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Yogis, Are You Just Learning to Enjoy the Weather?

In the last few years, more than 2000 yoga practitioners have engaged in Handel coaching. I have learned a lot about our intersections, conflicts and possible synergies between HG coaching and yoga. Let me explain.

Yogis do yoga to strengthen their bodies, but also their hearts and minds. Yogis do yoga to gain flexibility in their bodies, but also their heart and minds. Yogis do yoga to create greater alignment in their bodies, but also in their thinking and daily life. Right? Yogis do yoga for deep peace of mind, balance, connectedness and a sense of wholeness. Yet, that feeling you get on the mat often doesn’t last or it doesn’t extrapolate to areas of life where you’re stuck.
So I wonder, is yoga only teaching you to accept or enjoy the weather?
In the Handel Method®, we teach a concept called “author versus weather reporter.” Our coaching is meant to help you become the “author” of your life. As the author, you connect with your heart and articulate, then design what you truly want, make plans to get there and act consistently with what you’ve designed. When you hit bumps in the road, you look to your own integrity issues or lack of truth-telling to explain why you might be stuck, and you don’t “feel bad” about missteps – you feel responsible and empowered.
The alternative way to live is as what we call a “weather reporter.” A weather reporter observes how things are now and makes judgements, predictions, plans and reports based on what s/he sees. A weather report in an area of life could sound like this:
- “It’s hard for all the women in my family to lose weight; it’s how we are.”
- “My relationship has never really been that deep with X person, so I don’t expect more.”
- “My boss is really scary; everyone says so.”
- “It’s really hard to find a job in my area of interest.”
Can you hear how much these sound just like your local weather person saying “it’s 72 degrees and cloudy,” or “expect flooding.” These kind of statements just affirm what IS, and deny the actual role of the observer/reporter in manifesting and perpetuating those observations as “reality.” If your mentality is a ”weather reporter’s,” the best you can do is accept, prepare or even learn to enjoy bad weather.
In my estimation, therapy, spiritual practice and self-help, have done an enormously good job at helping people accept, “be with” and even enjoy life’s “bad weather.” By this, I mean situations in your life that are NOT consistent with your dreams (like not getting the promotion, gaining 20 pounds, staying in debt, your addictions, etc.). Most people have not yet learned or practiced the concept that we MAKE “the weather.” (Trust me, you do not live like that! I know most of the time I don’t.) Living like you make the weather, which we call being “the author” of your life, means you always have power, even when things aren’t going how you wanted or expected. Living as the author means when something isn’t working, you don’t feel bad about it, but instead think “hmmm, maybe it’s me.”
Being responsible for the things in your life that aren’t working isn’t the same as being TO BLAME. Please think about that, because you probably think I mean blame. Here is how to test if you think I mean blame. Think of your worst problem right now, the area where you are living least consistently with what you really, really want. Maybe you aren’t exercising or eating right. Maybe you are dating the wrong people, or not dating at all. Maybe you are letting your current relationship stagnate or implode. Maybe you are in a job you hate, or are stuck about what you really want to do. Hold it in mind and then hear me say directly to you: You have a total say in how this goes right now and you always have. If feelings of defensiveness, guilt, shame or anger arise, you probably confuse blame with responsibility.
Why does that matter? Blaming yourself, maligning yourself or “feeling bad” will only lead to more of the same stagnancy, and that is a terrible substitute for taking responsibility for and authoring your life. When you take responsibility and embrace authorship, all you’ll feel is curious, empowered and probably relieved. When “bad weather” strikes, you’ll want to start talking to other people to figure out where you went wrong and how to correct it for next time. This is called learning, and it’s fun.
So ask yourself, regarding the “bad weather” in your life, are you:
- Annoyed at the bad weather?
- “Accepting” the bad weather?
- Learning to enjoy the weather?
Or is it clear you are making the weather?
Love,
Laurie
P.S.- Leave a comment about which camp you are in, and join Life Coaching for Yoga Practitioners (a 4-week teleseries starting Oct 3) co-led with TDL blogger, Elena Brower. Especially designed for yoga practitioners, we’ll be covering all of the basic principles of bringing alignment (and leadership and magic) to your life.

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Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. You can connect with Laurie on Facebook at HG Life Coaching.

  • MontanaWarrior

    I enjoyed this perspective on yoga practice. Obviously the practice is about balance and maintaining the core. Yet when moving from pose to pose there is also intention involved. It is this intention that can waver or be distracted and the result might be unbalance in the pose or even a stumble. Life seems to require that we lean into it a bit, giving the energy direction and purpose. What better way to lean than with desire? I’m sure everyone desires good weather….

  • kim

    thanks for this. always love your blogs!