Sunday, February 8, 2009

Look and...LEAP!!

What a week!! Last Monday night I decided to do my backside some good and so I inspired myself to go for a lovely night...alone. Yeah, not exactly safe. But I have always loved running at night. I like the quiet, the stars, moon, cool breeze, and lights. I like that somehow with all of that I can hide under the radar and see the world without it seeing me. I have done some of my best thinking during those runs.
However, this time, I fell and fell bad. I couldn't get up. I could not save myself. I sprained my ankle something awful. How I got my car is a whole other story. I'll just say it was with the help of a nice valet guy who got a bit creepy. But I got home.  And things got slow enough for me to really leap.

Sometimes it seems that you have to either metaphorically or, as in my case, quite literally, trip and fall to get really open. I mean, I could not feel more helpless than I did  when I was lying on the cement with no phone and no idea how I was going to even get up.  I had none of my usual crutches to get me out of that one and then literally was on crutches just a day later. In that moment, I was raw and open, stripped of any and all comforts. And my ego just kept thinking how silly I must have looked. In short, I was completely  vulnerable.

I think it is human nature to resist feeling vulnerable. It is downright frightening to be fully exposed. Without even the thinnest layer of protection to hide the ugly little parts of ourselves that we so cleverly try to deny or at least not bring attention to, it is natural to feel the instinct to run and hide. The truth is that when we fall- apart, in love, down- we are exposing our insides to the outside world in a most honest fashion. And more often than not, that kind of exposure sets into motion a whole lot of inner dialogue that is usually not the most loving or compassionate to ourselves. We worry how we look to the other person, to our family, our friends, etc. We call ourselves stupid and silly. We can move right from panic to all out fear that they won't love us anymore. We cling to yesterday because it is better than nothing. We wish we hadn't made a move because now look what has happened. 

In yoga, we actually practice the possibility of falling through balancing poses. My lovely teacher Ally always reminds us that when entering any balancing pose, one of three things can happen- you balance, you wobble, or you fall. The real practice isn't in the "pose"- it is in how you react to the pose and how you react to the outcome. And as humans, we are all about outcomes. We want to know how it is all going to turn out and if it doesn't turn out how we thought it should, we are so disappointed and feel foolish.

 Sometimes the real beauty is in the fall. Sometimes the pot needs to get stirred up a bit. So let's take a real look at what happened when you fell...

What happened just took a leap towards the real deal. Now the healing can begin and you can grow.

You are just as lovable. You are even more lovable. Your life is moving forward. You hit bottom and now you can only go up from there. 

More likely than not, you start to gain the wisdom that those "ugly" parts of yourself are actually beautiful. They got there from something you hold in the deepest part of yourself. So when you show those parts, you are showing your deepest self. How beautiful!
You take a chance because there is no going back. Everything is different. You get to start over. How beautiful!

When we  fall, we need to train the mind to see things differently. We can not let it have its way with us. Ally calls it training the monkey mind and filling our home, our body and mind, with beautiful things and taking care of it. She always reminds us that if we fall in a pose, be mindful of how you speak to yourself. Instead of telling yourself negative thoughts, you must train your mind to see the beauty in falling.

One of my favorite songs is "Let Go".  The chorus reminds us that there is "beauty in the breakdown". It is one of the truest things I know. As much as I hate falling, as much as I hate pain, as much hard work goes into healing, I know from experience that I am all the much stronger and happier because of those experiences.  And I know that you must go through the pain to get whole again.  The same is true for falling in love. Inevitably, things will get messy when two people are getting vulnerable, when insecurities arise. But you must train the mind to see it as beautiful. Beauty unfolding. You can't predict if he/she is the perfect one, the right one.  There is no way to know if it will lead of love or heartache, but one thing is certain; you will get nowhere fast unless you take a leap!

I can't lie. I like feeling secure. I like feeling like I have pretty good idea of what is coming next. And I would much rather succeed than fail. Like last Monday night- it would have been much nicer to have had a good run and come home and gone to bed. But that fall had its benefits. I wound up having a heart-to-heart with one of my closest friends that night. I got all kinds of love from my kiddies- they were kind to their injured teacher. I realized that I needed to take a risk and actually go back to NYC for this teaching job fair. I owed it to myself to explore things more fully. I got the chance to slow down enough to really think, try to process all this change. I got a chance to see where I was putting up walls in other parts of life, where I was afraid to metaphorically "stand on one leg"  because I was afraid of maybe falling. (I love yoga!! Such practice for life!!) Lastly, it did me some good to be reminded that it is ok to ask for help- I don't always have to be big and strong. Sometimes the strength lies in knowing when to reach out, vulnerabilities and all.

The ankle is healing. All things can heal in time. Will I lace up again? Will I stand on that left foot again in yoga? It is going to take a couple of weeks more of healing, but you bet cha! Just next time, I will make sure to bring my phone on my run. Nothing is a mistake if you learn something from it. What are you afraid to try? Are you afraid of falling? If so, here's a thought to ponder..if you do fall, you might land somewhere quite lovely. And you might have never gotten there if you just stayed seated. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Anita, I like your blogs, I just came across you from give it to me raw. I really like how you express yourself. I just started on a new Raw Life journey and was looking to connect with some other people on the same level. Give me a holler...Peace.