“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” Nietzsche
This is my response to the article “The Curse of Always Being Happy” by Qigong and Kung Fu master John Munro
This is a subject that I have personally been thinking about quite a bit lately.
For me, there is no light without dark. No up without down. No Yin without Yang, hot/cold, day/night, right/left, male/female (In general. Exceptions acknowledged and honored).
It is when we are stuck in our emotions that it becomes a great challenge.
When the pendulum swings wildly one way, it will swing wildly in another.
We talk incessantly about being happy, and looking for happiness.
What about the ease of being content? A very mild, pleasant sensation. Much like the theory of neutral talked about in the article.
Have you ever noticed how feeling ecstatic can make your heart race and make your actions very amplified?
Have you also noticed how anxiety, too, can make your heart race, make you frenetic, or active in an entirely different way?
These are both still very heightened states of emotional or physical response.
Being more “neutral” helps us remain more non-attached in differing situations.
I look at it as going with the flow.
As teachers it is crucial that we go with the flow. No two classes are the same, no students are the same, no responses to the material are the same.
Remaining flexible in these environments makes for better classes and better teachers. If we are constantly in states of heightened emotions it is not good for us or our students.
“Put on a happy face” or “Don’t worry, be happy” may not always be the best course of action.
We have all known someone who puts on a happy face all the time.
They are exhausted putting up a happy front BUT they are not truly happy inside. Do they feel they need to maintain the facade because that is what they feel is expected of them? (That is classic people pleasing behavior.)
Everyone has a less than perfect day. All the teachers we look up to: Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. expressed and express themselves sometimes with passion and sometimes with dismay. However, there is still a calm running parallel to that expression. There may be anger, frustration, pain, elation, jubilation and ecstasy but the way it is expressed is gently, lovingly, firmly with reserve and self-control.
Additionally, as teachers in the healing arts, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to be a perfect example. OR our students and critics put a lot of pressure on us to be perfect. Granted, that is more about them than it is about the teacher, but the pressure is there nonetheless. It takes a strong, confident, self-aware teacher and individual to remain unaffected by this external pressure. Why put immeasurable pressure on ourselves to be other’s idea of perfection and adopt that as our idea of perfection? Do we need an idea of perfection about ourselves at all?
To walk, talk, live and breath as what we feel or have been pressured to feel is as the perfect teacher or person, for that matter, is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. It’s a tough role to play in today’s world.
When we develop our emotions to be expressed in a more serene, calm and composed manner, our existence will follow suit.
If we can have the self-discipline to enjoy the middle ground, instead of the tumultuous highs and lows, imagine how much more peaceful our lives can be.
The old story of the monk facing every situation by saying “We shall see,” may be one of the best examples for a content life.
So “don’t worry, be content.”
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again soon..
If you would like to read Master John’s article here it is:
This poem was written at two VERY different times in my life. It was started in 2011 and finished in 2019.
Talk about PRO-aging!
I feel more in tune with myself. More able to look at my life and understand pain may not always be my enemy. It also can be my friend, and in many instances, my teacher.
Do I feel the same way I felt when I wrote the body of the poem?
No, I definitely do not.
Sometimes we have to "let it burn".
Burn off our karma, our past judgment, our self-criticism, self-doubt and pain.
What may feel like constantly getting "burned" may be burning off our garbage so we can go to the next level of our lives.
Take heart, it isn't always as bad as it seems.
Keep moving forward.
It's worth it.
Thanks for reading.
See you again soon.
I am passionate about PRO-AGING. Aging as well as possible - given our life circumstances - with enthusiasm, contentment, vitality and energy.