Recently, I have been thinking a lot about happiness. What makes me happy? What makes anyone happy? Is it the status of your relationship? Is it the success of your children or spouse? Is it how much money you have?
In truth, it is likely that all of these play a part in the happiness of any individual. We all want to have a good relationship with our partner. We all wish that our children grow up to be well-rounded, successful adults. We all want money; we cannot live without money for food, bills, all of the toys that we think we need in our lives.
But, truly, are these the things that make us happy? Maybe, in a superficial way.
Everyone has problems and issues in their lives. I have problems — an elderly mum who has lost several steps and needs to listen to a daughter that is only trying to help; an elderly father-in-law who we know now can never live alone again; spousal relationship issues and a child with problems that have interfered with his own life and happiness; and last but not least, some serious health issues of my own. I have allowed all of these things to interfere with my emotional well-being for far too long. I dwell on the issues and have found myself feeling completely overwhelmed.
So, what to do about this? Being a daughter of the Goddess and a long-time Kundalini Yoga and Meditation yogini and teacher, I decided to try an experiment and see what happens. Not only have I gone back to doing a sadhana (daily spiritual yoga and meditation practice), I have chosen to spend time doing conscious breathing throughout the day. If I find myself starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed, I close my eyes and bring all of my focus to my breath; not for long, but for those few moments, I am calm and I am peaceful. Throughout the past weeks that I have been doing this, I have become calmer, more peaceful, and yes, happier, within my own self.
Granted, doing this does not make any of the other issues and problems go away. What it does do is help me on a personal level to maintain a peaceful mindset as much as possible, which in turn helps me to become happier deep within myself.
So, maybe happiness does not come from what is outside of us, not money or success or the best children in the world and being the couple that everyone envys. Maybe happiness really does come from deep within you and is available by just slowing down, breathing deeply and taking the time for yourself.
Happiness is a choice I make for myself. Happiness is me.