Getting Out of the “All-or-Nothing” Mindset

Several weeks ago I decided to do a weekend yoga workshop.
I had never done one before.

This one was being taught by a friend who had gone to India to study this particular style of yoga (Surya Kriya) with an Eastern Mystic named Sadhguru, and I thought, “What the heck? It’ll be good for me.”

Going in, I assumed it would be a regular yoga type deal – a few sitting postures, some standing postures, etc.

Well, by the 2nd hour of the first day, I was squirming, cursing, uncomfortable, thinking, “I’m paying for this?”

It was unlike any other style I’d learned, particularly in the way she was teaching it. There was so much sitting on the floor, with no props (I like all the cushions I’m used to using!), watching, and visualizing. My back hurt, my hips hurt, and most of all, my ego hurt.

Why can’t I do this? Why are they making me do this? This sucks! Get me out of here…

But I stayed. Was it determination or self-inflicted torture? I wasn’t sure at that point.  

I went home after 4 hours, hobbling out the door.

And slept the best I’d slept in years. Super sound. Like I did when I was a child.

Maybe there was something to this yoga…

I returned bright eyed the next morning. Still hobbling. We listened to a tape of the Indian teacher. He started off (imagine an Indian accent), “It is very important that you do this practice every day to receive the benefits. You must do it twice a day for the next 40 days.”

My first thought was, “F@#CK THAT.”

Did I just think that? Yup – it’s exactly how my ego responded. No way, no can do, will not.

I left the second day not really knowing what I’d do. “This is way more than I signed up for” I reasoned. 

“Open to the possibility,” my wisdom voice inside said.

Resistance. “I don’t have time for this, what’s the point, I can’t…”

I slept soundly again that night. Mmm, maybe there’s something to this.

I got up the next morning, thought about it, and made a compromise between my ego and my wisdom. “O.k. Angela, how about once a day? There’s something to this yoga that is already helping you.” I agreed.

I’m now on day 38 of 40. My sound sleep continues to be a gift. Not every night, but most nights. My body is changing – I can almost touch my knees to my toes, and my lower back is so much stronger and flexible. 

The funny part? We had a “refresher” a couple of weeks ago with the teacher. I told her I was doing it once a day instead of twice. She paused and replied, “Then you must do it for 80 days, and not stop at 40.” 

My first thought? “Oh goodie!”

What have you said NO WAY to in your life that you know would be helpful or healthy for you? Does it have to be all or nothing?

I used to believe I had to meditate for 20 min. a day or it wasn’t worth it. So I didn’t even start, until a teacher said to me, “Angela, begin with 5 min. That’s a great place to start.” 

I thought, “Wow, you can do that?” 

It’s funny how our minds get caught in one way of thinking and lose the perspective of what’s possible.

Look at something in your life today that you think is not possible because it “has to be all or nothing,” and open to where there is middle ground or a starting point. 

What I often say to my clients is, “Open to the possibility of…” Because opening to possibility gives you freedom. Freedom from all the ways your mind says life “should” be into a life of more joy, expression, fun, and getting want you truly want: happiness.

Categories: Self-Organization

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

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