Is Happiness in Your Genes?

Is Happiness in Your Genes?

What a strange statement to me. Of course, since the “gene connection” was made years ago, we’ve been saying variations of “It’s in you genes” since then; as if you were born that way, there’s no other option, and that’s the beginning and end of it. One of the best things I learned in high school was something more about genes than what scientists and the news usually present: the difference between phenotype and genotype.

At one time, I was deeply involved with horses. Horses are traditionally measured using your hand, from the ground to the top of the shoulders, and so we can describe a horse as being “16 hands high.” Anyway, I was fortunate that my Senior General Science class was about genetics, and I learned that while a horse might have genes that “say” it should be 16 hands high, it might in reality only reach 14 hands high.

That is the phenotype, the actual expression, which may be different from the genotype due to outside, environmental influences. Continue reading

Happiness is Within – But What Does that Mean?

Is it just a cliche, a dead thought? Or is it alive in and
as you?

What does “Happiness is Within” mean in your actual life?

If that is truth for you, then it means that

  • there is no clinging; you do not need anything nor anyone outside of you,
  • your movement of attention when you seek well being is inward, not outward,
  • you stop seeking happiness in things, people, or events.

It means equanimity, and the unshakeable peace that comes with it.

When people do think or say the words “Happiness is within,” most are just giving it “lip service.” For those people, it is just a nice theoretical thought they use when it suits them – usually while counseling others. They say it just because it sounds good, and they generally only say it about themselves when things are going well. Few say and uphold it when things go awry. Continue reading

Perspective is everything, for everyone…even Stephen Hawking, and God

Perspective is everything, for everyone…even Stephen Hawking, and God

The newspaper headline reads, “God did not create Universe: Hawking.”

Hawking is not immune to being a respected error-maker and now I may add him in second place to my all-time favourite: Descartes, who declared “I think, therefore I am.”

“I am..” comes before the thought “I am a thinker.” There must be Knowing before thinking. As a result of this mistaken identity of being a thinker, many people have, in essence, come to worship the thinking mind, and their thoughts as truth.

It would be closer to the truth to say “I am, therefore I think.” Oh well, to err is human, and other brilliant thinkers once concluded the earth was flat. Perspective is everything. Continue reading

What is a “spiritual” author?

NTSA-logoWhen you cruise the categories of the books entered in the “Next Top Spiritual Author” contest, you find subjects like:

Art, Business, Dating, Diet & Nutrition, Divorce, Gardening, Massage, Organizing, Sports, Technology, Travel, and UFO’s. This makes one question exactly what is meant by a “spiritual” author. The contest organizers say “This competition is focused on finding authors who have a message that appeals to the spiritual market. This market, often referred to the “new thought market” offers personal growth and spiritual messages (religious messages are not considered “new thought”). Authors like James Twyman, Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dyer, James Redfield, Abraham Hicks, etc – have messages that appeal to this market.”

To me, in the truest sense of the word, a “spiritual” author or teacher is one who has both awakened and can point others toward It. They cut directly through all concept and thought about awakening, so that one can awaken to the only possibility–to That which always was, before ideas about It, and to That which always will be.

With this definition, there are only a handful of true spiritual teachers embodied in the world today.

What this contest seeks to find is a message and a messenger that appeals to seekers. Seekers, one of which I used to consider myself, have not settled for what we have been conditioned to believe in and experience abut life, even though they may be strongly conditioned that way. They innately know there is some…thing… else. They cannot turn away from the fact that everything changes and that this body has come and will go, nor from a sense that what they have known is not all there is.

They cannot turn away from the mystery.

The irony is that it is only a mystery to the mind, and it will always remain a mystery to the mind because It is not thought, and the mind is thought. It cannot be known by thought–that would make it simply a thought. Therefore, a true spiritual teacher will not conceptually tell you “We are all one” because they know that would be cheating you.

Feel good “pep talks” are not It, and as sure as any other thought and state, “spiritual” pep-talks fade away. And most importantly, as sure as any other belief, they can actually direct you away from It, away from your own true discovery, your own direct knowing of It; the only thing that will truly, permanently, infinitely satisfy you. As it should be. As it must be. For those who worship thought and knowledge, there will be no Knowing of Self.

