Friday, February 24, 2012

Habits of Unhappiness

Some of the most amazing people in my life, some of the most beloved, seem to have a difficult time becoming satisfied with life. They don't seem to see their own value, their own unique spark, and they are so used to feeling unhappy that they seem to be stuck there.

We get so accustomed to a worldview and a way of life that even if it is miserable, or a prison, we somehow feel safe with its familiarity. We are so stuck in the groove of feeling a certain way, that we just let it keep perpetuating, even when it no longer describes our current experience of life.

I have encountered the same experience within myself. I used to have extremely poor self-image. I used to look through magazines just to sink deeper into self-loathing. It was a strong, ugly, miserable groove to be stuck in. Years later, almost tracelessly freed from that self-hatred, and actually quite happy with myself inside and out, those old familiar feelings were triggered by a current experience that recalled memories from that time in my history. Nostalgia for other circumstances and experiences from that time and place brought the familar pangs of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Yet this time, when I witnessed the urges and experiences, I found that these feelings no longer described me, in fact they felt like a dried husk of the former reality. They weren't me, or my actual experience. Just the memory of an old habit. Witnessing that, they fell away.

There is great power in the practice of just witnessing that we learn on the mat. It is the fundemnetal practice of the yoga path. It broadens our perspective and gives us the ability to extricate our sense of who we are from what we experience. We then have a choice on how to view the world, our life, ourselves.

To all beings trapped in unhappiness, take heart. Focus on what is GOOD, beautiful, meaningful in your life. Don't hold on to negativity, let it pass through you. Take good care of your body, because an unhealthy or polluted body will cause great discomfort that drags down the cheeriest of hearts. What you admire most in others is what you are. Your heart is your greatest asset and worth, your worth is not derived from external circumstances like money, possesions, or appearance.

Thoughts and habits are not US, they aren't who we ARE. We are loving-consciousness. We ARE the compassionate witness, that which is deep within and beyond all life circumstances. Through the practices of yoga we connect with THAT and we are transformed as we blossom fully into our greatest potential as individual beings, wholly interconnected yet totally unique. In connecting with our deepest Self, our surface habits can freely transform to aid us in our path to complete happiness and freedom from suffering. Be dilligent, patient, and firm but loving, and it will happen. Happiness can become your new worldview and habitual state of being.

Blessings to you, and to all beings...   ~Laura

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