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Dec 11, 2023

The wrong direction

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

Hi friends,

Last night, I cussed out my yoga teacher.

Granted it was only in my head, but I'm hoping she received the message telepathically.

Every Sunday night, I go to a hot yoga class. The name of the class is "Fire Glow" and its basically 30 minutes of intense yoga poses, followed by a luxurious 30-minute nap on your mat.

It's peaceful and perfect, and exactly what helps me transition back into the work week.

Audrey is usually the teacher - and she is amazing. She always guides us through the same flow, the same well-thought out sequence, with all the most restorative poses.

I always know what to expect from Audrey's class. I'm able to turn off my mind, relax into the postures, and sprint toward the final resting pose.

But, last night, there was a substitute teacher.

And she didn't follow Audrey's rules.

She had her own sequence. And it was f'ing annoying.

If you are familiar with yoga you know that, typically, everyone is facing the front of the room. Most poses face forward toward the top of your mat, with a few poses facing the side of your mat.

About halfway through the first sequence, the substitute teacher asked us to turn and face the back of the room, doing several poses in the opposite direction.

It was awful. We were facing the wrong direction - and I hated it.

I wanted the sequence I was used to - the one where I could anticipate what was coming next. The one where I could quiet my mind and just move to the natural rhythm of what was familiar to me.

After class, I was reflecting a bit on the experience. I began thinking about how this same concept can be applied to many different areas of life.

I'm confident I'm not alone in saying that abruptly facing the wrong direction can be more than a little unsettling. I think back to experiences I've had in my life where an important relationship takes an unexpected pivot, and I'm suddenly facing a different direction. Or, my career is heading down a certain path and, then, an abrupt change occurs. Or, I have my hopes set on a particular outcome that, for whatever reason, doesn't pan out.

I know I could share some insightful words here about how change typically leads to growth, or how a different path is often the very thing we didn't know we needed.

But, that's a sliver lining for another day.

Today, I simply want to acknowledge, and affirm, how unsettling it is when things do not turn out the way we planned. When the wrong direction is sprung upon us, often without our choosing, and sometimes without explanation.

Friends, if you've experienced something like this, know that you are not alone. Suddenly facing the wrong direction is unsettling. It's unfamiliar, and uncomfortable, and, sorta f'ing annoying.

Often, no foreseeable good can come from it. Most of the time, we just want the old, familiar sequence back.

Being unsettled by a new and unfamiliar direction is a natural, incredibly understandable response to an unexpected change.

If this is something that hits close to home today - may I offer you these words: Go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to be disappointed, frustrated, angry, or sad. Give yourself permission to mourn the direction you thought you were headed.

And be patient with yourself -- allow yourself all the love and grace and time you need to adjust.

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

Each Monday, I’ll share my perspective on topics that mean a lot to me: growth, resilience, relationships, and leadership.

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