Last Wednesday (11/3), after Community Yoga, I was getting packed up: blocks, mats, accessories, music – the usual. It usually takes me some time – especially that evening as I had some paperwork to attend to. When I was nearly done getting the car packed – another vehicle drove up.
“I am so glad you are still here”, they said.
Those were the words of Bob. Actually I think Coni, Bob’s wife, said them. But since this story is primarily about Bob, we’ll just assign those words to him. Another way you can tell that Bob is a big part of this post is by the title.
In the next 30 seconds or so, it was declared that Bob had lost his driver’s license and that they wanted to check the hall, as that was where he last had it.
I had just scoured the hall myself as I was getting packed up, but the three of us went back inside and gave a look. Not there. Then Bob and Coni checked the grounds outside the hall with their flashlight – checking the pathway from the hall to Bob’s parking spot. Still no luck.
By now they had told me that they had looked all throughout his car & High’s gas station (I believe). Bob said he had placed his license in his shoe before class and it must have dropped out somewhere.
It was now past 9pm and they called off the search. Here I should note that throughout this event Bob & Coni were their usual selves. That means they were laughing, joking, and in a light-hearted mood.
It was basically reasoned that a trip was due to MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration.) But that is not the end of the story.
The next evening (11/4) I emailed Bob @ 9:33pm and wrote, “Did you come up with your license? I hope so….”. That was the entire email.
Precisely, 23hrs and 20 minutes later I got the following reply:
“Well, yes I did! When I found it later Thursday night, I had to laugh really hard, even though I was the only one home at the time. Turns out it was still in one of the shoes I had on the whole time when I came back to the hall looking for it. I never felt it! After work Thursday night I did some things around the house, then took off the same shoes. I moved them on the floor and then the license slid back towards the heel to reveal itself to me! I felt soooo dumb. Never felt it. Like I said… it was with me when we came back to the hall Wednesday evening and every place else we back-tracked to looking for it.”
Indeed Bob found his license.
There are thousands of “morals to the story”: Keep your license in your wallet, don’t put your license in your shoe, if you are married always give your license to your wife when doing yoga, etc. I am sure you can think of others.
For me the main message was this: Invariably we all do things like this – maybe once a week, 3 times a month, or maybe more or less frequently. But when we lose everyday type of items or do seemingly inane things, we should not also lose our minds. We should not become angry, upset, frustrated, etc. We all know what can happen. However not falling prey to this is far easier said than done. “Trying not to be upset” and “truly being in a place of ease & composure” are two radically different states of mind.
I saw Bob in the “heat of the moment” – outside looking for his license in the darkness of the late evening after a long day of work. And you know what, his disposition was exactly the same as it always is. There was no change. No doubt he was looking for his license, but his mental chemistry was totally normal: relaxed, joyful, humorous. To me that is what was most remarkable.
That is why I should really have titled this post as Yogi Bob. Because that is the way of the yogi – keeping mental equipoise through the invariable ups and downs of life.
One day I hope to be like Bob.
That’s the end of the story. Those looking for a bit of philosophy, here you go…
The Sanskrit word for this type of psychic balance or mental composure is santosha, i.e. the 2nd step of niyama sadhana. In total, niyama is comprised of 5 principles. And niyama itself is the 2nd limb of astaunga yoga, or the 8 limbs of yoga.