Posted by: Mary | July 8, 2010

Don’t play small!

What an incredible day! Actually, it’s been an incredible week. The first month after I started my job was kind of stressful, but I’m relaxing into it and really loving everything. I’m still getting the yoga in and I’m almost finding more joy in it than I was before, who knew that was possible.

The key is balance, trying to find that perfect mix of work and life and fun and everything else. It takes lots of practice, and, maybe a certain amount of equanimity. There is an article in this month’s yoga journal that talks about equanimity, trying to meet life as you find it; without reaction one way or the other, just taking in what is.

Equanimity was lacking in my life to say the least. I was pretty reactionary and negative. So, in my previous life I pretty much would react, usually badly in situations that might be stressful. Now, I don’t let those situations become stressful. I am able to step back and evaluate the situation and my feelings. If I’m feeling angry, I try to determine why and then I adjust my perspective. It’s beautiful. Rather than sending out angry e-mails, I stop, breathe, think and find myself realizing that nothing is tragic or terrible. I’m able to act on the situations in a rational, logical and professional manner. And, my attitude is no longer about the negative, it becomes transformed on the positive. Things will work out and things will be great!

I was riding high at the end of the day before I got to yoga today. And, class tonight was wonderful. Maybe I found some equanimity at class, taking it as I found it. Finding ease where there could have been struggle? Who knows… But, I think back to last year and my inability to do crow or wheel and I see how I have grown. How I can get into crow and stay for longer than one second. How I can get up into wheel with a little less difficulty.

What is interesting is last week I was in bridge as the woman next to me went up into wheel. She popped herself up with such ease, I was kind of filled with wonder about it. I always have to get myself up on the top of my head before I can pop myself up. I was wondering to myself: “When will I be able to do that?” And then, what do you know, tonight I did my first wheel as usual starting on the crown of my head and pushing up. But, my second wheel I was able to get that sense of motion, of ease and I really didn’t need to push up to the top of my head before rising up all the way.

When things like that happen, I surprise myself and I almost don’t know what to do. It’s a fun feeling. That happened one day when I went into side crow on my left side and found I was actually balancing on my elbows. I was so amazed at the unexpected I ended up falling out of the pose. But, the key was that I did it. Once you realize you can do something there is no going back. You can only move forward.

That is the scary thing and why I think so many of us, me included, don’t try harder at things. What do you do when you realize you are capable? You can’t go back to the excuses you used to make. You have to face yourself and realize you are powerful and that can be scary. I guess one good quote to express that is: “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size,” Oliver Wendall Holmes.

For those of among us who worry we aren’t doing things right; that we will never be good enough; that others are always better than us, it is time to let go of the old and let in the new. Find some equanimity, some peace, some faith and more love.

And, to quote Maryanne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Let your light shine!

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