I decided a long time ago, that I didn't want to have any regrets in life

 

Since my teens, I had been obsessed with the goal of obtaining the ‘perfect’ body, which was unnaturally thin for my height. Whilst I managed to maintain a low body weight, it was never thin enough, so my life was dominated by gruelling exercise regimes and a preoccupation with food. I was trapped in the belief that if I had the perfect body, I would feel happy and be accepted. I did not realise that constantly striving to be something other than I naturally was, was actually preventing me from feeling contentment inside.

 

Then I remember reading that one of the most common regrets people have at the end of their lives are the things they did not do, rather than the things they did. That resonated so strongly with me, that it became my philosophy and I decided from that moment on, I would see and do everything that I possibly could on my quest to find happiness. 

 

So I followed my heart and let it guide me to people, places and things far and wide

 

So I followed my heart and let it guide me to people, places and things far and wide. I travelled the world, lived and worked in different cultures, learned new skills, worked in different professions, studied books on psychology, spirituality and religion and pushed myself as far as I possibly could, to expand my horizons.

 

Sometimes things worked out perfectly and how I wanted them to be, other times disastrously and not at all what I had hoped for. However, with experience, I came to realise there was no such thing as ‘perfect’ or ‘disastrous’. These experiences were simply whatever I perceived them to be. And in fact, every single experience had immense value, as it taught me the lessons I needed to learn in order to grow and become the person that I am. 

 

However, despite all the amazing experiences I had, there was still an emptiness inside 

 

However, despite all the amazing experiences I had, there was still an emptiness inside, as I was still struggling with my eating disorder.

 

But all that changed, when a series of serendipities, led me to discover Kundalini Yoga.

'When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be'  Pantanjali

Finding Happiness

I knew it was something extraordinary after my very first class because nothing before had ever felt so right. It was like no other form of exercise that I had ever experienced, including other styles of yoga. My whole body was tingling from the inside out and I felt alive and awakened. From that moment on, I began practicing every day and my life began to transform before my eyes.

 

In the beginning, I cried and slept a lot, which I later understood to be repressed emotions being released and healed. Physical symptoms that I had struggled with for years began to disappear, my food cravings changed for the better and I developed a natural, healthy body weight. My preoccupation with perfection disappeared and I felt happier than I ever had been with my body. I became less critical and judgemental of myself and others and for the first time ever, I experienced true freedom, contentment and happiness.

 

For the first time ever,

I experienced true freedom, contentment and happiness

 

 

Yoga helped me find what I was searching for - myself. By learning who I am, I have changed how I feel about myself. I am no long searching for sources of happiness outside of myself, but looking inwards, discovering my passions and talents and deciding how to incorporate them into my life. Whereas before, I felt limited in what I was capable of, often struggling to make things happen, I now feel that I have tapped into a source of creativity and infinite possibilities. 

 

Yoga has also enabled me to cope better with life’s challenges by helping me to accept that everything is exactly as it's supposed to be in any given moment. We cannot control circumstances outside of ourselves, but we can choose how we react to them and having faith and patience will reveal that often, the cause of our pain and suffering is because we cannot yet see the bigger picture. 

 

I believe that happiness is found in understanding ourselves and discovering our unique purpose in life

 

I believe that happiness is found in understanding ourselves and discovering our unique purpose in life - and each and every one of us has one. If we nurture our passions, we can bring into fruition a life of immense fulfillment doing what we love for a living and experiencing the life we had only ever dreamed of. This form of happiness is always inside of us, it is eternal, meaning outside circumstances cannot impact on it and best of all, no one can take it away from us. Our passions are who we are, at the very core of our existence - we just have to dig deep enough to unearth them!

 

So now I am happy being me. I love what I do and my way forward in life is clear. I have found my source of happiness within, available to tap into whenever I wish, simply by dedicating my life to the regular practice of yoga and meditation.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens

Carl Jung

Julia Antenbring