What are the things you bring into your life to feel peaceful and happy?
Time with your friends, significant other, and family. A career that gives you independence and your own identity, or at least money. Time at the gym, spin class, yoga class, barre class. Figuring out how to eat healthy, even when you don't get home from work until 6 or 7 at night. Making your house a home for yourself and maybe your partner.
And then the list grows....Plans and itineraries for travel to increasingly exotic locations? A dog? A new book? Classes to learn Spanish or French? Evenings drinking rosé with your ladies? Weekends hiking in the mountains with your crew? Maybe this is the year you do a yoga teacher training? Maybe you'll do it in Bali? Or maybe you'll just hire someone to clean your house for you.
We're undergoing constant evolution building toward peace. The real, deep-down, all the time kind of peace. The balance that will allow our minds to quiet. To finally stop telling us we need to do more, be more, do better, be better.
So we read articles about what has been scientifically proven to bring happiness. We seek out the right amount of time at the gym, which is also great because it quiets the "you aren't attractive enough" voice while promising us decreased stress levels. We sign up for meal prep delivery services to get rid of any excuse we might have to not cook our dinner at home.
And in some ways it's really great. Our lives become rich, and full, and healthier.
But we're still left with the tug of unhappiness. Guilt for not doing enough for our families or at our jobs. Stress because we have to cook that damn meal box when we get home and we're exhausted. Or that crappy voice of ours inside our heads that always has something to say about how we could have handled that interaction with so-and-so better.
The fact is, the only way to really nail that voice in your head that causes all that disturbance is to patiently, calmly, chip away at it. Every time a stressed-out, hectic thought comes up, examine it. Every time we feel overwhelmed with how much we have to do, get to the bottom of what will actually be the best way to handle it all.
It takes time, but you can make progress. You can bring the thought or feeling to a yoga class, set your intention and flow on it. You can meditate on it. You can go for a run with it. Journal on it. Talk to your therapist, or hire a yoga-centric life coach (sorry, had to slip that one in there) to more fully examine it.
The problem isn't all the stuff we're adding to our lives. But they're not the solution either. This is what I do, all the time. Take the bits, one by one, and work through it. Come to a decision that really serves what you want and need. Support you in building patterns, building the life you truly want.