The person that said “the third times a charm” had a clue. I realized this early on in my foray into yoga studio ownership. I also realized that my expectations would be the place where my yoga practice could have a profound effect. And, I realized it at Home Depot. Let me explain…
The Horrors of Building a Yoga Studio
While I recognize that this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, Home Depot (lovingly termed HD) was my sadahna for the first month of my business. I would invariably drive there, return something that did not fit, and spend more money. Or, I would arrive there and wander aimlessly in the aisles of HD orange aprons looking for “that metal thingy”. And that’s how it went. Inhale lumber. Exhale lights.
I went to HD five times in one day. FIVE TIMES. Inhale frustration. Exhale… I might have forgot that bit.
Okay, let’s be honest. I completely forgot the exhale bit. (Question: How do you tell a yoga teacher to breathe?). Instead, I found myself hyperventilating and sobbing in my car over a light-bulb. Not my best moment. Until…
And Then It All Changed
When the crying subsided though, I did see some light. And, it wasn’t from the ENERGY STAR light-bulbs. I saw just how much my own expectations affected my ability to be present and remain non-attached to the situation. I saw the yoga of HD.
Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutra that:
1.15 When the mind loses desire even for objects seen or described in a tradition or in scriptures, it acquires a state of utter (vashikara) desirelessness that is called non-attachment (vairagya).
And, there I was in a car crying over light-bulbs. This was exactly my problem. I had become so caught up in my desired tasks, timeline, and expectations that I had lost sight of the bigger picture. I was not feeling really “yogic”. I was just really frustrated. Attachment was ruling me.
Then, came the practice. Inhale breath. Exhale breath.
What Home Depot Taught Me About Life
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should never want things or have expectations. But—check in, how often do these desires and narratives thwart our ability to experience each moment as an entity-- a unique, ripe journey? In other words:
How do our expectations diminish our experience of our own reality?
I had expected to go to HD once that day. My reality was a five-trip play. And, each trip could have been fine. The quality of my experience was entirely up to me. Instead, I had a lousy day because I was attached to a desired narrative.
Still, it gets better. The lights come (Just sometimes in their own time!). And, when we allow for our experiences to happen sans expectations—when we make peace with our here and now, then, not just the third time but every time is a charm!