Yoga Shrink Blog

I Choose JOY

“Happiness means feeling you are on the right path every moment. You don’t need to arrive at the end of the path in order to be happy.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Heart of the Matter”

This quote is everything I am in the midst of learning right now. I have been listening to a lot of Esther Hicks over the past several months. The biggest take-away I have gotten is we are here on Earth to experience Joy. If we are not in a state of happiness and joy, then we are not aligned with our Inner Being. Many of us often say that “we will be happy when x, y, & z happen.” I used to think this way too. Yoga and the yogic path has helped me to realize where I am right now is all there is. It is about being happy now and not waiting for my current life circumstances to change to be happy. I have become more aware of how my thoughts create my happiness or my distress and that I can choose thoughts to create the feelings I want to feel. If I want to feel fear, I can easily focus on fear-based thoughts. What I find interesting is that we all have a “negativity bias” that make it really easy to focus on what is not working or what could go wrong. This is just part of our being a human being. However, with practice, we can choose to focus on thoughts that create positive feelings. This is what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about. It is about becoming aware of thoughts that create negative feelings and replacing them with thoughts that create positive feelings. What this is also doing is shifting your energetic vibration from that of a negative vibration to a more positive one.

The other day I was at the studio and someone was discussing how they were feeling anxious and did not know why. It made me think about how I used to feel this way a lot. When I was working as a psychologist (pre-yoga years), I often had debilitating panic attacks. On the outside, everything looked great. I owned my condo, had a great relationship, had financial abundance to travel and do anything I liked, a successful private practice, and so much more. However, I was very unhappy and I had no idea how much I did not love myself. Fast forward to today and it is a whole different world. I can truly say that I have learned to love myself through self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-respect. Currently, my earthly possessions are significantly less than they used to be. I have not had a car in over a year, nor have I had health insurance. If it were not for the blessings of my parents, I would not have a place to live. My financial situation went from one extreme to the other and I am often grateful to have food to eat. Yet in the midst of this, I see grace and goodness everywhere. I do not allow fear to take over. I live in a positivity bias because I make that choice everyday and I choose joy. I am very clear that I had this contrasting experience so I can understand how I am the creator of my reality and my world. I can create a heaven on earth or a living hell no matter if my bank accounts are overflowing or in the red. I have BIG plans to create a great deal of goodness and abundance. In the meantime, I choose Joy everyday no matter what is happening in my physical reality.

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