What’s that thing that floats around at the back of your mind, that thing that’s a barrier to living the life you want to live? That thing that pushes you to begin your sentences with ‘when I get rid of …., then I’ll have the life I want, the life I’m supposed to have’.
What if it’s something you can’t get rid of? What if you’ve tried and tried and it’s still there, the same barrier that was there five years ago. It’s still there though you’ve tested out countless ways to run away from it, avoid it, ignore it, push or shame it away, drink or drug it away…it’s still there. That anxiety or depression, back pain, extra 30 pounds, partner who never cooperates, medical diagnosis, allergy…
Now consider what you might do if that barrier magically disappeared, if you woke up tomorrow morning and it was gone? What are the experiences you’d have if that thing wasn’t in the way? Drumroll… who would you be if you let THAT THING, that barrier, just be there, and you got on with enjoying your life in spite of it?
My THING is a spine that isn’t what I’d like it to be. It’s not the right shape to move flexibly in all directions and it seems to deteriorate rather easily. Of course I do what I can to help it be as strong as possible. But the reality is that my dreams of again climbing down and up the Grand Canyon, or having a first time marathon experience, or even a half-marathon, likely aren’t in the cards for me. Does that mean I stop appreciating and enjoying my body? In a way, it was starting to mean just that. I’d noticed a creeping mentality of giving up on it, and taking for granted all the things it still does for me.
So I asked myself the same question I asked you. What have I kept myself from experiencing because I’m stuck in ‘I can’t, because I have this crummy spine’ ? I didn’t get an immediate answer. But within a few days I remembered two clients recently talking about their experiences with hot yoga, which led to a memory of two former co-workers talking about it like it was the best present they ever gave themselves.
I had a duh! moment. I’ve been shying away from yoga, something I once loved, because I can’t do it the way I used to. The aha was that the heat might be the best thing I could do to create greater spinal flexibility. It might allow me to treat my body with the loving acceptance and attention it deserves, and to engage in something I’ve felt deprived of.
My current challenge is to get up the nerve to try it–something new that kind of scares me and makes me feel unsure, insecure and ready to retreat back to ‘I can’t because I have this crummy spine’ .
Feel free to check in with me to see if I do it :).