I cannot believe it is the middle of September. We are back into another school year, which I love. I don’t have children, but it seems that everything runs on a little better schedule during the school year. I don’t know if it is because spare time is at a premium or what, but I truly don’t care. I’m just grateful.
As those thoughts pour from my mind to this “page,” I can’t help but snicker a little bit. I do love how things seem to flow better on a schedule. So what has become of mine lately? It’s as if I threw my calendar out altogether. Every activity, writing date, yoga class, happy hour that I so enjoy and truly live for has been a scattered mess of feeling obligated and shackled. I’ve been wandering through my days willy-nilly just getting by.
So I decided a few days ago before I came back here, that I’d examine what I’ve been doing. And for whom… I simply discovered that I said yes to everyone. Everyone but ME. (This is an old behavior pattern-one I haven’t seen in a long time. If anything, I had said no to so many things to avoid feeling this way that I’m lucky I still get invitations.) And in leaving myself out of the equation, I lost my focus, my joy, my peace. I can have every minute planned and be perfectly happy. I just put myself at the back of the line.
So I have spent the last couple of days reorienting myself to the front. It’s all good. Lesson learned (again). In yoga, we strive to quiet the ego, to turn inward and examine. By handling my life over to everyone on the outside, I let my ego take over. The old YES woman that I was for so many years stepped right back up. YES YES YES she said, until the new woman who went to such great ends to rid herself of that particular struggle collapsed a little bit under the weight.
I started teaching yoga at the local university this semester. And I always love to teach, but I have found a new lens to view the classes I am teaching there. There are several young men who are coming to class. A couple are there to check out the scenery. At that age, it’s probably a good strategy. A couple were told by coaches that it would help their performance in other athletic endeavors. I’m really just glad they’re all there. But one young man who’d been in class a few times stopped me after class last week and thanked me. When I thanked him for coming to class and told him I thought that was pretty cool, he kind of grinned and said that he didn’t think he’d like it so he came back a second time to see. And then he came back because he decided that even though it was hard, he really liked it. I asked him what was hard, and this 19-year-old summed up perfectly my last couple of weeks: “It’s hard for me to get here, and it’s hard for me to be still, but I know I have to do this. I’m better when I do.” And so from this college student came exactly the words I needed to hear to remind myself that I am in charge. I can make the right choices or not, but ultimately it is up to me.
What choices are you making? Are they serving you? Are they serving anyone when they’re made in that default, people-pleasing space? No judgment here…
May we all take the right steps for our highest gain…Namaste.