Yoga is like a mirror in that it allows us to view ourselves through the world around us. How people react to us and how we relate to others can help us to learn about our inner selves. Last year I had the idea of setting up what I called a ‘social flow yoga class’ in Warrington. This was to allow us the opportunity to take our yoga beyond the mat & to learn from fellow students, plus opportunity for coffee & cake! I am lucky to have some fantastic students & I feel I learn as much from them as they do from me. The people in our lives are mirrors to what we like, and what we dislike in ourselves. Often our reaction to a person is based on something we see in them that reflects, either good or bad, consciously or unconsciously, in ourselves.
Everybody in our lives is an opportunity for learning, and we need to continue to learn & to gain wisdom in order to grow. It may be a direct piece of information, or a situation, a relationship or a conversation but all interactions with the world are opportunity to grow. Experiences are there to be learnt from, both positive & negative. As are the people we surround ourselves with. Last week I discussed the idea of ‘radiators and hoovers’ with a friend….that some people are like radiators in that they warm the world around them & the closer you get the warmer you feel. Hoovers are the type of people who will continue to suck at your resources, your self belief & yet never seem satisfied. The negative people; those that are dismissive of your achievements or decisions are those with whom you question your self belief. They almost hoover away your self esteem!! Unfortunately it is often only with hindsight or distance we are able to interpret our relationships with accuracy. I hope to be a radiator, to leave people I come into contact with feeling warm inside. I also hope to surround myself with positivity rather than people who drain me.
I am, slowly, learning to trust my intuition, to sit quietly and listen for wisdom from a quiet mind not a quick decision made in haste. Not to feel rude for selfishly prioritising the good people in my world. I consider yoga to be the window of truth that has allowed me to discover myself, to be more honest with myself about the people I have around me I am learning that ‘nice things happen to nice people’ and negative people can drain the fun from any situation. Observe the effect of others on your world and act accordingly. If somebody is a drain, hoovering your positivity away, why are they in your life? Could it be habit? convenience? Fear of the unknown? Is this reason enough to keep them there?
We may hide the truth from ourselves. To avoid this where possible I have learnt to pay close attention to my breath, my subtle nuances of being that tell me how I am reacting to a situation. I’m learning that the people I react negatively to as well as those I naturally warm to may be acting as mirrors to something in myself. Any experience that brings attention inward is important, for in being true to ourselves we are able to live from a more congruent place.
Moment by moment through the day, try to note your reaction to people, and question why. What it is in them that highlights something in yourself. Is that a positive experience, and if barriers are found to this self exploration then ask why. If somebody takes rather than adds to your life, why are they in it? We will never be perfect, we are here to learn. However we are all basically love, a good energy, so if we are recognizing something else but love when we meet a person then ask why. Could it be a lesson you need to learn?