DAY 96: The Absence of Control

Author: thedancingj /

It's incredible how little control we have over our lives.

I mean, so many of the things that affect us every day are completely out of our hands.  We don't control the weather. We don't control the tectonic plates.  We don't control the people in our lives - our bosses, our employees, our friends, our family.  Anytime we apply for a job, join a class, or even just step out into the road, we can set off a chain of events that is completely out of our hands.

And we certainly can't control our yoga classes.  We can't control the teacher.  We can't control the temperature of the room.  We can't control the actions of other people in the room.  We can't even control our own bodies, not fully.  They change from day-to-day in ways that we can't perceive or understand.  We might do everything "right" and still get run over by the yoga truck, or we might do everything "wrong" and end up feeling great in class.  Some days, it seems as random as a coin toss.

I purposely didn't describe this as a "loss of control."  I'm talking about the crystal-clear realization that we never even had control at all.

So... so what?  What do we do?

We breathe.

We can't control the events that surround us, but we can control the way we respond.  And that is what yoga teaches us.  We learn that it doesn't matter what environment we're in, what other people say to us, or what happens around us.  We can breathe through all of it.  That's the part that we can control.  Sometimes, it's the only part that we can control.

But it makes all the difference in the world.


hannahjustbreathe said...

My father always told my sisters and me growing up that the only thing, person, experience, etc., you have control over is yourself, your own existance in the world. It's all about CHOICE. How I choose to respond to any given situation or statement, etc. I listened to him and all...but, it's really been through yoga that I've truly understood and begun to learn how very right my father was.

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