What does it mean to “live the dream?” Most people think it means you’re off somewhere having martinis and lounging in a bathing suit with sea, sun, sky and a nonchalant, carefree existence.
For others, living the dream might mean hiking through rugged terrain, the mountains ahead of you and the old growth forest behind you, your backpack slung over your shoulders, freedom around every bend.
What if, though, we are working hard, every day, raising our families and paying our bills, with very little in the way of fancy rewards to keep us motivated, and staying the course through sheer determination and will, knowing this is the right path to be on?
Are we living the dream too?
An extremely annoying yoga teacher I once had the unfortunate experience of taking about five classes with in Los Angeles used to love to turn our suffering into our choice. Not only was he totally obnoxious and irritating as we did downward facing dog for the seventeenth time, he was absolutely right.
As we sweated and cursed (this was “hot” yoga, after all – the windows closed and the humidity very high) he’d say, relentlessly, “Does it hurt? Are you uncomfortable? Remember YOU CHOSE THIS! You CHOSE this class and you chose this position to BE IN right now! Think about how that works in your LIFE!” It was absolutely ghastly.
However, application of such ghastly principles has been beneficial to me, personally. His message, loud and clear, resonates with me daily, even by the minute. It is, simply: “You are a victim of no one. The situation you find yourself in is one you chose of your own free will. You have the power and the ability to change your choice at any time.”
While my yoga practice was shorter lived than even my Tae Kwon Do practice, and Nutella has really become a food group for me, the idea that my life is the way it is PRECISELY because I CHOSE it to be this way has had a very powerful influence over making me feel like, even at 5 a.m.