Recently, after a LONG day of teaching and parenting and care-giving, I went out to my car to drive home around 9pm.  My battery was dead.  Now this is happening.  An inconvenience to be sure, as I really wanted to be home in bed.  I asked a few people around if they had jumper cables- no luck.  As I was ready to call AAA and wait, I spotted several police vehicles in the parking lot outside a pizza restaurant.  Knowing full well that this is not their job, I went in, during their dinner break, and in my most humble “could you help a girl out” kind of look, I asked if one of them would please jump start my car.  Each one looked down like dominoes falling in succession with the same reply of “no cables.”  Hm.  Now this is happening.  As I turned to leave, one of the officers radioed a colleague and he came right away to start my car.  Cheerful and helpful was he.  Cheerful and grateful was I.  Now this is happening.  Home I went to recuperate from my day only to get up early, get another jump start and purchase a new battery.  Now this is happening. 

Millions of events unfold, minute after minute over which we have no control.  Reality.  Non-negotiable reality as my teacher likes to say.  HOW we deal with these events has a great deal to do with whether or not we are happy or miserable.  If I, for example, with my dead battery I added, “Stupid !!##$^%&**&% battery! I just want to be home!!”  I would have added drama and misery to my situation.  The battery would have remained dead, I however, would feel bad about it.  If, when the officers refused help, I was filled with judgement and outrage, the battery would still be dead, but I would feel bad about it.  You get the idea. 

In yoga, it’s been helpful to meet each situation on the mat; the poses, the heat, the sensations, etc, with what I have been calling objective reality.  Just what is, no extra added criticisms of the mind or dramatic emotional reactions, just now this is happening.  It’s an often challenging discipline to leave my ego out of the situation, but as I separate my opinions from just what is, I find I’m much more at ease with what life brings on, like, say…I don’t know…economic devastation!  So we take a look and see, now this is happening, how are we in relationship with what it is? Be objective.

Ah, when to the heart of man was it ever less than a treason to go with the drift of things to yield with a grace to reason and bow and accept at the end of a love or a season.  -Robert Frost