Tag Archives: independence

30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 20: Mind Your Own Business


Welcome to Day 20 of my blog series based on Judith Hansen-Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.”

I will try to keep these posts to less than 500 words.

Here is the quote:

January 17 — Problems are transformed when we are present. When someone disagrees with you today, stay present, listen and then let them solve the problem.

This is another way of saying, “mind your own business and check your preferences, attachments, and ego at the door.”

I feel strongly that I am being tested in this way, very specifically, of late.

Lots of stuff is going on around my life that I confuse with MY actual life.

For instance, if you have a situation with a parent and you don’t like the situation but are accustomed to having to save the day or come up with a solution due in part to patterns you established as a child, you will likely think or believe that you must wrest with the situation.

Another example, say your child or spouse or friend is behaving in a way that you find objectionable. This happens all the time, right? Well, if you’re me, you feel some crazy drive to repair the objection or yearn to educate this person to stop their behavior.

So if those things are happening, AROUND your life, at the same time, how much of it is your life? None.

Nope. Not a smidge. So in this actual context of all these things swirling around me, none of it is mine. My specific independent life is actually pretty peachy right now.

Lasater mentions “disagrees” in this quote; I don’t think we need to have an actual disagreement to render awareness and detachment (which is what she’s suggesting here with letting ‘them’ solve the problem). I think we just need to be aware of our urges (and they can be subtle) to change events or outcomes.  You can even have a situation where you agree with someone and want to assist in solving a “problem.”

Further with the examples: let’s say we’re talking about an infant here. If an infant is crying, that’s the infant’s issue, yes?

I mean, you’re not crying. You’re not needing anything at that moment (meaning: you’re not so upset about something that it’s making you weep). It’s the baby.

Of course, you might care about the baby. You can assist the wee bairn, and do what you can to soothe her. But it’s not YOUR irritation.


As humans, we’ve been programmed to assist, to solve, to cure, to fix, to amend… sometimes, we just can’t. Most of the time, it’s not ours to solve, fix, cure, or amend. It’s just not.

And we don’t like that.

It makes us feel powerless, helpless, inert.

Deal with it.

So going back to this quote, ” … then let them solve the problem.”


If the solution lies in your assistance, YOU NEED TO BE ASKED FIRST to ASSIST. (And the baby crying is her asking for assistance — so that’s good.) If no one asks for help, there is no help to be given. If you decide to jump in… OK: prepare yourself for a steaming dish of “goscrewyourself” or frustration because your moment of “let me help you” might become a moment of “it’s like THIS you simpleton…” or that horse you’ve led to water won’t drink it, and then shit hits the fan.

Example: say a little kid is trying to open a new jar of salsa. He fusses and moans and oomphs, but he doesn’t ask for help. You watch this battle. Many of us as parents will say, “Here, let me…” but that doesn’t show the child anything other than you’re better at opening a jar than he is. What you need to do (in the context of this quote) is stay present, listen, and then let them solve the problem, which might mean, “Hey, Mom? Can you help me open this jar of salsa?”

That’s the jackpot right there. When they ask for help. Doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we encounter a mess. But the key is learning to ask for help and then … THEN: be willing to GIVE HELP — NOT TAKE OVER. Show the kiddo how you open a jar.

Easier said than done.

(This quote is really limiting… transformation needn’t revolve around a disagreement.)

It’s not a failure of autonomy and independence to ask for help. After all, once that jar of salsa is opened, he might try to pour all of it into a small bowl and it might overrun. Still… we have to step back.

It stinks. But it’s growth for us too.

Thank you.

30 Days of Wisdom — Day 4: Mark Twain! Bring it!


I’m so psyched. I love Mark Twain. Let’s get to it:

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
― Mark Twain
tags: individuality, majority, minority, pause, reflect, wisdom 30581 likes

Ruh-roh. Am I supposed to pause and reflect about my admiration for him because I LIKE to think that I’m not alone? That I’m in some form of majority because he was so clever and his writing is so timelessly true?

I am also completely surprised that his quote is not as popular as that George Washington Maurice Switzer fella from Day 2.

While I believe that Twain is on to something, absolutely, I also will submit that I believe we are in a time of huge personal pride for individualism, personal civil rights, and greater awareness of our fellow man.

Orrrrrrr…. maybe it’s just within the very small pocket of people I prefer to hang out and converse with.

Yeah, I think that’s likely more the deal. The internet is rife with weirdos. Nevermind. Twain was right.

I was watching something over the weekend where a parent was watching a kiddo on a skateboard. Then the conversation turned to Twitter’s “Vine” video app which loops a 6-second clip of genius for all the world to see. It went something like this,

“Vine? What’s vine? YouTube this! It’s great!” said the crotchety and half-dead 40-year-old man.

“Vine is 6-seconds! YouTube!? It’s more like three minutes. Who has time for that?!” she said as she skipped away.

I want to say that moment was in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” but I can’t be sure, my cobwebbed brain is filled to the gills with pointless shit like wondering about whether the pH in our hot tub will ever stabilize.

It was her response, “…three minutes. Who has time for that?!” that just sucked all the wind out of my sails. I weep for the future where everyone will have the opportunity to take everything personally, out of context, on behalf of someone else and repeatedly so in an endless and vapid race for relevance and matter in a world where no one has time to look at anything beyond six-seconds long.

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone feels a need to shout it from the rooftops. Everyone has to get in everyone else’s shit and dissect it and tell them how they could have done something better, faster, stronger… more like mmmmmyeah: someone else.

