A few weeks ago I went to visit some friends in Richmond VA, (which was just voted the happiest town in America by the way), and fell in love with it. I always like to visit the local yoga studio when in a new town, and my friend recommended taking an ashtanga class. I hadn’t practiced ashtanga in about 7 years, but knew the sequence, and was looking forward to a re-introduction to the practice.
The teacher was great, and so was the class, up until the point I landed in chaturanga from a handstand and heard a loud crack; followed by an audible communal gasp, and questioning as to whether I was okay.
I smiled bravely and replied, “no worries, I’m fine.” Then, like a jackass, I proceeded to finish the class- with a broken toe.
Why would I do such a stupid thing? Because I didn’t want to interrupt the class and cause a scene or make my friend leave in the middle of the practice; not my smartest act of selflessness.
I thanked god that we were moving on to the seated portion, and skipped most of the vinyasas. I hobbled out of there, and my friend insisted we go to the emergency clinic to confirm what I already knew.
All was not lost, however….. as with every situation, I used it as an opportunity to practice my yoga off the mat.
After wincing at the X-ray of my chipped toe, I sat waiting for the nurse and started to think about all the reasons to be grateful in this situation.
- It wasn’t my right toe, so I can drive
- It wasn’t my foot, just my toe
- I have health insurance to pay the large X-Ray bill
- I had a great friend who spent 2 hours with me waiting for the doctor
- I had an amazing acupuncturist who I knew would “fix”me when I got home
The thing I was most grateful for? In a world of wars, poverty, and disease, that a broken toe was my biggest problem.
Has there ever been a time when you’ve struggled to find the good in a bad situation? Next time that happens, take a few minutes to sit and think about all the ways in which you can be grateful that it isn’t worse, or that you’ll learn a lesson, or that compared to most it isn’t earth shattering.
Choosing to look at situations from a different perspective not only changes your attitude in the moment, but the entire way you see the world around you.
And that’s not always a bad thing!