Give up on giving up

I cant tell you how many people have said to me “I cannot do yoga because I am not a flexible person.” But this has never made sense to me because I am not inherently a flexible person either. Doing yoga is what makes me flexible! Even if I never look good while I’m doing it, I still do it because it feels good. It pushes me. It grows me. It makes me durable in my life.

What I have learned from my practice is that not being able to do the posture and continuing to try brings a different kind of benefit than the full posture itself. One that is even more potent than doing the posture well. This is resiliency. (Humility and patience are up there too.)

But this can be hard to remember in the moment. In fact, lately, I’ve been riding my own edge so hard in my creative endeavours that I have been ready to just give up on certain things. I want to give up so bad and then I go to yoga and I get tangled up in knots and I remember that I gave up on giving up long ago.

If it’s hard, I keep going because in yoga just as in life, I know that my limitations are my greatest initiations. They are invitations to explore my unknown depths. I have learned to stay with them. Even if it never becomes graceful, and I never overcome them. 

Do not let your inflexibility or your inability to do something well from the start, stop you from stepping onto the path.  

Failing forward means falling on your face and getting up again. And again, and again. 
It may be exhausting, frustrating as hell. But there is triumph in the minuscule adjustments and the steady growth that inevitably comes. 
It takes bravery, grit, and a strong heart to endure the long slow road. It becomes how you live. It permeates everything you do.

The illusion is, that courageous living looks graceful or powerful. 

This is only true when you look at someone else from the outside (at the right moment). 

On the inside courage is ugly. Bravery really means facing your fear and resistance, efforting through the pain and embarrassment. 
In order to live boldly, you must be willing to be bad at things, even fail miserably.

If you have a sincere desire to grow and evolve then you know that humility is your friend. It can be challenging to remember at times, which is why it is so important to have supportive people in your life who are on the path with you. But most importantly…mind the voices in your own head.

For me this week, I am working on that one big time. It’s all about being kind to myself. I’m talking kindergarten kindness. Like anything I do is enough. Anything I make is worth hanging on the refrigerator. I need this kind of gentle open-hearted self-talk in order to combat the pushy bitch that lives inside my brain. She is important too of course because she makes me stick at it and go places I would never otherwise go.

But balance is key.  Self-compassion, patience, and forgiveness require practice. Along with saying yes to your soul’s quiet yearnings even when you are afraid. Even if you think you suck.  

Only give up on giving up. The rewards for showing up are so much greater than the pain you avoid from staying home, opting out, sleeping in.