I have to remind myself that life is not all black and white – there’s a lot of gray. It’s not all or nothing. I sit in the park after walking for a half hour and I know the truth of this in my body. In my head, I fuss about how I “should” walk more often, walk longer, faster. But in my body, I feel the improvement in my strength and endurance after the walks I have taken. So. I can rest and enjoy the fresh air without guilt.
Life is all about perspective. Happiness is all about perspective. How you become happy with yourself is all about perspective. It’s a mistake to think that becoming happy with yourself requires a self-improvement plan. The futility of looking for happiness by trying to become “better” is akin to looking for happiness in life by trying to create “perfection” in life’s events. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s impossible. Life is imperfect, messy, chaotic, unpredictable. Instead, happiness is found in a simple change of perspective – in stopping the endless striving for what isn’t and fully engaging with what is.
To make this paradigm shift in perspective, it’s helpful to have practices that ground you in your body and in your present life. Yoga is wonderful for this, as is meditation, journaling, mindfulness practices – even a daily walk can bring you back in touch with your simple, present life. When this shift occurs, what is really important becomes more apparent and the urgency of surface shit fades. No pressure to be anyone other than who I am, to have any other moment than this one. What is, is. And that is enough to infect me with joy and happiness.