Me? I’m all about independence, but the funny thing about that, is that it’s very popular. I wrote about this a while ago.

Miley Cyrus endeavors to be artful and freakin’ inde-freakin-pendent y’all with her tongue and twerking and wrecking ball screeching and devil horns and foam fingers. Little kids everywhere are going, “Where the where is Hanna Montana?” as their mothers careen feverishly about their homes to turn off the screens and wait for the seven horsemen because you KNOW they’re paying attention to Miley. (I want to be the first to predict that she will soon drop her surname. Just let me have this.) I know she’s sitting around thinking about me. “Hmmmm… How do I crush that Hater, Molly… She’s so hatin’ on me… She doesn’t respect my art…”


Miley’s crusade is nothing new. It makes me wonder though about whether she is a pawn or truly being her own gal. The unending peer bashes she gets from her fellow “artists” is equally confusing and also leaves me thinking it’s all part of a machine.

It’s the popular thing to do these days, have an opinion about Miley Cyrus. I don’t entirely blame people either. She’s like this combo lightning bolt / barometer / tornado / wrecking ball for American Pop Culture society. It’s a fence to be on the side of: pro-Miley or anti-Miley. Me? I can’t be bothered with it. The more gray matter I devote to her crusade the stupider I get.

Then I’m all alone again, with Twain, ironically and secretly hoping and begging that more people will join us in our “Who gives a poop about Miley” brigade. Which then begets its own form of isolation and foam finger-pointing.

It’s a tricky road. Just think for yourself.

Thank you.



When you return a gift, it doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of it in the first place. It just might not be right.

I’m not rationalizing, but I am coming to terms with the past 2 weeks. The last 7 days in particular.

So I wrote last week about someone who wrote me a check for $3,500 to pursue yoga training after I volunteered my time for the benefit of Survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

I am registered. I am committed and I’m all in. Every dime of that check (and beyond some) will be spent on this endeavor, not to mention a total dietary turnaround. I will be participating in a mostly vegan (including dairy, so it’s still technically vegetarian) diet for 16 days. I’m not psyched about that; we humans have fangs for a reason. But I will submit because it’s part of the philosophy of this training regimen: compassion for all living creatures, and so I’m in.

Here’s what’s new: I returned the funds.

I am going to do this on my own steam.

I began to feel some really uncool familiar feelings in the midst of all this (that’s a good post if you’re at all wondering about why you have psychic vampires or codependent issues that you can’t seem to shake or resolve). My feelings don’t mean any of it is true, universally, but they do mean they’re true for me.

I am a studious person. I sat with those feelings, let them process, gave them a chair, a napkin and a cup of Earl Gray.

They did not really go away.

The feeling: chaos. That I was not in control of my own … hmm … my own person. That despite any statements to the contrary by any parties involved: I would owe someone something; I would be beholden. I could’ve signed a contract: “Molly will never owe me one thing ever, not ever, not even a smile or a good thought, if she takes this Gift and uses it to improve the lives of other people, including herself,” and it wouldn’t have been enough. In my paranoid, damaged and experienced brain: everything comes with a price, there is NO such thing as a free lunch, and any gift, especially a monetary one, comes with expectations, or it would be anonymous which would then create more chaos because I’d have to find the person to thank them and then feel beholden to.

I’m not right in the head. I know this. I hate blaming my childhood, but another inconvenient truth is this: 95% of any action we conduct is rooted in our experiences as children before the age of 5. IT JUST IS. So we must pay attention.

So if you’re normal and weren’t raised by wolves (whom I’ve come to discover are actually quite kind to their young), you would take this gift and be totalllllllly okay with it. But what if you’re me? You’re hosed. You need to change.

How do we change? We pay attention. So I dissected and gleaned and examined this whole thing, how it went down, what else was going on in the community when it happened, any commonalities and changes in our shared recent social experiences and I came up with more than a handful of subtle yet significant items.

Giving back the funds was only part of the equation. I wanted to understand two things: why I took them in the first place, and why I wanted to give them back.

I took the funds because it was a fantastic gesture and I’m not at all good about taking extravagant gifts from people.

I gave them back because I realized a couple things: what I really needed was the shot in the arm, the kick in the touchas, the cheer from the sidelines, that the funds represented, from an uninterested party (i.e., not my parents and not my spouse).

Keeping the funds, to me, meant a forced allegiance, a false loyalty, worse: a sense of obligation … and no one wants that. Especially with me. I would’ve second-guessed everything: from any enjoyment in the course “is this happy enough? Am I grateful enough?!” (I told you I’m damaged) to any fears or regrets, “gah! If I don’t like it I’m not fulfilling my end of the deal! If I am afraid I can’t do it, I’m not worthy of the endorsement!” All the way down to a sense of unending and misappropriated gratitude: that I would have to be forever grateful for the gift.

No, this had to be all me. This sponsor did not want my anxieties and potential resentment on top of any sense of obligation. I did that person a favor…

So how do I model healthy detachment for my children? I take the gift, I say thank you for the gift, I deposit the gift, I follow through on the commitment the gift is supporting and then I return the gift and do it on my own. Wanna take it one step better? How do I model health self-esteem for my kids? I do it on my own from the start. I just say, “Honey, I shrank the kids I am going to be certified to teach yoga” and as long as it’s a healthy decision, then we’re good to go.

So I dropped off the check this morning and we are taking care of this training on our own steam, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Thank you.