Thursday, October 2, 2008


One of my yoga students, Elizabeth, flew to Hawaii for an eagerly-anticipated ten-day vacation. When she returned, her classmates and I asked about her trip, expecting enchanting stories of sunset beaches and beautiful hula dancers. Elizabeth proceeded to captivate us for 15 minutes, describing in painstaking detail her multiple flight delays and cancellations and lost baggage, becoming more and more agitated the more she spoke. And yet, somehow she had arrived and had spent ten days in a tropical paradise. When we again asked Elizabeth about Hawaii itself, she was too angry to recall anything positive. How tragic that her bitterness about her travel disappointments prevented her from enjoying her vacation.

Do you want to be so caught up in your own disappointments and bitterness that you miss out on enjoying your life? There are always delayed and cancelled plans, and misplaced possessions, and there are also always glorious sunsets and breathtaking beauty, all around us. It’s a matter of what we are focusing our attention on. Don’t deny your pain, your suffering, your frustrations. But choose to focus on your joy, your gifts, your small triumphs.

It is your choice. Whatever you focus your attention on, grows and multiplies. See the good. Smell the flowers. Hear the music. Focus on the joy. Taste the sweetness of life, not just its sourness. Only you can choose to turn your lemons into lemonade. Only you can heal and transform yourself. Only you can choose to thrive. You can do this!

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