I was happier in 2014 than I have been in any previous year. I credit an increased understanding that our perception equates our reality. I have chosen to be happy more often than I have demanded to be right; I have spent more time considering and pursuing my goals and much less time reflecting on my regrets. At the outset of this project, I thought the best way to achieve my goal of holistic happiness in body and mind was to attain what I now see as just another definition of perfection. I thought if I could live as well as possible in every area of my life: exercise religiously, eat only the healthiest foods, always get great sleep, and excel in my meditation practice, then I would finally find an illusive state of serenity: the center of the seesaw.
In the process, I've found that there is both truth and danger in the "optimal performance in all areas" approach. Yes, exercise greatly improves so many areas of life: energy, focus, strength, vitality, mood, and self-esteem. Yes, our bodies function much better if we feed ourselves lots of nutrients without eating to excess: high quality proteins, leafy greens, good fats, and an array of colors and flavors. True, restorative sleep is essential. True, a regular meditation practice can help us to remain centered in our selves and aware of the superficial. I still strive to find balance with all of these positive habits and behaviors.
But, I've realized that it's not perfection in each of these areas that yields my best quality of life. In fact, striving for perfection has, at various times, caused me discomfort, stress, self-loathing, neuroses, and has distanced me from others and from experiences that I would have otherwise embraced. Perfection is the opposite of the answer. Total Body Happiness is actually our ability to cope with imperfection, to live amidst this swirling, tumultuous, uncertain reality with its highs and lows and joys and sorrows.
|Keep calm and listen to Jon Kabat-Zinn!|
What aspects of yourself do you want to nourish in 2015?