What does happiness look like to you? I think for a long period of my life I thought every day was supposed to be happy and if it wasn’t, I was doing something wrong. I figured if I’m not happy I must be on the wrong path; I must have taken a wrong turn. It’s still a struggle for me to simply be and live in the present moment especially when those moments are uncomfortable, messy or sad. But part of living is experiencing the good, the bad and everything in between. When we think of the present moment we assume that it means to be happy with our current set of circumstances. However, I have found being truly present consists equally of happiness, sadness, sickness, health, loss and abundance to name a few.
A quote comes to my mind and it’s everywhere it seems, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.” It’s beautiful and I understand the meaning behind it but I also truly believe that sometimes in the storm we don’t have to learn to dance in the rain. Sometimes we need to be still and maybe even cry with the rain. In other words, it’s not about being happy every single moment. That would be a lovely state but it’s not reality. So many times we try to force happiness because we feel guilty for feeling anything else. We put on a show for our friends and family and get frustrated with ourselves when we can’t force a happy smile or a genuine laugh. So what I want to stress in this writing more than anything is that, it’s okay. You’re okay and it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to have many different feelings and still learn to be present and aware.
The challenge becomes to be content in the present moment. Being content means we are simply aware. We are aware of our sadness, our happiness, our hurts, our goals, our failures, our successes. Contentment soothes anxiety and brings peace. Contentment allows you to breathe and gives you space to be you. When we are content we know the moment is fleeting, we know it will not last forever which allows us to cry when were sad, to laugh loudly when were truly happy, to relish genuine heart felt love.
You see, being present in the moment doesn’t mean it’s a perfect moment. It simply means it’s your moment and we’re all striving and doing the best that we can and that is enough. It’s learning to be authentic not only with others but with ourselves. Begin cultivating contentment by simply being aware and learning to feel whatever emotion comes up. Be true to yourself above all others. By accepting our journey, our pace and our truth; we begin to live each day present, content and aware.
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