Happily Ever After

Nostalgia reigned on May 19th. Being a Brit, I couldn’t help watching the royal wedding with all the pomp, ceremony and messages of love. I enjoyed seeing my country of birth all over the television bringing back memories of the beautiful countryside, the architecture and of course, the royal family complete with all its generational traditions.

I love fairytales and the royal wedding was certainly a big one full of palaces, the queen, princes, princesses, dukes, duchesses, lords and ladies. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that I am also a part of the same fairytale.

“I am not you, I am something like you, I am nothing but you. You are not me, you are something like me, you are nothing but me.” We are all connected. We are all living in the same story whether at the forefront or on the sidelines. Best of all, we get to write our own vows. Vows to marry or not. Vows and rituals in daily life, sometimes with pomp and ceremony and sometimes quietly on our own. We can give to the world and we can take from the world. Our vows become our fairytale… our story in the book called life.

Did I get to marry a prince? I believe so. He wears a suit of kindness and compassion. He always dons a smile that can be seen through his eyes as his lips turn up to meet them. But who gets to live happily ever after? After what?

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” … Henry David Thoreau

Firstly, meeting a prince is based on all the choices we make in life. Meghan Markle may not have caught the eye of Prince Harry if her choices had been different. Simply meeting someone doesn’t guarantee love and marriage. Perhaps it was her choices of being independant, an activist, a feminist, an advocate for equality and a global ambassador for world health, that helped Harry fall in love. All those qualities may have been the ingredients that sealed the deal in the Prince’s eye.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” … Aristotle

Secondly, getting married is but one step that leads to another. Even marrying a prince doesn’t promise a happily ever after. As my husband would say, happiness is a choice. Relying on something or someone else to make you happy will inevitably lead to disappointment simply because you give up control to outside forces. We all have the power within to choose what makes us happy. Happiness comes from being content with what you have and changing the things you have but don’t want. And as for accepting the things you cannot change, if something is unacceptable or harmful, you can choose to move away from it whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. Ahimsa, or to put it in English as non-hurting, is the art of love for yourself, others and the environment.

“The highest form of intelligence is wisdom; the highest form of wisdom is love.” …  Matshona Dhliwayo

Talking of choice, I congratulate the eight wonderful souls that graduated on May 12th. They chose to sign up for the 200-Hour Hatha Teacher Training at A Yoga Village. These new yoga teachers have taken steps just like Harry and Meghan. Now comes the journey. These new teachers will realize that they have opened the door and now they can explore another chapter in their own fairytale. They can write vows of sharing, health, strength, empowerment and relaxation. They can become guides to serenity, patience, and awareness. They can build a palace where clarity and bliss reside. They can shine their light of love.

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” … Confucius

What vows are you making? What ingredients do you use when making choices? Where do you live… in the past, present or future? What are you married to in your passions and desires, your challenges and fears, your hopes and dreams? Are you always striving to be happy or can you be happy now?

“There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.” … Gautama Buddha