Last week I had “one of those days.” You know the kind, where everything is going wrong and everyone is on your last nerve. Work was stressful, my kids were fighting, even my cats were fighting. Before I blew a gasket, I packed the kids in the car and headed off for yoga, breathing in and out, counting to ten.
I ran in and laid my yoga mat down, then rushed my warring boys off to kid-care in the gym. I returned just in time to see one of my fellow yogis literally pick my yoga mat up and toss it to the side, as she preceded to take my space.
Breathing… I asked another woman who saw this if she would mind moving up about 6 inches so I could have someplace to put my mat. She said no. She needed all of the space she was occupying and all the space surrounding it.
Thus began my inner rant – dividing myself from “those people” – the ones who don’t get what yoga is all about. “Those people” I assured myself, “are ruining my experience, and my whole Saturday!”
I wanted to see myself as separate from these defensive, space-grubbing narcissists. But then I remembered that we are connnected…
Joni Mitchell sang it 40 years ago, “We are stardust…we are golden…”
This is not just some hippie-dippie statement full of moonbeams. There is actually some real science behind it.
Astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains it this way:
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally, stardust.”
In other words, I am connected to every person in this Universe, even the ones I don’t like. They way that I respond to others will affect me just as much (if not more) than it affects them.
So I breathed, and calmed myself and found another space to occupy.
People may have horrible manners and display sefishness, but we are connected. They are, we are, I am connected to everything in the universe, and made of the very same matter. Whether I like it or not.
And just when I want to struggle against the fact that this is true, here’s something else Tyson says, “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it. ”