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Keep Breathing

1 Feb

When I was little all I dreamed about was becoming a ballerina, chased that dream till I was 24 and finally realized after I graduated college, it was never gonna happen.  From the moment you have understanding of words, people fill your head with notions that you can do anything you want to, be anyone you want to.  In a very broad, pure sense it is true.  Why then couldn’t little Bethany grow up and be that ballerina?  I tried my heart out.  I auditioned, trained, did everything I was supposed to, really put myself out there.   Real life limitations happened, my body’s limitations.  I have scoliosis.  That is something I can’t ever change no matter how hard I try.  I couldn’t become a Ballerina because my shoulders are permanently hunched, because my hips aren’t even and when I bend forward you can actually see where my spine curves.  I was a good dancer but I was never going to be “great” because my body just wasn’t made in the image if a ballerina.  God made me perfect though, yes I have limitations, but he has taught me how to use them, and accept them.  He gave me Yoga.

Yoga, pure and simple, is a beautiful art form.  It is slow and focused, stimulating mind, body, and soul.  Technique is key but if yours isn’t perfect, you aren’t moved to stand in the back of the class, you are encouraged, welcomed with open arms.  Even with yoga I am constantly challenged.  My scoliosis doesn’t take it easy on me here either.  I have a harder time rolling my shoulders back, opening up my chest, lengthening my spine, than your average learner.  This doesn’t mean I am bad at Yoga though.  In fact it has taught me to stop beating myself up, have patience, work with my body instead of trying to force it.  I embrace my weakness because it has shown me my strength.  I am graceful, strong, and determined.  I may have rounded shoulders but I have long straight legs that are powerful and amazing.  My feet are built perfectly for balancing, I have long toes and a beautiful arch, my ankles are sturdy and flexible.  My arms are beautifully shaped and graceful.  The fact that I have something to work for just makes it all the more worthwhile.

No matter how much joy filled my heart when I was dancing, I always felt I was on trial, that I had to prove that I belonged.   Maybe I never did.  God gave me the want to be in motion.  I want to move, leap, dance, balance, stretch.  Yet dance was judgmental, it wanted something I could never give, it wanted perfection and I was just….me. 

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Which is why I feel Yoga is such a gift.  It gives me the challenge of mastering a pose or movement yet it doesn’t judge.  I am not less because of my disability.  I am more, I have more to offer.  I understand so much now about how the spine works in our bodies, and how to protect it, care for it.  I have a better grasp on it then probably someone who has a perfect spine and lovely straight shoulders.  Now when I start teaching I will be able to help my students that much more.  I have learned that I am amazing at the balancing poses, or the stretching poses.  While my back may be curved, it is strong and I will master back bends.

Before, when I was a dancer, if there was something I didn’t know how to do, I would berate myself and force myself to do it whether my body was ready and capable or not.  I probably caused some damage that I will definitely experience in my golden years.  Heck, I already get achy joints when it is going to rain.  Through Yoga I have become excited when I see something I don’t know how to do yet, or I don’t have the strength yet.  Because this isn’t a race, I have all the time in the world to master the Inverted Locust pose.  I am not competing against anyone else.  I will be able to do it when my body is ready, and my body is becoming stronger everyday!

I will always have a special spot in my heart for dancing, when ever I hear an awesome song my body starts twitching, just aching to be let loose.  But dancing and being a dancer are two entirely different things and I finally learned that.  Yoga is Yoga.  God gave me Yoga.  God is Good.

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Full of It

11 Jan

So I want to apologize, I am not writing about what I actually practice.  I have every good intention of leading this simple natural life, having my ducks in order, and all that jazz.  I don’t.  God has granted me this wonderful knowledge and understanding about life, but I have to be honest, I have squandered it.  I don’t practice what I preach.  I want to though, with all my heart, not sure why I prevent myself from doing so.  Maybe I am more afraid than I realized, afraid of success because then I have something to uphold rather than just work for, which is way less pressure.  Maybe I am afraid to be happy on my own without help from anyone.  Or I hold myself back for others to catch up.  I might be afraid of being a person others look up to because I don’t feel confident in myself.  I thought I was done with fear but now I know that fear has a deeper hold on me then I ever realized.  Maybe I am just so used to making others happy that I have no clue how to do it for myself.

There are some days when I truly do love my life, I see God’s beauty everywhere and it fills my heart with such happiness it hurts.  Then there are the days where nothing is beautiful and I feel all alone and not sure where I took a wrong turn to land me here.

Those are the days when I need to reach past the darkness and grab a hold of something good, something strong, but I don’t.  I let myself be filled with sadness and do nothing productive.  Which is not good.  I have to start taking my advice.  I need to start doing something for myself and let go of this fear that wraps itself around my heart.  It was foolish of me to think fear was something easy to be rid of, that I could analyze myself in the span of a couple of days and voilà, its gone.  I underestimated my enemy and it took the advantage.

Now reader don’t worry, I am not a crazy depressed loon, I just had a rude awakening to my mistakes and now I have a heck of a lot of catch up to play.  Not to mention my yoga teacher training practicum midterms are this week so there is no time to waste.  It’s a now or never kind of thing.  I am going to ace this midterm because I want this, and it is at the same time, something I fear.  I am gonna kick it in the ASS.

So please be patient with me, don’t give up on my humble blog, because I was full of you-know-what when I wrote my last couple entries.  Good advice is worth nothing if you don’t follow it yourself.  From now on I am gonna back up what I say, I am gonna walk the walk.