Kathryn Budig: The Pursuit of Happiness in the Present

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Our life is a journey—a quest for happiness. We do what we can to help ourselves along this path. We pursue education, practice yoga, meditate, eat clean food, and make eco-friendly choices—all in hopes of finding contentment. But while this is all good, I sometimes wonder: what if we didn’t have to try to be happy? What if it's about accepting our natural state of being as buried under layers of experience and fear?

I’m writing my second book, Aim True, and have been feeling a heavy dose of anxiety and fear. Finding your true self is a subject near and dear to my heart. I find myself panicking over whether I can convey the message that means so much to me. I’ve found myself staring blankly at my computer screen with heavy sausage fingers. I place so much weight on each word, not realizing that all I need to do is trust myself. I need to let go of the story—of fear. And I must remember: I cannot fail because this IS me—and no one knows how to be me, better than me.

I’ve told myself, I’ll be happy once the book is done. In my practice, I've told myself that I’ll be happy when I can achieve a certain pose. Or make a certain amount of money. Or have the right kind of love in my life. But all of that only translates to a whole-lotta waiting and ignoring the present moment. How does a yogi achieve a challenging pose or transition? Practice, practice, practice—but beyond that, it’s being 100% present in the pose. The focus of that moment is what’s happening on the mat. The only way the pose can live is by your full dedication to it's existence right now. The same applies to all the elements of our life. Show up! Give into the situation knowing that there is no better circumstance. It’s here and now, and you’ve honed all the tools you need to rock it.

We can be happy when we stop trying so hard to be a certain way. Instead, let's just allow ourselves to be. We will succeed in our current condition when we care enough to apply ourselves and do our best. Our power is waiting for us to suit up, and our happiness is waiting in our power. Happiness is one step at a time, one posture at a time, one day at a time.

We have so much to share when we just own what we already have.

—Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig is a yoga teacher behind AIM TRUEis a regular writer for Yoga Journal and presenter at YogaJournalLIVE!.