If you’ve ever been in a hot yoga class you know there’s a lot going on- heat, sweating bodies, focus, determination…and this one time, some really vocal flatulence. Now, if you’re a hot yoga regular, you’ve probably experienced that more than once. But it certainly changes the trajectory of things when you’re the farter. 

It was a small class, like only 6 people, so it was pretty obvious who was the culprit. And to make matters worse, it was not one of those quiet little puffs of air. It was loud and long. Aaand after I did it, I couldn’t contain my laughter. I was laying in a puddle of sweat, stinking up my side of the room and I lost it! There was no containing my laughter.

I had channeled my inner 12 year old boy!

But then, something wonderful happened. Everyone else started laughing with me, including my teacher. I really don’t remember what my teacher said- probably something very zen and along the lines of “it’s ok, better to let it out than hold it in.” None of that mattered because in that moment, the “undamage” had been done. It was time to get off my high horse, and LIGHTEN UP!

I’ve always been known as a happy go lucky kinda gal, with a sprinkle of goofball. But when I go into “focus” mode, I can be a bit too rigid about how I want things done- there’s not a lot of gray area in the life task department.

Here’s the backstory behind my time in super serious mode…

Back then, I was finishing up my last semester at Sac State, getting ready to move to San Diego for my internship at Naval Medical Center. I had spent the last few years studying my tail off, and I had managed to scrape out a 3.9 GPA. I was carving a path into a happy and healthy lifestyle. Or so I thought. 

In retrospect, it all sounds noble and somewhat admirable. But, as it turns out, there was one thing missing in my life- and it was reality. 

So about that rigidity…

I was so wrapped up in my own processes, working hard, studying diligently, trying to be a straight A student, exercising regularly, and eating super healthy, that I ignored the basics of being a tolerable human. I expected to do things my way and my way only. Not only would I not veer from my course, I wouldn’t even consider any advice, or suggestions about trying something different.

There’s nothing wrong with being hyper-focused on reaching your goals. It has its merits, but when your happiness and relationships start to suffer, it’s time to get over yourself. You run the risk of missing out on many things in life, as well as pissing off your friends and loved ones. All because you can’t get out the never ending cycle of “perfection.” I had fallen prey to one thing I swore I’d never become. I became obsessed with how it all looked from the outside. That, my dahling, is no way to live. 

My experiences have taught me that, if you’re not careful, something is going to happen to make you stand up and realize you’re becoming irrational and difficult. Enter the fart! 

Believe me, there’s nothing like ripping a big one in a crowd of people (big or small) to put your life into perspective. As it turns out, my little (big) fart was really a blessing in disguise, albeit a stinky one, but one that made me stand up and take note. 

So let me save you from the depths of public humiliation.

Before you go and broadcast your bodily functions in a way that sets you straight, take a few of these tips into consideration. They can be helpful when you find yourself in the throws of an intense life circumstance:

  • Take time to laugh it out. Since then, whenever life gets too heavy, or I’m feeling any sort of “negative” emotion, I watch or listen to something funny. Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Dave Chappell are my go-to’s , but choose whatever brand of funny works for you. Laughter really is the best medicine. 
  • Accept what is and move on. The only thing we really have total control over is ourselves. So how you react in any given situation throughout your day is only up to you. If someone cuts you off in traffic, is giving  them the finger and screaming obscenities really going to change the outcome? No. In the grand scheme of things, there’s no reason to make more out of something than needed. If you take a moment to see your situation from an outside perspective, then you’ll see that there’s many different ways to carve a path forward from it. Choose the one that feels the best and stick to it. 
  • Just know that if something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, then there’s a better thing for you out there. I’m not trying to hippie dippy here. But 9 times out of 10, your life doesn’t get worse because something didn’t happen. I would’ve had just as a successful internship and job opportunities with a 3.0 GPA. Furthermore, “eating clean” to the point of starving really wasn’t worth the 10 pounds. Learn to shift your perspective. 

I don’t doubt that there aren’t serious topics in life that must be addressed. Medical ailments, challenges in your relationships, loss of your job, paying your bills. These are all things that need your total attention. Just don’t let these circumstances change you into a bitter and petulant tyrant. 

Remember to live it as happy and be realistic as you can.

These last 18 months have put us to the test. In my humble opinion, we’ll never be “normal” again. Things have shifted. I’d like the think that people are more aware of things, but maybe that’s the optimistic farter in me. It’s easy to let the stress of the world get you down, but don’t take it to the point of extremes. Find your way to keep things light, take good care of yourself, and for God’s sake, don’t hold it in!