I don’t know about you, but sometimes being human is just plain hard. This becomes particularly noticeable when something unpleasant and unexpected happens. This kind of activity causes the toddler-like imp creature that lives in my brain and sleeps most of the time to wake up and wreak self-centered, childish havoc. You would think that after living with the Toddler Imp all these years, I’d be prepared for her shenanigans, but sometimes life goes along so smoothly, I forget she’s there. Today, however, my memory was loudly kicked into consciousness. Was it over something monumentally, life changing? Of course not.

Almost every Monday and Friday morning and sometimes Saturday afternoon I have the good fortune to attend a wonderful gentle yoga class at Yoga Blend in Burbank. I’ve been going to this class for about six years and each of the three teachers who’ve taught it were terrific. Because I’m left-handed and often confuse left and right, from the time I first started going to my class, I set my mat up on the same side as the teacher, so that when she moved right, I did, too. One day she realized that most of the class was getting right and left mixed up, so she started mirroring them, to keep everyone moving together. By that time, I’d already memorized the order of the exercises so I had no problem. However, being a creature of habit, I became very comfortable with “my” side of the room. Specifically “my spot” is in the back with it’s own little alcove, perfect for stashing my bag and jacket without taking up another space.

The class starts at 8:15. I usually arrive at 8, sign in, gather up my blocks and sandbag, lay down my mat and start with “legs up the wall” and use those few minutes before the official start of the class to deep breathe and meditate. This Monday I was very excited to get to the class, partly because I’d missed Saturday and would be out of town for the upcoming Friday and Saturday classes. I signed in, took off my shoes, walked through the class door, and was stunned into stopping just short of the center of the room. Some woman I’d never seen before was blocking the access to my place. Her mat wasn’t against the wall. It was to the left of my alcove and taking up some of my place’s space, making my usual place untenable.

The Toddler Imp was shocked awake and immediately started yammering at me:

“Well, don’t just stand there like a silly, useless lump! Do something!!!!

She’s taken YOUR space!!! Oh, and look at her. She can do a shoulder

stand. You used to be able to do that. Now, you’re too fat. See how slender

SHE is. Oh, wait, she does have a little tummy. But, she’s very pretty…”

As her tirade continued bombarding me, I wanted to just reach into my brain and strangle her (the Toddler Imp, not the other yoga student, although…). By this time I’d found a place for myself and was putting down my mat. As the Toddler Imp’s verbal barrage continued, I knew I had to come up with some sort of game plan to counter her vehement verbiage As I got into position I started a positive little mantra focusing on compassion. Then I started deep, steady breaths and focused sending healing energy to any part of my body that was tense (basically all of it at this point). Class started and I concentrated on making each movement deeper.

(The Toddler Imp’s voice was beginning to get softer)

By the time the class was half way over, The Imp had gone back to sleep and I was having the best yoga class ever.

I learned a lot about myself today and hopefully, you’ll find it helpful, too.

  1. I’m human: Sometimes The Toddler Imp is going to get right up into my face.
  2. The Toddler Imp’s version of the true is childish and mean-spirited; qualities I do not want to nurture in my life.
  3. As long as I focus on being present and flexible and ignore The Toddler Imp, I have a chance of a positive outcome and even some joy.
  4. Get to yoga class a little earlier!

All joking aside, every day I’m on the planet, there are any number of things that just don’t go my way. That, too, is part of the journey. Getting into a solution, rather than harping on the problem saves me every time. I just need to remember.

If you have a comment about a similar situation you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below. We learn from each other.

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