Thursday, June 19, 2014

Striving for Happy

Softly it Whispers by Sarah McTernen
Truth be told, I am an agnostic at best.  Raised in the Christian church under many different banners, I left when I was seventeen because it no longer felt like home.  I had lost that solace and nothing has yet to draw me back to chapel.  I learned what I could from the Christian faith, the Catholic Church, that form of organized religion, that set of guidelines and rules.  I remember them and I do not discard them, I expect my kids to know the Bible stories, and will one day encourage them to read the Bible itself, but in my search for meaning and for peace, I have moved on.  Most of my moving on has involved yoga and Buddhism, though I do not bath completely in those waters.  They too are a bit too full of strong currents and cavernous pits.  No matter where you go, the human mind will take you off on a tangent, and if you are following another’s mind, who knows where you will end up.   I believe in the individual as well as the collective, because without fingers, what good is the hand.

When I started with Yoga eleven years ago, I was turned onto a show called Inhale on the Oxygen network.  It was yoga without pomp and circumstance.  I respected that.  It was an easy beginning lesson.  I still enjoy the lively 45 minute workout today on my DVD converted from a VHS recorded in 2003: bad audio, blurry, grainy video and all.  It would be nice if someone would put a few episodes on a modern DVD or two, but after waiting over ten years, I am pretty sure that isn’t going to happen.

While checking to see if there was a DVD a number of years ago, I ran across a book by Steve Ross.  Along with four or so other books ranging in topics from physics in The Violinist's Thumb to everybody dies in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones , the business of art in The Artist's Guide and ADD in The ADD Myth (No, I haven’t finished it yet. Stop judging me.), I have been perusing Steve Ross’ Happy Yoga .  I love how accessible he makes the knowledge and how simple he makes the practice.  There is no judging, no reprimanding, just reminders that we are the source of our own happiness, not the world, not our lovers, not our job; just us individually.  Yes, we are part of the world, but we cannot change the world.  The only thing that we can change is ourselves.  It is through these changes, through choosing to be happy and calm instead of striving and wanting that we find peace.  The book gives “7 reasons why there’s nothing to worry about” and I am only up to the second one, though I have skimmed the others.  I plan on finishing it, just like the other four books listed above. It will just take me some time.  I like the concept of being happy. I am not good at the practice of it, but I like the concept. Maybe I can get back into Yoga as well.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah McTernen

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