Reading from Louis L’Amour and a “Danger v. Comfort Zone” tangent
“Up to a point, man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, & movements and changes in the world about him; then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be . . . Everyone has within his/her power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow.” -Louis L’Amour
We can get caught in non-useful limited thinking, placing a fence or ceiling deeply rooted in fear around us as protection. We’ll have fences for different things, for poses we’ll try, difficult conversations we’ll have, the work we’ll do, the chances we’ll take, the degree to which we follow our hearts calling, etc
I have gotten really good at the fence building. Whenever I consider taking steps outside these comfort zones, working on the edges or taking steps outside these walls, my heart races. Even as I write this my heart beats faster and my stomach tightens and breath more shallow. And the tendency is the small-mind or negative-mind to kick in like the zap of an electric “reality” fence. The shock-factor has worn-off for me, as I have become accustomed to the warnings “YOU can’t do that,” “don’t” “you’ll look like an idiot” “You’re not ready yet.”
These negative thoughts may sound ridiculous, and over the top, dramatic. Agreed. 100% unwarranted…maybe I am just that special.
Working beyond our perceived limitations is scary. I hold back. I see students hold back. We all know that some of these things are so minor and that even just working a challenging pose and risking failure, doesn’t really matter. It is so much easier to speak of these before, during and after class. However, it can be quite the battle to stay present with breath and not get consumed with fear, overwhelmed with ego and overly self-protective when those risky moments present themselves. Practice gives us space and the opportunity to become more open and accepting of whatever comes and open to possibility.
Personally, I’ve been using meditation and mantra a bit more as of late to help practice getting space from the self-perceived limitations and the “caring about what others think.” Also, finding reminders and inspiration from the words and examples of others help inspire possiblity and “right action.”