Every moment of our life we have the choice to be happy. Requiring intention, leading a happy life is indeed an achievement, as it involves consciousness that has to do with specific attitudes and behaviors.
Developing the Basic Skills
I feel very lucky to have started dance classes when I was a child as they gave me innumerable skills that contributed to my formation and the great pleasure that comes from internal discipline. Developing a routine to hone my body everyday meant having to show up for my training even when I didn't feel like it. Learning how to get along with others and to share the spotlight was required by being a part of a corps de ballet. Discovering the importance of spatial relationships through following choreography helped me learn how to give others their own space. Understanding how to interact with others for the benefit of the whole was elemental to being a part of a production where we were all pieces that came together to create a work of art.
Making Choices that Feel Right
Leading a happy life requires discernment. This often comes later in life, and is the result of cumulative experience. It means placing yourself amongst people who increase your sense of well-being, choosing positive environments over toxic ones, and making career and hobby choices that compliment your talents. All of this leads to a life that feels right.
It seems to me that the quest for emotional balance should be the most essential motivation for making the choices we make. When we finally begin to achieve this balance, it is so much easier to deal with most of the inevitable exigencies of life.
Aligning Body, Mind, and Spirit
It has become quite clear to me through years of teaching that emotional balance is the result of the alignment of body, mind, and spirit. It is so easy to see how a person feels about her/himself by looking at the way s/he stands, sits, and moves. Misalignments of the body often reveal that there is a deeper and more hidden issue that finds its way into the musculature of the body, affecting biochemistry, as well as the health of the organs, cardiovascular, and circulatory systems.
Never Become Complacent About Pain
I have met many people for whom chronic pain becomes an almost normal condition. They get used to it and forget what the body is supposed to feel like without it. We must never become complacent about pain. With proper attention to aligning the spine and gently coaxing the body into its original healthy state, we begin to take stress off the joints and tendons, freeing up the ligaments and muscles and creating a greater flow of oxygen and blood throughout the body. Finding more natural ways to move, we also find more freedom in cognitive function, freeing up the brain for greater creativity and openness.
A Healthy Diet
And of course, let's add a healthy diet to the mix in order to strengthen the immune system and feel a sense of invincibility. Organic whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seaweed, herbs and spices are some of the foods that help to build a strong body and mind.
The True Definition of Success
Creating a self-sufficient life that consists of doing the things you love to do, being around supportive people, and taking care of yourself and others is fundamental. The sensation of strength and purpose we get from these healthy attitudes are to me, the true definition of success.