The Truth About Our Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are little things in life that we get more bent out of shape about than necessary. One of mine has been the scent of other people’s laundry detergent, because since I cleaned up my diet twenty years ago, I have a powerful sense of smell. Another is when people pluck their eyebrows in a way that doesn’t look even remotely natural and that doesn’t flatter their face. What are yours?

I am a yogi and someone who very much enjoys observing and exploring my own consciousness and feelings, and observing others’, always curious about what it is to be human. I thought I would share with you what I have noticed about pet peeves in my life.

When I am feeling strong, confidant, healthy, inspired, and in balance, my pet peeves don’t bother me.   They don’t peeve me. They aren’t even my pets.

Why is this? When we feel great, we tend to stay on the good feeling trajectory, thinking more positive thoughts, looking at the world like it supports us, seeing synchronicities more easily, and tuning into inspiration naturally.

But what about when we are nursing some internal turmoil, doubt, fear, anxiety, or a victim mindset?   That is when we notice somebody chewing granola loudly with their mouth open, or that they spelled our name wrong again, or that people are tailgating in traffic, or that those are the stupidest eyebrows we have ever seen.

Now, when I see a pet peeve is peeving me, I get the clear message to check in with myself and get the needed time to reset my vibration to one of ease and love, ASAP.

Can your pet peeve be a person? Yes, it can. I love all the people. I do. That’s how I know that people can be our pet peeves, because once in a while, a person will become that thing that just upsets me, no matter what. Luckily, since loving people is easy for me, I can tell something is out of sync if I am letting a person be a source of irritation, and feeling very much the victim of whatever story I repeatedly tell internally about them.   When I feel great, I love this person, or perhaps they fade into the background, no longer a main character in my life.

I am grateful for these chances to be aware, and to take responsibility and shift my perspective.

Sometimes people will latch onto the pet peeves because they feel like they aren’t in control of things in their lives. We get scared sometimes. We reach for control because we think it will soothe us. We want things to be different than how they are, because we think it will make us happy. For best results, though, we need to go inward, reach for our heart, soul, and Source and the knowledge that life’s okay and we are safe, so we can flow with life again. This internal self-care is what we can control, what we are in charge of. Here is where we find empowerment.

That person who is late to your class may always be late. Do you want it to upset you, or do you want to be the source of your own happiness? You get to choose.

My 94-year-old Grandma says, “Things always have a way of working out.” She’s been paying attention for almost 100 years, so I really try to remind myself of this wisdom when I have forgotten.

Take life lightly, and let those peeves go, or at least find the wisdom in them, and tend to your sweet heart and soul.

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Gratitude and Love

I am grateful, and I am learning through life experience that a practice of gratitude does wonders.  Look for something to be grateful for every day, every moment, and you will find that life gets better and better, easier and easier.

And one day, or moment, you might forget gratitude.  You might forget joy, or trust, or well-being. You might think a path of gratitude is not helping after all.

But then, remember.  Remember to reach for gratitude.  Can you tell yourself this?  Can you tell yourself that thoughts of gratitude will return? That this is just a hiccup in your positive momentum?

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You are doing great.  You are truly, honestly, beautifully doing your best.  You are beautiful simply because of your humanness.  You are absolutely precious, unique, and wonderful.

Creating YOU Time in a Busy Life

I have often said, “If you are too busy for yoga (or massage), you are TOO busy.” I mean that not as an excuse for skipping self-care, but more as a statement to empower you to slow down and make time for yourself.

 

I know firsthand that when we are busy and stressed, the last thing we think we have is more time. Many of us will put our needs on the back burner to take care of our children, spouses, elderly parents, or pressing work assignments. This way of living is not sustainable. An over-giving, overworked, frazzled version of you is not the most effective, nor the most fun to be around.

 

Yogi Bhajan, the master of yoga who brought Kundalini Yoga to North America in the late 60’s would always say, “Happiness is your birthright.” It truly is. When you have taken steps to ensure your own happiness, all your loving and giving comes flowing from you quite effortlessly. It’s like when you get on an airplane and they go over the safety procedures. If the oxygen masks drop down, you are instructed to put on your own first, before helping others. They don’t instruct you to hold your breath while putting someone else’s on, and hope you still have strength to put yours on afterwards, because that just does not make sense.

 

What should we do about the perceived lack of time? Schedule in your self-care anyway! I went through a hiatus from my yoga practice for a while following my divorce, and gradually I became more stressed and negative. When I came to realize that I needed my daily yoga to feel good and to be able to show up for my family and clients prepared to do my best, I made time. I resolved to set my alarm an hour earlier in the morning, even though sometimes I would have insomnia, even though giving up an hour of sleep seemed crazy and risky and counterintuitive. I woke up early, I sipped my green tea, I listened to meditation music or guided meditations, and I gently reintroduced my yoga and meditation practice. The good news is that when we take time in the morning to do our yoga, meditation, a morning walk, breath work, or spend time on our creative expression, we set ourselves up to have a better day. We fill our own cup, so to speak. We have taken time to love ourselves, to align ourselves, to soothe ourselves. Now we have something to give.

 

I have noticed that I feel better now that yoga is part of my morning routine again. I prioritize myself, and I end up making myself feel loved and seen and appreciated. Does that sound funny? It’s true. I am less likely to feel unappreciated by people around me, because I am filling that need for myself. I dare say that when I feel unappreciated by others, it is a symptom that I am slacking on self-care, and am not treating myself how I want to be treated, how I deserve to be treated. It appears this is a common symptom for other humans as well. Let’s be quicker to heed it’s warning.

 

Another thing Yogi Bhajan used to say was, “Keep up and you’ll be kept up”. He was saying to do the daily yoga practice (keep up), and things will flow naturally for you (be kept up). When we do yoga, we align our spirit with our body. When we do yoga, we are bringing the part of ourselves that knows our highest desires for ourselves into alignment, so we can follow our own inner guidance more effectively, and just generally feel great. For you, it might be yoga, massage, tai chi, painting, dance or kayaking that aligns you. Learn what works for you, and then make sure you do it for yourself every day. Tell yourself, “This is the most important things I do all day,” and then do it. Watch how your life transforms!

Nurturing Ourselves

You give and give and give, but who takes care of you?  Who fills your cup?  We must fill our own cups, build ourselves up and make ourselves strong and centered and secure.  Not in a bolstering or protecting way, but more of a grounding, empowering way.  We must love ourselves.  It’s kind of like on passenger airplanes when the stewardess explains that you put your oxygen mask on before helping your child.  When you are taken care of, you will more effectively serve others. 

As a self-employed professional in the health care field for 15 years, I have observed that my business is affected directly by how I treat myself.  When I work like a dog and push and push myself without stopping to take care of me, clients start dropping off like flies, no call/no showing, canceling, etc.  And the work I do at those times seems to involve a lot of effort and not as much income.  In a way, it seems like the universe may be having my clients cancel so I’ll rest, since I don’t have enough sense to take time for me without such prompting. 

On the other hand, when I get a weekly massage or at least every other week, take soothing baths, do yoga, meditate, eat right, dance, make music, goof off with friends and family, take naps, it seems I attract business and income.  Things flow to me.  Here, it’s as if I am saying to the universe that I am worth it, I deserve good things, and then the universe mirrors that and provides more income with less struggle.  Hmmm.  As a massage therapist and yoga teacher, I think this is great, because I need to be walking the walk and not just talking the talk of wellness.  This phenomenon keeps me in integrity with my intention to live and set an example of health and balance.  And the side benefit is that I feel good!