Learning from those that choose to seek joy can teach us more about ourselves than staying in conversations that keep us stuck in our shadows. As it is through the hardships in life that people find peace and empathy. The kindest people have most likely dealt with the pain of people being unkind in their own lives, and they have chosen to open their minds and their hearts to not pass on that suffering to others. Yoga is a way for us to recognise that we all have trauma, pain, and hardships yet we can choose together to move forward towards a new way of thinking. Real happiness takes work, and we are the only ones that can do it. It begins by making the conscious choice each morning to be grateful.
When others speak to me about depression, they look through me as if I would never understand what they are going through. They look at my smile and welcoming demeanor and assume that being happy comes as natural to me as breathing. They fail to recognise that mental illness doesn't discriminate. That there have been times that I have felt so disconnected from the world and everything in it that I felt like I could break. We see over and over again how happy, unassuming, joyful people who light up every room that they are in decide that this world isn't kind enough to them anymore - we mourn the loss, and then we repeat the cycle and forget to check in with ourselves and others.
This is the day I choose to look at the world as if it was kind, even if I don't believe it yet.
By changing our perspective and bringing our awareness to a point where we see even the most negative experience as an opportunity for growth, we begin to see the joy in the constant motion and change of life as it is all a way to bring us closer to peace. To do this, we should not dismiss those that are joyful out of fear that they don't understand us - and instead embrace their joy as a catalyst to help guide us in the right direction.
Avoiding emotions, repressing negative feelings and projecting fake positivity blocks the natural flow of energy in our bodies and results in constriction and stress. But by consciously choosing to see each experience as a lesson that can take us deeper into the subconscious layers of ourselves is the practice of Yoga. To unite the emotional, physical and mental body -- to create an equilibrium between our movement, breath, and awareness is how we bring ourselves home.
Happiness does not come easily. It takes daily dedication, practice, tears, inner work, coaching, healing, constant evaluation and even perhaps a complete unraveling of who you thought you were. It takes more strength than anything else I have ever done in my life. When we think of Yoga we think of an exercise class, this is not only not the goal, it isn't even the journey. The Yogic lifestyle is one that can bring us back to a state of inner resilience, freedom, strength, and purpose through physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual reform.
Let's begin by supporting and lifting each other and remembering that we are all going through internal changes and struggles despite what it might look like from the outside. And honouring these changes because if we weren't we would never grow. I am eternally grateful to my years of darkness for they have led me here, to a life where I have a purpose. To a life where I can practice and teach and grow deeper into my heart every day and share that with others.
Let's honour our cycles of growth just as they are, and let's use the ancient systems designed perfectly to guide us through these changes with grace and connection.
I send you love and healing, always.
You are never alone.