Just Different by Jenny

Our Teachers in Training share their insights with the YogaSport community.

by Jenny Mizutowicz

I am currently in the stage of life that “chick lit” authors have written best-selling novels about. In this stage, it seems that everyone and everything I knew in my youth has changed – including myself – and these changes are difficult to come to terms with. I find myself no longer having much in common with friends who I at one point in my life shared everything with. I find my peers eagerly settling down to get married and start families, while I stay back and latch onto my young adulthood for dear life. I am coming of age.

Lately, I have found myself in situations where I am quick to judge people whose beliefs and choices are at odds with mine. Recently, I verbally attacked someone who did not share my views on women’s roles and abruptly ended an argument. I snapped at my friends for pulling me into a conversation that I regarded as silly and unconstructive. As a yogi who aspires to live a peaceful, compassionate life, these instances have put me in deep states of regret and shame. This behavior is not in line with the yoga lifestyle.

On the first day of teacher training at YogaSport, I made a commitment to myself to refrain from judging people and become an accepting, open-minded person through the program. I recently had dinner with a friend who is also a yogi and described the challenges that I had been facing lately. She identified with my struggles as an evolving adult, and encouraged me to view the choices that others make as different. Not better, not worse, just different.

Simple as it sounds, this advice has resonated with me deeply the past couple of months. While we all may have vastly different values and beliefs systems, we as people are not that different. We all have one thing in common: we all want to be happy. Each opinion we have and every decision we make is based on the principles that make us who we are. Who am I to evaluate someone’s quest for happiness against my own? Their choices are irrelevant to mine. They are different.

Yoga teaches us compassion and the ability to accept others for what they are. As I grow throughout this journey, I commit to not only accepting the changes in my life, but the differences between my life and others’. One day I might even grow to accept that my boyfriend is a San Antonio Spurs fan (Go Mavs).

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