Joy and freedom are interlinked. In order to have joy we must have freedom, and when we have freedom, we are joyful.
Yoga teaches us that we always have a choice. That we are free. In any situation, we always have a choice—even if we feel we’re stuck, imprisoned, etc., we are not. We can choose otherwise.
I loved my ex-husband dearly and will always love him, as he was my first true love, we were together for 18 years, and created a beautiful child together, whom we co-parent.
But we were and are as different as different can be. I always thought “love was enough,” but learned differently, as I slowly began to feel my freedom slipping away. It was insidious though, and so I couldn’t place my finger on the malaise that was consuming me.
Then I found yoga, remembered who I was and why I am on this planet, and found freedom—and joy—again. I did have a choice, in every moment, about all things in my life—and most importantly, about which thought I would focus on.
Little children are totally free. Watch them!! They are free with their love, their anger, their fear—their entire being exudes freedom. They are free to be themselves, be honest, ask if they don’t know, cry if they feel like it, and lie down on the hard wood floor in the kitchen and go to sleep amongst a big party if the mood so strikes them. They are confident in whom they are and they love who they are—poopy diaper, bald head and all.
When does this shift? When do we begin to fear being wrong, not knowing the answer, showing our emotions, showing our true self? When does our freedom—our birthright—begin to slip away?
We just finished the final weekend of our Prana Power Yoga 2008 Teacher Training, and we talked a lot about joy—and freedom—during our 200 hours together.
Students talked about a moment in their childhood when they recall that self-confidence, that freedom, that joy slipping away.
And we talked about the beauty of beginning again—that with awareness (as you now have after reading this), we can make the choice to begin again and regain our freedom—and our joy.
It’s your birthright, Sistah, so start now.