"Go ahead and jump; might as well jump" -- Van Halen
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Breathe in – I know I'm breathing in.
Breathe out – I know I'm breathing out.
When I first started practicing yoga regularly, around 2 years ago, I had no idea what it would do for my life. I'm a cautious person by nature, who tries to avoid vulnerability at all costs, so the mental and emotional aspects of yoga did NOT come easily to me.
In the beginning I remember pretending to try postures when the teacher would say “You might fall – it's okay to fall!”. “No, it's not okay to fall” is what I'd think in my head while trying to avoid eye contact with the instructors.
But I've grown. I've fallen, sometimes more than once during one class. I've tried to get into postures that I so desperately wanted to be able to achieve and have made peace when I' not quite there yet. I've found myself wanting to get into the upside down postures that once terrified me.
I've worked hard to embrace imperfection, vulnerability, and to throw caution aside, at least more than I used to.
Yoga helped me complete Couch to 5K for the first time. The idea of breath control and breathing in to the discomfort were reminders I had to use frequently. Today I reached a HUGE milestone and ran 10K for the first time. For a non-athlete like me (or even an athlete), 6.2 miles is a pretty amazing distance.
But yoga has helped me in the rest of my life, too.
I've been a social worker for 12 years. Chances are, if you were to meet me, that's something you'd learn about me in the first minute of talking. I'm good at taking care of people, I'm good at staying strong in a crisis, I'm patient and kind.
However, my current position was leaving me incredibly tired, bitter, and unhappy. And my personal life, which has involved more care-taking than most 35 years olds have had to do, has left me not really wanting to take care of people anymore.
So four weeks ago, I resigned (with a decent amount of notice). Without something else lined up. Without much of a solid gameplan. Without much savings.
For a person who hates vulnerability and lives in a cautious way, this was terrifying.
But here's the thing – as long as we're breathing, we have choices. I could choose to stay at a job that I knew I couldn't be happy with (I assure you, I'd tried “breathing into the discomfort!”) and that was causing me to sacrifice so many of the things that are important to me without much payback. Or I could remind myself that it's okay to fall. That it's okay to be scared.
So I spread my wings, jumped, and hoped for a solid landing.
I got a job offer yesterday. It's not in my field and I'm struggling with the loss of no longer identifying as a social worker. But I'm proud of myself for trusting in myself and making choices that will increase my happiness and balance in life.
What do you want to change? What is REALLY stopping you from making steps to change it?
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.