Everyone wants to be happy.
Entire lives are devoted to attaining this. Yet, as the old adage goes, it is in the pursuit of happiness that unhappiness lies.
We hope that promotion, those five pounds, that cute girl/boy from work, will be the answer to this unfulfilled desire. Constantly looking outside of ourselves for answers.
Yet, true contentment comes from within. It emerges from learning to accept love from one’s own self.
There is a misconception that loving oneself means egocentrism, but this is not the case. Self-love is much deeper than ego. Self-love is unconditional. It is infinite. And though it may be hard to believe, self-love already exists within all of us.
In yoga we meditate on discerning between the little self, prakrti (ego), and the bigger Self, purusha. The bigger Self is love. It is the piece of the universe that exists within all of us. The same piece of universe that exists within your neighbor, your dog, and even the oak tree blossoming outside of your home. Namaste, the valediction said in most yoga classes, literally meaning: “the light within me bows to the light within you,” recognizes that we are all the same and we are all perfect.
In order to truly be joyous, we do not need to seek outside of ourselves. Instead, we must begin to look within.
With yogic practices, such as asana and meditation, one peels the external layers of the smaller self—the ego, the body, the mind-stuff—and like a Russian nesting doll, reveals the true Self, pure love.
Everyone wants to be happy. What they don’t realize is that they already are.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel