Pops and I circa 1988

I have the coolest Dad. I know everyone says that, but because he’s my dad, he’s totally awesome. I take after many of my Dad’s qualities that drive my Mom crazy, but he has taught me a lot. He and I are both dreamers, and bless my Mom for supporting all of the crazy stuff we come up with and for shutting it down when it’s too far out. I do owe my Dad an apology for scraping the bottom of his new car on a driveway, but because he taught me to be so honest, I told him. And now he can’t really get mad. So there! He will try almost anything, including a Kale Smoothie for breakfast. He is incredibly smart and crafty – how else can you get the Mercedes Benz dealership to work on a recall from the 90’s on your 27 year old car? Even if your Dad is no longer around, there is probably someone in your life who expresses some father-like qualities. In the spirit of Father’s Day, here are some life lessons via my Dad…

1.     You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. 
Any time I whine about school, work, or life, my Dad always responds with this quote. It is very similar to taking the high road in any situation. Whenever you need something, try to be super nice to whoever is keeping it from you. It is hard to resist someone who is genuinely nice to you and if you don’t get your way, you will get something close to it, or even better!

2.     Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass. 
So, if being nice to people didn’t get you your way and now you are in a sucky situation, this lesson reminds you that it’ll be over someday. This is in the Yoga Sutra’s as well. Not in the same words, but you get the gist. Everything comes to an end. Whether it is something you are truly enjoying or hating, there is always an end. It may not be in sight – but it is there. I joke about this in class when we are in a difficult or uncomfortable posture as I challenge the class to relax into the posture to be able to stand it for however long we are there. We don’t always get a choice in how long we must endure something; so, make the most of it because it will come to an end.

3.     Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
My father sometimes acts like a giant man-child. It can be obnoxious at times, but other times it has led to laughing uncontrollably and the most amazing adventures. I drive my boyfriend crazy when I insist that going the way not on the GPS will lead to an adventure. There is no “lost”, only adventures. But he has taught me that there is no reason to take everything so seriously. It is important to make the most out of every situation, because having fun is way better than not having fun. Which leads me to the next lesson…

4.     Stop and smell the roses.
My Dad has taught me to stop and smell the roses both literally and figuratively. When we go on walks through the neighborhood, we do stop and smell the roses (they smell really good, btw). This appreciation for the little things in life has shown me that the end result isn’t as important as the journey. Which could be said for yoga too. There isn’t really an end point in yoga. Maybe if you set a goal (free-standing handstand anyone??) the end point would be when you achieved it. Except as a yogi, you inevitably have another goal that you’re already working on. I explain my non-4.0 GPA in college with this. It’s super cool that I received a fancy paper after four years, but the more memorable was the in between. Like staying up late with my roommates so we could watch every N’SYNC video (ok, I made them watch) or watching Stomp the Yard a million times just because. If you don’t value or make time for the middle part like smelling the roses, then you won’t have much to show for at the end of your journey.

5.     The most important lesson of all: act like you know what you are doing, and people will believe you. 
You will need some knowledge in the subject area to really pull this off, but if you say anything with conviction, the other person (or group if you’re that daring) will believe you. Also, make sure that what you’re saying makes some sense, or they’ll be on to your game instantly. Acting like your confident, even when you’re not, will lead others to believe you are, and then maybe you will find your own confidence as a side effect.  The best part is when I pull this on my Dad. Nothing like having the tables turned on you!

Hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day celebrating what your Dad’s have taught you, whether or not they’re still here.