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What They Taught Me – Part 2

Last week I posted the first part in this little mini-series, and here is part two!:

My Yoga Teacher

“Intuition is feeling more and thinking less. You can’t control what you think, but you can always control how you react.”

This is a tricky one to understand for someone like me who has an innate need to control everything and everybody. However, it does bring about a certain sense of peace when the realization comes that there is something I can always have complete control over – my reactions. It is so easy to lose sight of intuition and just let thoughts run rampant throughout your mind. Most days before I know it I am sitting at my desk, working, and not even thinking one bit about the task at hand. Instead I am daydreaming about when I should start prepping dinner, if I have to go out of the house/how long it will take me to get ready, how mad I am at myself for not working out that morning, and a bunch of other little, unnecessary things.

I think the lesson to be learned here is not that I can control my reactions, but that my thoughts do not have control over me. Every moment of every day we are choosing to either be intuitive or to be reactive. When intuition is more prominent, it is much simpler to react based on feeling, rather than on thought. When reactiveness is always within reach, life is likely to be much more chaotic and more time will be spent apologizing, worrying, and wondering how a situation could have been handled differently.

“People with anxiety just have really active imaginations, and your imagination is almost always worse than reality.”

I don’t even know where to start with this one. When my yoga teacher said this in class the other night, I was almost in tears. I needed to hear this then, and I still need to hear it every day now. Perhaps I should get a tattoo? Probably not, but it’s an interesting thought. Since I have struggled with anxiety in the past and know just how crippling and life-halting it can be, I am always looking for ways to remind myself that my anxiety is oftentimes really far removed from reality. What I can dream up in my head goes above and beyond what is happening in real life.

My best example of this is when I broke up with a boyfriend in my early 20’s. I just knew for a few weeks before the breakup that our relationship was over. I could just tell. I remember so clearly being at my parents’ house for dinner on a Thursday night, knowing I was going to go home to devastation. I didn’t even touch my dinner and got out of there as soon as I could, because I just had to get it over with. I remember driving home in silence and having an odd sense of peace wash over me, because I knew that all the wondering was about to end. I was going to have my answer that night, even if it wasn’t the one I wanted. And sure enough, that was the last day of our relationship, but you know what? The next day was wonderful. I did things for myself, I spent time with my mom, and I finally had my appetite back. My imagination had built up the end of our relationship to be the end of my life (I was a little dramatic), but in reality it was long overdue for my time with him to be done. Slowly but surely, things began to get better, and that remains true in different circumstances today. Whenever I find myself imagining an answer to something I’ve been wondering about, I just go ask for the answer and save myself the time, energy, and heartache.

“You’re always just one breath away from starting over.”

Not much needs to be said here, except that sometimes stopping to take a breath is all that is needed to change the trajectory of your life.

A Yoga Tea Bag

“The gate to happiness is self-compassion.”

I drink Yogi brand tea almost every day. My favorite is the lemon ginger. The other day when making myself a cup at night to drink while watching Lost with Chris, this quote popped out at me. I usually read the quotes on the tea bags, but don’t think too much of them. “The gate to happiness is self-compassion” really stuck out to me though.

Think about it. Are you a happy person when you’re not taking care of yourself? Are you inspired and motivated to lead a fun, productive life if you’re eating terrible, always rushing around, constantly feeling like you haven’t done enough, and behind on your normal tasks? No way. That’s when you start to shut down, snap at your loved ones, and detach from society. At least that’s what happens for me.

On the other hand, I can speak from personal experience when I say that my days go so much better when I take time for me. Time to get myself ready in the morning and actually put on a little makeup and jewelry to feel like a human. Time to spend at the gym exercising and recovering in the steam room. Time with my husband, whether it is to spend at home watching our favorite show or going out and trying a new restaurant together. Time to read, write, and cook. Time to connect with my girlfriends. Just plain old time to do the things that rejuvenate me.

It’s little things like this Yogi tea bag that remind us to slow down and remember what is important in this life. Although it may seem selfish at the time, if taking that bubble bath with a glass of wine is going to be what keeps you from losing your mind at your kid in the grocery store (which is what I am trying to avoid a year from now!), then it is 100% worth it.

#Lessons #YogaTeacher #YogiTea #Book #Intuition #Yoga #Writing

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