Understanding Wellness

“Cosmic humor, especially about your own predicament, is an important part of your journey.” -Ram Dass

“Take it easy.” We’ve all heard that directive in many forms. Sometimes, it’s out of loving concern, a friend or family member notices that we’re pushing ourselves beyond our capacity and they want us to be OK.

Sometimes, the phrase is a snap reaction out of frustration. We, or someone we know, are agitated and we utilize that directive to calm them down and persuade them to come back to center; to take control of the situation.

Now look at it from Dass’s perspective from his beginning quote, finding the ‘cosmic humor’ in our predicament. His words are simple yet mean so much, another form of  ‘take it easy’… especially on yourself.

Let’s start with the ‘why’ of practicing this: Life isn’t always as serious as it seems. We bind ourselves to the negative, we enslave ourselves to it, instead of focusing on the positive that almost-assuredly exists.  In doing this, we only see the bad, which over time, can warp our perception or keep us living in negativity.

If we never learn to ‘let go’ and relinquish our restrictions on what it means to have control just a bit, we’re sure to suffer. If we let the universe unfold as it will, we can find peace in its plan.

Life will happen each and every day. Some moments tragic, other times full of joy, whether we approve it or not, it’s happening, and will continue to do so.

The next time you find yourself at odds with life; frustrated, lonely or the like: try a smile, a chuckle or even just a sigh of cleansing breath. Find the joy in the humor that is this incredible and wondrous journey we call life.

Saying Yes to You

“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself.” ― Paolo Coehlo

Everybody wants to be ‘someone to believe in.’ There’s a lot of societal pressure for us to perform to certain standards to be considered great, desirable, or even just worthy of other people’s affections, admiration or respect. Because of this, many times, we find it imperative to do as much as we can to show that we are what is considered a good or generous person.

What it really does, however, is encourages us to discourage ourselves. Attempting to balance other peoples ‘demands’ and our own needs can leave us frustrated and tired. If we believe refusing to fulfill others needs makes us stingy with our gifts, it will be challenging to say no. When we acquiesce to some requests and succeed, we may not allow ourselves credit when it is due, because we’re just doing ‘what’s expected’.

That brings us to an interesting question: Do we personally desire to be ‘people to believe in’? If so, do we allow that to dictate our lives? Forced to live up to others’ expectations and needs and then focused on the perception of how well we lived up to the task?

Meeting those set expectations, mostly ones that’s we’ve self-inflicted, isn’t easy. Pass or fail it will almost assuredly create some level of stress in our lives. And when you look at it like that, saying yes all of the time starts to look a little troublesome, doesn’t it?

Try saying no. When we learn how to gently yet firmly say no, we allow ourselves to be open to the possibility of only accepting what is best for us, and in turn, others. When we can be focused and proactive in our approach, wonderful things happen. Being proactive in this situation means being willing to say no. It’s not easy to put the practice to task, especially when those that we care for ask us for help. If we say yes, when we really mean no, the results will be less than optimal.

If the answer is no, allow them the opportunity to find the solution themselves. Give them a suggestion, alternative or option that can lead them towards an answer. You’ll find peace in only taking on as much as you can handle. It doesn’t make you weak; it makes you smart and responsible. It also gives you the opportunity to shine internally, to feel good about who you are and what you accomplish each and every day. That feeling facilitates being the very best you for everyone, most importantly, yourself.

Today is a new day: go out and live!