It was a character in Armistead Maupin’s classic story of San Francisco flower power Tales of the City who once said: “You can have a hot apartment, a hot lover, and a hot job, but you can’t have all three at the same time”.
That’s a truism I think we could all do with examining as we head into New Year and what can be a dangerously introspective time. When everyone is looking at what they’ve achieved in the last 12 months it’s all too easy to dwell on the headstand we never mastered or the job we didn’t get. Whether it’s in yoga or in life, dwelling on our failings and grasping after what we don’t have inevitably causes unhappiness.
So, instead of beating ourselves up about all the things we don’t have let’s spend a bit of time thinking about the things we do. It’s always worth bearing in mind that, if we’ve got one or two good things going for us, we’re doing all right. Hankering after the perfect life, perfect body and perfect yoga pose can be self-destructive and lead to undermining feelings of inadequacy. So, it’s important for us all to accept that “pretty good going” can be amply good enough.
After all, who says we should all be achieving a particular combination of things anyway? At the end of the day, life is not a Starbucks loyalty card, with systematically accumulated stamps of achievement leading to the free coffee of personal fulfilment. Instead, it’s often a series of uncoordinated lurches from one unplanned situation to another – sometimes backwards and often with totally unpredictable outcomes. And that’s ok.
So, this New Year 2019, I’m going to be trying to value the things I do have. I may have faced a few set-backs in 2018 – I’ve stumbled on my yoga journey and lost my day job – but, on the plus side, the family are all well and I might just have met someone special. So, when the clock strikes 12 this year, instead of wallowing in sad feelings I’m going to be focusing on what I do have. And I hope that, on Dec 31, as many of us as possible are reflecting on what we have – and that it brings us contentment.
See you on the mat in 2019!
Afternoon Yoga classes at We Are Wellness from 4.15-5.15 start on Tuesday 8 January – book your space