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Sometimes, I'm the asshole

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

“If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole.”
Quote by Raylan Givens from the tv show “Justified”

One of my favorite quotes, and also an opportunity to PAUSE and check it, and maybe even check yourself!

Full disclosure: I’ve never watched a single episode of the show “Justified” and am not even completely sure how this amazing quote found me!

And it’s become an integral piece of my personal practice of svadhyaya!

Backing up: Svadhyaya!!

One of the ethical components of the 8-limbed Yoga practice.

Backing up just a tiny bit more: Yoga is wayyyyy more than just asana (the poses, or shapes, we take on the mat).

Yoga history is riddled with controversy, abuse, and all of the -isms. AND when we separate the teacher from the teachings, we find a complex, and thorough system to guide our life’s direction(s).

One could spend lifetime(s) studying all the intricacies just one aspect of this system, and this blog is just a small taste of the richness that is available.

So those 8-limbs of Yoga, super briefly:

  1. Yamas - restraints

  2. Niyamas - rituals

  3. Pranayama – breath

  4. Asana - physical postures

  5. Pratyahara - sense withdrawal

  6. Dharana - active focus

  7. Dhyana - ease of focus

  8. Samadhi - total absorption

Note: Asana isn’t the first, or even the last branch. It’s hidden delightfully in the middle - and according the psychological research the most likely to be forgotten. :)

Instead, the foundation of Classical Patanjali inspired Yoga is a set of moral obligations, or jewels as author Deborah Adele describes them.

Briefly, as nothing exists in a vacuum, I’ve listed the 5 Yamas, followed by the 5 Niyamas. Each deserves it’s own reflection, and maybe one day I’ll write it all down. (hopefully no one is tallying the topics I promise to cover one day)

  1. Ahimsa - nonviolence

  2. Satya - truthfulness

  3. Asteya - non stealing

  4. Brahmacharya - honoring on one’s energy (often translated to sexual energy, and I've also heard that it applies for all energetic exchanges)

  5. Aparigraha - non hoarding

  6. Saucha - cleanliness

  7. Santosha - contentment

  8. Tapas - self-discipline

  9. Svadhyaya - self-study

  10. Ishvara Pranidhana - surrender

Where the first 5 Yamas are concerned with relationships with others, the 5 Niyamas move to an internal focus. I love referring to the as rituals because none of these are an “one and done”. They require commitment, and ritual inspires reverence. <heart eyes>

Svadhyaya falls under the second limb: Niyamas, RITUALS!!

Note: describing them as rituals is something I’ve recently shifted into. Niyamas are often called observances.

Self-study….UGH and also YAY! I like to think about this part a little bit like the Sour Patch Kids, sometimes it’s sweet to dive deep into your soul and discover new/hidden things about yourself, and often it’s SOUR to dig around in the muck.

“If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole.”

So what does Svadhyaya have to do with this quote about assholes?

Glad you asked!!

It’s become a part of my self-check monitoring system. It’s an opportunity to check myself, and my story.

If it’s just one asshole, one not-so-awesome moment, or happenstance, then my work becomes releasing that energy back to them. Chances are the one asshole is hurting, healing, or hiding. That one not-so-awesome moment was purely random, or that happenstance isn’t such a big deal. Breathe IN, Breathe OUT….let it goooo, let it be.

If it’s a day full of assholes, then it’s my opportunity to check myself before continuing to wreck myself.

A few of my favorite self-check in questions:

  1. How have I been nourishing myself lately? Basics: Food, Sleep, Water? Next level: Friends? Play?

  2. What story is being triggered in me? Not enoughness? I have do to everything myself? Everyone hates me? PAUSE! Is this true? (Spoiler: usually NOT grounded in truth)

  3. What do I need right now? What baby step can I take to meet myself right where I am? (Inspired by Anana Harris Parris’s work “Self-Care Matters

Often, I haven’t been meeting my basic needs so the medicine is slooooow down, and nourish myself (Miso soup + abhyanga + yoga nidra + journaling = magic). Sometimes, it’s bigger wounds that are being poked, and I am grateful to have an arsenal of tools to help support these larger questions.

Therapy has become a non negotiable for me in the last year, and for anyone who is struggling with insurance woes, check out Open Path Collective for more affordable options.

There are many ways to practice Svadhyaya, and I recommend trying ALL the options available to you when in need. There have been times in my life where I’ve committed to saying YES to every opportunity to heal, which has led me to some super interesting places on this journey. You will find some that work, and some that don’t.

Trust YOUR inner voice, and if anyone tries to sell you something that makes you feel “less than” it’s totally ok to walk away.

Keep in mind the "ritual" part!! Self-study is a lifetime commitment of seeking, reflecting, and realignment....not for weak! AND by diving deep within ourselves, we may start to more fully understand our own biases, patterns, and magic!

Happy studying, my friends!


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