“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” – Ram Dass

For those of us who traveled away from Boulder for the holidays, we can be pretty quickly confronted with the reality of the world beyond our bubble.

There is a certain flavor of the place we grew up, the people who helped shape us into the people we are today. Sometimes it’s exciting or nostalgic to look back on those people and places. Sometimes it’s painful or sad.

Whatever the flavor of “home,” relational patterns tend to resurface when we’re around our families, even after being away for a year or more. These old patterns might throw us off our yogic center, trigger something, or push a button.

In moments like this, we all have a choice: we can choose to react in old patterns or choose to change our perspective of the people around us. If we decide to see each person’s actions or words as either an act of love or a call for love, how would it change our interactions?

Our yoga practice starts on our mats—being kind and compassionate to ourselves—but we have the choice to carry that practice back to our families, friendships, jobs, and whatever else the “outside” world holds for us. Your relationships will change—even the most difficult ones—when you choose to see them with a kind perspective.