Last week I met a beautiful woman who came to one of my classes. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, was healing from surgery and preparing for years of hormonal therapy.
We began to talk about life and family and meditation and healing. She does not have a regular yoga practice, or even a mediation practice. But, she explained that she had been exploring meditation and found it interesting that when guided to go to our happy place, we are instructed to picture a beautiful beach, or mountain top or garden.
“The inside of my body is my happy place” she said. “I go there.”
This was a striking comment coming from a woman whose body is currently being threatened, and is recovering from the trauma of surgery. She said that when she turns inside she pictures the blood flowing, and the cells alive, and that it is so beautiful to her that it makes her feel safe and happy. She feels a warm light, a glow, an aliveness.
Why do we need to go outside ourselves to find our happy place when the beautiful mystery of our internal landscape is waiting for us? Why do we often think that the answer lies beyond the border of our skin when an entire universe breathes with in our own amazing bodies? Why do we need to go outside ourselves for love and confirmation that we are OK just as we are?
It is so simple. It is so accessible. Just close your eyes. Give your breathe and heartbeat the same intimate attention and curiosity you would give to a place you had arrived at for the first time. The truth is, you are arriving – it does not look the way it did yesterday or how you will see it tomorrow. Often happiness is not found in what we see, but how we see it.
Look within. Look outside. Just look. What do you see? Where is your happy place?