I learnt a big lesson this morning, brought to light by one of the wisest men I know – my father. I received a refresher session on knowing when to let go.
As I reflect back on my thoughts and emotions this morning I cannot believe how out of control I allowed myself to get. Here I am prepping for a meditation session at lunchtime, and I am running around ranting and raving. To explain further, this week everyone had put out their hard rubbish for collection. The weather has been super windy and people’s rubbish piles were not secured, resulting in rubbish flying everywhere. I can’t tell you how much stuff I have picked up outside our home, in our street and surrounding streets these last few days. “Why can’t people do the right thing?” “Why is no one able to think beyond themselves?” “Why should I be picking up after everyone?” And so on, and so on…. And on top of this I have noticed many people not picking up after their dogs. You get the gist. I was annoyed.
My father’s wise words to me
“Silva, you cannot worry about what other people are doing. You should only concern yourself with being the best you can be. So, let go of this resentment that others may not see the world as you do. Let go of what you have no control over. You can lead by example, sure, but not with anger or resentment. Let go of expecting anything from others, and lead by smiling, caring and paving the way so that others may follow. No one is going to want to follow a cranky pants. Let go of how you feel right now. Breathe. And always be your best with a smile on your face”.
Of course my dad is right. I know that I can so easily get caught up in things I have no control over, and things I cannot change. Therefore, when we hang on to a need to control, to be right, to act like a quasi-dictator, we are serving no one well, least of all ourselves.
As I reflect on this morning’s actions and conversation I realise that I let my emotions get the better of me. Was I grounded? No. Was I present? No. Was I mindful of my breath, thoughts, words or deeds? No.
Live with steadiness and ease through yoga
Yoga gifts us with the ability to become aware of ourselves through all the layers of our being, and in so doing we learn to live with sthira sukham – that is, we learn to live with steadiness and ease, with balance and lightness, not only when we meditate or practice yoga postures (asanas), but in our every day life. The more we include yogic practices in our daily lives, the more we experience balance and ease.
Big lesson learnt
Before I fly off the handle at the people living around me I will stop and remind myself that I cannot teach them, control them, or even know what is happening in their lives. Maybe they are having some turmoil in their personal lives and picking up after their dogs or securing their hard rubbish is the least of their worries. I do not know their inner story. What I do know is that I can only control what I do, say, think and feel, and I cannot control what anyone else is doing, thinking or feeling.
The topic for today’s lunchtime meditation session is clear – it will be about learning to let go of what no longer serves us and letting go of that which we have no control over.
Om Shanti – Om Peace
PS if you want to join our Wednesday lunchtime meditation sessions click here for all the details.