Challenges galore!

 What do you do when that realization hits you that the theme of your day is going to be Challenge?  If you're a good yogi you smile and graciously accept each challenge as an important lesson on the spiritual path.  BLAH! Today I feel more like Lizzie McGuire than a good yogi. 

Do you remember the Lizzie McGuire show?  It was about the trials and tribulations of a teenage girl.  The girl has a little cartoon "Lizzie" that narrates from the perspective of her internal self.  The little cartoon Lizzie would be freaking out about what was going on around her while the other Lizzie is smiling and acting like everything is great. 

On my way to yoga class this morning I was stopped at a stop sign when I was rear-ended.  The little cartoon Mirella began the internal freak-out "Damn it! Now I'm going to miss yoga and I really need yoga today!"   I'm grateful that there wasn't any damage to my car and no-one got hurt.  I get back into my car and continue to yoga where the challenges continued.  

The bhavana for today's class was about letting go of negative desires.  The little cartoon Mirella is saying "I don't have any negative desires"  Really??  As I move through the practice I'm aware of my thoughts.  "I'm uncomfortable. If I could move my mat I'd be more comfortable"  "Why doesn't that student cover his mouth when he coughs"  "What is that dirty tissue doing on the floor. I wish someone would pick it up".  "Oh, I hate plow pose.  I wish we weren't doing that pose"  "OMG! I feel like I'm going to spontaneously combust! why is it so hot!  I wish the window was open!"  On and On...... The entire class I was having an internal freak out.

Did you notice a pattern?  I did.  Each thought was a desire.  A desire for things to be different than what they were.   Holy Hell!! I do have negative desires!  OMG! You know that desire I feel to slap people who get on my nerves?  That too falls into this category of negative desires.   My need to avoid the challenges that are presenting themselves to me today - also a desire. 

What do you do when that realization hits you that the theme of your day is going to be challenge? 
I go back to the Lizzie McGuire show.   We watched the show and we saw the external scene at the same time we watched the internal scene (the little cartoon Lizzie).   We were watching and we were relating to that internal freak out and noticing how silly it was.   To clarify the lessons here:

Lizzie McGuire yoga lesson #1:   Step back and watch your thoughts
Lizzie McGuire yoga lesson# 2:   See the humor in the internal freak outs. Notice  how silly the crazy thoughts are when we don't rein them in.

The challenges continued.  The realization has hit me now what am I going to do?  The little cartoon Mirella is screaming  "Go back to bed! pull the covers over your head and stay there for 3 months!!"

Lesson#1 -  when I step back from that thought I realize that would be pointless because in 3 months the challenges would still be there.
Lesson#2 - Seeing the humor - Staying under the covers for 3 months is ridiculous!  Who would take care of my family.  Besides, they would never let me stay in bed, under the covers that long!

What do I do when I'm challenged on the yoga mat?  I breath and move.   My breath brings me back to my heart center and I continue to move forward.

Lesson#3 - Breath deeply - bring the focus out of the mind and into the heart.
Lesson#4 - Keep moving forward.  Don't get stuck in negativity   (oh no, there's that little cartoon Mirella again - THAT'S EASIER SAID THAN DONE).   That may be true, it's easy to say don't get stuck in negativity and I know for sure it's harder to do but ultimately that's the key.

Looks like even when I'm not feeling like a good yogi I can still appreciate that there are lessons to be learned from every challenge.

**NOTE:  The faster you learn the lessons the faster you can move through the challenges. 


  1. I hated missing class today. But I guess it is all perfect. Negative desires, negative thoughts, negative feelings all land us in the same place.

  2. What's the matter with me? I can't remember who Lizzie McGuire is? But this is vata season and I can't remember what day it is!


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