Pet Peeves

Something is not right here.

Have you ever noticed that we, correctly, name our peeves “pets?”  We nurture and feed them.  We love them.

The reality is, these pets of ours are just another set of buttons for people to push but these, these we aggrandize.  These buttons we wear with honor and pride.

There is, however, a sinister nature to these pets of ours.  They encourage us to use them to make ourselves right and others wrong and so divide us from those around us.

We can either feed the raging little beasties, remaining indentured to these pets, or we can free ourselves from them and live with much more ease.

If you have any doubts about the true nature of pet peeves, try this little experiment:  Think of your biggest pet peeve.  Close your eyes and imagine the perfect storm for this pet peeve of yours whether it be someone cuttingbunnyfangs you off in traffic or lying to your face or talking on a cell phone in the middle of a movie.  Now notice how you feel.  Can you feel the frustration or anger or even rage that accompanies the situation?  How do you feel about the person you imagine to be causing you to feel this; the one on the phone or the one lying or cutting you off.  Notice that what you are feeling is very real, as if you were actually in the middle of that situation right now but, you are not.  Your pet peeve has begun to show its teeth.

This raises the question, “How to be free of pet peeves?  How to be free of my buttons?”  First, you need to understand that the person who cut you off in traffic is not the problem, you are.  Think back, for a moment, to the experiment we just did.  You were reading a computer screen and imagining something, it was all you, and yet your pet peeve woke up.  You made your pet peeve, you feed it, you keep it alive.  You made the thing and you can unmake it too.  If you wonder why you might want to be rid of your pet peeves, just ask yourself if you really like feeling the way they make you feel!


The Yoga Way

There are probably many ways to let go of our buttons and their much larger siblings, our pet peeves.  I will, however, focus on the one that I know best, Yoga.  Surprised?  Since you’re reading Everyday Yoga, I doubt you are too surprise.

First and foremost, this is not about fixing you.  You are not broken.  This is about freeing yourself from all that you are not.  Please recognize that there is a vital difference between fixing you and freeing yourself.  This is the first step.

Yoga, taught and practiced properly, shows us the naked truth about ourselves exactly as we are right now.  The second step is to accept yourself exactly as you are, exactly as the naked truth is.  Sometimes it is very easy to start hating ourselves at this point and why it is so often suggest to work with the direction of a guru.

Third, practice.  Take any of the many practices of Yoga—meditation, postures, non-harming, pranayam, any of them—and practice every single day.  Your practice will start to push your buttons—I hate this pose, how long have I been meditating, this is becoming boring, I wish I were more flexible—and you will continue to practice.

You will have to work, especially in the beginning, to keep an even mind.  You will develop an ease where the mind skillfully remains even and steady all while loud buttons are being pushed by your practice.  You will find that life has less and less ability to push you around because your mind remains steady and even whether on the mat or off.  The more your mind remains steady, the less you feed those pet peeves and even they begin to fade away.

This is not something that happens by going to a weekly Yoga class at the local studio.  This doesn’t even happen if you go daily to the Yoga studio.  Not because the studio can’t help but because the studio is only a place to practice.  This happens only when you willingly, intentionally begin to stare yourself in the face and see you as you truly are.  Sounds hard, right?  When you realize that the alternative is to live with your pet peeves and all your buttons and the pain they cause you, it still sounds hard but much more worth it.  When you realize that life will have less power to push you around, to bruise and batter you; it suddenly doesn’t matter how hard it is, you want to be free.


Start Today

Are you ready to be free?  Start your practice today.  Find a good teacher, I recommend Amrit Yoga trained teachers but there are other good teachers out there.  If you live within an hour’s drive of Pleasant Grove then you should come to my classes through Wasatch School of Yoga.  You will learn how to be free and experience freedom yourself.  New courses are starting tonight and Thursday.  You can still register for either course today.

Is it worth it?  Do you want to be free?

Jai Bhagwan