Originally posted on https://yoga-therapy.la/the-right-way/
Yesterday, I had the pleasure and honor to work with the talented Jess Kohler. We met at Vasquez Rocks to shoot photos for my website. I met her with my dear sweet 6-year-old daughter in tow. I had ideas of grandeur that after a long day at school she would help us with the shoot and enjoy exploring the outdoors. I am a yogi of course and want to parent in a manner that is mindful and connected. I also have high expectations for myself and others that more often than not an impossible scenario. I tried to offer to pay her for being an assistant, but she is 6 years old and doesn’t have the strongest concept of money.
It was a blazing hot 96-degree day in October here in Los Angeles and my high hopes soon met reality. I settled for letting her watch Daniel Tiger in the shade with my phone. I needed to adjust my expectations and while reflecting in bed later that night I needed to give myself a little grace. I wanted to judge myself for using the iPad and gummy bears to get through the shoot with her. Instead, I used it as a moment of reflection for myself. How could I have done that differently so I could have had a more desirable outcome and more fun for her? For me the answer was, I could have hired a sitter to come with us so that she could explore the beautiful rocks while I worked with Jess.
So often, I want to do “the right thing” or I want life to “go smoothly.” What I am really looking for is the perfect way to do something or the perfect way for other people to do something. As we know, there is no perfect way for anything. I can say those words, but my mind often wants to rebel. There is a better way to do this, there is a better way to say that, there is a “right way.” When I think this way or act this way, I am not able to accept life as it is. I am trying to bend and force it to my will. I am not talking about self-reflection or awareness about my character or my choices. I am talking about looking for some perfect way of doing things. For a long time, I was blind to my own perfectionism because I saw perfectionism simply as nitpicky or needing thing to be lined up correctly. I had blind spot to a character defect, I didn’t see efficiency as perfectionism. I knew the fastest way to get there and if you didn’t do, well, you did it wrong in my mind.
So, often I would become frustrated with my husband for doing something (especially parking) in an inefficient manner. If you just turned left and went down that street, we could be parked already. “If you just did” or “If I just did” are terrible phrases. Awareness is a key component of yoga. I had to become aware of my unrealistic behavior in order to do anything to change it.
If I didn’t take inventory of my life and behaviors, I would continue to live in this space of discontent that life wasn’t working the way I thought it should. I would also continue to make everyone around me miserable and that how I want to live. Today I choose to live in self-awareness and grace, knowing there is not “right way.”