Give it up.

“Give it up,” the yoga instructor said at the close of the session.

No, she didn’t mean to quit yoga, even though at times, I did want to quit. I thought I was in good shape, but this was my first yoga session, and yoga is harder than one thinks. All that stretching and posing requires real effort. No he-man stuff here, just honest to goodness work and sweat. No, what the yoga instructor meant was to relax and enjoy the moment. It was the end of a hard session and she was quoting from Deepak Choptra. If you haven’t watched a talk show in ages, then you haven’t heard of Deepak Choptra, Indian born American physician and writer, proponent of mind-body healing.

Deepak Choptra’s message is an old one found in many religions and philosophies. And I know that I am not quoting Deepak correctly. The yoga instructor’s passage was eloquent and beautiful. But at the heart of the message was the simple idea that you have to give up something to get what you want. If you are to get along in life, then you have to quit the frenzied pace and seek inner happiness. Life is not about wealth and power. It is about serenity and peace. This seems like a bit of irony coming from one who has written over 65 books in his lifetime, has a video channel, tweets, and flies around the country enlisting others to give it up for Deepak. But I am being a bit too cynical.

Within the words the instructor uttered, there is a message that rang as clear as a bell on a winter’s day. And the sound it made was to quit trying to change the world. Instead, it is better to work on yourself.

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