March 7, 2012

Thank F*ck For Yoga: Four Lessons Learned from a Rough Year.

It has been a rough year in many ways.

There is a lot of it about, I know. I will spare you the details of mine, but suffice it to say that it has been a difficult road—but our family is safe, healthy and relatively happy; and, for all of that, I am very grateful. I am also grateful for the lessons and reminders the past year has provided:

1. I cannot control everything. In fact, I have surprisingly little say in my life. I get to choose my breakfast, most of the time, but many of the things that happen, happen to me. I know that is not going to be an entirely popular notion but that is my experience. I might get some say in the timing or the location, but, for the most part, I just get to choose how to react. Do not get me wrong—how we choose to react is hugely important, and has a big impact on what happens next, but it is also worth remembering that sometimes things happen that we cannot prevent and there is no point in making it worse by blaming ourselves. When I fail to recognize my inability to control events, I take the first step on the road to madness.

2. People do not all think alike. In fact, they often do unexpected things and see situations in an entirely different way than me. This might seem obvious right now, but the next time you are faced with a difficult situation, there is a good chance that you will forget this too and assume that people will behave like you. By the way, when I try to guess what other people are thinking, I take a second step on the road to madness. Best just to let it unfold—I think—work with the reality of here and now rather than convoluted possibilities. Let us face it, I probably will not guess right anyway.

3. Change is the only constant. What I thought I wanted a year ago and what I want now are completely different. A whole year of additional information has shaped and altered my thinking. So, being fixated on one end result is a third step to madness. We end up with what we thought we wanted only to find that it does not work for us any more. This one I knew already, but I needed a reminder and the Universe was, as ever, happy to oblige. It is also worth remembering that there never is an end result anyway. Everything evolves and continues to unfold, it is never going to be over. Well, it will eventually, but at that point there will be a coffin and sandwiches, and I will be doing more than just relaxing. In this lifetime anyway, there is no end point, no finish line, no medal. So enjoy the ride and do not worry about the destination. It is the only thing that is certain.

 4. My practice is key. When the sh*t is flying, I need my practice more than ever. In a world of shifting sands, crazy people, higher bills and lower wages, my solid ground is my practice. A constant, a place to come home to, whether on the mat or a cushion. I may not be sleeping well, and my fingernails are gone for now, but if it were not for my practice, I would be certifiable. Thank f*ck for yoga!


Prepared by Soumyajeet Chattaraj/Edited by Tanya L. Markul

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