Happiness

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“The most important decision we ever make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.”  Albert Einstein

What is happiness? We tend to believe that it is connected to outside objects. “ If I get this new job I’ll be happy…If I had a new house I’d be happy…if I was married I’d be happy” From a yogic perspective happiness comes from within. It is Just another mental modification or a kind of thought process. It may seem strange to say that you are in control of your happiness, but you are. Every situation in life leaves us with a choice. We can not control what happens around us, to to us,  but we get to chose our reaction. We get to choose how we interact with the situation. So why not choose happiness? It may be because you have been conditioned to believe that is not an option. I believe it is. Sometimes it is more challenging than others, Just like everything in life, it’s a practice. We waste a lot of time being stressed out, angry, and upset.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.  laughing-camel-and-little-girl-300x260

Next time you are in a situation where you feel that way try to step back and look at your reaction. Begin to notice what is going on. What are the real facts in the situation? can you change anything about it? What is it that you need in the moment? Become the observer, not just in meditation, but in life. The mind is a powerful tool when we can control it, but when emotions rule your thoughts it can be devastating. Begin to replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts or even thoughts of gratitude.

“When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana” Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 2.33

One thing that works for me comes from a life coach and dear friend named River Coco. She suggests mind messages. A positive thought you can use as a mantra when the mind begins to spin out of control or just as a good way to start out your day. For example: My life is filled with joy, love, and laughter. I begin each day with “Thank you.” or Laughter and love are my constant companions. This is a simple way to start your journey to happiness. On the mat, a positive  happy attitude is very helpful as well.  It can keep you safe from injury by helping you be content with where you are. It can help you through a tough practice, and make asana (posture practice) more meaningful. In general, shifting your focus to happiness can have a great effect on your life. Don’t take my word for… Try it out!

images-1 “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy,compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” yoga sutras of Patanjali, 1.33

“Moreover, one gains purity of sattva, cheerfulness of mind, one pointedness, mastery over the senses, and fitness for Self-realization” yoga sutras of Patanjali,  2.41

“Happiness is not ready made. It comes from your own actions” -The Dalai Lama

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

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