When I was young, I couldn’t wait to be an adult.
I remember being crushed under the weight of peer pressure – peer pressure to play sports, date girls, smoke pot, do dangerous things to prove I was a cool kid. And this is exactly the reason why I couldn’t wait to grow up – to escape this oppressive rite of passage.
Fast forward to last night. I met three old friends for a birthday dinner at a swank restaurant in Manhattan. Our ages ranged from 50 to 80. (Note to the New Yorkers out there: Caravaggio on Madison Ave. is a gustatory delight.)
It was quite cold outside, so when I got to the table, I ordered a hot tea to warm up. Since everyone was already drinking Cosmopolitans, I braced myself for the gibes, and I wasn’t disappointed.
“Tea?! C’mon! Live a little!!”
“Ohhhh Mr. Yoga has arrived.”
And then, just like that, the simple act of ordering tea became a Thing. It shouldn’t be a Thing. And by Thing, I mean that moment when a small, innocuous choice becomes amplified and draws both unwanted attention and more than a trace amount of defensiveness.
To be fair, my friends are gorgeous humans. But I realized at that moment that peer pressure never really goes away. And while I know my pals mean no malice or ill will, it’s still utterly annoying to keep reliving this adolescent paradigm.
Truth be told, I recently went to my doctor for the first time in two years, and while my overall health is excellent, blood tests showed evidence that I haven’t been Mr. Yoga after all. I hurt my back badly two months ago, so there has been very little exercise and a whole lotta compulsive sugar and fat consumption. My cholesterol and triglycerides had skyrocketed. Markers for pre-diabetes were elevated. And I had gained close to 10 extra pounds (!).
So I became super disciplined about following my daily Ayurveda habits these past weeks. And since I will be re-launching my Ayurveda habits course, Habit Evolution, in early 2022, I had to pull it together. I can’t teach what I, myself, am not practicing. Imposter Syndrome is real.
When we make clear, healthy choices to evolve our identity through habit change, the societal momentum to suck us back into an outdated identity is powerful.
Our relationships also need to evolve as we evolve.
When Habit Evolution launches, please know you will be part of a community of accountability partners who have your back when that momentum threatens to suck you backward instead of propel you forward.
Accountability Partner ≠ Peer Pressure
Accountability Partner = Peer Pressure, All Grown Up
Now, to conclude our dinner story, as dessert menus were distributed last night, and everyone ordered a lavish dessert, I braced once again as I ordered a peppermint tea instead of crème brûlée. This time even the septuagenarian waiter couldn’t resist.
“I guess you are Mr. Tea tonight!”
(Giggles from friends ensue.)
And, there again, an unremarkable peppermint-tea-moment became a Thing.