I caught a re-run of “Easy Yoga For Easing Pain” from Peggy Cappy the other night. Walking is my default activity, but there’s something so calming and soothing about Peggy’s style. I usually see one of her PBS specials, think I’m going to sit down for 10 minutes, and then I watch the whole thing. It’s a big deal to convince me that yoga will work – I think I’d probably wind up in traction if I tried a backbend!
As I watched the episode again, her student Katie Cohen caught my eye. Katie was talking about yoga, but she had a very insightful statement:
“When I came back to yoga, it was a very difficult time in my life. I was stressed. I was going through a divorce. I had two small children. I guess I didn’t realize it. I just kept pushing through and pushing through, because that’s what I had to do. I felt that was the only way to do it, and then I found myself getting even more tense and more stressed, and feeling really bad about myself because my efforts weren’t paying off, and I wasn’t getting any relief.”
I totally related as I listened to Katie. I don’t know how many times I’ve met people professionally who are relentless drivers. Or how often have you dealt with someone like this in your family, convinced that they know “the only way to do it”? To be fair, there’s a lot to be said for having self-discipline and knowing how and when to work through a problem. On the other hand, there’s also a point to be made for knowing when to surrender. I’m not condoning unacceptable circumstances. Instead, I’m talking about understanding when to let go for today. Having confidence that you have done what you can, and what you have done is enough for the moment.
This week, you may be facing a situation like Katie. A circumstance where you have pushed and pushed because it’s been a successful strategy for you in the past. Suddenly, it’s no longer working, no matter how hard you try. Allow yourself to see that there may be another way to do things. And don’t forget to order one of Peggy’s wonderful products so you can have some techniques to calm your stress while you wait things out. As Ralph Marston suggests, “Accept that there are things you simply cannot know right now. Act peacefully, purposefully and intelligently on what you do know.”