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Mind the Gap

In the London subway system, there are ubiquitous announcements and signs warning passengers to “Mind the Gap,” between the train platform and the train-car. I love using this reminder in other gaps that often frustrate me; for instance… the gap between expectations and reality!

I love to tell people that when I started to practice yoga, I could not touch my toes. (Now, I do every morning!) But this, of course, did not happen over night (and some mornings, it takes a whole lot longer to get there..). In so many things in life, we know that it takes time to change. Still, that gap can be frustrating, but, if we don’t give it any “mind,” we might just slip off the edge!

Practicing consistently, with good effort, and plenty of compassion is key to making the small baby-steps towards those ideals. We didn’t develop the habits we want to change overnight, and we are certainly not going to change them overnight. Balancing your diet, kicking the nail-biting habit, or touching your toes will take time, but don’t let your goals overwhelm you!

There is always this gap; and I don’t think this is a bad things, by any means! If our expectations or dreams were always met, there would be no room for growth (how boring!), however, if that gap is too wide, we may feel hopeless. The space between whatever an “ideal” diet, or the “perfect” relationship, or the “best” job, and wherever we find ourselves can often be debilitating, what with the added pressure of all the images of “ideal,” “perfect,” and “best” floating out there. So we’re not necessarily trying to close that gap, but to perhaps (1) be more realistic about the standards we hold ourselves to, (2) develop concrete steps along the way so we know we are making progress, and (3) be patient and… flexible!