Life & Love, Yoga Philosophy

Freedom + Joy

Sounds pretty lovely doesn’t it. But here’s the thing – that’s your given right on this planet. You have the right to be happy, to live fearlessly to embody joy in each moment. So what’s standing in the way? You.

I’m sorry to be so blunt. I’m also sorry for the things that happened to you that weren’t your fault, or for how people have treated you in the past, or for being born in a country which doesn’t honour your full rights as a citizen. But this isn’t quite what I’m talking about, because in this respect we all have things we can add to this list of reasons we aren’t happy or reasons we can’t get what we want. My point is that we all carry with us this innate capacity to live joyfully. It is our own perception that stands in the way. How else do you explain the joy we experience in the simplest of moments like watching the perfect snowflake fall from the sky or the lack of joy in someone who seems to have everything society deems should make us happy. Have you have ever found yourself “stuck in a moment” (there’s a great U2 song about this) you’ve been carrying your frustration or despair so long you can’t even remember what started it in the first place? Perhaps there was an initial reason and instead of focusing on it or dealing with it you let it bleed into everything around you. I’ve written about this before (Catch Yourself). Sometimes we wear this like a badge. Continuously critical, not quite right, if only, I told you so, why don’t you ever learn? It doesn’t matter if these words are directed out or in – either way they are creating walls between you and your right to freedom and joy.

So what do we do? We transcend. We take our thoughts in the opposite direction. We change our perception and stop looking out on the world from the tiny eyes of the self and begin to open our viewpoint from the Self. This world is not about me or you, it is about all of us together. Our understanding of the world is based on our personal perception, our lover has their own personal perception, our friend has theirs, our enemy has theirs. Individual perception creates disconnection, isolation and fear. Building this into our subconscious has created an entire world of me against you. We must transcend. This isn’t getting us anywhere. Start with you.

If we want to experience Joy, cultivate Joy! Be grateful for what you have and count your blessings each day. There is no doubt once you start you will be overwhelmed by joy – how is it possible for one person to have so many priceless things. To be free? Let go! Stop standing in the way to your happiness. Stop seeing the steps on your journey as obstacles to your destination. Start emptying your closet of false beliefs, old stories and illusions and shine your light. Grow the muscles of your inner consciousness. Grow that inner light. Nurture it. Honour it. Live each day for the sole purpose of sharing your light with the world. This is a life filled with joy and freedom and it is yours.

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