I laughed pretty hard when someone posted this image on their Facebook page last week. It says, “It’s the small victories that prevent me from jumping out the window.” Besides being funny, it got me thinking about how often we let the little victories go unnoticed and how often we let what we feel are “defeats” take over our happiness rather than see both of them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
We have all had that atrocious week at work or particularly gnarly fight with a loved one. At the time, situations may seem so insurmountable, you can’t possibly imagine any light. When you’re in amidst the muck, it seems impossible to step outside of your mind and try to find the lesson, or better yet to see the situation for what it is.
It might seem “Pollyanna,” but several years ago I decided to try and find the silver lining in any situation. No matter what is happening, I try to take a step back and see the big picture. In February, I was hit with a couple of large back to back home repair bills. In a former time period, I would have sunk into a pit, seeing only the negatives of the money flying out of my pocketbook. But since the shift in my perspective, I celebrate the fact that I have a home that I can repair. I’m grateful that I can afford to pay for these substantial repairs, and I’m supremely thankful that everyone in my life is happy and healthy. When you walk backwards up the spiral of tumbled dominoes and step out of the maze, you see a beautiful design of interconnected pieces that individually have tumbled over.
I’m also a believer in celebrating little victories like hitting every green light on the way home, holding steady in Tree pose without tumbling to my yoga mat. Seeing the positives in everything brings peace. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. The added caution here is not to allow external circumstances dictate your happiness or joy. As my college roommate would say, “it is what it is.” And she was right. No matter how I try to impose my emotion on a situation to change it, it doesn’t change. But opening your awareness enough to see a diamond in that unchanging rough, will most definitely have a positive effect on your mental and physical state of being.
So, if you get stuck behind the school bus on the way home, acknowledge that fate may have intervened so you slow down. Look out the window, and enjoy the scenery with every bus stop. Look at the kids stepping onto the curb and remember what it was like to celebrate each moment, each small victory, and go there again.
– Your Charmed Yogi