I feel we have become so preoccupied with material things, superficial looks, or unrealistic idols that we have lost sight of what is important in life. What we look like, what we wear, how perfect our splits are etc is not important. It really does mean nothing at the end of the day. What is important, and what defines us as human beings, are our actions. How we behave in the world. How we treat those we love, those we have met for the first time, our animals. This shows who we are at the core. If we have a kind heart. If we genuinely care for the good of others or are more preoccupied with meaningless ideals. So much of this comes down to our ability to feel genuine gratitude for what we have, rather than what we do not have.
To keep love, kindness and gratitude in the forefront of my mind, (without getting upset by all the little things that don’t go as planned in my day/life), I remind myself that life is finite.
Without trying to sound morbid, most days I have an existential crisis when the reality of my mortality kicks in. Knowing I and the people I love are going to die one day breaks my heart. I often find myself in tears at the thought. I try not to let my mind go there, but on occasion I get stuck in this depressed way of thinking. It’s not, however, a bad thing to think about every now and then. Why? Because it reminds us to appreciate the here and now. It keeps us present. Death can help us to focus our attention and energy on what is important. A reminder to protect and preserve our energy, for it is limited. We need to stop getting hung up on the petty things in life. First world dramas which mean absolutely nothing.
If your train is late, or your husband comes home with the wrong bread, or you can’t reach your toes in yoga - who cares! At the end of the day - this is not important and certainly not worth of getting frustrated or angered by. With such limited time on this planet, why not spend it enjoying life. Appreciating your husband for having gone to the effort of getting bread, be grateful that you are about to board a train that is taking you home to your loved ones, even if it is going be a few minutes late. WHO CARES.
Stop beating yourself up if you can’t do a perfect down dog. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough because you can’t touch your toes. None of this matters and it is only a distraction from what is truly important. If this is your priority, you’ve missed the point of yoga. And life perhaps.
We place so much energy on the wrong stuff. And we forget to embrace what is truly important.
Focus on the good in your life. Focus on presence. Focus on love and showing love to yourself and others. Once you do this, the overall happiness of your life will totally change. Suddenly life doesn't seem as hard. Rather, life is exciting and the challenges are embraced rather than avoided. And the ironic beautiful part is, when that fateful day comes, we can reflect upon our lives knowing we lived, felt and appreciated every moment.
Breathe. Love. Be kind. And remember, to live a meaningful life does not come from having stuff or looking good in yoga. It comes from learning to appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly. This is life. This is happiness. This is peace.
Much love, Jessica xxx