On the weekends I teach yoga at a small studio in greenpoint. One Sunday afternoon, I arrived particularly early, so I sat myself down on the couch, mindless flipping through a book while I waited for my students to trickle in. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man passing by the floor-to-ceiling windows, slowly, as he was largely overweight and the burden of his own body was too much for his short, stubby legs. He stopped in front of the studio to read the poster in the window, which read in big, orange letters, “Get happy.” I noticed him, as he was hard to miss, not quite reading the poster, but staring, with his big eyes squinted, as he took a huge inhale from his cigarette. He let the smoke out right into the sign with a slow exhale and continued to stare at the big orange words on the paper, as if he had hope that the longer he stared, they would become a part of him. His face was reddened by the cold and his rounded shoulders were hunched up to his ears. I could see freezing wind blowing it’s knife-like gusts as it cut through the leaves on the tree behind him but he didn’t seem to mind its sharp gusts. He just kept staring as he smoked away the sadness or loneliness or anger or whatever other uncomfortable feeling he thought would be carried away with every cloud of smoke he exhaled into the cold air. I couldn’t help but feel sad as I watched him and wondered how many times have we felt like there’s a glass wall separating us from happiness. It’s right there, in large orange letters, right in front of us, and yet we stand there frowning and staring at it as if it’s light years away, when in reality, we’re too blinded by our own fears and doubts and misery to see the door right next to us, unlocked and waiting for us to walk in.