I got the book Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Recover my Colitis, Calm my ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness, by Brian Leaf. He’s the author of eleven populared books, and presently teaches everything that he learned in the holistic tutoring center in Massachusetts. The book takes you with his comprehensive experience of how yoga, reflection, Ayurveda and holistic health became a part of his life, and helped heal all his physical and mental conditions. There are lots of amusing, motivating and enlightening experiences along the way that make this book enjoyable. It’s a funny male version of Eat, Pray, Love that’s quite entertaining.

Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

Throughout his trip, he found eight means to be happy:

  • Do yoga, and if you currently do yoga, do more yoga.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Cultivate and follow your instinct.
  • Apply a minimum of three pieces of Ayurvedic knowledge to your day-to-day schedule.
  • Meditate.
  • Connect with your heart, and interact with others from that place.
  • Speak and act from your true self.
  • Become most real.

Cultivating Abundance

We’ve actually all experienced it. In our most horrible, clingy, desperate hour of need, deep space provides … absolutely nothing.

It appears an ill joke, but, in fact, whatever force or God runs the program appears not to respond to disempowered displays of self-pity. She appears, rather, to react generously to empowered non-attachment (which reminds me a fair bit of dating in my twenties – I always seemed to do best when I was already feeling appealing and confident.)

So why? Why does God (and dating) benefit confidence? Why’s it that when I’m going nuts, feeling that I’ll simply die if I don’t hear from my agent, that I hear just crickets? But that when I get to my cushion to meditate, and when I let go, releasing to faith, that I go back to my inbox with a fresh book bargain awaiting me?

Here’s the answer. This location where we live is a gymnasium where our souls do soul push-ups, and since self-pity does nothing to develop these spiritual muscles, it’s discouraged. It’s our path to find our true selves while here in the world. To drop into our hearts and souls. To experience that we, ourselves, are each part of God. Claiming the opposite, that we’re helpless and alone, is inaccurate and inadequate.

When we’re lost in clinging and self-pity, we resemble toddlers tantruming for chewing gum. And God, like a loving parent, will not give in to something that is not healthy or safe for us.

Nice concept, right? However how do you get positive and end up being grounded in the seat of your true self? The answer: meditation, naturally. Reflection is the practice, over time, of switching from indentifying with our thought and feelings and transient emotional states, to identifying instead with our deeper selves. And when we’re connected to our much deeper selves, if even for just moments, we can see even more clearly and pick the path that exercises our Karma and brings us toward flexibility.

When we get grounded, resting in the real seat of our selves, in our genuine nature, seeing plainly and selecting that path of vitality and freedom, energy flows unbidden, the world falls at our feet, and God opens the arc.