I remember walking to the bus stop one day. Sweat was dripping down my chin, while I gazed upon the faded metal bus-stop sign a block away. I saw an unorganized huddle of bodies. A few sat on the wooden bench, staring through the hazy Plexiglas of the awning. I checked my watch and noticed that I was running ahead of schedule. The bus wouldn’t be coming for at least five more minutes.
In that instant, I heard big tires rolling up behind me, the punched-in sound of a clutch cranking into the floor, the shaking of windows as the tires dipped into a small pothole. I quickly turned my head and saw the bus. There was no traffic to slow it down. I was about a block away and stuck between two fateful options.
The first option was to stand there and surrender my fate to the universe. I could repeat to myself, “Oh, well. I guess the universe didn’t want me to catch the bus today,” and regurgitate that famous cliché, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to happen.”
The second option before me was to take my bag, hold on to it a bit tighter, and start running up the block. This option didn’t guarantee that I would catch the bus, but it engaged my free will so that it did not have to breathe in the exhaust of resignation.
Contemplation on choice is sometimes the toughest part of any day. The universe definitely provided some context that made it a bit harder for me to catch the bus, yet still, I could act to change the situation. Sure, that bus came ahead of schedule, but my reaction was what was in my control and what my yoga practice has taught me. My reaction could have been to blame it on the universe, to fall into the trap of “I guess it wasn’t meant to happen.” Or to pick up my heels and start running.
Each moment of life, we set into motion a series of succeeding moments that will ultimately shape our future. It is my choice to either leave my destiny up to the universe or choose to shift my awareness and embrace the knowledge that I am the universe. When this happens, what we previously blame on an outside entity, or “destiny,” is actually something we understand as within us.
The choice is mine. The choice is yours. The choice is ours.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that destiny is within us? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to shift your awareness from external circumstances to internal choices? What helps you develop such an awareness?