You can't control life, only how you react

Claire was asking me how I came up with the idea for my yogAttitude Kit. I told her I just wanted to share a bit of yoga philosophy with people in an approachable way.

But this isn't the whole story.

When I created the kit, I was nearing the end of a period of great personal change (some of which had involved illness and suffering). And I'd been reminded just what a mainstay of my health -especially my mental health - my yoga practice is.

Namaste. A surrender to the heart.

Namaste. A surrender to the heart.

Because here's the unfortunate truth: there is very little about life we can control. Random bad sh*t happens to people all the time. It's extremely unproductive, if not downright erroneous, to believe that you can meaningfully control whether you get cancer, or suffer bereavement, or battle with depression. You can influence those things to some extent (not the bereavement really) but you do not have control. 

If bad things happen to you, that doesn't make you a bad person.

What IS useful, and can be productive, is to use the hard experiences as catalysts for growth. This way, you root out, and start to change, thinking patterns that don't serve you.

In my case, this meant finding ways to unwrap my beliefs that the world is unsafe for me, all the time. I developed these in early childhood, because that was the truth then. But I'm an adult now, living in arguably one of the safest countries in the world, and I get more choice over my personal safety. 

In yoga, this process of learning to know yourself is called svadhyayaya - self-examination. It's part of a threefold cleansing strategy - the other two parts are tapas - disciplined practice - and isvarapranidhana - surrender to what is (or God if you are religious).

Parsvottonasana. Forward bends are a form of isvarapranidhana, surrender.

Parsvottonasana. Forward bends are a form of isvarapranidhana, surrender.

That's what the yogAttitude work is all about: examining yourself, with disciplined (but non-judgy) awareness, and surrendering to what is. Because you can't change it. 

You can only work on changing your reactions.

And that is enough.

You are enough, too, by the way.

Just thought you'd like to know.

If you want your very own copy of the yogAttitude Cards and Workbook, pop across and download them - free. With my love xo.