New Year. Happy?
As somebody who likes to always send buckets full of love, my very bestest best wishes and a good old dose of merry this and happy that like my words have some kind of magical superpower, I have been wondering if our need to always be happy is maybe just a tiny bit unrealistic. Might it liberate us to come to terms with the fact that maybe just maybe this New Year won’t always be happy? I know saying something so negative sounds quite sordid, doesn’t it? That yearning for the happy feels reaches out with its bony hands clawing at joy not just for us but for anyone we like or love, but doesn’t it feel like we are always searching and so often unsatisfied and discontent. Aren’t we a tad greedy for the highs? Somebody one day a long time ago whispered in our ear that we needed to find happiness, like a bad witch in a fairytale who set us off on a lifelong trek through the dark and dangerous woods. She forgot to tell us we would see glimpses like mythical creatures frolicking in the moonlight and to cherish those moments like they are rare and precious jewels (sorry think I watched too many movies over Xmas!) what I mean is this, Happy isn’t the only one of the seven dwarves or the only emotion in the box. Maybe we need to make grumpy feel more at home.
To resolute or not to resolute?
This year we head into not only a new year but a new decade. I am not a massive fan of the new year thing I kind of think there’s an awful lot of pressure to finish eating the ton of chocolate and to empty the bar before January 1st better to pace yourself through those cold winter nights and start depriving yourself in warmer times. Sometimes I like to make resolutions, lists of intentions and goals to improve me, which is slightly mystifying because one camp will be telling me I am beautiful and perfectly imperfect, I am enough; whereas the other believes I should probably become a vegan and stop drinking porn star martinis. Confusing I know. Joking aside I do think goals work, my track record of abstaining from all sorts of random things during the forty days of lent is very impressive; challenge me to meditate with Deepak every day and again my competitive need to see it through even astounds me. But New Year I’m just not feeling it unless I can declare my intention to hibernate and watch far too much Netflix (has anyone else run out of things to watch yet? Asking for a friend.)
Put on your positivity pants.
This decade has very much seen the rise of the affirmation, the positive slogan T-shirt available here at Yoga Leggs. Com (always working), and the motivational speaker just waiting to motivate the life out of you and it’s funny because I have for many decades been a fan. I remember clearly Oprah just blowing me away back in my late teens with a speech about holding on to anger and how it only ever really hurts you. It made a fundamental difference to how I felt about a let’s call it a tricky relationship and was probably one of the most healing moments of my life. I dipped my toes into Buddhism and it’s been confirmed that Oprah was in fact spot on. Holding hot coals burns hands ours, not theirs, think blisters. Drinking poison delivers a slow and painful death, again ours not theirs. I am a practitioner of positivity but after almost eight years of self-reflection (yoga will do that for you) and even more so recently I am questioning my real purpose massively and in the words of my good friend Maxine “what’s it all about”? Because I know for damn sure it’s not about acquiring shiny objects and I love all that glitters. Being an empath/introvert (self-diagnosed via social media) I admit to feeling not so happy at times, for good measure I was born on a Wednesday. Oh my God, I am literally full of woe. I looked up the definition of woe it means the deepest of sadness. What I do know is that when I am in my motivational speaker persona (which I do often, I know kids yes your mother is annoying) I shine some light in fact I shine bright like a diamond, I know I can inspire I can calm and soothe I can heal and I can encourage, I can make you believe in magic. When I am at my darkest it’s like the Christmas day episode of Eastenders. (Yes kids I know you prefer nice Mandy).
Does the cup half empty leave more room for top-ups?
So if we are constantly craving happiness are we setting ourselves up for a lifetime of disappointment? Can the pessimist only ever be right or at best pleasantly surprised? Should we have the cushions strategically placed to lessen the inevitable blows? We live our lives believing in our own immortality which is the most ridiculous delusion of all. Buddha says that if we are calm and peaceful we will be happy he also actively encourages us to make friends with death apparently it’s liberating. I might try wishing people a calm and peaceful birthday (not so catchy and may be slightly dull sounding?) I think our perception of what truly makes us happy gets blurred and I think it will take us many decades and millions of superficial moments for us to get it, and to appreciate all of the priceless wonders that brings us to life. It is why it’s so special and addictive that craving for happy. And it’s really quite simple the formula; its human interaction it’s love. It is truth and kindness and compassion and generosity. And yet we live in a world brimming with hate and fear and lies and greed and mind-numbing superficial crap. Seriously when the hell will we learn? If the devil is real I think he’s the head doorman at the Mind club and does he let some dodgy characters in, he most certainly does. Ram Dass spiritual guru recently passed and one of his inspirational quotes that resonated with me is this one “ultimately I would rather be free and in love than be right”. Probably because I like to be right and it’s such a stupid waste of time. I always need to fix things in the end. I give in and that usually means that my need to love is stronger than my need to be right, if that’s a weakness I am okay with that, I wish more people were weak. So much unhappiness is caused by our need to be right. We argue we sulk we can’t forgive and we forget to love because we want to be right, aren’t we stupid.
This was meant to be an inspiring New Year wish.
Nice Mandy is starting to feel guilty that this isn’t an encouraging list of informative suggestions of how to become the best version of ourselves but alas I ramble from the heart and maybe my woe is brimming over today, let’s face it we kind of know-how and if we don’t then we can all Google can’t we? We could start with drinking more water less pink gin that’s a good one, read more books, maybe we could talk to lonely strangers (not you kids!) take up running, those sorts of things. Like buying puppies or donating to homeless charities trying to be our best selves doesn’t have to only take place during the festive season. Fixing the outside layer isn’t our only body that needs a little work, if you’re a fan of kundalini yoga you’ll know there are ten to keep you busy. I am going to make friends with some of the other dwarves. That reminds me, my friend Phil is going to aim for more sleep in 2020.
This decade has taught me that I am officially a grownup mother of grownups, one leg of a stretchy Yoga Leggings empire. I am a wife, a friend and a very human human being. It’s tested me to see what’s priceless and irreplaceable it has introduced me to gratitude and beautiful people. It has given me many opportunities to give love. I really should start thinking about what I can go without this Easter. I know Netflix!
Heartfelt happy wishes that for you feel calm and peaceful and know love in this forthcoming lifetime. And please share any realistic or amusing unrealistic suggestions to help carry us forward into this exciting new decade. I am serious some informative suggestions would be much appreciated, thank you.