One of the instant happy places in my mind is a cold morning in India: I had just finished my early morning yoga class, and the sun was beginning to peak over the Himalayas. I grabbed a chair from the patio and placed it directly in a patch of sunlight. My teacher brought me a steaming cup of chai, and I sat back and closed my eyes, soaking in the moment. When I looked up, Guruji was smiling at me and said, “My dear, you look so happy.” That was when I realized, I was. I was in complete peace.
But now whenever I go back to that happy place in my mind, I recognize two things – 1. I can’t always fly across the world to find a moment of peace; and 2. I have definitely experienced those moments right here in my every day life. The key is to tap into that feeling whenever I need it and realize that I have the power to create it anytime, anywhere.
My friend put it very succinctly: You can’t always find peace, but you can find ways to be peaceful. To me, this means that even though life is hectic and the world keeps spinning, we can choose to slow down and stand still for a moment. This is the power of presence and the mind. I just checked back in to reality after a full week of partying during SXSW. It was fast-paced, eating on the go, and a total divergence from my norm. But sometimes, that’s ok. I realized I hadn’t seen much live music recently, and it’s something that evokes a ton of happiness in me. I also got to spend every day with Andy which was such a gift. However, at the end of the week, I was running on empty and needed to tap into my happy place badly.
So I took a stand for me.
Saturday I woke up early to spin which kicked my butt and also felt amazingly good for my body. I reconnected with good friends at my niece’s birthday party, then I ran over to campus to teach a super fun yoga class. After that, I was obligation free and all about me. A hot shower, 20 minute meditation, and 3 hour nap were in order. And they did the trick. I stayed in that night, ordered Indian food, put on some country music, and did some reading. This week, I get back to my daily yoga and meditation practice. This week, I get back to real life.
Finding peace. The last few times I’ve sat down to meditate, I noticed a different sense of ease and tranquility. Whenever the timer rang, I would remain seated because the thoughts kept coming, and I wanted to play them out. I used to think that this was noise I should try to drown out, but last night, I sat and allowed the thoughts to come through fully. Suddenly, I realized that once I let everything quiet around me, I began to hear a voice. It was such a rare voice that I didn’t recognize it at first. But it rang through through clearly. When my mind stopped judging and analyzing, I began to hear my heart speak, and it touched me deeply. I finally came to understand the meaning of tapas or discipline in action. My meditation was transcending to a deeper level, and all it took was doing it every day for 2 and a half months. So when people ask me how they can start a meditation practice, my main message is this: Just do it. Somewhere, deep within your being, you have an inner voice too. When you take the time to listen, it will speak. And you too will find peace.