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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How Desire Strips You of Happiness

Have you ever tried really hard to be friends with someone and the friendship never really came to fruition?

When I moved back to NL almost four years ago, I was starting new.  I was in a completely different place in life with a baby, I was beginning a new career and business, and most of my friends did not live here.  I met so many wonderful people; however, I have not made many new close friends.

I was yearning to make friends with certain people.  They seemed to be like-minded, fun, and 'real'.  But there was something missing....

They didn't include me.

That's not entirely true.  I was included in some events, mostly for business.  And everyone was kind to me.  But I wasn't invited out to dinner or for a girls night or to exclusive events.  I wasn't included on their list of 30+ like-minded friends tagged on social media posts.

So I kept trying.  You know... engaging on social media, sending personal notes, and working at the possibility of getting together beyond business.  And it just never happened.  This all did not bode well with me in my mind.  I have always been a likeable person and have not had to work so hard to make friends.  What was wrong with me?  Why didn't these people want to include me?

A couple of months ago in yoga teacher training, my teacher said, allow the karmic experiences to come to you.  And it struck me.  I've been pushing.  I've been desiring.  I've not only been searching for friends, but I've been searching for ways to help the world.  I've offered my time to a few associations and organizations and was turned down!  I've been seeking out ways to just do good.

I was filled with desire.  It was good desire.  Desire to help.  Desire to be around like-minded people doing good in the world.  But it was desire.

I had to surrender.  I had to stop desiring and start being in my life as it is.  Doing good starts right here.

Sometimes situations or people are not aligned with you even when it seems that they are.  This does not mean you or the other person is in a better place or that you don't deserve what you desire.  It simply means you are in a different place - right now.  That situation or person may very well come into your life at a different time - when you aren't pushing for it.

When your energy goes into desiring things to be different, you miss out on all the opportunities that enter into your world naturally.  Desire can strip you from happiness.  Desire results in wishing things were different.  But they aren't.  When you surrender to this moment, and you focus on all the things you CAN do, you find peace.  You find contentment.  You realize that you have choice.  You begin to put your energy into your own path, rather than desiring someone else's.  And it's far from selfish because you then have the energy to do good in the world.

In yoga practice when you do a balance pose... you must be grounded and focused or you lose balance.  If you look around the room and compare yourself to others or desire to be in their position, you lose balance... you might fall on your face (I have done that).  The key to a balance pose is drowning out the noise (literally and in your mind) around you and find focus.  If you wish you could be in a different place with the pose, you will likely lose your balance and not accomplish what you can do in that moment.

I began focusing on my own life.  I began focusing on what I do have and the beautiful people around me.  And I realized that there is a lot of good to do right here - I was missing opportunities to help that were right in front of me.

We all desire things.  Like in mindfulness meditation, though, if we can catch the desire... become aware of it... then we can take action to reduce and maybe even eliminate the desire.  Then you have the possibility to live the life you want.  You can't do that when you are desiring someone else's life.