Updated: May 24, 2022
Changing on a dime and finding the silver linings. Practicing yoga off the mat✨
If you are like me, you might be a touch tired of this concept of "pivoting". Since the beginning of the pandemic we have all had to pivot in one way or another. Perhaps you were required to do an about face related to your work life, or maybe you had to make a change to your business? More than likely you needed to adapt, modify or cancel some family plans and events, probably more than a few times. We all had to do it, so we did, and it worked out one way or the other. Was it fun? Maybe not. Was it necessary? Definitely. Did we get through it? Yes we did.
So why am I raising this topic again? Things are just starting to feel a little bit "normal" out there in the world, right? But wait, we are not done with this global pandemic just yet, and it can still throw a rather large wrench into our daily plans. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened to me recently.
As some of you may know my daughter lives in Vancouver and I don't get to see her in-person as often as I would like. So I was super excited to be flying to beautiful VanCity for a week long visit with her. She had gussied up her spare bedroom, made plans for us to go vintage shopping and had organized dinner dates with some special friends. We were both super excited to share in some long overdue girl-time. The thought of just chilling in her cozy apartment, languishing alongside her two cuddly cats while chatting and sipping our morning coffee, sounded heavenly.
But... as soon as my plane touched down I immediately got a text from her. "Call me when you've landed". When she answered my call I could tell something was wrong. She sounded terrible and was upset. "What's wrong?" I asked. "Oh I am so sorry mom. I'm sick! I've got covid!" Oh no! What a drag. Now what was I going to do. Ugh... pivot of course. My poor daughter was really sick and really upset. She must have apologized to me more than ten times. She felt she had somehow done something wrong and it was her fault. Poor thing. I felt very bad for her and she felt like she had ruined my trip.
Fast forward an hour or so later. We managed to find an Airbnb for me to stay at in a trendy area of East Van. So that was good. But I really had to re-envision what the week ahead of me would look like. I needed to make a new plan, so I parked myself in the sunshine on a downtown waterfront patio and began considering options. Was I disappointed? Yes, but to be honest it didn't take me long to reframe the situation. I decided that this was simply another opportunity for me to "practice yoga". This situation invited me to think about some of the deeper aspects of yoga philosophy and bring those teachings forward. I started to consider, what is this teaching? What can I take from this pivot?
Turns out many different opportunities opened up for me now that visiting with my daughter was off the table. Coincidentally a very old and dear friend, who typically lives in Mexico, happened to be in Vancouver receiving daily medical treatments. Her heath was somewhat precarious and she wasn't doing very well. This is where that pivot became a very good thing. So I borrowed my daughter's truck, after all she didn't need it, and spent the next few days driving my girlfriend to and from the hospital for her daily treatments. We got to spend time at my lovely little Airbnb sharing Thai takeout food (yum), eating chocolate (double yum) and catching up on each others lives. She needed support and I was available to provide that support. Perfect!
So when I asked myself that question again "what is this teaching me?" I had the answer. I was able to reframe my disappointment (less ego or me-focused) into compassion (more benevolence). I discovered an opportunity where I could practice letting go (aparigraha: letting go of attachments to things, people, emotions, and outcomes) and kindness toward another (metta: positive energy and kindness toward others). Yoga in action! Yoga off the mat! Perfect!
So the next time you are faced with a disappointment I invite you to ask yourself "what is this teaching me?" Look for the opportunities and find the silver linings. They are there! These are magical moments that bring joy and make life sweet. It's powerful and a wonderful way to step into this world. I am grateful I took the time to look beyond myself and offer assistance to someone else. It turns out that's where happiness lives. 🙏
In peace and friendship,