bad + yoga = good!

Why am I so bad at accepting good things that happen?

Every Friday (when we remember), my husband and I spend a few minutes talking about the good things from the week. Sometimes I think, “well, I don’t have anything good to list this week.” But I do. Even the tiniest thing, like “I managed to unclog the vacuum hose” is worth mentioning. In fact, often it's ONLY the small things that make it to the good list. Why do we do this? It's an incredibly refreshing and mood-altering practice.

But it's hard. Somehow, I've learned to pair good with bad. "I had a great job interview yesterday" is normally "That interview went fine, but Sheila is probably trashing me now." (Damn Sheila.) Why? I might focus on the negative so that I can inoculate myself against future pain. But this is rarely the result; it just brings more negatives and I feel like crap. Decoupling good from bad, and if necessary identifying absurdly insignificant positive events (“I enjoyed a glass of water today.”) starts to rebuild my outlook. Once I start listing and accepting the good, it gets easier. Over time, I feel less burdened. Lighter.

Yoga is my filter. It has taught me to celebrate the tiny efforts, the tiny steps forward that accumulate to make a change. On the mat, freed from daily patterns of behavior, I've learned to look for the success that's unique to me: stepping my foot an inch closer to my hand, holding my balance for a breath longer, making the time for myself to get on the mat in the first place. Otherwise, I'm just going through the motions and not learning a thing.

"Good" is in the details. I just need to dissolve my protective cynicism and look for it. Try it. Today. Right now. Take one minute to strip away the bad and accept the good.

See you on the mat!