With apologies to Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Rooney and or any other curmudgeonly observer of the mundane, have you noticed each year Halloween candy gets smaller and smaller?
This fall I ended up taking up a lot of spare candy — mainly from yoga studios — stuffing my pockets with tiny peanut butter cups and other sugar delivery systems. For the next couple days I’d snack on a piece here or there, or more realistically, whenever I passed the storage dish in my kitchen.
What’s a little piece? It’s so small. Mmmm chocolate.
A few days later I noticed I wasn’t feeling like my normal self and the most-likely culprit had to be these unplanned candy drops.
I’m not a nutritionist and you don’t need me to remind you that candy — or sugar — isn’t the best thing to ingest all the time. (Of course living life without the occasional dose of sweetness is a little too gray for my liking.)
This scenario continued to gnaw at me.
Would I scarf down an entire, full-size candy bar every time one passed my view? No. Thankfully my self-discipline (cough, cough tapas) is strong in this particular regard. Even so, it became easy to fall into the trap of thinking the small, bite-sized candies were nothing — imaginary calories.
From our yoga perspective there’s a couple thoughts that I applied and shared with students.
First and foremost, I’m grateful for the Kripalu-styled of yoga taught by Pranakriya that turns the awareness body inward so I’m capable of noticing that snacking on two packages of fun-sized M&M’s is why my face feels like it’s on fire. My self-observation allowed me to make a choice: enjoy the temporary goodness of candy … or feel awful a few minutes later.
More than this, it’s valuable to notice things happening in your life — on or off the mat — whether they’re “big” or “small.” So often we’re trained only to react or place value on something deemed significant with big red flashing letters.
Often life is a lot of small moments and these can pile up over time.
Sometimes, if not most times, these sort of things are beyond our control.
What we can control is how we observe them and how we react to them.
Granted it’s not often as easy as choosing not to eat a mini Twix an hour before bedtime, but if we look at it that way … maybe it makes it just a little less daunting.
On the more-positive side, as Halloween became Thanksgiving (before morphing immediately into Christmas) I thought this big/small analogy doesn’t need only apply toward negatives.
Why not offer ourselves gratitude and kindness in small doses over the course of the year in manageable drips rather than those designated times where life smacks you over the head and says, “NOW IS THE TIME TO BE THANKFUL”?
Since this is my final blog from 2019 I’d like to take an, ahem, small moment express my gratitude toward the readers along with wishing you a wonderful 2020. Your comments and feedback is truly appreciated.
Mike Cardillo, RYT-200, lives and teaches yoga in Connecticut. He believes yoga is more than simply making shapes with your body.