It’s easy to think that our world is a place filled with madness, sorrow, and fear. The everyday violence of terror attacks — not to mention the wars that continue to rage in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Mexico, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan and so many other places across the globe — are utterly beyond comprehension.
It’s scary and confusing. It is heart wrenching. For many of us, our first instinct is to wonder, “What can I do to help?”
I have a small suggestion.
It won’t bring people back to life and it won’t immediately erase hatred and anger from the world. But it’s something you can do yourself and it’s something you can do today.
Today, you can start working towards a different kind of life for yourself.
One where you don’t feel stuck. One where you don’t get pissed off about petty things. One that makes you jump out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face and some real joy in your heart.
Your happiness might seem like a small thing. An unimportant thing, even, compared to everything that’s going on in the world. But imagine what would happen if everybody in the world was just a little happier.
By making yourself a little happier, you might find a little extra joy to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. Without any conscious effort, you create a little joy bubble for the people around you. And that bubble grows as it passes from person to person…
Begin at Home
If you don’t feel peace and acceptance about who you are and what your life is all about, how can you expect peace on a global scale?
I love what Kenny Graham, one of my favourite yoga teachers and the founder of No Mat Nomads, posted on Facebook this week.
“How do we create a world of more peace and acceptance? Could it be it starts here closest to home, in ourselves, our families, our communities, our cities, our states, our countries, our continents and across the planet?”
So, if you’ve been wallowing in the misery of a job you hate, or just feeling stuck in a life you didn’t mean to create LISTEN UP.
First, I want to give you my sympathy.
I have been there, spent years there, in fact, hating myself, my job, and the people around me. I’ve climbed a few mountains (literally and figuratively) on the path to removing myself from that life and trying to make my life worth something. I’m still working on it, but I’ve come a long way.
It IS possible. For me, for you, for everyone.
Second, I want to give you a massive kick in the rear.
It’s tough love, baby. If you’re stuck, stop whining about. If you’re stuck, there’s only one person who can unstick you. You. If you’re stuck, there’s only one time to start getting unstuck. Now.
Begin at OM
The Patanjali Yoga Sutras (an ancient Indian text of yoga philosophy) start with a simple statement, which loosely translates as:
“Now is the time for yoga.”
(I know it might seem lame to quote an ancient text when ancient texts – or the people who blindly follow their words – are the root of so much evil shit in this world. But hear me out.)
I’m not suggesting you follow Patanjali blindly (that would be ridiculous). I am suggesting that you consider the simple idea:
“Now is the time…”
Don’t wait until you feel ready. Don’t wait until you’re older. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you it’s OK. Waiting for tomorrow is a path to misery.
Tomorrow is always tomorrow, it never becomes today.
The only perfect time, the only possible time to start to live your adventure is TODAY.
Begin with a Poem
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to kick your life into overdrive – and by that I mean to quit wasting time on stuff you hate, to focus on what you love, and to work to make every day about spending your energy on something that matters – it’s time to stop waiting.
You don’t know what could happen tomorrow.
We all know the Roman phrase “Carpe diem,” meaning “Seize the day.”
But did you know that the phrase comes from a verse by Horace, a Roman poet? The full line goes like this:
“Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”
It translates as something like:
“Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow.”
Yes, even in 23 BC, people knew that today is the day to act, to do everything in your power to make sure your future is the future you want. They knew that waiting for tomorrow is a fool’s game.
The idea crosses boundaries of time and culture, turning up again and again.
“And if not now, when?”
“Just do it.”
“There’s no time like the present.”
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
“It’s later than you think.”
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
What the hell are you waiting for? The planets to align? Pluto to be in retrograde? Christmas?
You OWN your happiness. You OWN your peace. You OWN your future. And it starts today.
Let’s Begin Together
This is one way to get going. It’s a way that works for me. It’s not the only way. But give it a try and see what happens.
What have you got to lose?
Sit up straight and tall. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and let all your busy day-to-day thoughts float away. Relax your shoulders and your neck. Relax your face and let your tongue be lazy in your mouth. Relax your eyelids and your eyeballs and even the very roots of your eyes deep inside your skull.
Then just sit for a few minutes and envision your future – the future where you don’t feel stuck, where you are not bothered by the little things, where you actually feel like smiling, where you are living your adventure.
Whatever you want to do, picture yourself doing it and being the person you want to be.
Don’t worry about the path you’ll have to take to get there, just visualize the best outcome, the best day of your better future. Don’t place judgement on your vision or try to map out the entire journey right now. Just live with it in your heart for a day or so.
That’s it! You’ve just taken the first step on your journey, your adventure. That first step is often the hardest. Now that you’ve taken it, the next steps will fall more easily into place.
It feels good, right? Now maybe, just maybe, today you can go out into the world with a little more peace and a little more joy to spread around. ♥
Happy adventures, Stephen & Jane