No one can give you freedom but you.
— Byron Katie

One night I was walking home from work, super hungry and very annoyed at my fiancé, Mike. He called me at 9pm and asked what I wanted for dinner. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME.” I said to myself, pissed off. Why was he calling me about dinner at 9pm? Shouldn't he have this figured out? He got home early, not me. He should be making dinner and calling to tell me it’s ready. I should come home to a nice meal and a quiet home. Instead, I find myself irritated imagining Mike drinking beer, watching some sports thing, and straight up lounging. This man, ugh! The thought infuriates me. I seriously consider how I could marry a man who likes sports. A man who wastes time sitting in front of the TV - doing what?? Absolutely nothing! Go out and DO SOMETHING. Change the world! Make dinner!! Anyway, I did end up picking up some Vietnamese food and felt a little bit better. I asked myself why I was so angry. What is going on with me? Do I really not want to marry Mike? Should we call it off? How can I do this for the rest of my life? I. Hate. Sports. This simple act of “asking yourself why” is a technique I learned in yoga and it’s one of the ways I practice yoga the most. Yes, believe it or not, as a Yoga Teacher, I’m not smiling in handstands all day sharing inspirational quotes. Although I LOVE that stuff, yoga is about so much more. It’s about understanding who you are in relationship to the world. There’s this amazing book by Byron Katie called Loving What Is, it helps you identify and question the thoughts you have and how they shape the world you live in.  To me, reflecting like this is “real life yoga.” This is where change happens.

So I took a step back, I looked at me. My ravenous belly. The thoughts revolving in my head. I pictured Mike on the couch watching TV. I asked myself, “Why does this make me so mad?” The answer I came up with surprised me, “Because any time spent not making the world a better place was a waste.” This is the belief and judgment I was putting on to Mike. It’s this thought alone that was causing me stress. What purpose does this belief give me? Well, it motivates me to wake up in the morning, it fuels my career! Right?? Right..? Suddenly, something about believing this didn’t feel right anymore, thinking this made me feel anxious and uncomfortable in my own body. What I started to realize is that this thought no longer served me and it wasn’t really true. I continued to ask myself why, 

Why would I ever believe that ‘any time spent not making the world a better place was a waste?'

-Because I want to make the world a better place. 

Why? 

-Because I love helping others be great. 

Why? 

-Because I love it! I want to share my love with others.

I’m not just teaching yoga because anything else is a waste of time. I’m teaching yoga because I love it and I want to give and share my love. Love is my universal truth. Love is what wakes me up in the morning. Not this silly “time wasting” idea! My anger, my fear, my emotions peeled away and all I was left with was what was really there: Mike watching sports. That’s it! That’s literally all he was doing and here I am having a fit. Like, what?? The belief I had let go of me, and suddenly, I felt empowered. My distaste for Mike disappeared. The anger I experienced was about me, not him. I came home, kissed him swiftly, and told him to get out of my way so I could eat. This is what practicing yoga off the mat is like: It’s about your ability to objectively observe your own thoughts and beliefs without judgement. This is where change happens and truth is revealed. The marriage is still on, ladies and gentleman, and I still don’t really care about sports! If that’s not love, I don't know what is… 

Comment