Be Happy Now, Without Reason.

Via Lauren Hanna
on Mar 13, 2012
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Photo: Amber Ziegler-Rasmussen (pinterest)

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” ~ Maya Angelou

I’m going to tell you a secret.

But first, let’s understand something.

We tell others what we need to hear for ourselves. So when I write these words to you, I’m really talking to myself.

When I tell you to be happy, I am simultaneously convincing myself that happiness is what I want.

If you asked me “How can I pick myself up off of the floor?

I would tell you to just keep chugging.

Because that is what someone told me last week.


If you asked me “How can I be happy?” I would share the following with you:

“Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live–you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–or you will never be at all.”

 ~ Dan Millman, The Way of The Peaceful Warrior

I wish I were the girl who life could hit with a sledgehammer and my response would be to smile back at it and kindly ask, “Feel better?”

Instead, I am the girl that Maya Angelou would probably shake her head at.

I love rainy days, but if someone lost my luggage I would have a fit.

If the Christmas tree lights were tangled, I would fall to the floor and cry and have a tantrum until someone fixed it for me.

But I would be mad at them for fixing it.

I’m the kind of girl who needs tough love in life. I will push you away just to see if you will leave, then blame you for leaving when I pushed you out. I need someone with enough fire to keep me in check, tell me when I am wrong, and praise me when I am right. I need someone to stand up to me and say “Hey, get it together. There is only now.”

[I am struggling.]

Then I need that person to turn on this song:

Make me a cup of tea.

Help me put on clothes if I’ve reached that bottom.

Then make me—perhaps physically lift me—out of the house.

Into the car.

To a studio or some faraway quiet place.

Toss me onto my yoga mat.

And leave me there until I’m ready to cooperate.

I promised you a secret and here it is:

Life is a lifelong battle.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The practice is working, all the time.

But you have to show up for it.

And the hardest part—truly, simply—is getting to your mat. 


Editor: Kate Bartolotta.


About Lauren Hanna

Lauren Hanna, E-RYT 200, MSS Candidate, is a social worker by day and yoga ninja by night. It was in Pittsburgh that she first discovered the thrill of yoga and her love for social welfare and animal rescue work. With her cats Lotus and Calia in tow, Lauren hopes to someday combine her love for yoga and animal welfare with her career as a social worker. Lauren likes to dream a lot about saving the world – one puppy, kitten and human at a time. Lauren also loves cobblestone streets, arts & crafts, action movies and writing books with her Grandmother. If she had a billion dollars she'd probably spend it all here. Follow her @laurenfoste.


15 Responses to “Be Happy Now, Without Reason.”

  1. karlsaliter says:

    Solid. Just posted to on facebook.

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Love you Lauren! xoxo

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  3. Daiva says:

    great post! I can so relate to the "I am the kind of girl…" bit (though took ages to realise it!) thank you 🙂

  4. Go Walt Whitman! Nice one Hanna 🙂

  5. ValCarruthers says:

    Yup, showing up can sure be the hardest part. Wonderfully done, Lauren.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  6. Andréa Balt says:

    Thanks for sharing your brokenness.

    Tired love (for no reason).

  7. yogaboca says:

    Lauren – just beautiful! Your writing is exquisite! I especially loved how you began with the Maya Angelou Quote and kind of riffed off of that. And the Dan Millman quote is also very poignant.

    My favorite line is this: I love rainy days, but if someone lost my luggage I would have a fit.

    My sense of you is there is a bit of tongue in cheek here. My sense is that you would be tempted to have a fit – you would feel yourself going there, and you would remember the yoga and find a better way.

    Like you, I also find sanctuary on my yoga mat. But unlike you, I do not struggle to get myself to my mat.

    Fact is, I always get my needs met on my mat – – Always!

    And I am highly attracted to this idea of getting my needs met! 🙂

    I'm looking forward to hearing more from you and I will check out your blog!

  8. Thank you for such a kind comment! My mat feels like home to me — it really does. When I hit rock bottom I know it is there, waiting, ready to rock me and support me and make me feel better. Sometimes if I am so low, I need my mat to come find me in whatever corner I have crawled into, tap me on the head and say, "I miss you!!!" And it ALWAYS finds me. What a love.

    And you're absolutely right — I WOULD be tempted to have a fit over the luggage — and I would probably pout and then try my damndest to act like a Yogi in public. But it would be hard. But that is the practice after all, isn't it?

    xx lauren

    p.s. i need to update my blog!! you have given me motivation to do so 🙂

  9. Grey says:

    Absolutely honest and amazing. Thank you, so much, for writing such a beautiful article. It has changed my day. <3

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