I have never really believed in Karma. I previously had the closed minded belief that our paths are already set out for us and there was very little we could do to take a detour. Now that I recognise that I had this mind set I can see that I had been fumbling through life rather selfishly. Little regard for people outside of my immediate circle, working to earn money so I could be surrounded by materialistic things and completely focusing on the end goal I believed I had set out for me.
Now this is not a terrible way to live. I was doing no harm strictly speaking. Although prioritising my own needs above others – I wasn’t directly hurting anyone but I wasn’t in any way experiencing the feelings that come with random acts of kindness and making others feel good. I was known as ‘Bette Davies’ or the girl that ‘kills people with her eyes’ for no reason other than they might have gotten in my way whilst I was rushing from one place to the next….
Working to earn money in order to buy nice things also isn’t a crime. A strong work ethic is not a weakness but lack of balance is. What is the point of breaking your back forty plus hours a week to buy nice things and save for something special if you’re too tired to enjoy it and you are miserable for eight hours a day? It just isn’t worth it.
As for focusing on the end goal….guilty as charged. The best thing that has ever happened to me is to realise that life is a journey and not a destination. I have previously missed wonderful moments happening around me because I’ve had my head down and been too focused on the future. Now I realise that we must remember that the future is not a certain. Only one thing is guaranteed in life and that is here and now. You may as well make it as beautiful and happy as you can.
How I have gotten to all of this is a culmination of things:
Age…I’m growing every day and feel so grateful for my years. They have given me perspective and I’m very excited at the thought of many more to come. I’m glad of every experience in my life – good and bad. Each of these has got me to the most peaceful and happy headspace I’ve ever been at.
Yoga: I know I go on about this (seriously – the clue is in the blog name!!) but Yoga has taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. It has calmed my busy mind and shown me the joy in the journey. When I very first started practising Yoga I used to get so frustrated at not being able to achieve what seemed to be simple poses. Over the past year I have learnt to let what I would previously have labelled a ‘failure’ go. I accept what I cannot do and I keep working on it. For me I could always do a fancy pants headstand. I gained more joy when I did my first bind in Marichasana because it took me so long and I’d really committed to the progress.
Kindness: I have always been a kind person. But it was an exclusive club and you had to be on the VIP list to receive my kindness. Now it’s a free for all. As I discovered yoga, forgiven my past mistakes and allowed happiness to creep in – I started wanting to be kinder. I am not talking about checking into the local Nunnery and giving up everything I own in the name of God or anything. It began very subtly…. Instead of looking like I was permanently furious that the bloke who just got on the bus had dared to sit next to me, I smiled at him. He smiled back…it felt good. Instead of mumbling ‘thank you’ to the driver and rushing on, I looked him in the eye and meant it. The ‘You’re welcome have a wonderful day love’ I got back set my day up. That is just it with kindness – it is infectious. I genuinely care how I have made people feel now. If I have brightened a tiny bit of someone’s day then I am happy.
So this year has been different – I have been different and now I truly believe that you get back what you give out. Since I have felt content and begun being kinder – I have had a wonderful sense of contentment and peace. I have started helping others and taking time to ensure people are ok. Aside from stopping the mass murder with my eyes – I have started fundraising and found an enormous sense of joy from this. The people I am fundraising for are old friends but not close friends. They live many miles away and people have asked why I am doing it….I don’t know if I’m honest but I know it makes me feel good and it helps them immensely…so why not!
The happiness I’m getting back from being kind and giving is absolutely worth it. We can create happiness…start with a smile and you will be amazed at what you get back!
P.S. I still have severe road rage…estimating at least another ten years of yoga until I start making a dent in that!!!!