I enjoy relaying stories in my yoga classes. Little tidbits of life that reflect the places where I see yoga (union, relationship, action, right decision) in real life. Here’s one to chew on as I write this from my bed with the cold I thought I had avoided and a thick layer of ice covering everything so that the comings and goings of normal life have completely changed in the last 48 hours.
An interaction with a store clerk recently struck me. She was about the age of my daughter and younger than my oldest son. The time in life where we are no longer children but not sure which adult roads we will take. She shared with me her dilemma of which car to choose. I am never surprised when folks share with me…it is a lovely occurrence I’d like to put down to my attempt at being present no matter what situation presents itself (attempt, not success). Her father had offered to help her buy her first car and she had two choices that they found acceptable. One, the make and color of her choice, just what she wanted and you could see it on her face and the other, a consolation prize as not a color she liked and with less features than the first. Seems like an easy choice, right? Pick what you like, YOLO and all that. But…the car she really wanted, the object of her 17 year old heart’s desire was a manual shift…a clutch and she would have to learn how to operate that clutch. My advice to her was to go for it. You can do it, don’t let learning a new skill prevent you from getting what you want. Don’t let looking like you aren’t an expert stop you from really getting what you want. As a side note, when I took driver’s ed, with my neighbor, Mr. McMillan, in the instructor role, we did learn on an automatic and it seemed rather easy. But, when it came time to get my license, my father told me I would not be getting my license until I learned to drive a stick shift. What?! How dare he impose that after I had completed my course, passed my test and was ready to taste the sweet freedom of being 16 and alone on the streets of Kinston, NC. Well, he was a man of few words and I knew he was dead serious about this so my protests would get me nowhere. You can imagine what happened…a Saturday morning was spent grinding the gears on that car and in the end, triumph was mine. It was truly a power trip to harness that skill after many failed attempts.
So, what does any of this have to do with yoga and the mind body connection? Touching your toes, meditating and such? Well, in the big world we are all faced with things that require us to be beginners, risk looking foolish but can be rewarding and life changing. I suggest that you go for it. Take the class, ask for the promotion or decide to go part time, learn the new skill, whatever the thing is that your heart desires. Asking yourself very honestly what you want and answering with a resounding yes to life’s offerings. As an aside, sometimes this requires saying no to the things that have taken the place of our desires. We have to make space for the yeses and then allow ourselves to be done with whatever was there before.
I still wonder if she got the shiny black car with the manual transmission. One thing I do know, even if she didn’t this time, life will present opportunity after opportunity to choose her heart’s desire. Your’s too.