Yet there is a place for thought, hope, and belief. They are the boats that can take you across the stream to Knowing. However, do not cling to the boat, do not cling to thought, hope, or belief. At some point, you must abandon all knowledge and thought; you must step out on the other side, into Knowing, as Knowing.

When I heard of the contest, I hesitated entering because I know I am not a spiritual author, in the truest sense of the term. And yet, I will also not “parrot” concepts, ideas, hopes, or beliefs. I strive to speak only from what true Knowing is present, moment to moment.

Like you, I cannot turn away from the mystery. And turning toward it has resulted in experiences and understandings, and love and joy beyond what has been known or can be expressed, and immense gratitude–all of which cannot be contained. Like an unstoppable seed sprouting through concrete, it is emerging. Thank-you for shining your light on it.


Cindy Teevens is author of The Alchemy of Love and Joy, the end of suffering and birth of unconditional love.

True Infinite Love

True Infinite Love


A gift arose with the early morning sun on my stroll today.

I had been contemplating the massive changes in my life and my experience of life since last April (when I discovered the joy we all are), when a big picture understanding struck me.

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) it is known that we hold values that drive our attention, intention, behaviour, and beliefs. Beliefs cluster around values, and while we can loosen, erode, and replace beliefs one by one, it is a tedious and slow process because there can be many of them, and also perhaps  because they are important to supporting the more important, larger value they are linked to, and so we cling to them. A faster, highly effective method is to shift the order and priority of our values.

Contemplating this and what happened to me, I noted that all of my conscious beliefs had tumbled at once, and so there must have been a major shift in a major value. And then it clearly became obvious! I knew my topmost, utmost, driving value at the time was love. But it had not shifted priority–what had happened was that top value had shifted from “love”, to “love itself“.

Let me elaborate… when we do what is called a “values elicitation”, not only do we discover the true (sometimes unconscious) values which drive your life, we discover their order of priority, and we have techniques to shift these priorities. When you shift your priorities inside, major changes happen on the outside. For example, what if your most important, driving value was love, and then it became money? You can just imagine all the major changes that would follow.

It hit me that we have not (until this moment) looked at the object of the value, i.e. if love was your highest priority–love of what?

If it is the love “of someone else,” as in a relationship, then are are attachments and needs involved. You will require a certain kind of person, and for them to be (or not be) a certain way at all times, in order for you to experience love.  And of course no person will always at all times fulfill your fantasy. With this kind of love, let’s call it “attachment love”, you are actually trading needs, not being in a loving relationship. You hold hope for fulfillment of those needs. You are always on the look-out for those needs being fulfilled, or being violated. You will give and be loving so long as these needs are met, and the moment they are not, you are unhappy. You are attached to something outside of you, believing it to be your source of happiness, and you are needy, and unstable.

What you fear (like this person not fulfilling your needs), appears in mind, even if not in truth. You will believe and perceive what you don’t want to have.

Having had the object of my love ripped from me because of false appearances and this type of needy fear, I could have become jaded, and dropped love lower on my values scale. Perhaps this is what temporarily happens when someone is dumped, they move away from relationships for a while, however the innate desire to experience love remains and so eventually they venture out again.

Instead of dropping love as a priority, when I realized we are the source of love and joy, and that I could feel the love I wanted without the person–that this is actually and truly an inside fact, I shifted the object of my love to love itself.

That intention was seeded already, as there was a growing desire to give and be only love, to have a mutual dropping of the false faces and the mask of ego, to be open, and genuine, and safe in vulnerability, to have and experience unshakable, infinite love. While you cannot be assured the other will drop their defenses, the chances are better if you do first. Knowing you are the source of your happiness enables you to do this. Even if they do not open to the possibilities of true, infinite love, you can be it and thereby have it yourself.

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see…” To me this is a very clear, direct, instruction to be the change (inside) that you want to see (outside). The Alchemy of Love and Joy is the how.

The love object ripped from me (and after promises of true love and permanency), yet the desire for, and the presence of, love still remaining, I shifted my highest value onto love itself.  I discovered that we don’t need an object to have the feeling or experience, and that in fact they have nothing to do with each other. I experienced and knew the full feeling and sensations of love without an object of love. Objects and people are not permanent. The love and joy of being is.

