30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 14: When Your Back Is Up


Welcome to Day 14 of my blog series based on Judith Hansen-Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.” While the book has 365 quotes, I picked only 30.

My goal is to stay close to 500 words excluding the quote.

Ready? …

November 7 — Emotions arise when beliefs are challenged. Today notice when you are agitated, or angry, or upset. Then ask yourself: What belief of mine has just been challenged?


Right there. That’s mindfulness and emotional awareness and self-challenge and an invitation to reframing.

Right there, that’s couch time.

Right there, is the first step on the path to enlightenment.

What belief has just been challenged?

That’s hot.

So then I ask you: What makes you so smart? What makes you the arbiter of right and wrong? What makes you the authority on whatever Belief you hold to be Truth?

Ok — we can all agree that child abuse is wrong, and that addiction is a scourge, and that several other moral and ethical standards are established.

But aside from that, why should anyone’s get-up of buchanan tartan argyle socks and Black Flag t-shirt, combat boots, nose ring plaid kilt offend you so much? I’m the one who has to wear them. I’m the one who totally doesn’t know if a Dead Kennedys t-shirt goes better with which plaids go with which boots and hey! It’s my “problem.”

Let’s say you’re sitting in traffic and totally pissed about sitting in traffic. Because sitting in traffic is probably the most vexing experience to you. You say you’d rather have a root canal or perform natural child birth than sit in traffic.

What’s the belief that’s been challenged? That other people should get out of your way?

Here’s me: You get out of your way.

I think one of the saddest things of all is expending an amount of energy comparable to having a baby over having to sit in traffic. I mean … really.

But then there’s my belief that is challenged: that I shouldn’t have a consideration or care about what other people think of traffic. If Bipsy wants to shred her energy and amp up her adrenaline response, charge up her cortisol, which builds fat around her organs, including her heart, liver, and spleen, and tax her glandular systems bitchingandmoaning about traffic, who am I to stop her?


Equanimity, right?

i love The Google! I typed "traffic and football" and look what came up! Grumpy Cat for the win!

i love The Google! I typed “traffic and football” and look what came up! Grumpy Cat for the win!

I’m in. Just don’t expect me to give a crap about American football. Go Bills! That’s all I say every Sunday during football season. It’s not that I think people who watch “the running around and falling down game” (as my then 2-year-old called it) are goofballs, to each his own, but don’t expect me to really care and don’t get mad at me when I yell, “ICING!” or “GRAND SLAM!” when a touchdown is scored.

To each his and her own. I don’t look in your trash, don’t look in mine.

(Why did I write that? I don’t know. I’m typing outside and so naturally I thought of my neighbors looking in my garbage… that is really weird.)

So yeah, when you get irritated, ask yourself why. Likely it’s you who has to chill out. I think about the bullying thing again, and I ask myself often, “Was I overreacting? Was I out of line? Was I unreasonable?” And even though I know that if I read about it in a magazine, I’d totally understand the reasons for the upset that the me-character was feeling, I still wonder if I’m overly sensitive. 

Thank you.

ps – happy birthday to my concert-going and calling brother, bruce wayne.


About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

3 responses »

  1. This is fantastic!!! “You get out of your way.” I just watched Michael Singer (author of The Untethered Soul) on Oprah, and this was pretty much his message. I have to read that book now; have you read?

  2. Re the bullying? I don’t think you are over sensitive. And I think your hurt and anger in this case were more a vital function of self protection that served you for good. Staying in anger with regard to this particular situation might be more indicative of a need to challenge your beliefs somewhere.

    But I think you are over the hump there.

    Here is a thought. Typically analytical and minute as I am an archetypal Virgo but…what if we reframed the occasion of anger and irritation as a opportunity to challenge unconscious beliefs by saying more specifically , “try using the moments of self righteous/ victim anger and irritation and/or perhaps habitual triggers to anger as a launching pad for challenging unconscious beliefs?

    Cuz sometimes anger is life saving. It can be the kick in the butt that gets a person to make a positive change. Anger patterns that repeat or anger that lingers are red flags or maybe simple maps to lead us to more clarity so we can get out of our own way. And fast! 😘

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