Last night I took a Beginner’s Yoga class at South End Yoga, taught by my friend Kaitlin. She’s pretty amazing and the class is great and you should sign up (but not all of you because I still need room for my mat.) She talked for a little bit about choices, about how yoga teaches us not to avoid reaction, but to know that each of our reactions are choices we make and to own them.
Let that sink in for a minute. Doesn’t that make you feel powerful and embarrassed all at once? Powerful because you are in control of at least something in every single situation you encounter. And embarrassed because you have chosen to be a jackass many times over. I have, too – don’t worry, we’re in this together. Besides, the next important piece of that is owning these choices.
You bet I overreact. I do it a lot, and it’s because my anxiety is much more easily triggered since the depression that came with nine weeks of bedrest and the total freakout zone that is motherhood, although I’ve never been a particularly zen sort of girl. Sometimes when I do that, when the anxiety takes over and my reactions are out of line or are just plain bizarre, I get scared because I feel like it’s not in my control. And if I’m not controlling it then who is? What is? But Kaitlin said quietly, sincerely, that those reactions were my choice.
Suddenly I feel my eyes well up because I’m completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Yes, even when it feels like I’m not in control, I am. I make the choice to let the anxiety rule, and if that’s the choice I make then I can make the choice not to.
I can make the choice.
It won’t be easy. I will probably ask for help along the way. But I can choose.
That makes all the difference.