When you don't get what you want

I hate not getting what I want. I know, that sounds incredibly bratty and to be honest, it is. A friend of mine once keenly commented “there is nothing you hate more than when things don’t go according to plan.”

Let me backtrack.

I have always been the kind of person that goes after whatever it is that she wants. I pride myself in my (sometimes foolish) ambition. Aint no mountain high enough and every thing is achievable with a little bit of hard work and hustle.

And yet- what if that isn’t the case?

This is for the goal setters out there. Trust me when I say this as I’m one of you. You can strategize and plan and set intentions until the cows come home but there will always be a wild card. You may know it as circumstance, fate, or a curveball- whatever name it goes by, it is something that you just can’t control or predict.

You will be disappointed. That’s a fact.

So then the conversation shifts to- what do you do now?

For some of us, we blaze on to the next thing, barely blinking an eye at the fumble.  There simply isn’t time for whatever disappointment we feel. Productive? Yes. Compassionate? Not so much. When we neglect our hearts like this, we start to lose our own trust.

Or maybe we are those on the total opposite end of the spectrum. Perhaps that curveball knocked us so far out, we feel like we can never gather ourselves back. We’re stuck, we’re down, and we’re out. The feels are being felt and there seems to be no end to it. We beat ourselves up- maybe we didn’t try our best? Maybe we deserved this? Maybe we could have worked a little harder? Maybe the world is against me? Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Maybe it was just something that happened.

I’m a yogi. I believe everything happens for a reason that will unfold and make itself known later. And while you may not believe this, you can at least appreciate that sometimes, things just happen. It’s a fact. Control is an illusion, albeit a very convincing one. Think of it this way-

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.

-       Joe Rogan

Well that's one way to put things into perspective.


In Vinyasa yoga, we flow. At least, in theory we do. In actuality- we don’t really.

For the most part, we move smoothly through vinyasas and transitions because we’ve done them a hundred times. Do you remember your first yoga class? There wasn’t much flow going on there, I can assure you.

During class, when a teacher introduces an unconventional and new sequence or a new posture, we feel like we momentarily lose our grip of control. There is a flash of confusion, and perhaps even trepidation. We are uncertain, and we are suddenly hyper-aware of what is happening: the teacher's instructions, the way our body is moving and shifting, the way our body is feeling and reacting. Perhaps we’re even briefly annoyed at the interruption in our yogic dance. Whatever it is, we feel it entirely. And then, in a few moments, these feelings pass and we settle into this groove. It is this moment- this brief moment of releasing into the new- this is flow. This is what it means to go with the flow.

To be redirected unexpectedly, and to settle into it is the same both on and off the mat. We recognize the newness, the discomfort, the feeling within. Only by becoming mindful and acknowledging the multiple facts of our experience can we move forwards and trust what is showing up. We give our experience an opportunity to be heard which frees up space for us to take action and move on. One can't exist without the other. 

Whether it’s a job you didn’t get, a friend that didn’t show up, an event that bombed, or a relationship that didn’t work out- I invite you to ask yourself- can you go with the flow?