“Happiness is inside all of us. Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.” ~ Trolls
That’s right, yogis and yoginis, I am opening this blog post with a quote from the movie, “Trolls.” I must have a toddler at home!
This quote stood out to me because the path of yoga greatly emphasizes that true happiness can only be found within. If that’s true, can someone else help us find happiness?
There are things in our external world that will provide temporary happiness (great sex, food, celebrations, relationships, puppies, vacations, falling in love, having babies, everything, etc.) and many of us will chase after these stints of happiness for as long as we can. But what if all of the things we enjoy in life, especially our relationships, were taken away from us? Could we still find happiness? Some say that the more we rely on others to help us find happiness, the harder it can be to travel down the true path of yoga. Because even the healthiest relationship often breeds attachment. We fall in love with another being so much that the fear of losing that love causes us to act irrationally and thoughtlessly. But it’s the “fear of losing” vs. the “actual losing of someone,” that I am most interested in.
In yogic philosophy, there is something called the Kleshas, which are the obstacles in our world. Ignorance clouds our ability to see ourselves as perfect, limitless beings so ignorance starts to run the show! When we see ourselves as limited, we tend to seek the things we know and desire and avoid the things we think will be unpleasant. We pre-judge situations and people. We become fearful of what we don’t know. Fear of the unknown starts to keep us “in-check,” which is exactly what the ego prefers. But really, we just become more and more shut down to the true knowledge of the Self. It’s through the practice of yoga that we can lift the veil of ignorance and overcome our obstacles. For example, we can make the choice to stop indulging that “fear of losing,” knowing that loss in inevitable and and that worrying accomplishes nothing. In fact, worrying zaps us of our vital energy and makes everything in life more challenging. Yoga suggests that we are constantly presented with opportunities to choose internal happiness regardless of what is happening externally.
Making clear-minded choices regarding all of our relationships requires an incredible level of awareness. How do we manage to stay this aware most of the time? Taking excellent care of the body can help– Eating healthy foods, buy xenical online in nz getting enough rest and finding practical ways to manage stress through walking, asana, swimming, running, etc. Only a serious commitment to our own health and wellness can give us a shot at putting the circumstances of our lives into perspective. An investment in the quality of our human journey is necessary if we expect to dip our toes into the idea of relying soley on the Self for happiness.
It can feel incredibly liberating to be less reliant on others to keep us content!
So, having said all that, healthy, human connection is important, right? Our relationships are challenging at times because they give us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and how we relate to the world. According to yoga, our soul’s evolution is the whole point of being here, so relationships can help propel us into a new plane of understanding. But only if we are aware. If we are not constantly aware of the fact that relationships have highs and lows, we start to take things personally and start to fear a change in the relationship, though change is inevitable. So, this requires a shift in perspective. If we can accept that there will be times of suffering and challenge, perhaps that unnecessary fear of the unknown can lift. If we can accept that one fight is not the end of a relationship but just a growing pain, perhaps we will be more inclined to go toward the things we fear in the name of authenticity.
As humans living in this world, especially at this time in history, we do rely heavily on human connection for validation and sanity. Sometimes, another person’s words can help us remember who we are and can lift us up when we need it most. Though, it will always be our responsibility to do the work of maintaining contentment. If we surround ourselves with people that support our journey, that can be tremendously helpful. No one can do the work for us, but support can make it all a little easier.
Perhaps, today, you are the one in need of some support. Consider reaching out to someone that can help reconnect you to your true Self, reminding you of the happiness that lives within.
Or, maybe you know someone who needs support. Consider reaching out to them and letting them know you see them and love who they are.
Smile at a stranger on a walk. Little acts of kindness can go a long way.
Please share your experiences around cultivating internal happiness in the comments section of this post! We would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading! ~ Megan