O, happy the soul that saw its own faults. – Rumi
People of the world don’t look at themselves, and so they blame one another. – Rumi
People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. – St. Augustine
Know thyself. – Socrates
I can remember being in yoga class the first time a teacher said “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” I think I looked up from my pose at her to make sure she was serious and then secretly shook my head. There was no way I was falling for this one. But it stuck in my head and played like a broken record. Everytime I did or said or thought something that I wasn’t crazy about, I would remember this quote. Every time I felt that I had handled something well or thought the best of someone instead of the worst, I would remember it, too. So I got super-confused about it.
When I would go to get my yoga mat, which was rolled up kinda badly and a little dirty from the mess in the back of my car, I would think “Crap…do I do everything like this?” When I accidentally bumped someone with one of those huge race car shopping carts in the grocery store that I couldn’t maneuver, apologized, took their dirty look, and then got pissed off, I would think “Surely, I do not do everything like this!” When I felt that someone really close to me had disrespected me for the ump-teenth time and I did nothing about it, I thought “This cannot be the way I do everything!” But, unfortunately, it was. And maybe it still is…but I am working on it.
When I take a yoga class and the teacher has us in a pose that I don’t love a little longer than I want to be there, I try not to blame her anymore…I just try to breathe and take it as long as I can, honor my body and come out if I need to. What’s the big deal? When my kids don’t listen and disobey me, I try (and my trying isn’t always successful) to stay calm, give them a punishment and move on with my day. When I get angry and say something cruel that I really didn’t mean, I try to cool down, apologize and let it go.
So this anything/everything idea does seem to be true. But the good news is, when you start to identify the things you don’t like about it, you have this new awareness of yourself and you can start to make positive changes. I’ve always known the importance of body awareness, but it has only been in the last few years that I have come to realize how much self awareness can improve your life. We waste a lot of time not liking things about ourselves, but not knowing how to change. Taking the position of observer in our own lives can make the biggest difference. What you’ll see is that there are things that need to change, but there are also things that are wonderful about you that you may not have appreciated before. You’ll know and love yourself much more with an open heart and an open mind.