Every day, I wake up and think, how can I make my mark on this world? In all the soul searching, I’ve finally come to the conclusion: just be. Be me in every single way as fully and as much as possible. Forget what people expect me to be, what job I think I should have, how much money I should make. None of that matters, and it only sets external limits to happiness. In fact, it ensures I will be mediocre. And who is inspired by mediocrity?
I believe we are all put on this Earth for a specific reason, and without each person’s contribution, the world would not be the same. The key is forgetting about goals, expectations, and frankly, limitations, and just connecting to your inner goodness and what makes you happy. Do what feels good, and the universe will naturally conspire to bring you more goodness! Yoga taught me this lesson. When I strive for a goal or for perfection in a pose, I lose the essence of yoga, the presence and awareness, the peace in the journey. When I drop my concern for looking good and living up to expectations, I find that what was hard now comes naturally. Go figure!
How do I find happiness?
Drop what you know. If you can frequently remind yourself that you know nothing, you will realize that you have the absolute freedom to create infinite possibility. Ask yourself, do I keep my goals and mediocrity, or do I choose freedom and infinite possibility? I choose the latter.
But how does this look? What actions do I take? Where’s the checklist? I was trying to refine and add on to my 12 mantras from last year, but I realized I had a long list that was hard to remember. So in the spirit of simplifying and making it stick, this is my philosophy:
- Just be. Slow down, be still, and make time daily to reflect. For me this is meditation, reading/writing, and yoga every single day in some form or fashion whenever I get the chance. I try to make it easy and let go of excuses: I have a shrine in my book nook, but my meditation blanket is at the foot of my bed on the way to the bathroom; I literally turn off the alarm, slide out of bed, and sit. I always have at least one inspirational and one “fun” book on my nightstand and read a few pages each morning or evening (as well as when I’m bored). I practice yoga at home most days, for a minimum of 20 minutes depending on how I feel. I create my own practice based on what my body needs or use a podcast.
- Love. Radiate love daily, to yourself and those around you. Love is not just a thought, it’s an action. For me, this means taking care of my mind, body, and soul daily. This also means prioritizing my partner as well. One small idea I had is to give him a foot rub every morning before I walk out the door. While this is indeed a nice benefit for him, it’s a reminder to slow down before rushing about my day, simply enjoy the moment and appreciate him…and he’s not even awake! Lastly, it means sharing what I have with others. Whether it’s a yoga lesson, a blog post, a book rec, or just a quick email, I realize that my gifts are more impactful when shared. And somehow, it seems to keep coming back to me 10-fold! Oh, Universe.
So look within and discover all the goodness that you already possess. Realize you are a miracle with a purpose. And share that goodness with the world. In the wise words of my teacher Baron Baptiste, “we hug in to radiate out.” Let’s all play our individual roles extraordinarily.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.
– Erma Bombeck