Over at the Happiness Project website Gretchen Rubin talks about living with a creed (hers is “Be Gretchen”). I have on my bulletin board a list of words to live by that I tore from the back of a  Yoga Journal magazine from September 2008. The authors of these quotes were not credited so I am not able to give credit but they are wonderful thoughts. Here are some that I gravitate to:

Do one thing a day that scares you.

While in yoga class, I try to teach that we must listen to our bodies while sometimes ignoring our minds. If we are getting ready to do crow pose, our minds might be protesting and creating unneeded fear based commentary. Face the unknown and lift your feet off the ground and see what happens. In this month’s Oprah magazine, there is an article about people subconsciously sabotaging different aspects of their lives because of deep fears. The act of facing those fears head on, asking “What is the worst thing that can happen” and thinking through the various outcomes of the scenario that creates the fear dissolves the fear. What is something that scares you? Traveling alone? Meeting new people? Getting up in handstand pose?

That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

How often do you put daily chores or meaningless responsibilities before what gives you peace, health and happiness? I’m not saying that we can ignore our responsibilities for selfish pursuits. Prioritize. I know that my mental state makes a huge difference in my family life. If I am stressed, it trickles through the family until we all are unhappy. Making sure that I take the time to do yoga, run and be with like minded friends makes me a better mom and wife. Because of that knowledge, I try hard not to schedule things during the time I can be doing those activities that give me health and happiness. That may mean I have to drag the kids to the grocery store because I used my free time to take a bike ride with friends but that is what I do because it matters most.

I try to help children figure out what their strengths are so that they can take this creed home with them. Using games (like Thumball catch) that asks them questions about their interests and beliefs helps the children stop and think about what drives and motivates them. This can lead to decisions that will create a happy life based on who they are versus what people say they should do or be.

Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.

Another great thing about yoga is that it is constantly evolving with the individual. Yoga teaches patience, perseverance, determination, focus, to trust oneself, to know when to push, when to wait and when to try again. Each time you get back on the mat the slate is clean. What great skills everyone needs to help handle setbacks in life.

A few others that I won’t expand upon are:

What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.

Breath deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.

I love these and would love to know what creed you pick to live your life by. Please share!