This is what I learned in Yoga class tonight as I went into a pose I have went into successfully many times before – headstand.
I was getting up into my headstand at the top of my mat, my right leg was up and as I began to bring my left leg up in line with the right I started to lose a little balance, but that didn’t stop me, I kept going. I can do headstand! I’ll balance myself out as I keep going in this already unsturdy foundation, I thought. And as I started to sway more, the more I tried to get up into place. It wasn’t working, I was struggling and starting to fall out of it yet I continued to get into the “right” position rather than just go with it, to just fall. Go where I was going anyway. It would have been easier, less painful and certainly more graceful.
Wish I had this little piece of wisdom in my pocket about a year ago during a break up that caused me so much inner turmoil … I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t let go of the pain of breaking up, couldn’t let go of my expectations of the relationship, couldn’t let go of why he couldn’t understand, couldn’t let go of analyzing him, analyzing the relationship, couldn’t let go of the love we shared, the words he said, couldn’t let go of the why’s. Why did he do this? Why did this happen? Why couldn’t it work out? Why? And the more I held on, rather tried to hang on, the more suffering it caused me. My mind, my ego had a grip on me so tight that it was squeezing the life out of me. Yet it was the trying to hold on that caused the inner turmoil, the pain, the suffering more so than the actual break up, the fall.
Then I fell … awkwardly. Not awkwardly in a humiliating sense (although I am sure humility would have served me here instead of my ego mind), but in a potentially physically harmful way. My left leg fell over to the one side and I came crashing down on the side of my heel, my other leg fell forward over my head and my neck twisted sideways, while my hands were still grasping to hold on! When I fell, I felt a little stunned but I also had this weird sensation … an exhilaration. I had felt, for a very brief moment, like I was flying. Then I landed ... not so gracefully.
So, instead of all this time spent thinking, doubting, questioning, trying to get it right; instead of all these mental acrobatics that wouldn’t change the outcome anyway, all I needed to do was let go. LET GO. Just let go and land. On the solid ground beneath me. A stable place. Then try again from this new landing place.
Try again. I recommend falling, in fact, because it is your chance to really experience freedom, but try to fall with grace. You do that by letting go.
It is from falling that I have started to learn how to fly.