I realized this morning that this week,  I’ve been a walking hypocrite in a big way.  For all the compassion talk I speak of in my yoga classes, especially compassion towards ourselves, I have practiced none of it this week.  The last week or two have been extremely chaotic and hectic with customers, co-workers, and not to mention, family members.  Everyone seemed to be tyrannizing me, and I could feel the stress slowly stripping a few extra minutes and hours off my life as I became consumed by it all.  I’m sure I’m the only one who has ever experienced this, right? 🙂

Truthfully, I know we can all relate to this, and so I want to share the lesson I learned, (again,) from this week.

Thanks to one of my yoga teachers, Elena Brower, I was reminded of her message regarding the Tyrant versus the Magician that both reside within us.  The Tyrant seeks to control and overrule everyone and everything within its path, while the Magician seeks out transformation within itself.  Thinking back on my week, and how I felt I was drowning by the tyranny of others, I realize that I was being tyrannized because I was trying to control THEIR behavior in some way.  As another one of my favorite Yoga instructors, Jo Tatsula, states “Frustration comes when expectation and reality are not the same.”  So accepting reality as it is, the frustration Magically disappears.  (Similar to when we’re in a traffic jam in the car – there’s a point where we either go crazy and start pounding the steering wheel like a 3-year old, or we just accept what is and enjoy the down time.)  As soon as we shift our perspective from trying to transform someone/something else, to trying to transform ourselves, we are released from the dictatorial rule of the Tyrant – the Tyrant cannot survive in the presence of the transformational Magician.

In my experience, most times when I am running around being a Tyrant, it’s because I am upset at myself about something for some reason, (justified or not, it doesn’t really matter.)  Ultimately, none of us want to be tortured, and assuming the role of the Tyrant, ends up being torture!  Shifting our attention to ourselves, being compassionate, giving all that we are able to give, and accepting what we can’t give, is being compassionate to ourselves.

When we’re in this state of mind, no other Tyrant can affect us….and in fact, our magical transformation will likely disarm our fellow tyrants.  And this, is why we come back to our yoga mats, to reconnect with this truth, and in turn, take our yoga off the mat and into the world.