Shifts in Perspective



Ya’ll know I have a day job and a very long commute, for the past 3 years. On Tuesday, my train was delayed. Arg! Irritated! It happens a lot! Then found out someone had jumped in front of it (again). My soul sunk and my edge softened.

Shift in perspective. While I felt a sting in my heart, I also took immediate action. I bolted from the train station to catch the bus instead – because I needed to get home. I was literally sprinting across San Francisco (heart burning, legs like noodles, sweat dripping between boobs, shoulder cramping from my purse with laptop) and I made it on time! As I saw the bus pulling out, I waved my arms for the bus to wait, but the bus driver waved a finger at me – the bus was too full. And it left. By now I knew it would take me 2.5-3 hours to get home. Sweaty, out of breath, defeated. F. 2-3 hours…

So many were stranded and heading to the bus and I said to the woman behind me, “Well, it sucks, but someone jumped…so I think there are other people having a much worse night than we are.” And she said, “Yeah, perspective.” With tears in my eyes (out of sadness for them and heart-rocking gratitude for what I have), I ran a list of gratitude for everything in my life and sent a big blessing to all those in pain.

Another shift in perspective. At the same time, a co-worker was complaining on FB about the train and commute. I let her know it was because someone had jumped…to try and help her perspective too. She said I was a better person than she was and that she was not sympathetic to someone who jumps during rush hour and makes her miss time with her kids. Hm. Different perspective and clearly she was pissed. I was no longer upset. I wondered how my shift in perspective actually benefited my mind and body by reducing the stress I felt. And wondered if and for how long her stress levels stayed escalated. Perspective shift: I remain peaceful and therefore more healthy.

So yesterday, the train was delayed AGAIN due to police activity (omg, what is the lesson?!). As my head filled with all the reasons why I hate the commute and all the things it takes away from me, I crammed like a sardine into the train. My gray Target t-shirt showed my sweat rings under my pits and sweat soaking in the front of my shirt. F this. I was so mad. But I was glad I was wearing sneakers.

At the train station transfer, there was a super long line again, my saving grace mantra often is, “20 more minutes, only 20 more minutes..I can do this. It’s a blip on the radar.” When I crammed on the 2nd train, I saw a woman I used to ride with years ago. She is in a wheelchair and doesn’t have any arms or legs. Perspective shift: I am awashed with gratitude, peace and admiration. I’ve always admired her style as she looks so put together all the time wearing beautiful blouses and skirts. She carries a slight smile and her hair is a sassy-red color. Her comment yesterday to someone was, “It’s definitely more crowded than usual.” and then she shrugged and smiled. I smiled. She had a lightness I did not have, but she rubbed off on me. I wear a gray Target t-shirt (to work! And no I don’t work at a gym) while this woman dresses like she cares. Perspective shift: Make the most of what I have and SHOW it.

At that moment, a nice guy offered me a seat. I asked if he was sure and he said he had been sitting all day. I thanked him. Perspective shift: People give gifts just at the right time, I always have a net. Always. I sat down and got tears in my eyes. Tears because I was so tired. Tears because I hate my commute. Tears because if I had my commuting time back, I could do more with Ayurveda — I feel blocked in so many ways. Tears because I was disappointed in my bad attitude while this woman just presses on with grace, successfully. Tears out of admiration for her — she clearly faces many more obstacles each day than I do — yet she rocks it. I wondered if she ever complained. I wondered what the hell I had to complain about. I felt icky and ashamed about my trivial irritations. Yet, I have a right to feel how I’m going to feel. And sometimes two bad commutes in a week puts us over the edge.

I got home and cried while hugging my husband. So many things running through my head and the biggest is: GET YOUR BOOK DONE, MONICA. YOU HAVE A BIG JOB TO DO IN AYURVEDA. THE WORLD NEEDS THIS GIFT. SHOW IT. We are finessing final details now…and yes it’s taking a little longer. But I want it to shine like that woman on the train and not settle for a gray t-shirt. If it takes me a few minutes longer to do it, I will. Love you, Monica B.

10 Responses to Shifts in Perspective

  1. Alexis says:

    Beautiful share, Monica! Don’t stop doing what you do, the world needs it. Every time I read your blog it always lifts my spirits and reconnects me to the gift that is Ayurveda!

  2. Katie Clark says:

    Oh my dear – as you’ve said to me, while you feel like you’re stuck, something GOOD is manifesting. While my commute is basically traffic-free and by the ocean, there are trade-offs for living here. Sending you hugs, less traffic, and working efficiently public transportation!

  3. Bettina says:

    Oh Monica! Hang in there, and I can’t wait to see your book in the world.

  4. Shivani says:

    Thank you so much. You are so amazing. Its’ okay. Take your time.
    I had a 3+ hour long commute last year and it’s literally the most frustrating thing ever. But audiobooks helped A LOT. Suggested read – fault in our stars (you will love me for this)

    • Monica says:

      Thank you, Shivani!! Yes the commute is a wild kicker. I do utilize meditation on the bus ride to work :) Hugs!

      • Devan says:

        Monica, I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on the blog before, but when I was first exploring Ayurveda a couple years ago, this blog taught me so much, and the thing I loved the most was your honesty. You weren’t trying to give off some perfect guru vibe, you were just a regular person, using the power of Ayurveda in your life and sharing it with others. Your writing and perspectives have helped me so much. Ayurveda is now an important part of my life, and you helped make that happen. I am SO excited about your book, I know it will be amazing and so full of love. Take good care of yourself and know that you are making a difference in a lot of lives!

      • Monica says:

        Oh Devan!! Thank you for your lovely note – it warms my heart to know that how I feel is also felt by others. And isn’t it true…this life is not about being perfect, it’s about making the most of what we have!! Thank you for reading and I’m SO excited to share my book with you – it’s not long now – right around the corner! Thank you thank you for making my day. xoxo

  5. Sarah says:

    Love you too.

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