« When yoga is more challenging off the mat | Main | World History According to a First-Grader »
Wednesday
Feb192014

Stories We Tell Ourselves

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves may be true for a time, but they don't have to be gospel forever. Sometimes, we learn they might never have been true. Maybe they were crutches we used to keep ourselves from falling or excuses we gave fueled by fear or shame. 

I've told my stories for so long now they're as much a part of me as my scars and big nose. But at some point in the last year, I grew tired of the stories and bored by the constraints they put on me. 

I'm the one with the crooked, broken back; I can't do back bends. I can't speak in front of crowds, how could I possibly teach a yoga class? I've been lied to in a most extraordinary manner, so I'll keep my heart walled off lest it suffer abuse again. 

Our stories don't have to dictate our futures. 

I've thrown my chest open, made my heart vulnerable and embraced back bends. And just this week, I taught my first 60-minute class in the studio to a small group of friends and teachers. I sat on the mat as class started, opened my mouth and found the words to lead them through a practice I love. 

I put the old stories on the shelf, high up, away from reach. I'm writing new ones now. 

*This post is an expansion on thoughts I first posted to Instagram a few weeks ago when I learned a new back bend transition. The transformation in my practice - but really myself - blows my mind.

Reader Comments (5)

You are a fount of inspiration. Thank you.

February 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermo

<3

I guess it's true--we never stop learning. I can appreciate the magnitude of what you've done. It's not just a backbend, not just a class you've taught, not just a race you've finished. It's the determination to be the *you* that you are supposed to be. It takes a lot of willpower and courage to do that when your path is blocked/rocky/treacherous.

I love to compare our journeys because we're technically on the same one, but we are using totally different vehicles. I'm rigid about my plan (because I'm rigid about every other GD thing), and it really helps me to see you so open to all possibilities.

February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Interestingly, I had a "plan" when I went into teach my class and while I stuck to the bones, I had to change it because I could tell folks were tired and not at all ready to fly into upside down poses like I envisioned.

It was a good lesson for me to meet their needs, not mine.

Thanks for leaving such a thoughtful comment. While our paths might not be the same, they overlap a lot and for that I'm grateful. I love to bump into you along the way.

And thank you too, Mo, for the kind words.

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Sage advice, Dana. If we don't push the envelope, we are kept by the constraints of our mind. Glad to see you keep setting yours further and further apart.

Great post and wonderful photo of you!

Vivi

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVivi

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>