you every good wish and thank you again for your kind and generous spirit. You are an inspiration to me and many other people.


Tess The Bold Life March 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm

All is well. It’s all good. No worries. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be. Isn’t life grand?
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..50 Questions for Reflection and Personal Growth


Christopher Foster March 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Yes. Life is good, isn’t it Tess. And even when it’s not good it’s still good. Who would want to miss it? Not me.


Sandra / Always Well Within March 9, 2011 at 12:25 am

This is so beautiful! I wish I could write such a beautiful list. You’ve given me a new model of how incredible a list can be and a new writing format to play with. Thank you for that.

I love the way you mingle imagery from nature throughout. For example,
“Do you love rivers? Find a nice stream and gently, with love, let all your regrets be carried away to some faraway ocean.”

I appreciate your profound perspective.
Sandra / Always Well Within recently posted..Have You Activated Your 2011 Word


Christopher Foster March 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Thank you Sandra. You words are always richly charged with life. Go woman, go. A real pleasure to be getting to know you.


The Vizier March 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

Hi Christopher,

Glad to know that your bunny is doing well. 🙂

And what a lovely list you have put together for us! I love the 35 steps to happiness and inner peace. The world could use more of such reminders. In particular, I was taken with the following:

10. The human voice is a miracle

Words that have sincerity and compassion are indeed powerful and moving. They can ease our fears, soothe our worries and give us strength when we need it the most.

20. The truth is true and all is well.

I love the quote “all is well.” I first came across it in the comedy 3 Idiots. It was not only a very funny film, it was also a moving and uplifting one. Even when we face the greatest trials and adversity, if we keep chanting “all is well” to ourselves, we can regain our balance and deal with the problem at hand more easily.

Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

Irving the Vizier
The Vizier recently posted..Finding Harmony in the Labyrinth


Christopher Foster March 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thank you for your comment Irving. I’m most interested in the movie you mention, I’ll see if I can get it from netflix. But most of all it is always such a pleasure to connect with you and with your spirit. You’re an original, friend.


Durwin Foster March 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Hello dad. Just stopped by to say hi. in between stints in childcare, home maintenance, and also two new work projects, one a writing project for a professional counselling journal, and the other a new contract doing psychotherapy.

Wondering if you received my last e-mails, particularly the one about men’s experience?


Clearly Composed March 31, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Your blogs warm my heart and make me smile inside and out. Thanks for being you and sharing in this venue. I am very grateful that you do. 🙂
Clearly Composed recently posted.. Sometimes Greed is Good…


Christopher Foster April 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Emma, thankyou and bless you. You know as well as I do what a difference a kind or encouraging word makes. “Backatcha” as a famous personage likes to say. I’m very grateful to you for being you and offering your gift thru your blog.


Jatin May 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hi Chris,

After going through the list, I feel like the word entity is out of my dictionary…
there is no such thing as entity it just one whole, and me who is typing this, is a part of that whole (hope I would be able to write here without me, again without ‘I’ here, it is just hard to do in words here… 🙂

Thanks Chris for blessing with this post.


Christopher Foster May 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

Jatin, thank you and bless you. Yes. Just one whole, and each of us loved by that whole and with an important part to play. So happy to connect with you.


Neeru July 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

While I read your blog, I had tears in my eyes. For the past 4 months, I am going through a rough time and reading lots of Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama and other Buddhist monks to find peace, even though I am not a buddhist. Your writing is like their.

Again I want to thank you for sharing your wisdom.



Christopher Foster July 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

Neeru, thank you so much for sharing. I’m sorry you’ve been having a difficult time lately and I do send you blessings and very best wishes. May you find peace, and find it soon.


Lois Jefferson December 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Isn’t life grand? All is well. Your writing is like their.
Lois Jefferson recently posted..Acne Tips


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