The power of the highest value is that it is a driver, it says “this is the most important, no matter what!” That combined with the fact that causing, being, and feeling love and joy is possible, no matter what, uncovers the fact that who we really are is freedom.

When the experience, or feeling itself, without object, becomes the actual value, you no longer need the object, you are not needy, you have more love to give than take, and, ironically, in the case of love, everything and everyone becomes an unattached object of appreciation, love, and enjoyment. You get far more on the “outside” than you could have ever gotten with attachment love, which limits you, puts all that impossible pressure on one person, and makes you unable to truly love them with infinite love.

The practice of The Alchemy of Love and Joy helps people break the belief that the outside holds their happiness, and to become self-fulfilling, to become non-attached–situation by situation. With a powerful enough experience, or repeated experiences, these old limiting beliefs can be dissolved. With a minor modification of the values elicitation process, it can be used to assist people to shift the object of their value from the outside to the inside, resulting in simultaneous mass dropping of beliefs–all at once–and this will now be incorporated into the Alchemy Retreats.

Love is still high on my values, but it is no longer the highest, because our highest value tends to be that which we do not have, and want. Now I have it. Inside. Eternally. What has become of utmost importance is concretely, experientially, beyond doubt knowing who I really am and what life and death is all about (not as a concept or thought), and that is now being revealed, and ironically, with it comes all the love, joy, gratitude, abundance, and bliss that exists within it.

Set your values high, and non-attached, and all you have ever desired will be yours. True, infinite love is a wonderful, attainable starting point.

My Favourite Videos

My Favourite Videos

“Everybody Loves Raymond” illustrates how no-one knows why we are here on earth, with humour. (Refer to the chapter “Survey says?!” in “The Alchemy of Love and Joy”.

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Find out who you are now

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What is the evidence of  “You”?

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Stay as I am

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Before knowledge

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Papaji answers “Can you show me God?”

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Detonator for the ego

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Absolute Watchfulness

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Were you born?

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Forget about enlightenment

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You are the Holy Spirit

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Amazing Grace

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Don’t just fill your cup–realize it is bottomless

Don’t just fill your cup–realize it is bottomless

After an Alchemy of Love and Joy™ session, people leave feeling happy and peaceful. The other day a client called to make an appointment “I really need it,” she said. That, along with some other readers’ comments like, “I read your book when I need a tune-up,” and “it picks me up when I feel down,” brought to my attention the need for more emphasis on how the practice can help you realize your innate freedom, permanently.

You don’t need the book. That is an outside thing. You don’t need a session to “tune-up,” to “recharge your battery,” or to “fill your cup” or your “tank.” Your intention for doing the work needs to be to use the suffering to breakthrough to freedom. When you truly realize that nothing outside of you can make you feel good, and that nothing outside of you can make you feel bad, and that you can enjoy this life that is living you at any time no matter what is going on “outside,” you know true freedom and peace of mind.

Your life, your experience, will change fundamentally in these ways:

  • There is a deep sense of peace and well-being
  • You know that no thing, no person, no event can emotionally hurt you
  • Weather does not negatively affect you
  • You need nothing, and no-one
  • Nothing stresses you, there is nothing you hate doing
  • You are so self-fulfilled that you have more to give than take, you love without condition
  • You are comfortable everywhere
  • You may see “old-mind” arising, and laugh at it as an option
  • Nothing is serious, because you have freedom of experience; Life becomes lighter
  • You may see unconsciousness or suffering in others, and relate with compassion
  • You may engage in causing the experience of so much love, connection, joy, and peace that it becomes bliss or ecstasy
  • You love yourself, all beings great and small, and all of creation
  • You are fearless and free

What has been keeping those people from attaining this? There is a deep-seated fundamental belief that the outside controls us. Many people cite the thought “Only I can hurt myself.” Ask the same person if they can generate feeling good if their friend dies or their lover leaves, and the answer will likely be “Oh, no.”

Offered to recognize a bottomless cup instead of a re-fill, the client responds, “You mean you can feel good even if your daughter says she never wants to see you again?”

“Yes,” I replied.

