Those of you who know me well know that I am equally compelled by the heart and the mind. You may also know this year has been one of constant flux making it difficult to find a reasonable middle ground between the draw of the heart and the reason of the mind. This Spring I find myself in a torrent of upheaval and conflict which have shifted the peace of mind I wish to reclaim to a focus on what just is not possible. This all reminds me so much of how I felt while on the mat trying to learn handstand.
Continue with me for a bit.
We can all recall the moment when we first see someone move into a handstand and the sense of pure joy and wonder which overcomes us and the resulting spontaneous smile. If we are young, perhaps we just move to follow the example finding more and more joy in the stumble and fall. The goal not as important as the lightness we experience.
As we get older perhaps we recall that joy when we see a picture or witness that person in yoga class who makes the handstand look so easy. We smile and let that little voice of self-doubt sneak in to diminish a little of that wonder.
The thinking mind comes in and tries to dissect the pose. It sticks with us as a problem to solve through formula and experience. We tentatively give in to the curiosity and give it a go.
We fall. We back off. We watch others go through the motions to learn and decide to try again.
Then fear and self-doubt sets in as our attempts to reach the pose yield little to no improvement toward the goal. Maybe we give it a little rest. We continue developing our practices to find additional focus, strength and awareness.
In a moment of pure ego and blind courage, we give the pose another go. And, perhaps we get somewhere. Then we are hooked.
Now we seek additional guidance and we continue to work at it, dissecting the movements, the little successes, until we find that space where we just breath into the pose. We find reaching the objective required us to lean in, let go and just trust the movements of the heart to guide us. The first handstand isn’t long. It isn’t anywhere near Instagram-worthy, but it is undeniably there. And, that is the start.
Much like life, right?
So, this Spring, I encourage you to move with the shifts and the changes. Allow your mind to be curious, to search for and seek the knowledge you need then just dive in with the heart. What’s the worst that can happen? You fall, falter, learn and try again. I can think of worse things to miss out on than the wonder of achieving that perfect handstand and the shifted perspective on life it provides. Even if it is just for a moment.
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