Assume the best, be ready for the worst

Last week I spent an incredible week on retreat for training on Stress & Vitality. One of the ideas that our teacher, Shiv Charan Singh threw out there was to “assume the best and be ready for the worst”.

This idea gets me in many ways. Firstly, there is a subtlety to the energy of thinking the best of a situation or of someone. Assuming the best of someone can throw the responsibility to them to live up to your good intention of them. It also sets the groundwork for positive energy in your interactions. It’s like starting with a ‘beginners mind’, an open heart, a smile on the ready. On the flipside, if you assume the worst, according to the universal laws of nature, you’re much more likely to get it.

Yogic philosophy encourages us to see God in all. To look for the God in someone. There is something deeply beautiful about approaching someone with an eye to see the God in them. That point of connection, where we are all one. Looking for that place in someone that touches your heart and surprises you with its uniqueness. Looking for the God in what they are telling you – be it welcome or not. Because each moment is as it should be and there are lessons and signs in every moment if you can approach them from this perspective.

We all know that life hardly ever plays out exactly the way we think it should. Being ready for the worst is not expecting it; it’s being equipped to handle what comes. To defend ourselves against what is not in our highest good. Readiness for the worst is what we develop through our yoga practice and our daily practice of awareness of the self. Through awareness we observe and aim to manage our triggers, our emotional responses. We set an intention to shift karmas and come less from an emotional state and more from a neutral space.

By assuming the best we’re taking a whole lot of stress out of the equation by not worrying or weighing ourselves down with projected fears that may never play out. Instead, we reframe our perspective and look for the delight, the beauty. Throw out energetic beauty-hooks and beauty will show itself – perhaps in the most surprising places.


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