We have confused things for feelings. We have confused people for feelings. We have confused events for feelings. We have confused thoughts for feeling. Feeling is independent of any thing else. It is a body-mind function, like breathing, that you can take conscious control of, and choose how you want to feel–by causing it. Once you have experienced this, old-mind and its habits will try to convince you otherwise, that it’s not real, or not right (more bad feeling, more unconsciousness). Shine your light of consciousness and presence on it by saying “But it IS,” and choosing and preferring a better feeling. Accept the good feeling by enjoying it, nurture it. The “rightness” of it will become apparent with the intelligence that being who you really are comes with. Eventually old-mind will erode and fade as just the other option it always was.

When you suffer, you are creating the feeling. When you feel good with a lover, you are creating the feeling. Enjoy yourself–it is all you ever do enjoy!

How do you create this breakthrough, have this experience, and acquire this knowing? Begin to “play” with feeling. Even good ones. Take conscious ownership and make a good feeling even bigger, better. Decide and intend to use the practice to experience and realize freedom. Recognize ANY and EVERY bad thought-feeling and reject them all. Do the practice. While doing so, be determined not to accept blaming any outside “cause” on your pain. Do not accept any bad feeling as you seek only a better one, and only inside. Download and read The Alchemy of Love and Joy™. Times of pain or suffering are great gifts, great opportunities to do the practice, and realize the freedom that you are. Feel fantastic in the face of adversity and nothing can ever hurt you again. Recognize, practice, and live the bottomless cup that you are.

We don’t want things, people or events. We want the feeling we mistake them for.

We don’t want things, people or events.
We want the feeling we mistake them for.

–and you can have it any time.


That was a key message offered and received at the The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ talk held in Ottawa in August 2009. We cause how we feel, and we can choose and cause how we want to feel no matter what is going-on around us, if we practice The Alchemy of Love and Joy™. If you use suffering to point you toward joy, to consciously seek joy in the face of adversity, you can blow-out the belief that has held you captive all your life; the belief that outside things can hurt you or make you feel good.

Having had that experience, I can say it was the most profound thing that ever “happened” to me. I put “happened” in quotes to point out how deeply rooted this fundamental belief is–it is even built-into our language! It did not “happen” to me. I did it. I decided it was not how I wanted to feel, and I made the internal movement toward joy. I made myself feel better by actually seeking and creating pleasure and joy.

Many of us have been told before that no-one can hurt us, or at least not unless we “allow” it. So just how to do we this “allowing?” Even that sentence is not truth. The truth is we do it. We hurt ourselves, we actually cause the interior pain, and that is hard to swallow if you don’t even know that you are doing it, much less how, and worse yet if you can’t do anything to change it. Now we know how, and now you can change it.

In May of this year I experienced severe suffering and refused to “go outside.” I refused to blame anyone or anything for my pain, and that forced me to go deeply inside for relief. To my surprise I found that, like babies, we can switch from pain to laughter immediately. We were all born bundles of joy who forgot that, and before we even had words to describe how we create joy, we learned to mistake the power for the “outside.”

The only things standing in your way of freedom and joy now are the old beliefs that something outside can hurt you or make you feel good, and habit. Isn’t it interesting that the “something” can be pretty much anything?! First of all, does that make any sense, could that really be possible, that pretty much anything has this control over you? What it really is, are the things we decided to believe could hurt or please us, which were then put on auto-pilot.

Our nervous system is extremely masterful at automating self-protective reactions. Touch a hot stove and you jerk away fast. Intervention of reason, of conscious thought, is not only unnecessary, it is not desirable. How beneficial would it be to think “Oh, gee, I think that’s hot, hmmm maybe I should remove my hand?” When it comes to physical injury and pain, this lightening-fast automatic response is usually the right thing.

However this same auto-mechanism is used in reaction to other external events or thoughts, where it is not desirable. Unlike a hot stove, just because you feel the effects of a negative thought does not mean the thought is right or true. It means you are experiencing a negative-feeling thought. Nothing else. Certainly the pain you created is real, but that does not meant the thought is true.

You see a man walk past you with a scowl, and the majority of people have a knee-jerk bad feeling and believe something like “he looked at me ugly,” or one of another thousand variations of mind-reads all designed for bad feeling. In this day and age, what survival need does this fulfill? For all you know, his wife just died.

Why did we seek pain, for us and others, this way?

