It’s no wonder I’m a yogi – Worrier pose is my specialty!*
I’ve always been a chronic overthinker. I need to know what’s happening, when, and have a game plan. Otherwise (and even sometimes when I do have a plan in my head), I start to worry. When my mama and I planned a trip to New York a few years ago, we planned it. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say every hour we spent in the city was fully mapped out weeks in advance. Hey, anal or not, we had a fabulous trip and fit in all the touristy stuff we wanted to do.
*I couldn’t resist, sorry! I’ll try to keep the lame yoga puns to a minimum, promise.
Predictably, when I started teaching yoga, I approached it with the same control-freaky, plan-it-down-to-the-tiniest-detail attitude. I’d sit down with my little notebook as if I had a big homework assignment, and fill pages with sequences and flows I’d teach in my next class. Later the week, standing at the front of the yoga studio to teach a class, I’d feel reassured and comforted: I had a plan. Just stick to the plan.
Not everything can be so easily planned out as a vacation or a lesson plan. Life? The Universe? Karma, and fate, and all those things that influence and control the future? They don’t give a shit about your big life plans. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they’ll toss a banana peel in there to throw you off course.
I’m at the age now where people are starting to “get their lives in order”. For the most part, everyone’s graduated from college or university, and working in a proper “adult” job. Photos of baby bellies, and later, adorable toddlers, fill my news feeds. People are buying houses, and getting engaged, and doing all the things that real grownups do; my best friend is getting married!! It’s all exciting, and I’m happy to see them all doing so well. But it’s really easy to play the comparison game, and I always end up the loser.
Going through school, I was always the smart one, the teacher’s pet, with lots of potential. It was just assumed (to me, at least), that I’d graduate, go to university, get a job, a husband, some kids – the works of it – and live happily ever after. May not have been the most specific plan, but it was a plan, and that was how my life would go.
Flash forward to now. I’m twenty-five, single as an odd sock, and living in my parents’ basement. I have a “meh” job that I enjoy, but I know I can’t stay at forever, financially, and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. (Cue the pity party). So much for that big life plan.
Once again though, I’m learning life lessons on my yoga mat.
About to teach a class last night, I glanced over the flow I had meticulously planned to teach, and just felt “ugh, I don’t like this at all“. Shut the book. New plan. No plan. I taught the class, just making up the sequences as I went along. I’ve done enough yoga to know what poses flow nicely and feel good together, and I just went with what felt right. And it worked! I felt so good about the class afterwards; even without a plan, things had worked out.
And sometimes, that’s just the way life is. You don’t need to have a master plan, or have it all figured out by any certain age. I’m miles away from having any of the typical adult things accomplished, but for the most part, I really enjoy my day-to-day life. Like with yoga, at this point I’m just kinda doing what feels right at each step of the way. It’ll all work out in time, I’ll get it together one of these days. No use in stressing over it too much in the meantime.
You can overthink, and over-plan, and have everything completely mapped out – and things can still go wrong. So why miss out on the enjoyment of what’s happening along the way to “someday” by focusing on the big plan? On the yoga mat, or out in the real world, let yourself relax a little, and enjoy each new pose as it comes. Mai pen rai, no worries, you got this.