I Choose You

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Hi gorgeous people! Edge of the Mat's next karma yoga class has been scheduled! Save the date Thursday, April 9th, from 7-8pm. Also seeking a charitable organization for this month- leave me your suggestions in the comments below!

A few weeks ago, in the throes of winter, when the sudden melt of spring seemed as though it would never arrive, I was talking with a friend. There’s been a lot going on in her life: job, acting career, family, and I could see that although she was handling it with grace and compassion, it was starting to take its toll.

She said to me “I am going to try choosing happiness for a while.”

I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

This, I believe, is the next wave in being touch with our emotions. It is a deeper, more meaningful way of connecting with ourselves. Up to this point, we have maybe recognized love, happiness, and peace, as states which will suddenly descend upon us- provided we do all the right things. Once we are good enough, the mantle of harmony will be draped around our shoulders, and that will be that.

She’s onto something though, my insightful, inquisitive friend. Choosing happiness is infinitely more empowering than languishing in the wait, for that moment when it strikes like a bolt of lightning. Choosing to love, ourselves and others, is how we keep those relationships alive. Choosing peace, internally, when the outside world seems only full of turmoil, is how we maintain our equilibrium.

It feels easier, sometimes, than others.

It feels easier, for some than others.

I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, or why suffering is parceled out so unevenly, heaped upon the heads of some and lightly sprinkled over others.

I do believe, because I believe in the inherent strength of humanity, that it is possible to sculpt suffering into something else. The more difficult my struggle, the smaller I start. When I wake in the morning, what’s the narrowest thing I notice? The feel of my own breath inside my lungs? The stuccoed pattern of the ceiling above me? The ticking of the hallway clock, faint but unswervingly steady?

Our attention has power, and the ability to transform the mundane into the beautiful, the ordinary into the comforting, the plain into the beloved. The more attention we give, the more love we find reflected back.

Up north, it has been easier to lay all blame on the sun, who turns cold and withdrawn in those months when we need him most. Yet even with our energy depleted and our bodies calling us to crawl back into bed, our attention still holds strength. We can always, always choose.

Maybe this is what my parents meant when they said I could grow up to be anything I wanted to be. I’m not, in point of fact, guaranteed to be an astronaut, an Olympic gold medalist, or a billionaire. I might, however, guarantee myself a measure of peace and joy.

In love and light, K

*Watch this! *photo credit