The Wisdom Within
By Suzette Scholtes
Yoga Keys to Happiness
"As a result of contentment, you gain happiness.”
-Yoga Sutra 42, Chapter II “How to Know God” the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
Have you every stopped to wonder why you are feeling happy or content on any particular day or hour? The ancient yogis gave this a lot of thought. The author quoted above suggests happiness has two characteristics: We become happier when we live in the depth of the present moment—with no regrets of the past and no worry of the future. The great father of yoga, Patanjali, says this is what is meant by contentment.
The author notes there is also “happiness” that comes from the satisfaction of a desire. This may become vivid but short lived as the satisfaction of one desire soon leads to the rise of another and so the moment of happiness may end in anxiety. The line that comforts me the most is: God is always with us. That love may be released at any moment by letting go of fear and desires that may shield this love.
FREEDOM FROM THE PAST: Teaching some wise women in Oklahoma City this past weekend, I asked them how we become free of the past? They knew the key was forgiveness.
The Power of Forgiveness is HUGE. Nothing is different until you are. We talked of the importance of the ritual: Recognize, acknowledge, forgive, and change. We talked of how important to forgive ourselves first, no matter what or who has hurt us, we need to forgive ourselves for getting caught up in the wake of drama or the like.
It turns out forgiveness follows patterns of grief. When you truly forgive someone, something within you dies! What are the patterns?
Denial may be one of the greatest obstacles to forgiveness: “I would hate to think I have not dealt with this or forgiven myself.” Or there may be a residue of pain, fear, or hurt we need to forgive.
Blaming never works. It is her/his fault! Blaming others will come back to self blame. Then the blame screams: It’s my fault! (we are stuck if blame is in the air.) Next, comes the obstacle which I feel is a HUGE trap: Self Pity. This is huge because it is a real emotion. So it has positive and negative expression. As a genuine feeling it means it is time to take care of yourself. It’s time to NUTURE yourself and PAMPER yourself. Pity is a way to find healing. Pity then lifts and heals. Avoid using self-pity to punish yourself---NEVER works. Pity is an anesthetic to numb out feeling and leads to feelings of being a martyr. Stop it by choice. What’s this about to you? To move off it ask how do I take care of myself? Put it into the framework of self-love and self-caring. Maybe it will help to talk to a trusted friend or find a counselor.
Then, what gets us caught up in the middle of the forgiveness process? Indignation. How dare they? How dare they judge me or…do this…or act this way? When you get pass indignation you are on your way home.
So it turns out forgiveness is a huge stepping stone to ongoing happiness but it is complex and intricate to really examine, explore and integrate into freedom. It’s worth every moment to forgive yourself or others!
Suzette Scholtes will write on the second characteristic of Happiness next month: easing worry of the future. Her workshop on “Happiness with Forgiveness” will be held end of May at yoga School of Therapeutics where she is founder and director of teacher training. Learn to deepen quality of life by unfolding your inner resources. Call (9l3) 492-9594.