I achieved a goal over the weekend. And then I achieved it again today. I hope to achieve it again tonight…
My yogi headstand. I got up and back down smoothly without the help of a spotter or the trusty wall behind me! I can’t even express what an accomplishment this is in my life. I’ve been doing yoga for years, but always operated under the belief that there are just certain postures I’m not capable of getting into; my body (and my mind) just wouldn’t cooperate. Headstand was one such posture. I’ve never done acrobatics or gymnastics or anything crazy like that which involves tossing my body around and contorting it into strange formations. Just the idea of turning upside-down and balancing on my head and forearms was such a ridiculous notion that I honestly never even bothered really trying. I gave it a few half-assed attempts in the past, but after not even being able to kick my feet over my head, I immediately gave up and instead watched in awe as other seemingly “normal” people rocked it out gracefully. “How do they make it look so easy??”, I wondered.
Then one day, about 2 months ago, my lovely friend Anna (who was at the time training to be a yoga teacher) asked if I wanted to try it with her help. Nervously I agreed to have her spot me. And by “spot me”, what I really mean is she basically flipped my legs up for me. The sensation was at first terrifying and unsteady, and I wanted to get down as fast as possible; let gravity take me back to earth. But then once I was back down, I realized that it actually had been quite thrilling! Suddenly I knew I had to do it. I became absolutely determined to meet the challenge. I started practicing my headstand every day, working on getting stronger and more confident. I fell a lot. I still fall a lot. I remember the first time I was able to pull my feet away from the wall and balance for about three to five seconds; I was so excited! The feeling was just so unique, so unlike anything else.
It’s refreshing to turn the world upside-down. It can provide a much needed shift in perspective that we don’t usually get to experience. It’s nice to shake things up a little, even just for a few breaths, a few moments. I think getting past the fear is the hardest part. What’s going on in your mind is probably scarier than the actual doing. Once you move beyond that, what you usually find is pretty exciting. Whether you’re learning how to do a headstand, fly a plane, start a new job, move to a new city, ride a bike, swim in the ocean, ski down a mountain, or ask someone you like to go out with you….the same applies. I guess there’s a lot of wisdom in that old adage that tells us to do something every day that scares us. Facing what you’re afraid of sets you free.
Sometimes we just need a little push. Maybe someone to point us in the right direction. Someone to spot us, or even turn us upside-down because we’re afraid to do it ourselves.
Find your inner coach, your motivator, who speaks much louder than the fear, if you really listen. Be brave. Whatever it is that you’re doing, allow yourself to BE HERE NOW and really live it. Everything only ever happens NOW; life is made of moments. Collect beautiful memories, but don’t live in them. Dream fantastic dreams of the things you’ll do and be, but don’t live in those either. Because right now, YOU ARE HERE (insert little red arrow pointing at you on the map of life).