Does Life Ever Get Easier?


Does life ever get easier?  Short answer: no.  I realize that doesn't sound altogether yogic.  Not to mention, it was only last month that I waxed poetic on living through the difficulty of winter as the fertile soil of new possibilities.  While those ideas hold true and offer some useful perspective, I must admit, they are of little comfort when the rubber meets the road and the tires are running a bit flat.

Maybe its because taxes are looming or because I have been watching too much cable news but I can't seem to shake this proverbial carrot from dangling out in front of me that says if only I made more money than everything would be so much easier.  Despite the common moral stories to the contrary, it sure seems like more money would solve some issues.

I'm under no illusions about the relative nature of wealth and its relationship to a sense of fulfillment in life.  I know lots of people who make a lot more money than me and they are not necessarily any more at ease for it.  I accept that life is difficult by nature.  When life feels easier its because of a combination of circumstances, often not in my control, and my ability to manage and mitigate the challenges that life presents.

How do I manage and mitigate the trade-offs that come from making yoga my profession with the fact that my wife has to work a job that depletes her well being so we can afford health insurance for our budding family? 

Fact is, the question of whether my life would be easier if I had more money is entirely irrelevant.  We are doing fine and there really is nothing more I can do about it right now.  If there was, I would most certainly take action.

In the meantime, dwelling too heavily on the situation amounts to, what yogis like to call, a big fat "mental fluctuation."  Striving for some future change that is beyond my control only serves to cast an exacerbating shadow and reinforce the downside of things.

The whole story has to include the countless blessings that are bestowed upon me everyday.  The sun rose.  I am alive.  I have love and friendship to share.  As long as my immediate needs are being met then gratitude is the only appropriate response.

I will continue to do whatever I can, within reason, to make more money so I can spare my dear wife the sacrifices she is currently making on our behalf.  I will make extra efforts to help her in any way I can and shoulder more of the burden at home.  Most importantly, I will express my love and appreciation for her every day.

Before I was a yoga teacher, I spent some time as a starving musician.  I play the electric bass.  There is this turn of phrase I remember from those days that seems particularly apropos here:  When you are playing a song in a band and the drummer starts to lose the beat or the guitar player is out of tune and it starts to feel like the jam could unravel, you just put your head down, tap your foot with a little more conviction and "hold it down."

Usually, it all comes together in the end.  If it doesn't, there is always more music to be made.


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J. Brown

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for 15 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga that adapt to individual needs. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Elephant Journal and Yogadork.