That bus driver laying on the horn? The neighbour nosing into your business? The friend who is, once again, reliving every stress in his life, and then hanging up the phone?
You want us to see these people as teachers? Yes, David Life and Sharon Gannon do want us to. In their book Jivamukti Yoga, the New York yogis encourage us to “notice the people and situations in our own lives and appreciate them for giving us opportunities for Self-realization.” Aka, tuning into our true self, that part of us that is beyond our monkey mind–jumping around from thought to thought–and our ego–reactionary and defensive.
Oh, right. No problemo. We’ll just let it all slip by, no stressful reaction at all. Like butta.
Here’s the thing: it’s possible. Here’s another thing: it’s frickin‘ hard.
Step 1 But for me, the first step towards being free from the ego-mania mind reaction is accepting both of these things. I find that, if I can at least see the bozo blowing his horn as an opportunity for me to practice tapping into my true self, I can begin to let go of my annoyance. I can use the skills I’ve learned on the mat–becoming aware of my thoughts, of my ego, and using my breath to distance myself, calm down, and become present–to help me do this.
And the times I fail, I can remind myself that, yeah, it’s hard, so don’t give up. Nobody expects you to get it all the time.
And the next time, I’m a little better at it, and the next, and the next, and the next.
Easy peasy? Nope. Possible? Yes.
Take-Away Tip: Maybe, you might try to see challenges as opportunities not just to grow, not just to tap into your true self, but as exercises that strengthen your ability to get through life with less stress. Just puttin‘ it out there…