Ever notice that the more you could really stand to benefit from learning a lesson the more often that lesson keeps showing up in your life? Like a bad pop song (since those are super hard to come by these days. . .), it seems like you just can’t go anywhere without hearing it, seeing it, or unfortunately, and despite your best efforts to mock it, singing it.
Beyond reviewing the science involved in the study of human behavior and the brain (and oh yeah, we are so going there, and soon, so stand by), consider that this is more than your newly heightened awareness of the reality that you have a lesson to learn. Apparently, the universe has a reminder app even better than the one on your smartphone, and this is it beeping “hey you, pay attention already.”
Why so many admonitions? Isn’t one enough? Well, not really. We are a rather thick-headed species and the universe sees fit to remind of this by providing ample opportunities to FIX IT!
Now, I know I drop a lot of yoga references. That’s because, quite frankly, it’s badass. I have almost as many yoga associations with life as I do hip-hop song lyrics, and that my friends, is saying something. Why do I mention that? Well, besides offering another totally unbiased nudge for you to try yoga . . . I have a lesson to share.
Earlier last week one of our awesome instructors provided some insight on this whole repeat lessons deal. She reminded us how the things that we struggle with in our lives show up on the mat with us. That we carry them around, wherever we go, and they continue to manifest themselves in all that we do. It shows in our work, it shows in our interactions with others, with our body language, the music we play, the food we eat, the words we choose. It is unavoidable.
For example, when I am feeling vibrant, receptive and powerful, I am a yoga Jedi, all strong and bendy (okay, and sweaty) and shit. My work-life balance is solid, my productivity is high, I spend a lot of time with friends, I eat well.
But, the reverse is also true. If I’m feeling ungrounded in life, I struggle with decision making and I have a hard time holding a balancing pose. When I am working on opening up my heart, I can’t stand to get into camel pose because it physically makes me sick to my stomach. Sometimes to cope, I avoid the discomfort on the mat. . . just like I do in my life.
The instructor went on to remind us, gently, that we don’t get to choose not to learn that lesson without repercussion and consequence, however latent they may be. In fact, the more we try to ignore the lesson, the more it presents itself. The universe is going to keep playing on, like a song stuck on repeat, until we learn and move forward.
Crap. Ironic much? This is basically a variation of a message I’ve been given many, many times before, but heard it differently right then. Clearly, I have not been applying this lesson in its entirety, yet.
So, what to do? Give in and let go of course. Acknowledge that the universe is trying to teach you a lesson, and let it. The more we fight it the more it’s going to keep showing up in our laps. Over, and over and over. Until we get it. Until we apply it. And then fail at it again.
Then the lesson will be back, this time as a reminder. And we will learn it, again. And it will hurt, again. Maybe not as much, maybe not as intensely, but we will feel it again.
This is progress. This is the universe in its omnipresent, omniscient glory. It has a plan for you. Open yourself up to it.
Remember, failure and pain are learning, and learning is growth. We cannot understand our strength until it is tested. We do now know we are brave we are until we have had to show courage. We cannot truly know love until we experience its absence. We do not learn of our successes devoid the context of our mistakes.
It is through this suffering that we build understanding. It is through that understanding that we are able to grow. When we begin to do this, to apply the lessons, to change our behavior, to control our reactions, to expand our mindset, we begin to find contentment.
Life is short, make it happy. In order to get that song out of your head, my dear, you must first be willing to suffer through hearing it, frequently, and at high volume.
Go forth and be brave. Accept the challenge, prepare yourself to feel the sting of the lesson.
Make some space in your heart for new joys, some room in your life for new lessons, some room in your head for a new song.
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