Saturday, June 18, 2011

This is my note from this week's LA YOGA Newsletter...


Amanda stood at the sandwich counter with a firm look in her face, gazing at me.

“But wait,” I said. “I’ve been coming here for ten years and I always order the same thing.”

“Even more reason to choose the Cabrese today,” she continued, undeterred. “Pesto, fresh tomato. And it’s perfect with avocado.”


“You can’t always get the same thing. And if you don’t like it, go back to your usual next time.”

You may be able to guess what happened next. I liked it. Of course anything with pesto and avocado and toasted bread is hard for me not to like.

My exchange with Amanda was one of those reminders of how easy it is to slip into autopilot, to live in an endless cycle of wash, rinse, repeat, without always questioning the sequence or the outcome.

Yet life asks of us to shake it up, to order something else off the menu, or to move in and out of the poses in an unfamiliar way, as we did in class this morning when the request of one of my students was, “To do something new.”

It’s a dance we do in life, partnering the familiar with the unfamiliar, the old and the new, the comfortable and that which stretches our boundaries, remaining still and soaring through the air. And it is the breath that mediates the moves. Sometimes we need support, a cheering section, an Amanda behind the counter, our teachers and students to remind us.

Now I just have to order something other than the veggie burger with the works and kelp noodle salad at the Golden Mean.

Change happens one meal at a time, mindfully. And every day, every Friday, every breath, we have the opportunity to pause and ask ourselves, “Are we on autopilot?” and “How am I making this choice?"

Because, of course, change just for the sake of change is not the answer either.