Happy Monday YOGANONYMOUS! This week I encourage all of you to put faith in yourselves. Enjoy your week, and enjoy the article!

I’ve recently started leading hikes in Harriman State Park with outdoor adventure group.  And it’s awesome.  It gets me outside, I get to meet tons of unbelievable people, and I get a workout in all at the same time.  Yesterday, I led a hike and yoga adventure with 12 amazing ladies.

I wish I could say the day was amazing as well.

First, I got lost right off the bat driving up to the park.  I was nervous, this being my first trip by myself, I was trying to remember a piece of advice another guide had given me about driving, and I second-guessed my own gut instinct.  Instead of heading into New Jersey, I headed us straight into the Bronx.  With a little assistance from my group, I made it back safely and we were on the way, but it shook me up for the rest of the day.  I felt like I had let them down by not being “all-knowing, powerful yogi/hiker/guide.”

And that’s when the day started to go downhill.  Because I had made a little mistake, I started doubting myself.

I won’t recount the gory details, but let’s say I got lost again once we pulled off the highway, got lost once on the trail, and was so nervous on the way back about getting lost, that I actually got lost again on the way back, making the group an hour late, and nearly causing a mutiny.  It was not a good day.

The one thing that makes a day like that miserable is that I could have prevented everything that went wrong.  And, yes, I know, I should live in the moment and appreciate every mistake that is made because it teaches me about the next moment, but I knew what I was doing.  The day could have been better if I just would have trusted my instinct and gone with the way I first thought was correct.  I didn’t listen to what my body was telling me; I ignored it because I was so wrapped up in trying not to make another mistake that I couldn’t even hear what my instincts were saying.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, trusting yourself and believing that it really all is within you.  There have been many times where I haven’t listened to my little gut whispering to me, only to realize after the decision has been made, that it was my gut that was telling me the best answer all along.  And then I look back and say, “I should have trusted myself all along!”

There’s a moral here (or, rather, a mantra!).  It’s that sometimes, we know ourselves better than we think we do.  We know what feels right and what makes us excited, what makes us very bored, and what makes us recoil in horror and fear.   We just have to listen a little closer, make a few more mistakes, and then know what it feels like when you make the right decision.

When I was taking my yoga teacher training, I’ll never forget what my teacher told us on a daily basis: “It’s all within you.”  Now, that seems pretty damn difficult to remember when I’m trying to do a standing split, or work my core muscles enough to stay stable in handstand, but somehow, knowing that it is in fact all within me makes it a little easier to deal with the crap sandwich that we’re often handed by life.  And, often times, it could be a lot worse.  When we were off trail yesterday, I didn’t panic (well, in front of anyone…I panicked a bit on the inside), but I did remember to tell myself “What’s the worst thing that can happen? We still have three more hours of daylight and we aren’t that far from where we went the wrong direction.  At least no one is injured and it’s not raining.”  And then, I had to turn inward and actually know that it was indeed all within me to solve this sucker of a problem and get everyone back safely.

How do you deal with stressful situations and tough choices?  Do you take a moment to meditate on it?  Do you play eenie-meenie-miny-mo’ and hope for the best? Do you listen to your gut, or do what you think you “should” do?