Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Core

The phrase 'the core' has more than one meaning to me. Physically, it's the center of the body which, when cultivated, offers us strength and balance. Emotionally it houses our values, translates to the invisible center from which kindness, generosity, intelligence, and courage freely emanate.

Throughout my 20s, both my physical and emotional cores were essentially crooked: yoga was hard for me because my hip was out of line; opening up was hard for me because I was afraid of judgment from others.  Recently, I came across this quote which got to me:

"The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes." -Pema Chödrön


And true. If I think about the past two years, I've been on a path of discovery... trying to pinpoint the thoughts and exercises which allow me increased openness and bravery in my decisions and even in my own body. Even the act of publishing this blog where people will see it is a tiny act of courage, but one that I embrace. SO then: what's next? 

Values. To figure out what I want from my happiness project, I need to start from the very beginning. Gretchen Rubin wrote a series of happiness commandments that she used to create goals and actions, and encouraged readers to do the same. Always the devoted student, I wrote a list of happiness commandments for myself, though I think it will take more reflection to assess why these things are important, how I have or have not been able to commit to them in the past, and what they mean to me moving forward. I consider this a place to start: 

1.   Breathe and focus
2.   Tell the truth
3.   Take action now
4.   Forgive!
5.   Value yourself and value the earth
6.   Be determined 
7.   Embrace risk 
8.   Remain present
9.   Learn
10. Be grateful 
11. Embrace the process
12. Have fun!
13. Stretch your mind and body
14. Discover the root of the problem
15. Love, love, love 

So, this is the initial list. Am I living daily in concurrence with these values? That's a tall order, but I'm doing the best I can. The point of doing a happiness project, in my eyes, is not to create a recipe for ultimate happiness, but rather to provide a platform for growth.  I wonder if going through this process will generate new values which I haven't thought of, or will alter the ones I have here. I suppose there's only one way to find out! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment