Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Happiness is an inside job
Every day we seek to grow and learn from life's daily lessons as we continue on our path to becoming our "best self". Sometimes reaching our goals is easier than others, maybe they come so naturally that you barely noticed the effort involved. Then there are the days when reaching your goals seems impossible, as we get hit with one obstacle after another our effort wavers and at times we may even feel like giving up and we feel too many negative emotions. We need to remember that life happens all around us, every day there are millions of people doing their thing alongside one another and sometimes we allow this to get into our headspace and it becomes a road block in our own personal path.
There is a brewery opening next-door to my yoga studio and while the idea of having another fun place to mingle and enjoy craft beers is appealing, the construction and noise factor can be quite a distraction while we are seeking inner peace and quiet through our mellow hatha practice. With a sense of grace and humor my instructor, Tierney, prompted us to merely view the bellows of Mick Jagger on the radio as an additional challenge to over come while we focus on our breath and stillness. The loud banging on the wall directly behind us at first struck a nerve for me, trying to calm my mind by breathing deeply in and out wasn't quite doing the trick. My instructor reminded us that life doesn't stop because we want to do yoga. To hold resentment or anger about it wouldn't do us any good, so we did our best to embrace it and of course have a little laugh about it after class.
This is what life is all about. Life happens, regardless of your own personal plans. We can choose to be attached to this situations and harbor feelings of anger, jealousy, irritation or we can choose to remain unattached and realize that we have the power to react any way we choose. How we respond to adversity can greatly change our overall feelings to be either positive or negative. When a lady cut in front of me in the line at target, I was furious. A busy sunday of course meant long lines in every direction and to my delight I took my one item to the express lane that was just about to open up as a woman quick cruised across the aisles to cut me in line and prompt her husband to bring his basket full of items all the way across the area just as it was their turn. I held on to this for about an hour after it happened, still being frustrated about how rude it was for her to do that. My husband sighed and said " I don't know why your still hanging on to it, do you think she's still thinking about it? Probably not. Do you think she even thought about it on her way out the door? Unlikely" and he continued to explain that I was the only one who was upset and was basically choosing to stay that way. This is also a lesson in understanding, compassion and patience. I needed to reach the understanding that people are not out looking to make me suffer, just simply out living their own life and having their own experiences.
We are often so caught up in the "how this effects me " state of mind, we need to remember that we are all human and we all make mistakes and almost always they are not of malicious intent. We also should try to keep in mind the simplistic idea that we cannot control other peoples actions but we have all the power to control our reactions and we should do our best to keep those reactions positive. You can create your own suffering but choosing remain negative and that will only radiate outward and give negative energy to others around you continuing the cycle that comes right back to you.
This symbol is called the Hamsa Hand. There are many meanings of this symbols in different cultures but the one that resonates with me is deflecting negative energy. We give power to symbols by believing in their power which in turn keeps us conscious of our own energy. I often wear my hamsa symbols to work, not only to "block" unwanted negative energy but to remind me to send out positive energy if thats what I wish to receive in return.
If we approach every day, every person and every moment as a moment to send out positive vibes and react with care we will never suffer. If you don't allow others to make you feel negative emotions then you should always be happy right? We have this ability to cultivate happiness and love every minute of every day, and though sometimes people test our patience we can be a beacon of constant light and joy. We only have to look to ourself to find happiness.
Try to send out a little more light today, extend a smile to a stranger, choose to forgive someone who may have wronged you, be compassionate to those who test you and live a little brighter.