My yoga teacher said...

Joyfully be yourself

Recently my hubs and I talked about the best kind of days, and I mentioned the best days, for me, are joyful. He laughed and likened me to Mrs. Claus. Joy. Why is that such a funny concept?

“I just want to be happy,” we’ve all said or heard. But what is “happy?” Being happy sounds so hard! Happy means everything is good. But joy? Joy makes us feel good and can happen even when we’re not in a happy place. Broke, tired, sick, stressed… all of these things are normal and contradictory to “happy.”

But not to joy! You can be having a crummy day and find joy in a cup of coffee. You can be washing the dishes or folding the laundry and find joy in the birds chirping or the latest episode of Schitt’s Creek. Happiness is a state, but joy is an experience.

So today when my teacher’s reading during savasana included the phrase, “Joyfully be yourself…” I was struck. This is my goal! To experience joy, indulge in joy, and to joyfully be.

Image is a drawing by Dove, she drew this when she was eight.

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meditation, Yoga to relieve stress

Loving Kindness Meditation

May you be safe and protected,
May you be healthy in body and mind,
May you be happy,
May you live in comfort, and in peace.

This is my simple Metta, or “Loving Kindness” meditation (LKM). I learned of LKM from a yoga teacher years ago, and it popped up in a mindfulness pregnancy app I used during one of my pregnancies throughout my infertility journey.* It is a highly effective meditation that has gotten me through some really tough times. In my experience, you can do this anywhere! While you’re in the shower, while the dental hygienist cleans your teeth, at the checkout line at the grocery store, as you fold the laundry, lying in bed and trying to sleep… no special prep or props required!

First, direct the phrases/thoughts/intentions at a pure loving person. Your child, the Dalai Lama, your best friend, your spouse… whoever warms you and fills your love cup.

Second, you direct the phrases/thoughts/intentions at a person you have difficulties with, or who needs these intentions. Or a people… this could be your partner, Syrian refugees, a friend with an illness, republicans… Someone that really needs love and kindness.

Third, direct the phrases/thoughts/intentions to yourself:

May I be safe and protected,
May I be healthy in body and mind,
May I be happy,
May I live in comfort and in peace.

Finally, direct them at all humankind:

May you be safe and protected,
May you be healthy in body and mind,
May you be happy,
May you live in comfort and in peace. 

Loving Kindness is one way I can get through the rough days. I hope it helps you, too.

  
* I will share details of my experience with secondary infertility… eventually.