I went to yoga last night with a friend of mine. We had a long standing date for tea with another mutual friend that turned into my rapid consumption of a homemade vegan brown sugar pop tart and conversation about shared co-working offices. I will be honest, I had a lot going on in my mind. I have a few programs launching this week and I was contemplating if I should have stayed home to work more on them versus socialize and yoga. Which you know, that should-ing all over yourself thing never works and in most cases, I always need the socialize and yoga part.
So we finish up the tea and show up to class, place our shoes at the door and sign in. Upon entering the studio space, I allow myself to be fully there (finally) and we chose back center. It had been a few weeks for me on the yoga mat and I felt child pose calling my name and I figured back row would be nice for that.
There was plenty of room to place both my friend and my yoga mat in the back and snuggle right in next to the other yogis. However, when I placed my sweet green mat down next to this woman, she immediately stood up and moved her mat away from me. I looked at her with what I can only imagine was my best second grade face silently asking "What happened? You don't like me?" and she just half smiled and looked down and away.
You can only imagine what happened after this moment. I immediately entered judgement mode, here is the ugly truth that came out within my mind:
+ "What gives, lady? You don't like practicing next to people? Just wait, I bet this class fills up and you'll be scrunched in between all of us! Ha!" (Note: it did not fill up and she had plenty of room)
+ "Oh wait. Oh my God. Is that my feet? Did she move because of feet stench? Do they really smell? I'll pretend I am doing this butterfly pose to grab a whiff...."
+ "Humph. You, who all up and mighty moved their mat, you would never make it in LA. The yoga mats are practically touching. You literally have other people's sweat on your mat. Never make it."
+ "Okay, seriously. Do my feet smell? Armpit check, clear."
+ Please let someone walk in and plop their mat uncomfortably close to her. That'll show her." (Note: People came in but left her all the space).
+ "Maybe I was talking to my friend too loud and disturbing her quiet time. Maybe. I wasn't that loud though."
+ "Geez lady, can't we all just get along and do yoga together?"
Do you see the crazy that is taking place in the depths of my NON-yogic mind in that moment and each of those moments to follow? Confession: I probably smelled my feet 72 times in class last night. I'm embarrassed.
What in the literal hell?
Nearing the end of class, while skipping the arm balances and exploring neck rolls in a simple seat, an internal (and calm, wise and aligned) voice finally arose inside of me that said, "Hey you, get over yourself".
I had gone down this gnarly spiral into the depths of judgement, then into self judgement, storytelling and fear of not belonging, not being liked, and/or not smelling good. I had made her yoga mat movement all about me and truly, all about who I thought she might be or could never be. I had taken her choice to move over so personal and went way way way too far with it. Major victim mode in the case of the yoga likeability scale based on mat proximity (I made it up...).
I have absolutely no idea why she moved her mat. At this point in time and thankfully, nor do I even care. Yet in that moment, the mean beast voice awakened within and took me to a place I hate going. Knock, Knock. Who's there? Judgemental Jacki is here and she is going to wreak havoc all over this zen yoga party.
How often do we make up stories or live in judgment because we have made a situation all about ourselves? How often do we say nasty things in our mind to perhaps protect our fragile ego and hurt others, be it out loud or silent? Regardless, you know, the energy is felt.
I am sorry yoga mat mover. And to be clear, I realize I don't need to apologize because said yoga mat mover is probably out there living her dream today not even remembering the crazy lady with smelly feet in yoga. You know it is true.
In re-hashing out that moment and all that crazy up there, I realize that I felt like I had been transported back to the second grade and my friends had made a friend huddle and they put me on the outside of it. I couldn't know the secrets, I wasn't picked on their team to play the game that day and no one sat next to me at lunch. Worst day ever. In my goals practice, we call this Timelining. I had created a belief system to protect myself in past that I am still using today. The belief being you (yoga mat mover) don't like me and my reaction obviously being I don't give a shit because you would never make it in LA and seriously, can you smell my feet? So weird. I was reliving the past only to protect myself with a tired and broken system. Sound familiar?
I have been in the exploration of my incorrect beliefs that are causing me to react or judge myself and others. It is deep work and it is so worth the journey. Because in actuality, we can be living and creating our goals from a space of protection versus possibility and we keep failing or keep adhering to the same results that keep us stagnant, not forward moving.
Take time today to check in when perhaps you find yourself timelining or in the deep clutches of judgement in a made up story. I can be honest with you, I do it all the time. All. the. time. The awareness, the check in and the restoration is where I shift, change and prosper to a new choice and belief, one that states I do belong and you do, too. And girl, you can move that yoga mat if you want to.
Want More on the Internal Voice? Here are some Resources to Explore: The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer Rising Strong, by Brene Brown Timeline Clearing, Susanne Conrad, Founder of igolu Get Over Yourself in 7 Easy Stops, via Thought Catalog