"The questions are complicated and the answers are simple" – Dr. Seuss
It never ceases to amaze me how good we all are (and I mean gold medal good) at making the questions of life super complicated. The good news is that regardless of how complex we make the questions, the answers to how we achieve happiness are simple. Here are 4 of these answers based on my lifetime of yogic readings and experience.
1. CHANGE IS CONSTANT: LEARN TO GO WITH THE FLOW
"There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid." – Emerson
Yogic teachings include a view called parinamavada, the idea that constant change is an inherent part of life. In life, change is constant. Things are always beginning, dissolving, ending. Usually we are most aware of life’s ever-changing nature in the gut-wrenching moments of loss, death, and heartbreak. The answer to Happiness Rx:
2. IT’S OK TO ADMIT WE DON'T KNOW
In reality, we don’t know what comes next. Just like there are poses in this practice we don’t understand, or can’t yet do, or may never be able to do. The answer to Happiness Rx:
- When we practice yoga, we are really acknowledging that on life’s path, we don’t know exactly what comes next.
- Further, we acknowledge that sometimes we really have no idea where we are going or even where the path lies.
- We are not meant to understand why some things happen, and we may never understand.
3. BE PRESENT
"We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow." – Fulton Oursler
What’s so important about being in the moment? Yoga teaches us that the present moment is the source of healing, love, inspiration, and happiness. In fact, the purest form of happiness is found in the present moment. The yogis call this power of presence shakti. But to reap these benefits, we can’t just have fleeting moments of presence. We have to stay long enough in the present moment to really soak in the happiness. The answer to Happiness Rx:
- Take time away from your electronics and have a face-to-face conversation (instead of Face-to-book)
4. GET ALONG: SEEK TRUTH AND HARMONY
"The real enemy of happiness is the mind's fixations and delusions. Look at the situation differently; see the truth and the suffering is less. If you have the right mind, you can overcome anything - you can be happy, no matter what." – Dalai Lama
A human being consists of 75 trillion cells which each have specific tasks necessary to sustain life. Scientists metaphorically relate these 75 trillion cells to musicians in an enormous symphony. The conscious human being could never possibly conduct this symphony, but the conscious human being is absolutely responsible for providing a harmonious environment in which the symphony can play with ease. The answer to Happiness Rx:
- Lose your addiction to “dramayama”
- Stop making up stuff that gets in the way of your happiness. No one is out to get you.
- Learn to connect, build community and get along with others.
What do you think?
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