–simply due to not knowing better, having inherited the only previously known way to get relief, and through the unconsciousness of delusion and suffering. When we are suffering, we contract away from intelligence, we become deluded. When feeling good, we access a vast intelligence beyond the pain. The more you contract, the narrower your vision becomes, and the only thing that can wake-you-up from it is the pain…the pain that is telling you to stop contracting, to expand, to seek joy.

Our fear and pain reaction system can be put on such a fast automatic-pilot that we are not aware that it is ourselves actually causing the bad feeling inside. We mistake the outside event for the cause. The event that happened is not your feeling. You may be abandoned, but you don’t have to feel abandoned. We can confuse events and things for feelings. You may notice the thought someone rejected you, but you don’t have to feel rejected. We have confused thoughts for feelings. Nothing, no-one, no thought can make you feel any thing, good, or bad. Yes, this “outside” condition or situation exists, and yes, you can feel good.

A question posed during the presentation was, “Isn’t that denial?”

Yes, and no. Yes, it is denial of the belief that it can hurt you, which will return you to sanity and peace. And while you choose, cause, and sustain the feeling you want in spite of the outside conditions, while looking directly at the conditions (not denying them), you are not denying the totality of reality. The reality is that there is much more available to you; there’s much more going on in your experience that is NOT suffering, than is. So actually, suffering is denial.

Another important message was that the automatic, habitual response of looking outside for the “reason” or cause of our hurt only serves to support the belief that something outside did it. Plus, you will never find the solution focusing on the problem.

Suffering causes stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, it over-works the heart, motivates you for bad behaviour which you may later regret, and just poisons your body, the people around you, and the earth’s energy.

There is only one purpose for suffering–to point you toward joy!

Use suffering as your cue not to go looking “outside” (where you can’t change anything anyway); use it to go inside and do the practice. Ask yourself what you do want, and then how what you want feels. And feel it. First feel the relief, then build it beyond to feeling good. In this way, you are giving yourself back what you had been denying yourself. Suffering is a contraction away from the full glory of who you are. No wonder it hurts!

At first the old habits do battle, but if you make feeling good a priority, and not fall for or believe anything that would take you away from it, peace, joy, and love will become your new predominant states, as they have for me. It seems I can’t suffer anymore. The idea of suffering has become amusing, even. Given the two options, no sane person would choose to suffer. When you practice The Alchemy of Love and Joy™, you give yourself the other option which was always already available to you.  You open to the vast intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge that is always available to you. As you begin to question your old beliefs and expand, as a bonus all of your physical senses become heightened–what a refreshened delight life becomes, in every activity!

I have directly and clearly seen the delusion intense suffering causes, and directly and clearly seen the intense suffering that delusion causes. I have both experienced it and been the co-creating cause of it in the past. Now I presence with and as the solution. Clearly knowing how unnecessary it is, and yet how painful it is, my heart of compassion cracked open, and I must share this gift of freedom, joy, peace, and love beyond conditions.

Language by nature limits, and now knowing that many of our simple and habitual sentences like “It made me happy,” or “It annoyed me,” are not true,  I search for ways to express my experience that are truthful. And when other people voice things I know can’t be true, purely out of unconscious and handed-down habit, the words jump out and glare at me. To enable me to work with people, I may use a powerless sentence while being fully aware that it is not truth, and knowing that we are using it to move toward truth, peace, and joy. From the very roots of our language, our society has been denying who we really are. From birth, who you really are is freedom, power, peace, and joy, and you can reclaim your birthright, right now.

Warning: may cause sudden outbursts of laughter, and intense joy. Seek joy! –Cindy

  • J.Myers, Vancouver said: Thank you so much my ‘little bundle of JOY”, you certainly ‘walk the talk’ and I will practice, practice, practice. By the way here is what my friend from Vancouver wrote to me last night …about AJ  (–I.A, Ottawa):

Thanks so much for sending the ebook….I just read it and I’m tingling from head to toe. This is so IT! And the crazy thing is, I get it! And even better, I am BEING it!!! –J.Myers, Vancouver

