Repost from the blog at Present Yoga Community (July 2020)
Well - my world is upside down - in some ways, like everyone else’s current worlds - and in other cases, unique to me, myself and I. And what does everyone wish that they had when their worlds are in such a state?… all of the answers (a.k.a. An instruction manual).
How many times, over the past few months….and how often over the course of my adult life, have I wished to effortlessly understand what is right and best and true??
My brain started the processing attempt here… (yes...this is a conversation with myself - don’t be worried! It wasn’t out loud!)
Q: How do we solve a problem?
A: Ask a series of questions
Q: What do you need when you are lost?
Q: Where do you get directions?
A: From someone who knows where they are
Okay - let’s try - from a set of principles (north, south, east, west)
Q: Where do we get these principles from?
A: A knowing of established principles or an establishing of principles/directions of one's own (landmarks, following the stars in the sky, etc).
Now we are getting somewhere…...
If it’s a knowing - the only thing I know... is that I have to learn to find my answers/directions/self within myself. That’s the only thing I know for sure.
If it’s the establishing of principles...I can do that.
When I was an elementary school teacher, I displayed very few posters or charts around the room. My goal was for the kids to focus their attention in on ONLY that which was most important. So I hung little delicious squares of inspiration - which were called “Non-Negotiable’s” in frames on the chalkboard. They stayed there all year and we discussed them often. They said things like…”Take pride in all of your work”, “Stand up for what you believe in” and “Encourage others to be their best”. Basically - it was a general instruction manual for life.
So - why not make our own compilation of non-negotiables? Why not write principles that are true to us, to hold tight to when we find ourselves feeling like we have nothing, or are unsure of what comes next? A reminder/tool/sanity check for when life gets sticky - and something that, like our cardinal directions, can be applied to any situation.
So...the teacher in me...decided to make a list!
-When in doubt - pause
-Remember to let yourself feel the feelings
-Don’t take on what is not yours to feel.
-When feeling unsure - pick one, small actionable step that feels true.
-You can do hard things and still be okay.
-You are human - and perfectly imperfect.
-Trust your body - if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.
-When met with a strong emotion - do the work and always ask “why”
-You are always changing - that’s okay.
-I am the only one who knows what I need
-Start by honoring yourself
This list is never done - as I experience something that causes me to develop another direction - I will add it to my list. This is becoming my home base, my constant guide - when the warning light illuminates on the dashboard….I can flip this open - practice dropping in to a space of clarity - and see the world with fresh eyes.
So, if you feel like you are floating up the creek without a paddle….if you need to find your North star….consider what your non-negotiables are ….write them - list them - recite them - make them part of your Knowing. Suddenly - you may find that upside down, isn’t such a scary place to be.
See you on the mat,