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Typically, I like to begin these blogs with an itemization of “5 Things for which I am thankful”. Today…. I think I will break with tradition, and instead begin this post with…
“5 Things of which I am TERRIFIED!!” 1) being attacked by sharks 2) drowning in the open ocean 3) being attacked by sharks 4) getting lost at sea, forced to seek survival on a raft, bereft of companions, and reduced to forging a bond of friendship with a volleyball named Wilson 5) did I MENTION the sharks????
You might ask, “why the radically modified (and slightly morose) list?” Well I’ll tell you: This coming Saturday, I am forgoing my usual weekend routine of happy hours, leisurely brunches, and dozens of languid hours at the beach. Instead, I am embracing my inner explorer, and embarking on an epic journey… Deep Sea Fishing. In Mexico!!! Why?? Well…. because I have a profound thirst for adventure. And no one has ever accused me of being practical or mundane. But the even broader importance of this trip is that So much of what I teach is based on the idea of being OPEN to opportunities that present themselves. I am constantly encouraging my students to grow in their practice (on and off the mat) by coming out of their comfort zone, and reaching for that which they have not yet mastered. On the mat, this may manifest as a willingness to fall while exploring the balance of ‘half moon’ pose. Off the mat, it may be revealed as taking on a new job, or training for a triathalon. Either way, the embracing of change is an imperative element of growth. Last week in my Yoga class, I referenced a quote from one of my favorite artists, which has become almost like a mantra for my life.
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso
Yes. I was one of those annoying students in elementary school who was always raising my hand in class and “Oh! Oh!”-ing to be called on. I LOVED learning and reading, and turning in papers…. I basically Hermione Granger-ed my entire way through the educational system. And while I LIKE to think that I’ve become less annoying about it…. my lust for learning & expanding my horizons has not changed that much since those early days in pigtails & plaid uniforms. I still yearn to learn MORE. To discover… MORE. About…. almost everything! I enjoy taking on challenges, and diving head-first into exotic experiences…… and doing so, usually involves a fair amount of ‘fearlessness’. An un-tempered willingness to reach beyond what we know, and to leap head first into uncharted waters. Be they metaphorical…. Or (in my case) literal.
So…. whether it’s Deep Sea Fishing, Tough Mudders, or new relationships, I find that being open to learning the profound lessons held in any of these enigmas, MAY just teach us something about ourselves along the way. And if I manage to return safely from my weekend out on the Open ocean, with NO land in sight… I’ll happily share my insights and experiences with YOU. If not…. I guess I’ll be sharing them with ‘Wilson’. And my raft.