“Everything seems impossible until it’s done”
I love love love this quote. It has been my theme all week. I would like to relate it to yoga on the mat and then to my life out in the world.
Let me introduce you to a class of mine. They are so wonderful. A room full of women in the middle of their work day come to yoga and they are all beginners. I do a lot of yin with them because I know they love it but I also feel a need to throw some challenges at them from time to time too. When I do they would laugh at me and without even trying it would say I can’t do that. So yeah, they were right. Their bodies would say “oh we can’t? okay.” So I had enough of this. I know how capable these women are and they are getting in their own way. So I began this theme. Inviting them to simply try before prejudging their bodies. Come to the mat every class and check in with your ever changing energy. Some days you will be so surprised at what you can do and how strong you are becoming….and some days you will be frustrated that you can’t do something today that you could do yesterday. Life happens. Your body needs something different everyday. Your mind needs to be open to these possibilities of change and growth and surprise.
Practicing this for an hour every week or a few times a week, whatever your practice may be, will not only improve your yoga on the mat but your yoga in the real world as well. New stuff is hard sometimes. Relate that to your life however you need. Facing something new in any way is going to seem huge. Face it anyway, take your time facing it.
I’m 31 and have started my life over from scratch now about 5 or 6 times. As in, I got rid of everything I owned and could pack everything I did own into a 50 pound suitcase. (okay 65 pounds.) Yes it was scary and there were plenty of times I thought I was out of my league. Let that fuel you. Nothing is random. You did not randomly chose to be where you are in life. You are not randomly staying where you are in life. You are in it. Facing it. Falling in it. Failing sometimes maybe. Succeeding definitely. Because you are living it. I think the term fearlessly is thrown around loosely. I love the word and the vision it brings to mind but I think it is important remember that it is not the absence of fear. To me, fearlessly means to move forward in the face of fear. You are not carrying the fear with you. Acknowledge it because it is there to teach you something- it is not there to hold you back from living the best life you can imagine.
The first time I remembering feeling fear in my adult life was when I moved to NYC from Virginia when I was 21 years old. I sub leased a tiny apartment in Soho for the summer before acting school started- and when I say tiny I really mean the bedroom was pretty much the kitchen. I think jail cells are bigger. I didn’t see the place before I moved into it. I had only been to NYC like twice in my life. I was a truly sincere sweet naive southern country girl. My sister Nikki and me loaded my little Honda civic up to the max with lamps and hangers (I had no closet in that place), boxes of shoes and clothes, my prized possession stereo…pretty much all of it had to go back with her because there was no room. Not even for a lamp. Rewind a little bit, even driving into the city was out of the question for me. I pulled off as soon as we went through the tunnel to let Nikki drive to Soho because I was scared. My freaking car got towed that night because I had no idea to read street parking signs because I am from the country. I didn’t even know how to find where they towed my car because I had only been there 12 hours! Luckily a stranger passed by and overheard us and told me. The first few days were fun because I had Nikki and it felt like vacation but then she left with my car and all my stuff and I was alone in a big city. Hell yeah I was scared! I feel the need to mention that the night before I left my hometown, a few mean girls who were also my roommates and friends posted a bunch of mean signs about me all over our place of work and facebook. So I no longer felt welcome in my hometown either. I am sure this wasn’t an accident but rather something to force me into this new phase of my life without looking back. This was my new reality now and I needed to find out what that was going to look like.
So it was my first Saturday night and I lived in the middle of downtown New York City! I was sitting on my fire escape smoking a cigarette (yes I used to smoke. don’t judge me.) and I could hear the horns from the cabs, the screams from the excitement of the city, cats meowing randomly; I thought I cannot just sit here in my jail sized apartment in New York City. I got ready and decided to walk over to Bleeker street and get a drink. I felt awkward at first. But I did it. I met some people and hung out for about an hour and before I went home I was asked on a date for the next day. The date went nowhere at all but I got to walk around the city and learn about some new things with someone. I had fun. I let this trend continue all summer. I loved my neighbors in Soho and we got to do a ton of fun things together. They knew someone that owned a boat so we got to take it out on the Hudson one night and look at the amazing city. That skyline still takes my breath away. When we brought it back to dock it, my neighbor was trying to hold onto it to pull it in and fell in the Hudson. So gross. That river is gross. I finally found a job at a tiny diner in Soho. It was a 5 table place. Made a friend in the only other person that worked there and wandered around the city with him a lot too. He was a 37 year old actor. He said his agent told him that he would easily be cast as a rapist or murderer. One of the funniest guy I’ve ever known.
Just little bits and pieces of awesome memories that stemmed from facing my fear of being on my own. Facing this fear as soon as it hit me allowed me to move all over the place on my own and figure out who I am completely on my my own. Facing the fear only brought me positive experiences.
So here I was first month in NYC with 4 or 5 friends and experiences that will last my whole lifetime. Fear did not stop me from having the times of my life even though it sure tried. Learning to live with my new circumstances was important. I am sure my story is way more trivial than some out there, but the motto is still the same. I still had to DECIDE everyday to live positively in the face of fear and change.
Just thinking about New York City and how challenging it really is to live there makes me so excited to eventually write it all down. Bravery is following your heart, being scared, and doing it anyway. My morning meditation today reminded me that in order to move forward into the next amazing chapter of our lives, we must remain completely open to change, open to new ideas, open to feeling fear, open to all new opportunities and finding the light within them. Nothing is random. What are you learning from your life right now? Full awareness of life, God, your unique light or gift, and how you are learning to use it.
Feel free to tell me the first time you remember facing a big fear.
I am always sending you so much love.