The happiness of doing something for another


Me with my 2 yoga teachers minutes after I finished my teacher training. Such happiness!

This blog is a very personal one and I decided to write about it, because lately I have been experiencing more and more happiness.

Great, right? But I, the person as I am, started wondering. Why am I so much happier then I was before? I still live in the same city, I still live there under the same circumstances, I have the same friends (although a few more) and my family and friends in Netherlands still miss me – and vice-versa.

And one moment it just hit me. The happiness I experience is not happiness of the moment, it is not temporarily happiness, it is a happiness to stay, caused by something that did change in my life: my career. As a yoga teacher I am now really, truly helping people.

Funnily, I tried to battle this ‘need to help others’ for years. When I worked as a consultant, there was a moment where I wore myself out because I always tried to help others at the cost of myself: wanted or un-wanted help. The company gave me a very good counselor and we worked on how to deal with this ‘problem’; how to stop this urge of helping others and focus just on myself.

How wrong I was at that point I only realise now. Honestly, the best moment of each yoga class I teach is the moment where the student comes out of Savasana (relaxation pose) and sits there still, at ease, connected with the self. The moment they open their eyes, that is beyond the best: it shows gratitude, happiness and a peace they did not have when entering the room.

During classes I can have doubts about what poses to do next, if I am making the right choices for the student in front of me. It makes me nervous and insecure at times. But when they open their eyes and I see that look in their eyes – I know! I know that I did it again.

And that creates that feeling of happiness that multiplies each time I see it. That feeling is the thing that shows me I did something bigger, something that reached further than myself. I feel genuine happiness because I did something for someone else. And this happiness is sustainable; it is one that is there to stay.

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