Formerly The Yoga Studio of Johnson County

The Wisdom Within

Suzette Scholtes - Yoga Director

By Suzette Scholtes

Do You Feel Joy?

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

– The Buddha

In the 2007 film “The Bucket List”, the mechanic played by Morgan Freeman and a billionaire hospital magnate played by Jack Nicholson, meet as cancer patients while in treatment. They become friends. Freeman’s character is a gifted amateur historian while Nicholson plays an eccentric loner, four times divorced, who is cynical and mean-spirited. He watches the mechanic make a “Bucket List” and gets excited about making plans together to spend their last months on Earth doing what they love.

What touched me most in the movie was a scene when they traveled. The loving mechanic shares that the Buddha measures life by asking two important questions:

  1. Do you feel joy?
  2. Do you give joy to others?

Since enjoying the movie, I’ve been more conscious of my ability to feel joy. I must admit it is a challenge to feel joy 24/7 but it’s getting better. And for sure I feel good about giving of my love and kindness to the world around me. How easy to make quick conversation or share a smile with the clerks at the store. Are you willing to let a hurried driver have the right of road? Small acts of kindness like this help us to create joy as we consciously “give.”

The ancient yogis call the inhale “puraka” which translates to the word joy. Yet we take the breath for granted. Even in yoga while practicing pranayama (breath practice), I gently guide everyone to open to a “quiet joy.” The progressive muscle relaxation we do in class will “increase feelings of joy” as reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychology early this decade.

Here is a copy of the “before I kick the bucket” list as presented by the fellows in the film. It may not be my or your preference for a list but guess which one was crossed off last?

  1. Witness something truly majestic
  2. Help a complete stranger for a common good
  3. Laugh till I cry
  4. Drive a Shelby Mustang
  5. Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
  6. Get a tattoo
  7. Skydiving
  8. See the pyramids
  9. Get back in touch with family. (previously "Hunt the big cat")
  10. See Rome

In joy and peace always………….Suzette.

Suzette Scholtes next workshop is Sat., Aug. 23, 1:30 to 4 p.m., where she teaches Reiki and self-healing which work to improve quality of life, confidence, and health of mind and body. Yoga School of Therapeutics (9l3) 492-9594.

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