My husband isn’t a worrier, and it’s a trait I’ve grown to love. He always says, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it takes energy, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” And he’s right, we spend way too much of our time living with regrets. When we’re young, it can help us to avoid mistakes and make better choices later on, but too much of it is a worthless proposition.
Photo: George M. Groutas
Happiness is a funny thing because in a society that places so much value on wealth, fame, and good looks; those that have it all seem to be plagued with substance abuse problems, multiple marriages, and serious mental health issues. Celebrities are rich and can have just about anything their little hearts dream of but in the end, it’s not enough.
Think of five really thin people in your life. Five people that have always been thin and never seemed to struggle or even worry about their weight. Counting calories is what separates us from most other cultures and with the highest obesity rate in the world, what we’re doing isn’t working.
Life is all about the little changes that we make in our lives. We love to beat ourselves up for the changes that we fail to make but so often we set the bar so high we’re doomed to fall short. Especially when you look at it from a negative perspective. Like any change, the choices that stick are the ones that are realistic and don’t drastically change the life that you’re living. We make and keep habits based on the return that they give us.
I think that we all innately know that true happiness can only be found in the present moment. It’s in those bits of true bliss radiating from within that we once again find this to be true–it’s in those moments when you’re slowly gliding down the beach with the skyline in the distance or when you wake up in the morning with the drug of happiness pumping through your veins–that you know it’s you that cultivates this serenity.
When I rolled from bed this morning I looked in the eyes of my beautifully blond cocker spaniel as she edged closer. Madison has had a rough ride of late. A month ago she seemed lethargic and I couldn’t figure out why. I took her to the vet but after multiple x-rays they could find nothing wrong. A few days later I found her sitting in her own urine and I knew something was bitterly wrong.
Yogis have long known the benefits of mindfulness. It’s sort of like riding a bike, once you’re aware that you’ve been living your life without actually living your life, you can’t escape the knowledge. I remember when I first moved to South Carolina, I was bored, knew few people, and my husband was in class much of the time. I adopted yoga at first for fitness but it took only one class to realize that I had only scratched the surface.
We started class off in a seated twist. Admittedly, dragging myself out of bed this particular morning had been a task. I think my hair was still shaped by the pillow I had slept on the night before. Immediately, the instructor came over and asked me to plant my left leg a little deeper and unwind my tightly shaped twist.