Anna Wootton


Happiness 101: Yogi Thought of the Week


I’m sure you’re wondering why there’s a photo of Eeyore heading up a post about happiness.

Well, Eeyore is a donkey. A sad donkey, it’s true, but a donkey!

And in yoga last night our teacher told us a parable about a donkey that you may have already heard. It’s a parable that teaches us to own our own happiness in life. The story is a little sad at first but its ending is worth it, so take a read!

Donkey Parable

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the donkey was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He shook it off and took a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Eeyore became happy donkey :).


The moral, of course, is that we should take what life throws at us and use all of those experiences – especially the bad – to build a foundation from which we keep going in life.

Our teacher then went on to list a few keys to happiness, which I thought I would share with you to see if anything resonates with you:

  • Worry less (most of your worries won’t come true anyway).
  • Let go of anger. Forgive!
  • Expect less of others and more of yourself.


It sounds quite easy when you are given a list, but creating happiness in your life takes time and effort. You need to start focusing on the positive and maintain this focus even when life gets tough.

I really find that yoga helps me with this but it is of course a work in progress. I don’t think anyone’s happy all the time, but I do think everyone wants to be happy – and that’s the key!


  • Do you agree with these keys to happiness?
  • Are there any secrets to happiness that you believe in?



  • October 18, 2011

    What a beautiful post!!!

    I need to go to a yoga class with a awesome teacher like you have, I think its awesome she spreads these positive things!

    I believe in living a positive life every day! Its the only way to be, life is too short!

    I also believe in finding the positive in every situation : )

    You are beautiful! Happy Tuesday!

  • October 18, 2011

    Great story! I really liked it, but I was really scared at first even though you warned me. I’m glad I finished it. 🙂

  • October 18, 2011

    Thanks for writing this post, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • October 18, 2011

    Okay, I barely made it through that story, it’s horrific! 🙁