In my yoga practice there are seasons. Similar to life, there are seasons of slow growth, stagnation, peace, joy, sadness, love, stillness, progression, and everything in between! I find that every couple of months there comes a point of progression and for me this always bundles together with determination and also the darker side to that which is disappointment. It is quite difficult to not get disappointed at yourself – mind and body when you feel you are trying very hard at something and not getting the results you are expecting.
So we come to expectation. Why do we pile so much expectation onto ourselves? I have asked myself this question many times as I have this habit of doing so constantly. Yoga has definitely showed me to be content where you are, to savour the moments of now and to enjoy the process that is life. But old habits die hard!!
These three things help remind me to be happy about the present
1. Life only comes by once
Once, and only once. Cliche, cliche but well, no not really, it is a fact of life. There is no do-over, there is this life you have and this life is the one you are, and will be living as long as you are alive. Instead of piling on more self-strain, more on top of what our work, people, society pile on us, why not just be the one taking charge and give ourselves a break? We only have this one lifeline.. we pootle along it, living day to day, wasting our precious thoughts and powerful emotions on negativity, when it is merely futile. Why not pat yourself on the back more, encourage yourself more, live your days more, breathe more, relax into your wonderful wonderful timeline and enjoy yourself. It only goes by once.
2. Where you are, is where you are, is where you are, is where you are
I’m not sure what exactly it is that makes this current generation be so eager to get somewhere. I say this being a massive culprit myself. I always feel pressure to go further. Be better! Be more flexible. Be more strong. Be more beautiful. Be more, be more, be more, be more. Work harder, the potential’s there, go be that sha-mazing platinum QUEEN BEE that you have the potential in you to BE(e)! (pun). Work towards it! Strive towards it! She’s doing it! SO CAN YOU! The problem with this is that you are striving so hard that you totally miss the point of learning to find happiness at the exact point of where you are at right now. But no! Where I am right now is the intermediary stage to the magical finale. Knock knock. The finale is the end of your time on this world. At what point are you exactly hoping to get to where you’d be satisfied enough with your ‘achivements’?
I think the problem stems from the abundance we live in. No, I am not saying it is in any way a problem per se. It is amazing. We live in such a diverse and rich world right now that we have all the fruit ripe for picking. All the fruit. Have it all. So then we feel like we should have it all. Which means that if we don’t, we feel like we haven’t achieved our full potential of this abundance we know of.
Well. Tell the abundance to go do one. Yes one day we might gorge and feast on all the great fruit till juice starts pouring out of our pores, and we will be happy. But also, right now, while we are planting the seeds for these trees, while we are pruning the branches of these grape vines, we also have the capacity to be happy. Let’s shift our plane of thinking. The happiness exists everywhere at every stage of our lives. It is up to us to shift that focus to see in fact where we are at right now – Yes, Right Now, is ALSO amazing. Is ALSO beautiful. Is ALSO perfect. Despite the gritty mud caked hands, despite the tears sometimes when the rain comes, despite the waiting game for those fresh stems to burst out of the earth – every point of that journey is exactly where you are meant to be at that moment. It is where you are. And it is indeed, where you are. So, breathe. Relax in your journey. There is no hurry. There is no rush to attain anything. Create some space. Smile
3. Get off the melodrama wagon and see how your life is so beautiful in all the smallest ways
Ooh. Tch. Harsh. Is it though?
I say all these things as big reminders to myself all the time. Shitty day at work. BOO. A car was rude to me cycling on the road. BOO. Got so-so feedback for some work. BOO. Saw someone you didn’t like. BOO. Feeling rather crappy. BOO. I mean, even as I list these things, all of which have happened in the last month of general life, all pretty common things too, I remember letting it affect my day so much that I’d be in a big fat mood for an hour, half a day, a day, the evening. Have a cry. Be pissed. Get mad. I mean, I am all for expressing emotions. Of course we have to get our emotions out somehow. My choice, at most times involuntarily, is crying. It just is so. I can’t help myself. It just pours out of my eyes like the Fontana di Trevi. However, after expressing your emotions with your weapon of choice..LET IT GO.
Yes Let it go! Let it go! Let your stubborn face and heart soften and crack open a big lopsided smile. Why?! How?! I’m so angry! I’m so upset! I’m so hurt! Oh yada yada. Take a chill pill. STOP and LOOK. Take a good look at all the Good Things that you have in abundance right now. All the love around you. Friends who care. A job. An income. Food on the table. Not even that, your choice of food on the table. That perfect cup of coffee in the morning. That kiss from your loved one. That text from a friend saying hello. That breath you take every second. The ability to see the beautiful colours in the world we live in. The bigger picture.
These are all massive reminders to myself as I type. God only knows, I am the main person that needs to be thoroughly reminded of these three things, DAILY. Sometimes it isn’t easy. Sometimes you in fact, want to have a pity-party and feel crummy. But hey girl, wake up and smell the flowers. See all that your life has. And be thankful for it all. Bad, good, mediocre, sad, happy, crappy, be grateful for everything; as we are only too lucky to be able to experience life in all its polarised, amazing, mad and awesome abundance.