My car got towed last Tuesday morning. My infraction: parking within 6 metres of a sidewalk at an intersecting street.
I had gone to visit my boyfriend in Vancouver on Monday night, and in the morning, I made the decision to do contract work from his place during the day (instead of heading home), and subsequently, left my car ripe for the Buster’s towing picking.
Walking to the bus (and beginning the expensive and somewhat timely journey to get my car back), I found myself thinking thoughts like:
“If only I had left in the morning…”
“I could have so easily parked in a different spot…”
Recognizing the emotion, the frustration, I was feeling, I asked myself, “How can I bring my yoga practice into this experience? How can I stop engaging with these ‘If only I had…’ questions?”
And, then, the answer hit me like a tonne of bricks:
I stop asking myself these questions because they make me feel like crap.
There is nothing to gain, nothing to learn, from beating myself up about not having done something differently. The lesson – park more than 6 metres from the sidewalk – was quickly learned. Any continued fretting about what happened is futile.
The practice of yoga teaches that we don’t have to engage with thoughts that don’t serve us. Through a disciplined practice, we find the freedom to let go, the awareness to step away from what is harming – especially harming that is self-imposed.