I can't help but notice how happiness seems to be everyone's highest priority. Lately, I've been considering the possibility that what people actually want is not happiness. The elusiveness and ambiguity of happiness causes suffering as we strive to find it. Meanwhile, people who live meaningful and purposeful lives seem to be better off than the happiness seekers. Perhaps, what we really want is fulfillment--the feeling of fullness we get when we look around and things seem to make sense, someone needs us, we contribute and surround ourselves with what matters most to us.
If this rings true, than you need to look into several distinct areas in your life and evaluate yourself on your situation there.
1) Your physical body. You can't get too far in life without a healthy body. If the body is not healthy your time and energy is spent driving to and from the doctor's office, worrying, complaining, and paying Big Pharma for questionable cures. You also deny yourself tons of experience because you simply can't do them. With a healthy body you can participate in life to the fullest. Clearly yoga is one of the best ways to get a healthy body.
2) Your emotional body. What good is a life full of awesomeness if you can't count your blessings? Seriously, an attitude of gratitude goes a long way! Working on the scars past experiences have left on your psyche goes even further. Mental health is in crisis in this country. How can this be when we have so many resources? Take advantage of them. Yoga can help develop mindfulness and help you identify where you are stuck.
3) Your relationships. Yep, if your relationships suck, everything sucks. Evaluate your relations and make a decision who to keep in your life and who to let go of so you can move on. You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most...find some good people to hang out with.
4) Your work. What you do should not be just a way to make a pay check so you can pay your bills. If you spend at least 40 hours per week working, plus commute time, you are spending a huge portion of your life! A pay check is necessary and you may have to do anything you can to get it, but being selective in your work will pay you in a sense of growth, fulfillment, and motivation to continue. Choose wisely.
5) Your finances. If you can't balance your check book, if you have to borrow money constantly, if you have no savings, you are living on the thin edge of instability and insecurity. It takes a toll on you. It makes you do things you otherwise would not - like take meaningless jobs just to pay the rent, or get mixed up with the wrong crowd all together. Financial health, on the other hand, gives you space to breathe and room to be creative, choosy, and take care of your needs. It gives you independence.
6) What you contribute. If you are not giving, you are not living. You have to find a place where you can be useful beyond your own pleasure and convenience. To live for yourself only is a very small life. To live for others, to make a difference in another's life, to offer of yourself makes you feel bigger than your problems and your little world. It expands your capacity for compassion. It opens you up to new experiences, more gratitude, more humility, more life.
And that's that... It's what i do--help people find fulfillment through addressing what needs improvement from the areas above. Ever feel like you need me, just contact me at (805) 242-3181, email@example.com.
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