We all have that person who challenges us. They are quite bluntly: an asshole. They rub you the wrong way, they’re never nice and sometimes, they outburst with rude comments for no apparent reason. Often times, they’re people we cannot avoid: the office secretary, your creepy uncle, an acquaintance you see at the high school reunion or even that lady who seems to always be on the same train as you. There will always be someone who is sent to challenge you.
My husband sometimes says that I am the most unyogic yogi he has ever met; which can be true when I’m with him. As he is closest to me, I leave everything all out, all the time. He gets to see me inside and out, good and bad. But I am learning to be a better person every day and a much better yogini as that is how I want to live my life. I am 100% better than who I was and am loving who I am becoming. Now-a-days if I snap in traffic, I immediately breathe and apologize out loud (even if they didn’t hear me in the first place) and remind myself to breathe through whatever situation has arisen.
When I was 18, I was asked to take a road rage driving course. I was caught speeding three times in first two years of driving and the government decided I needed road anger management. If I took the course, my latest speeding ticket would be forgiven. I was the youngest person in class and was one of two people (in a room of 27) who had never been to jail. Yikes! That moment challenged me greatly and the lessons were surely absorbed. I often find myself referring back to them while finding my yogic breath and traveling at 70 mph on the highway.
I have used what I learned throughout my life (especially through yoga), to see these challenging people and moments as an opportunity to learn. In my road rage course, I needed to learn patience and the lesson of slowing down both in my car and in life.
Recently, I was supposed to re-learn the lesson of patience when I became frustrated with a co-worker. I kept telling others and myself that the reason we did not get along was because we have different work styles. It was a great story because I was not putting blame on either of us in the situation. The reality was that I kept putting up blocks. Instead of adapting and compromising, I was becoming upset both physically and mentally when we couldn’t figure out a good system in working together.
I decided to listen to my own advice (sometimes I need to be reminded to take my own yoga lessons). I began to practice yoga in the work place through breath work and patience. I mentally accepted that this person would continue their work style no matter what the situation and I set to work on adjusting my attitude. When something was said that I did not agree with, I took a deep breath and a step back. I adjusted to my environment and through the lesson of patience; I became less tense and able to work more cohesively.
Everyone is sent here to teach us a lesson, even and especially those who challenge us. Listen to the lesson you’re receiving and try to take a step back and breathe. By listening to yourself and taking an extra breath before responding to the person in your environment that challenges you the most, you’ll be able to live a more yogi lifestyle. In turn you’ll be less stressed out, work more productively and have a lot more fun! By remembering that everyone is here to teach us something, we are able to enjoy life that much more!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!