"How you do anything is how you do everything," Olivia Anselmo

Choosing your own greatness begins with intent. Wayne Dyer believes that you are the sum total of all of your choices up to today. He says if you see things you don't like or aren't working or have you stuck, when you look at them, as opposed to regretting the choices you've made and beating yourself up, an alternative and more productive way is to ask yourself,  "Can I grow, Can I evolve?" It all starts with the way you approach a situation. Or to put it another way, it's all about attitude baby.

So when Olivia Anselmo, one of my favorite people in the world and Bikram Yoga master instructor, yes, the beauty pictured to the left, said how you do anything is how you do everything, during a particularly difficult posture during class last night her words deeply resonated with me. While she was referring to our intent and how we were entering a posture, standing head to knee where one has to balance on one leg and put your head to your knee, this amazing teacher was also asking us to check ourselves and how we do things beyond the yoga mat. The question gets at the core of how we live our lives.

Are you rushing through a pose could be reframed to be, are you rushing through your day so that you hardly remember what you did last night? Are you judgmental about your posture can be rephrased to be, are you judging yourself or others harshly? Are you moving with singular determination and a positive attitude or are you haphazardly moving without awareness and having a bitchy attitude? Again, each of the questions that we ask ourselves on the mat can be applied to anything and everything we do. And it gets to a deeper and more urgent question we should all be asking ourselves: what kind of energy are we bringing into anything and everything we do?

Olivia explained that in yoga, the asanas, or postures, prepare us for life. (Funny how some people think yoga is just about the cool and gorgeous ways you can contort the human body or how cute you look in a Lululemon short set. ) I believe that that is why I fell deeply in love with Bikram yoga, this practice is beyond cool postures and or great gear. And as the the word suggests in Sanskrit, yoga is union, it is the intersection where mind, body and spirit meet. Last night was a reminder.  

It's worth being mindful of these words, how you do anything is how you do everything, particularly and especially when facing a challenging situation. When going through a tough time, do you struggle against you? Or do you friend you in moments of trouble? Do you complain when s**t don't go your way or do you try to find the lesson? Do you listen or do you ease up and perhaps shift the attitude a tiny bit? Do you trust that the universe has your back? 

Pema Chodron eloquently riffs on this:

…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” 

Possessing an openness to push through and beyond the bullsh*t of life helps propel us forward. This is the stuff that radiates beauty. It also creates beauty in your life. And I think it ultimately creates a life you love.

Oh, as far as my posture was concerned, I fell out of it several times, but smiled, and was patient, kind and even gentle with self.  I didn't back away. Or claim defeat. I tried again and again. I saw with clarity that what I need is practice. Last night wasn't the day, but maybe today it is.


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