I am the world’s worst at saying “no.” I love the idea of being able to experience as much as humanly possible in life. Right now my hobbies include playing guitar at a church in Thomasville, playing ice hockey on two different teams in Greensboro, practicing Yoga in my own free time and was training for triathlons throughout the summer. I didn’t even mention my addiction to movies and watching them either at the house or in the theater. And then there is my job as a middle school math/science teacher. I love finding fun and interesting things for us to study and do in class (we recently did a lab demonstration titled … “Urine Trouble!” haha!) As I said, I like to experience as much as I possibly can in every twenty-four hours that I am blessed with.
My point in sharing all of this is that I often make promises to myself about my time. And this is where the word “no” comes in. I do not allow a lot of time for interruptions, rest or play in my schedule. I make a lot of commitments to myself about how productive I can be. There is an episode of the TV show “Brooklyn 99” where the captain on the show seeks to get his staff to be uber-efficient. I won’t lie and say that the extreme OCD side of me (clothes organized by the color spectrum and cleaning supplies alphabetized by brand name) doesn’t wish that uber-efficiency. Here is the problem though, I lie to myself. And I do it a lot.
The biggest lie that I’ve been telling myself throughout the summer and into the school year is that I will work out each morning at 5:15am. Do you know how many times I’ve done it? Two. I have a calendar reminder that I get on my watch and on my phone. It wasn’t until about a week ago that I finally deleted it. It was stressing me out. I would lie to myself and then turn around and be ticked off because I wasn’t being honest or trustworthy. I can only do so much in a span of twenty-four hours. And using that time to be upset and frustrated isn’t productive.
I don’t know it all, but I like learning with the folks that I lead in yoga. I like bringing these meditations because I hope they touch each Yogi as much as they do me.
Do It Right the First Time
Mantra – I promise not to make promises.
How much time do you spend having to find someone you were a little harsh with and apologize? Or go back and tell someone you can’t really do what you said you would do? Or maybe you spend your time and energy trying to avoid that person because of your own embarrassment. How often do you avoid things you dislike, like writing your will or facing your finances? These are all acts of cheating truth that result in messes we eventually have to clean up.
I make promises to myself and others that don’t allow for the reality of interruptions, rest, or play. Then I either have to backtrack on my promises or find myself out of balance keeping up with the too many commitments I have made because of my dishonesty with myself.
We must be willing to take the risk to tell ourselves the truth and grow ourselves into someone who can trust themselves. Being truthful with ourselves makes us trustworthy and frees up all the time we normally spend in guilt and regret from our dishonesty. Truth saves us from having to clean up; and as a bonus, we get to learn something in the process.
Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele