If They Could See Me Now

If they could see me now.

This thought - or tune if you were ever a musical theatre nerd like me - pops into my head every so often. It’s always during the moments of my life when I’m being triggered. Whatever I’m feeling - frustrated, upset, angry, overwhelmed, anxious - is beyond the the point. For the purpose of this post you just need to know that in those moments I’m the opposite of a yoga teacher.

Truth be told, I can be kind of a jerk.

When these moments strike, I could think of myself as a hypocrite for encouraging my students to respond instead of react when apparently at times, I can’t. But I don’t. I know at the end of the day, no matter how many hours I spend on a yoga mat developing the tools that I love to share with you, I’m human. And I react - unfortunately, not always in the best way.

I have to laugh (in hindsight) at how I spent my Wednesday night last week. I was on the phone with my new friend (actually, he might call me an enemy) Dennis from RBC who proceeded to tell me for 30 minutes that I wouldn’t have online access to my accounts until I returned to Canada (in a month). Around minute 15 I lost my cool. By minute 25 I actually yelled bullshit into the phone (that certainly didn't grant me access). And by minute 29 I was informing Dennis that as soon as I was granted access again I would be taking my money somewhere.

After a hang up and call back to the same number, I ended up with someone slightly more helpful than Dennis (sorry buddy) and was granted access in under 4 minutes. 

After a good night sleep, I kind of wish I had his phone number to apologize for being the crazy customer yelling at him through the phone.

Just like that, I’m the yoga teacher again.

It often happens that way. You take away whatever it is that initially triggered you, the emotion subsides and all of a sudden you can rationally see the other side. But in the heat of the moment it's all too easy to let emotion take over. The reaction kind of feels good and the irrational part of your brain convinces you that it's actually going to get you somewhere. But when you look back, it's crystal clear that most of the time, you just make things way worse. 

That's why we need yoga. To try to bridge the gap between the irrational heat of the moment reaction and the calm, cool, collected way of seeing things that you have once the dust settles. Your practice gives you the tools to notice what's happening in your head, connect to what you're feeling in your heart and (hopefully) have the awareness to pause first and then respond instead of react. 

That's the best case scenario. But we all know life doesn't really play out that way, does it? And that's why I'm sharing this with you - not to make you think I'm a short-tempered hypocrite who preaches something she doesn't practice (I promise that's not the case) but to remind you that you're human and it's okay if you look back on something and realize that you should've handled it a different way. We all do that. My hope for you, as it's been the case for me, is that with a consistent practice you'll be able to make these moments happen more and more sparingly in your life. And when they do happen, you'll have the tools to move on quickly.

How?

Remind yourself that you're human and reaction happens.
(It's okay)

Take ownership for what you said/did and apologize if you can. 
(Here's my public apology to Dennis)

Take a moment to reflect on how you could have handled the situation.
(remember this the next time you're triggered)

Move on. It's a new day. 
(Back to acting like a yogi again)