Beyond Happiness

Choose happiness. It is as simple as that. Choose to surround yourself with nothing but positive people, positive feelings, with simply anything that contributes to what we understand of happiness. Let go of relationships, people, living conditions, jobs or anything that does not contribute to it, but instead give us the idea to be suffering from it. This attitude leads us to the disillusion that there is an universal recipe to Happiness. I disagree…

Having this sharp idea of happiness, namely that it is nothing but being in complete ease with yourself, your decisions, the people around you, your entire life, makes it incredible difficult to face those darker days. Everything that does not fit into this idea is being judged and clearly unwanted. Times of feeling down, stress, tiredness, exhaustedness is perceived as bad and need to stop right away. Everybody experiences times like these? That doesn’t matter, because I am supposed to be happy. I am supposed to be able to deal with life and everything that comes with it.

Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.  ∼Unknown

This is one of my facourite quotes, yet I caught myself completely disregarding the true meaning behind it. Having felt the tremendous benefits of Yoga and Meditation, I realized how much more patient and calm I got and was extremely proud of myself. I felt I could move mountains, face the strongest storms and still be myself. But then it happened. Two weeks of pure stress, exhaustion and frustrating events. I felt tired and exhausted and everything, no matter what it was, was simply too much.
I knew that feeling. I thought I got rid of it, let go of it completely, would not have to deal with it again. But there it was! Oh and I didn’t like it! How could that happen? And why did my regular meditation and yoga practice not help me prevent it? Did I do something wrong? Why wasn’t I strong enough to face this storm?

It took me about another week to realize that it is completely okay to feel that way and that in fact, it was much needed from time to time. It was only then, after about three weeks, that I remembered the beautiful quote and could then start to accept whatever feelings came up.  This first step then allowed me to actually deal with it and I was able to listen to myself and my body and acted on it.

I expected more …

One crucial thing that I discovered throughout this journey was the constant state of expecting something. I had put a pile of expectations upon myself. Since I had found patience, relaxation, kindness and stillness in my practice I expected to be able to deal with any situation that life would give to me. The moment I realized that I couldn’t keep up with those standards, I got frustrated and stagnated.

Even though those weeks were tough, I am grateful to have experienced this process. It made me realize that the kind of pressure and expectations, I put upon myself, did nothing but harm me. Also it is just part of the process. It helped me grow and accept me more, with everything that comes with it, even if that is times of stress, frustration and impatience.

When we do experience those times of feeling down, our own judgement and feeling of reluctance are the greatest obstacles of all. Don’t let them fool you.

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