Push Yourself Into Happiness

The astonishing joy of doing what you think you can’t.

Jan M Flynn

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Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash

I am not by nature a morning person, but my life starts early regardless. I’m embarrassed to admit how many years it took me to accept this fact, years in which I plowed through the first three hours of the day in a haze of grim determination and simmering self-pity.

It didn’t make me much fun to be around.

At long last, I arrived at the discovery that in order to embrace the day I needed to build in a routine that would get my mind, body, and spirit in tune, ready and willing to go forth and even be cheerful about it.

It meant I had to get up even earlier, but that quiet time before work or other obligations stake their claim on me has become, believe it or not, one of my favorite parts of the day.

So, yoga and meditation. Twenty minutes of each, while still in my jammies. The yoga tunes up my creaky old bod, the meditation dissolves the resistance in my squirrely brain. A big steaming cup of coffee to follow, and I’m right with the world.

Understand, I don’t do yoga because I’m as limber as a young willow-wand. I do it because I’m not. After years of daily practice, sitting cross-legged in “easy seat” is anything but easy for my uber-tight hips. Still, I’ve gotten stronger and more flexible, and able to do things I couldn’t in the past.

Of course, there are poses my various teachers have demonstrated that I’m not sure are humanly possible even though I’ve seen them done.

Photo by GMB Monkey on Unsplash

Not gonna happen.

But I’ve been frustrated by my inability to achieve Wheel Pose, which is yoga jargon for a full, hands-and-feet-only-touching-the-ground, backbend. I could do a commendable Bridge Pose, and I could get my hands firmly planted on the floor behind my shoulders, but I just . . . couldn’t . . . quite . . . go any further.

Listen to your body, every teacher and trainer says. When attempting Wheel, I would politely ask my arms to push me skyward. And then I’d have to listen to them laugh at me.

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Jan M Flynn

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at www.JanMFlynn.net.