My fiance and I went to his home state of PA over the long weekend. At one of the small town stores specializing in what I refer to as ‘items of whimsy’ there was a bunch of signs with the quote “Life is About How You Handle Plan B.”

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but the words popped back in my head when we were returning from our weekend away and things started going wrong. Things, that in the grander scheme are petty inconveniences and minor injustices, but that  in the moment felt like one crushing disappointment after another. If the true test of my character is how I handled these situations, than I wasn’t getting very high marks.

The picture of a yoga teacher is typically that of some evolved and enlighted guru. And I’m not, not by a long shot. To quote one of my favorite cheesy movies: ” I wish I could live off creeds and mottoes and all that, but I’m in the real world here, OK?”*

I’m in the real world, and a “yoga mindset” is as much of a practice as the asanas are ( and truthfully a much more difficult one). Through my yoga training and practice I’m starting to become more aware of my reactions and both my ability and inability to choose how to react in any given situation.

One thing that I’ve noticed is how who I’m with can influence how I deal with problems. I’ve noticed that I’m my best self when in the presence of kids, whether it’s my 6-year-old nephew or my 16-year-old Little Sister. I put a positive spin on negative situations, I try to make boring things into fun games, I’m patient and gentle, fair and giving. On the other hand, when I’m with those who love me the most — my future husband, my mom– and something goes wrong, I let myself be upset and complain.

There could be several theories on why this is, and I doubt I’m the only one who has these varied reactions. Do you find yourself reacting differently when you’re alone? With certain people?

The point isn’t becoming perfect, or chastising yourself when you react in a less than ideal way, it’s awareness. Change comes slowly, and in small ways like deciding to use the two hour wait at the bus station to catch up on your reading instead of getting frustrated.

Sometimes though, you just need to scream into a pillow. We are living in the real world after all, and sometimes even adults need to throw a little tantrum.

*extra credit if you guessed the movie (1994’s Reality Bites)

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