I was talking with a dear friend recently and he asked what I have been doing these last few months. I mentioned that I am starting a new chapter in my life and leaving my old life behind.
“I am putting more of my energy into Yes & Yoga and I am transitioning out of the comedy world,” I told him. “If I happen to lead myself off of a cliff, I’ll make sure to yell to let you know. You’ll hear me screaming on the way down,” I jokingly told him.
“As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters,” he said.
This got me thinking—I took some time to survey the state of my mind and I discovered—I truly am happy. Not only that, everything that I thought would make me happy really didn’t; once those things were eliminated from my life I discovered that I had finally found happiness.
Lots of things this past year have been eradicated from my life. I gave up my car almost 18 months ago, I left my three-bedroom condo in the city and moved to some land in suburbs, and I stepped away from the job where I worked for the last 24 years. Almost all of those things, in hindsight, turned out to be some of the best things to ever happen to me. Adi and I decided we would start sharing a car because we really didn’t have a need for two cars. Although I loved the city, I learned that having space among the trees and the animals on the land each morning lifted my mood in ways that I could never imagine, and the “security” of my career had, in fact, left me feeling stagnant and rather unchallenged. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and began living my life without the illusion of a “net.” I began growing in new ways and it felt exhilarating.
During this time, Adi and I grew even stronger. We deepened our relationship, helped each other through the transition, and began taking on new challenges. We dedicated ourselves to teaching all that we have learned about yoga and meditation, and we pushed all of our chips into the center of the table and went “all-in” on growing Yes & Yoga. None of this would have happened had everything not been gently taken away from us. Throughout it all, I observed something that I really had never considered during such profound life changes—I was actually happy.
Certainly, things seem uncertain for the future but in this present moment I am, in reality, blissfully happy. Each day I wake up with a sense of wonder of what’s ahead. Adi and I have stepped away from the traditional path and we are moving forward into the unknown—together. For all of our uncertainty, I have come to realize that “certainty” is an illusion. None of us can be certain of anything, although many of us feel that we can. What I have learned is that my certainty of what I thought was going to happen was the very thing that prohibited me from taking a chance on a new path on life. Now, we move into the unknown as we surrender to a power greater than ourselves
Adi and I don’t know how Season 2 of Yes & Yoga will fare, but if truth be told, that’s not really our business. Our job was to create the show the very best that we could and then allow the Universe to align us with all the people and places for the show to succeed. Both of us take solace in knowing that God is going to guide us perfectly and we only need to do our part and then get out of the way for the Divine to work Her Magic.
This takes me back to happiness. All of the things that I always thought would bring me happiness never really did. I came to understand that when those very things were taken away from me and I had nothing to “lose” I became free. My possessions, responsibilities, perceived status, and image were the very thing that prohibited me from truly understanding that none of those things ever gave me happiness. Comfort, yes—happiness no.
In exchange for happiness, we get the illusion of certainty. If we allow ourselves to release “certainty” we create the environment for happiness because the lack of knowing what is going to happen forces us back into the present moment. The present moment is where happiness resides. This lesson took me almost half a century to learn.
“I am happy,” I was able to say to my friend. “I have found a sense of peace and this is all I wish for anyone.”
I thought to myself, “So, this is happiness.” This is what it looks like. It doesn’t even resemble what I thought it would be yet it is better. I have come to understand that we are responsible for our own happiness. No one else can do it for us. Nothing else can do it for us. No city, state, country, beach, mountain, car, boat, large bank account—none of these things can make us happy. This is something we must do for ourselves. We have a choice. What is your choice?