Robert Holden Goes Direct To Find Happiness, Joy And Success Within
By Julie Fustanio Kling
Dancing, singing and hearing the reverberation of your echo in a mountain canyon might qualify as direct experiences with your inner beauty. They are certainly easier than soul gazing in the mirror, silent meditation and Ashtanga yoga. But you can’t spend your life following your joy or in spiritual practice. Or can you?
British Author and Psychologist Robert Holden Ph.D, who dances and meditates freely while he coaches, suggests that you can’t afford not to. Following your joy rather than chasing happiness is one of the key ingredients to finding a direct path to the kind of happiness and success that he writes about in “Authentic Success,” “Shift Happens” and “Happiness Now” among other books published by Hay House. A direct experience with your inner beauty doesn’t require forgiveness; it doesn’t require learning how to love; it doesn’t require wealth or even that much time, really. It just requires a daily spiritual practice.
Joy and success are at once intelligent, unreasonable and radical because they don’t require anything to exist, he says.
● How do you define success? Name five things you were successful doing this week. It might be easier than you think.
● How do you feel when you think about following your joy versus searching for happiness?
These are some of the exercises Holden offered at his two-day coach’s camp in Las Vegas last week where he gave coaches from all over the world the confidence to lead with love.
Daily Spiritual Practice
“Your soul is already happy,” Holden says. “You don’t have to change your psyche, you have to change your mind about yourself.” A daily spiritual practice, which includes meditating for 30 minutes to an hour in the morning, allows you to pay attention to the calmness within that knows everything will be alright. After losing his mother to severe depression and his father to crippling addiction, the kind that left him homeless for the last 10 years of his life, Holden began writing what he calls love letters to his parents. The books turned into the happiness project, which became a television series on BBC, led to an interview with Oprah and gave him the distinction of being one of the happiest people in Great Britain.
How? With a daily spiritual practice. “The more time I paid to calmness the better I felt,” he says. “It was like there was an angel welcoming me back to myself.”
Following his joy led him to expand his spiritual practice with yoga. Just recently he took a yoga teacher training course and began incorporating yoga into his daily spiritual practice.
You Are Not Alone
A direct experience with joy is like a sacred yes, Holden says. A direct experience with your fear of failure provides an opportunity to ask, what if the opposite were true? What if success was guaranteed?
“You have every reason to be afraid if you are doing something by yourself,” he says. “If you knew who walked beside you, you would know, you are not alone...If you really go for it you will shift from the ego to the soul and your success will be a gift to the world.”
Loveability and Forgiveness
“Loveability” is another one of Holden’s book titles and his projects, which he uses to coach corporations like Google and Dove to individuals all over the world.
Love, like joy and success is intelligent, he says. Instead of healing people, consider coaching from love, which assumes that people are inherently whole.
“If we spend too much time looking for love, we miss the point. We are the love.”
But first, we have to forgive. Forgiveness is the only earthly type of love, according to Holden. Trees don’t forgive each other. But as Spiritual Teacher Ram Das reminds us, trees don’t judge each other either.
When you go into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees… and some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens and some of them are – whatever. And you look at the tree, and you just – allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is, you sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way, and you don’t get all emotional about it, you just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that, and you’re constantly saying, “You’re too this,” or “I’m too this,” or – that judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees, which means appreciating them just the way they are. ~ Ram Das
The contracts that we make with ourselves on a daily basis are often indirect and ego based, which makes them full of judgement. Would you rather try to let go of your ego to go direct, or stay on an indirect path?
“The idea that we need to deserve what we desire is wrong,” Holden says. “The soul doesn’t see our image or our ego, that’s why it loves unconditionally...The ego says love me like this and I’ll believe it. What we don’t realize is that love is loving us the whole time.”
To learn more about Robert Holden, Ph.D. visit robertholden.com.