Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Feed the Good Wolf

Happiness is a choice. I know, this may sound like a crazy statement! And, of course, easier said than done, right? If it were that easy than the world would be a much different place. But, like a Yoga practice, practicing happiness can be done. As each day goes by, it will get easier to choose happiness rather than another emotion that may want to surface. It's like the saying goes:

" We cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how to react to it"--Author Unknown.

This is a true statement. Ask yourself: What takes more of your energy: Holding grudges and resentment? Or letting go and choosing joy? Sure, this isn't to say that you should let someone walk all over you. But, having a "Happiness practice" may help you react differently. You can say your peace and then leave it at that. Leave it in the moment. There is this beautiful story about a Cherokee and his grandson that I want to share:

One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

 He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’

How beautiful is that story, right? It puts in perspective exactly what I am trying to say to you here. Everyday is a fresh start, a blank canvas, a slate wiped clean of yesterday. Everyday, we have the choice to feed the good wolf or the bad wolf.

If we chose to feed the bad wolf, than it will show up in negativity, tiredness, greed and more. If we feed the good wolf, it will show up in our character, our personality. We will be more positive and happy. And we will lead by example. If we show others that you are nurturing your good wolf, they will be more inclined to do the same.

My Happiness Practice:

1.The Loving Kindness Meditation: Everyday, I will send out love to myself and all beings. Sending out this loving energy gets my day off to the right start.
2. Set an intention: At times, this may be just a quote or a mantra, at others time it is just a word or two: Breath, Let go, be present, stay grounded, etc. These intentions are often practiced in Yoga as well, but starting my day with an intention not only starts it off well, but serves as a reminder throughout the day.
3. Gratitude Journal: I write every night in my journal and always end it with things I am grateful for. I will also do this practice first thing in the morning, before my feet have even touched the floor. I will also journal my hopes for the day.
4. Do one thing, first thing in the morning that makes you happy. Whether this is brewing a cup of coffee and sitting quietly reading the paper or a book. Putting on your favourite song and doing a little dance in your bedroom or living room. Having a cuddle with your kids or fur baby. As human beings, we can wear so many hats: Mother, Father, husband, wife, employee, boss, etc. We need to focus on the self as well. Starting your day off with doing something for you can be just what you need. What do I do? I read a chapter of a book. It could be my latest read, or a passage from an old favourite, but I always read at least one chapter while sipping my warm lemon water.
5. A Yoga practice: Duh! Of course, this is one the list. Once I am out of bed, I will roll out my Yoga mat(or practice mat less!) and move around. Re-awakening my body after being in bed for 8 or so hours. Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an 1 hour. But, I will always move around.

So, that is my happiness practice. That is how I feed my good wolf. And since I have been focusing on this more since Christmas, I have noticed a tremendous shift! I don't let others have control over my feelings or give negative Nancy's my energy. I choose to surround myself with love and positivity. Sometimes, it takes more of an effort, but it is always worth it. Practice happiness. Nurture your good wolf!


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