“Happiness is yoga at night and coffee in the morning.”
As an 18-year old, I guess I felt entitled enough to believe that true happiness could simply be found by practicing some downward dogs and drinking a cup of black coffee. I contributed this piece of wisdom to The Tiger Times, the high school newspaper, and when I came across it not so long ago, I thought to myself “Well, I wasn’t wrong.” It turns out that in many ways I have changed; yet some fundamentals and values have remained the same.
There was an exciting shift happening right around this period in my life. My postsecondary journey was soon to begin and I had fully embraced tools like yoga and simple breathing exercises to keep myself grounded and my mind in the present – or at least the mindfulness to know when excessive stress and anxiety were taking me off track. I had established a rhythm and routine for my yoga practice which would almost always culminate in a wander down the dirt road or the lane leading down to the woods on my parent’s farm. It mightn’t sound like much, but for me, these were profound moments and memories.
Nearly twenty years later and now knowing what I know, I better understand these feelings of happiness and contentedness as something a little bit deeper; it was the beginning of a realization and awakening of my own humanity and the connection that’s possible when we invite our minds AND bodies to interact with the world. When I wrote about yoga at night and coffee in the morning, I was speaking to what we can hear in the quiet moments of savasana at the end of a practice after a long day; The warmth of that first cup of coffee in the morning.
For you, that quiet moment might not be yoga or coffee. Perhaps it is the ten minutes you sneak in for yourself before the rest of your household wakes up. Maybe you’re most still and present as you have hot shower before bed or rhythmically chop onions for a comforting meal. Stillness might be found as you recite your evening prayers.
I smile at my naivety, the fact that I wrote this quote mostly to sound clever, wise, and more grown-up than I actually was, yet unknowingly hid a treasure for my future self to find. Like all of us, I have lived through career changes, new friendships, fading relationships and the myriad of personal experiences that changes us. But, through all of it, those quiet moments and rituals are there, ready to invite us into the silence that resides in each of us – always there and ready for a visit, if only for a moment or two.