When my daughter feels stressed or unhappy, she goes to her “happy place”. Last I heard this place was Bali. A good choice I feel; I imagine the emerald green paddy fields, the palm trees against a deep-blue-sky and boats that have smiles painted on them bobbing on the tranquil sea. The thought makes me feel happy and smile too and this in turn replaces any stress hormones with happy ones.
The more I dive deeper into yoga and yoga theory the more I discover that happiness is something that resides inside me and that it can be activated, trained and strengthened like any other muscle. The more we do the things and think the things that make us happy the more content we are regardless of what day it is, what the weather is doing or what our scan results are.
My mother claimed just last week that I’m one of the most positive people she knows. She says my glass isn’t half full it’s overflowing. That made me realise it’s true but it was unexpected, I hadn’t been fishing for compliments. There is so much to be grateful for. According to David Steindl-Rast in his TED talk “It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy“.
I‘ve recently started writing down what I’m grateful for in the mornings before I start my day and it does remind me of the things I otherwise take for granted.
This gratitude practice reminds me to connect to my inner light my “purusha” as the yogis call it.
This light is
- always there,
- always free from sorrow
- or pain
- or fear
Just the word “purusha” makes me smile. It’s the source of love, light and happiness. We don’t need to fish for happiness it’s inside us if we only remember.