Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A box of happiness

This morning one of my friends told me that he put a postcard I sent him in his keepsake box, a box that he goes to for positivity when he feels down. I was touched by the sentiment. But, I also felt a twinge of excitement, like one might feel on Christmas Eve. A box of happiness, I thought… what an amazing thing to have!

I want happiness in a box. Some happiness I can access when I need it, happiness that I can take from as I please. I don’t expect to always just be able to find it; I would pay for it, especially if it was packaged in a pretty box with a pretty ribbon. And, because I’m a good shopper, I would naturally find it on sale and score a great bargain. And I would buy some for all of my friends. Imagine my popularity!

But, of course, as a yogini, I have to say all that I need I already have. No shopping required: it’s inside of me. The happiness is there, waiting to be accessed.

But if that’s really true, why is it so hard sometimes? I’ve been particularly stressed for the past couple of months: lots of visiting with friends, sandwiched between lots of travel, smothered with lots of work and conferences. That recipe of busy has left me feeling really depleted and like I don’t have any happiness for myself, much less any to offer to share with my friends, family, or yoga classes. I haven’t even blogged (ack!).

Hearing from my friend this morning that my postcard meant so much was a reminder: I do have that reserve inside, and apparently I am sharing it, even at times when I may not realize or remember it. In fact, recalling the short conversation with my friend ignites a spark of happiness in my heart. And deep down I know that my heart has endless happiness contained within it.

Now, to figure out how to unwrap the rest of it.

The more I think about it, though, even my friend’s box of happiness was coming from within. I mean, after all, he was using tangible things to remind him of happiness he had previously experienced. So certainly tangible reminders can work to tap into happiness stores. And I found that spark while remembering the conversation I had this morning. So reminders of warm conversations with friends can find some happiness.

But I want to take these sparks and stoke them. I want to be warmed by the fire of my happiness, not just reminded of it.

So my challenge for my next yoga practice (two hours from now!), and your next yoga practice, whether it’s today or next week, 10 minutes or 90 minutes: start with a morsel of happiness. Focus on that bit of happiness and remember how your heart felt, how your body felt, how you felt during that time. Spend a few minutes focusing on the warmth of that happiness.

Then, use that as your intention for your practice. Offer that small kernel as a beginning. And then? Explore. Open. Begin to unwrap. Keep searching. Offer a little more warmth to yourself as you need it throughout your practice.

Find the inner box of happiness. Open it! And then maybe try to share a little with others you encounter.

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