  • Michelle De Angelis, Ottawa said: Cindy;
    Thank you so much for opening your home and soul. You’re an amazing leader and teacher. I have my joy back! I have not stopped smiling or feeling so *good* Words fail me to express what my body and mind is saying.
    I want to write you a song, a poem, a dance and show you a rainbow.
    Cause you gave me the way to get out of the ebb and stay in the flow!
    The lessons I learned in those few but “extended” hours of loving conversation I’ll cherish. and use. and share. Thank you.
    Namaste sweet love.
  • B.T., Ottawa said: Really glad that I made your lecture. I was practicing while I was camping on vacation. I caught poison ivy on my second day there and there was no “suffering” involved. Yes, there was itchiness and it was like you described during your talk. An interesting sensation. I am sure it was way less serious as I was able to go the entire 4 days and only scratched once !!Also, I had really wanted this ex-boyfriend to be there camping with me – I have been obsessed with him since we broke up…and was using the practice to feel his presence. It has helped me to not phone him on several occasions.

Feel Fantastic in the Face of Adversity, and Nothing Can Ever Hurt You Again

Feel fantastic in the face of adversity,
and nothing can ever hurt you again

When you come face-to-face with feeling joy at the same time as seeing, hearing, or knowing something “bad” outside you, and if you refuse to deny that you are in fact feeling joy, and you accept it as true in your experience, then it will profoundly change your life forever.

It will disconnect you from the belief that you need anything in order to feel good. It disconnects you from the belief that anything can make you feel bad. It disconnects you from the attachment to these thoughts. You will then know without doubt that how you feel has nothing to do with what is going-on around you. Every opportunity after that to practice again and again in adversity will re-affirm this truth in your belief and experience, and you will come to know and step-into your true power.

Feeling good does not mean you accept something unwanted “outside” you, or that you don’t or won’t do something to change it. It means you become so much more powerful to change it. It means you are using your full intelligence to know if and what to change. It means you expect it to change to match your reality, your joy.

Free yourself from the belief that outside things have control over you. Otherwise, you are tethered.

This is not a denial of what is going on; what is, is. You face the outside adversity, and simultaneously seek a better feeling, by giving yourself what you want. There is no adversity inside, and what is inside does not change; it will always be there available to you, and you will always want to give yourself what you want. That is how joy is eternal.

It turns your world around

I used to believe “When I have this, I’ll be happy.” The reason I used to struggle so much is because we need to be happy FIRST to get what we want, not the other way around.

How you feel is critical to whether or not you are motivated, to whether or not you can see the whole picture, to whether or not you take resourceful action, to whether or not you are hurting yourself, and to whether or not you will hurt someone else. So the old belief of “have first to be” stands in opposition to the whole of reality. No wonder it does not work. No wonder it hurts to try. You must feel good first. And you can.

If you notice thoughts like “I have a hard time feeling good…” or anything else that would keep you from feeling better, just drop and ignore it; it is an excuse that can keep you from feeling good, if you believe and buy-into it. You can have and hold excuses, and suffering—or you can have joy. Because, again, it is just a thought…

Thoughts are also “outside” things that are known (they are not things that are you!), thoughts cannot keep you from feeling better. Thoughts are not feelings. No thought can stop you from seeking a better feeling. Drop them all, want to feel better more than anything, and persist with the only two thoughts that will help get you there—the last two thoughts before you begin to feel better: “What do I want? How does what I want feel?”

The second question in The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ practice: “How does what you want feel?” is the most critical to this breakthrough; you must tap-into, build, and enjoy the joy so much that it will be glaring in your face and as large or larger than the thought about the adversity. That way it will be impossible to deny the reality of the joy. And if you used to think you had to feel bad, you will no longer be able to believe that.

When you go inside to answer that question, to feel what you want, first look for relief, and enjoy it. Then search for the next best feeling and take time enjoying that feeling. Then seek a better one, and thoroughly enjoy that. In this way, you build to joy. With practice, it gets faster and faster, easier and easier. As you are enjoying, your whole perspective on the situation will change, more information will come, and your thoughts will shift into good-feeling ones. Now you are ready to deal with the outside.

When you know you can feel good any time, even in the face of adversity, then you become fearless in the face of adversity–you can do anything!

Seek Joy!

PS– And then a funny thing happens; “adversities” are no longer your reality.

You can download the first chapters freeBegin to practice living in freedom and joy.