personal reflections

Whose Business Are You In?

Lots of lessons and insights happening through my yoga practice these days. One night my sweetie was to meet me at the studio for a class; he had called the front desk to say he was going to be late (this after I had reminded him not to be late!). The kind woman had signed him in to hold his spot and I went to set up my mat and try to hold a space for him beside me.

I’m sitting there trying to meditate as person after person is coming up and wanting to put their mat down in the apparent vacant spot beside me. I could feel my energy and thoughts over with my sweetie… where is he… I told him not to be late… the class is filling up… where is he… then I almost laughed out loud when I realized whose business I was in – not mine!

I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. (For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control, and everyone else’s control—I call that God’s business.)

Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. … And I realized that every time in my life that I had felt hurt or lonely, I had been in someone else’s business.

If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work.

If you understand the three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can’t even imagine. The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally, and you may burst out laughing. That question can bring you back to yourself. And you may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other people’s business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self. ~ Byron Katie

Really – what did it matter if he was late for a yoga class? Why was I fretting? The whole time I was fretting I wasn’t on my yoga mat, being mindful and present for my practice. And just like Katie describes, that simple moment of noticing that I was in my sweetie’s business brought me back to myself. I felt a peaceful release as I slipped out of his business and back into my own, settling in for class to begin. And when he did arrive, moments before the class started, I was able to give him a genuine sweet smile of welcome. Very freeing.

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