my beloved pink Magnolia tree
Day 12 of 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and acknowledge that most of our problems are so minor, first-world problems really. For instance, today I put myself in a fool mood because it was my third day of having a cold. I was irritated that I was spending my “day-off” doing all the things that I didn’t get done when I was sick. That, of course, made every task seem much more onerous than it really was. I saw a friend when I was out walking my dog and then I finally got my head back on straight. The act of vocalizing my frustrations and then listening to how minor they are helped me back on the path of gratitude.
Cooking does that for me too. I love to cook. To me, it’s a moving meditation that eases me away from all my “should-dos” and “should-have-dones”. I get to appreciate the abundance of food that I am preparing and enjoy the creative process.
But what happens when someone hurts us? A few days ago I was walking my dog along a busy street, smiling to myself and enjoying the day. As a car passed by, a man I don’t know leaned out the window and yelled at me: “Bitch!”.
It would be easy to take on someone’s fury and ask “why me?”. It’s hard to give it over – to truly allow the stranger to have his own experience without being affected by it. But that is what I did.
In today’s reflection you might consider whether you are more affected when the person is a stranger or someone that you are entangled with? Do you feel a need to understand or intellectualize someone’s strong emotions? Do you often feel responsible for the feelings of others? Do others’ outbursts unsettle you? When? Can you let go of trying to control what others think of you? Can you be dispassionately aware of when someone’s reaction is about you and when it isn’t? (Hint: Most of the time, it’s not about you.)
Enjoy the flowers. Enjoy your life.