What do you do with the “lemon” moments in relationships and life? My wife, Lisa, and I had one of those the other day. Our voucher for exiting a parking garage in Seattle wasn’t working, so we spent 5-10 minutes trying to get out … while TEN cars lined up behind us! What’s more, during a largely fantastic day of adventures in Seattle, we also triggered one another’s wounds from the past. After some serious self-reflection and a vulnerable and honest conversation, though, I think we’re closer than ever. An essential element separating extraordinary relationships, jobs, and lives from ordinary ones is choosing to learn and grow from our frustrations, failures, stressors, and ways we’re wronged or harmed.
One of yoga’s great gifts is Svadhyaya, the practice of self-study. One of the hardest and most enlightened things you can do is study yourself. Feel how you react to a stressor. Observe the way you respond to a real or perceived slight. Notice how you handle struggles, weaknesses, or failures. Witness what goes on inside you when someone wounds you. The tricky part is to then, while neither detaching from or identifying with your thoughts, feelings, and bodily responses, get curious about the origin stories behind “why” you thought, felt, spoke, and/or acted the way you did, SO you can learn and grow from this lesson.
If life has a test, I bet it’s on how well we know ourselves so we can better Love and be Loved, so let’s practice acing it together!
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