Today’s lesson presented itself once I became aware at the beginning of yoga class this morning that my tank top was on inside out. I didn’t have time to run out of the room to take it off, so I decided to just roll with it. Class started with few minutes of meditation, and it was a struggle to sit there in stillness as my mind kept going to my shirt and not being comfortable with the knowing of wearing it inside out. Although it was unlikely that anyone else would even notice it, I knew it, and it was driving me crazy. So the lesson became: Be okay with everything not being okay.
Once I started moving, and focusing on my breath and asana, I slowly forgot all about my shirt. So much so, that I kept it inside out while grocery shopping after class. I no longer cared. But once I got home, it had me thinking about how uncomfortable I was initially over something so silly and insignificant. I pondered the lesson that came to mind and how it applies to our everyday lives.
It is strangely unfamiliar when we do things differently, out of order, or against habit. It is uncomfortable when we are operating outside what we consider to be normal or routine. We get so comfortable, or attached to a feeling of safety or comfort, thinking that things have to be a certain way. We become safe and comfortable in our routines, and we convince ourselves that things have to be this way, or that way, in order to be okay. The truth is, they don’t. Sometimes lurking outside that safe space we created in our brains is opportunity and growth! Redefine okay, and learn to be okay with everything not being okay.
Now of course I am not talking about the big stuff like not balancing your checkbook or forgetting to pay your mortgage. I’m also not downplaying organization or efficiency. My point is more about not allowing insignificant things to rattle us, get us worked up and off center.
Do you remember in elementary school having an opposite day with your friends? It was playfully challenging even as a child, and now we are serious adults with all of these habits, patterns, routines, and small comfort zones. Like opposite day, try something each day that breaks a pattern or routine, something that pushes the edges of your comfort zone out a little farther. Take a different route home. Do something out of order. Try something new. Or perhaps, just wear your shirt inside out.
When we live within the confines of obsessive-compulsive thinking and/or behaviors, we become complacent. Complacency in the feeling of self-satisfaction, thus leaving us little opportunity for growth. Our growth lies on the edges of our comfort zone. Our fears become our limits.
Retrain your brain to be okay with everything not being your version of okay. When you push that barrier, that self-limiting belief that your way is the only way, you start to find that much of it is about control. Once you give up some control, you will become less rigid, more easy-going, place less importance on insignificance, and might just discover a little more joy in life.