I tell my yoga students, again and again, that if they're looking down, they will fall. End of story.
But I get it--it feels safer to look down--to know where you are in relation to the (very often very hard) ground. But your brain sends your body wherever it is your eyes land; that's what eyes are for--they're little homing devices that direct our too-eager-to-follow brain. So. Looking down? Going down.
But! Looking OUT--looking forward--> GOING forward. Sure, you can't see where you might (might!) land, but you will see where you're going. And I promise you--where you're going is a lot brighter, a lot closer, and lot more attainable than you might think.
If you're always looking down, how could you possibly know that? You keep falling and, inevitably, forward seems chronically far, persistently out of reach.
Just try it. Once, twice. Be brave. Have a landing pad if it makes you feel safer (I've got nothing against safety measures), but look forward. And keep looking forward. See h...
Man, I hear you. I so badly want to move out of this place of constant learning, constant feeling-my-way-ing. I want a steady paycheck and I want to stop worrying about grocery money, insurance premiums, and mounting debt. Sometimes that longing is so fierce it keeps me up all night--this gnawing metal-jawed machine-like churning that just spins me up into its orbit until sleep is laughable, progress of any kind is ridiculous, and I'm convinced I'll end up living in my Jeep if, of course, I can keep up with the car payments...
But then the sun finally comes up and, no, there's no magical solution. Well, I suppose there is: get up. Do one thing. Put that thing down, do the next. The only way to eat an elephant, as they say, is one bite at a time (man, that's a horrible analogy for this vegetarian...let's change it to tattoo an elephant--one color at a time; the elephant will dig it, at least, this imaginary one will...). It's not easy. Hell, no. It's frustrating as all get-out and slow-...
When I began my yoga practice at 19, I didn't have physical strength, not really. I had three-half-assed-times-a-week-at-the-gym strength, but that was it. Time, dedication, will, and determination have brought me whatever strength-of-body I have now, a decade-plus later.
But that's not the story I'm telling. We're easily impressed or even cowed by what we see a physical body do. Sure, why not? It's a groovy instrument. But true strength, humble and honest, graceful and kind strength? That takes a heck of a lot more than time and dedication to develop. In fact, physical strength is often where we go in lieu of strength of character, tricking ourselves into thinking they're one and the same.
To have strength of grace, you have to be able to walk into a room and let yourself to learn. You have to know that you have nothing to prove. You have to know that, while you may have expertise to contribute, you may be humbled at any moment, and you have to be okay with that. You have to kn...
Man. It'll be the death of us. But you know what's so freeing? Those words? They mean nothing. They don't exist.
The only thing that does is what's in front of you--and is that ever a relief. So, guide yourself back and watch as things unfold. Make the decision that feels true to you right now, in the moment, and never have use of the words if only in hindsight...
That's the question, right? When to be still? When to settle? When to keep going?
Well, I think it's just not in my nature to settle down. In a place? Yes. In a house? Yes. I like routine, I like stability. But when it comes to the work I do in this world? It's always changing--out of necessity, out of creativity, out of inspiration.
One day I just decided, well, I guess that's okay.
Most of the time, I feel pretty broken, disjointed, held together with chewing-gum and old Christmas ribbons. But I wonder if that's just the way of it? Our world now is much the same--glossed over with this very visible plastic-y sealant via social media.
(But don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that kind of glossiness only exists in our time--think back to the 1950's ideal-housewife-family scenario...that was Facebook live).
But! To the point. So, are these cracks worth plastering over? Shouldn't we just highlight them? Show them off to the world?
Or just crumble, erode away and wait for the weather to shift and for a new structure to emerge?