With a flourish, I finish teaching the new cohort of yoga teachers about the nervous system. I am so excited to share the wonders of the human mind and body with every group I teach, that even after twenty years, I am still as excited about sharing this particular subject as I was the first time I taught it. Giving this knowledge to physiotherapy students, personal trainers, yoga teachers and sports performers makes me tick. It brings me joy.
As a sports scientist I was interested in how our physical body and our psychology could work together to create optimal sports performances. I researched how we could interpret fear so that it became exciting and fuelled performance rather than hindering us, and I applied this to sports performers and athletes so that performance anxiety became performance excitement.
The world though, doesn’t need people to run faster, or perform without anxiety. Right now, it feels as though the word is struggling under the weight of a mental health crisis. So many people are suffering from their experiences, their fears or their doubts. So much anxiety exists around so many people that their lives are not optimised for well-being or the experiencing of joy.
When I found myself in the depths of despair, I knew that I had let the diagnosis of my son’s chromosome disorder and my husband’s trauma steal the joy and the colour from my life. I was existing and functioning at survival level. I had lost my joy. I drew on my sporting experience, I had to fight to come back to life. I had to perform better at the sport of living. I could still win.
I figured that if our psychology and physiology can be used to increase our athletic performance, then surely it can be used to increase our emotional and psychological performance.
Rather than getting faster, why not get happier?
Rather than getting stronger, why not more joyful?
Instead of toning our physical body, why not craft our smile?
I switched my focus from sport and exercise, taking all of my knowledge and experience, and studied coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, Integral Eye Movement therapy, mindfulness, yoga and trauma, and crafted a skillset aimed at optimising the capacity for joy – the ultimate in life performance.
It’s not a competitive activity either, quite the opposite in fact. We can all win. We can spread our joy far and wide, and this only increases our own joy further, it’s the ultimate win:win for everyone involved.
I want people to see that their own happiness and joy is not in the hands of others or of circumstance. You get to choose to live with love and joy, no matter what you have experienced before. Sharing this is my reason to get out of bed in the morning. This is what makes me tick. Sharing far and wide the skills to live a joyful, confident life.
My life purpose is to live with love and joy and to inspire others to live with love and joy. As long as this is the direction in which I live my life, then I feel successful.
Why do you do the things that you do? What is your life purpose? Are you living life on purpose?