Did you know that humans have the ability to create –to synthesize – happiness? In fact, research has shown that happiness that comes from within last longer than any other kind.
Have you every been so fixated on a goal that anything short of success feels like a failure? Your yoga mat is a great place to learn a concept called desireless practice where even the tiniest of baby steps is celebrated as growth.
If life is consistent in one way, it’s that it very rarely (if ever) moves only forward. No matter how hard we’re working or how well we’re doing, we can bank on the fact that progress will always be interrupted by a little (or not so little) step backward. This is OK. Backward steps are a necessary part of the dance of life. And they almost always bear gifts that take us further forward than we could ever have gotten without them.
With time and practice, regularly searching our experiences for moments that make us smile can create a happier life. Taking a moment several times a day to reflect on such moments can leave us feeling profoundly grateful – some would even say blessed. Mindfulness like this (no matter the method you choose to treasure it) can dramatically shift our experience of our lives – leaving us feeling hopeful and intentional as we look forward to tomorrow.
After months of relentless anxiety, I discovered that when I stay engaged with each moment I do not feel anxious at all. Instead I feel like me. A mindfulness practice such as yoga can help you develop the skills to dig deep and resist circumstances that seem designed to distract you from your current experience. While I can't promise that practice will make you perfect, I can guarantee that practice such as this will make you better at staying fully engaged (and less anxious!) in the moments of your life.
"We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity." In other words, rather than the homogeneity that many instinctively seek, diversity is the norm. Imagine if we could look around our world and see the potential in relationships with those who look different than we do, who behave differently than we do, who make different choices than we do. Imagine if we could look beyond any perceived threats to the potential gifts of reaching out to others.
The perfect moments that pepper our lives are not something we earn or deserve. They are gifts. They are hope. They are inspiration. Because of the sometimes long stretches between such moments they are surprises, but not wholly unexpected. Each perfect moment that we're lucky enough to have serves as a promise (guarantee, actually) that another will happen one day.
A yoga practice gives you the opportunity to witness your own growth. To observe the forward and backward nature of progress. To notice your innate ability to rebound and recover. The more you witness these qualities, the more you develop your “optimism muscle,” as it were. Practice and it won’t be long at all before you are one of those endearing, magnetic, hopeful and inspiring optimistic people you love to be around.