I’m still stuck three classes behind in the Digital 40 Days.
But mentally I’m coming around to doing yoga every day, even if it’s been tough to do it more than once a day to make-up. I’ve heard it said that if you abstain from junk food, you’ll get through the withdrawal period and stop craving it (but like spirituality, diet, and lifestyle guru Billy Currington says: “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”) The opposite is finally starting to happen (thirty days into the 40 Days).
I’ve accepted that yoga will be a part of every single day, it’s just a matter of when and how much. I’ve stopped fighting that fact and bargaining with myself about all the reasons I should be allowed to get out of it justthisonce. That’s probably because I’m running out of make-up opportunities, too, but I really think most of that is because I’m starting to get into a groove with this whole thing. I even hear Eddie Murphy at some point during most days imploring me to “Yoga all the time, yoga all the time.” (That’s right. I drop “yoga” into various not-even-pop songs to crack myself up and feel like this whole thing is still fun. If you’ve got questions about this, please refer them to Guru Currington who will let you know I’m every bit as crazy as beer is good.)
The yoga classes I’ve been streaming from the Digital 40 Days website have been talking more and more about “dropping what you know,” and “removing blocks.” I understand the idea of these things, but they don’t really resonate with me personally. I mean, I get it. Stop thinking you know every freaking thing there is to know about yoga, yourself, the world, and whatever else. And you know, get out of your own way. I know that’s what the mantras are referring to, but they haven’t felt particularly powerful or authentic to me. Until this week. This week I got around to doing the 60-minute podcast and Beth Thomas, the instructor, was saying exactly these things, but in a perfectly different way that helped me not just hear them, but really know them. She created a 60-minute reprieve from what she calls the “stories” we tell ourselves, and she helped me really get that there are times we cling to the very things that limit us.
For instance, one story I’ve been telling myself off the mat is that I’m just slow. I’m not a fast swimmer, biker, or runner. Even when I feel fast, I remind myself that I only feel that way because I train alone. (obviously that’s WHY I train alone.) Of course I’m fast compared to the nobody I’m riding against. I may be so slow that I won’t ever do a half Ironman because they close the legs of the course. If you don’t make it out of the water in time, you’re done. You don’t even bike or run. What if you push it really hard to get out of the water in time and to get through the bike before it closes, but then, overextended, you have to walk too much of the run. Then you’ve done the whole thing (the WHOLE thing, like, maybe nine hours) but you still get a Did Not Finish because you’re too slow. What if I just drop the story of being “too slow.” Not to say that I get faster actually, but just saying what if I quit telling myself “I’m sooooo slow.” That would be dropping what I know. And if I quit spinning my wheels in the back-of-the-pack mud, maybe I’d get a little traction on the road to a finishing time.
I needed a little push.
I think this is right on pace with where the other Transformers are. (Can I call you that? Where are my Digital 40 Days folks? Can’t we be the Transformers? No? Fine, I’ll file that under pop culture yoga references that just don’t work. Right next to Paula Abdul’s Straight Up Now Yoga.) I read where former Olympic athlete Allison Forsyth was also struggling with dropping what she knows, removing blocks, and doing yoga every. single. day. The story she needed to drop was “I can’t do yoga,” and the block for her was so interesting. It wasn’t fear of yoga, it wasn’t that yoga was an unknown. It was that she had tried yoga and told herself she wasn’t any good at it. She says as an Olympic athlete, she just didn’t accept not being good at something. It’s so easy to think, I’m not scared of yoga (or running, or triathlon, or Ironman), I’m just not good at it and that’s why I’ll never be anything other than a yoga noob, or a back-of-the-packer, or a non-finisher. It was a little push to read that someone else was able to chip through and extend beyond their own BS story to find a better version (a version that includes daily yoga).
No — wait — I needed a shove.
I saw this clip and it was more than a little push. It was giant shove. It was a giant, menacing, powerful, “Oh, yeah? What are you gonna do about it?” shove in the right direction.
Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do it SOME day.
Arthur Boorman did exactly what we’re all trying to do. He dropped the story he’d come to believe about what he was capable of doing. He removed the blocks between who he had become and who he would become, and this is the part that got to me. He did that by just showing up every single day with an open mind, a humble heart, and a fierce, insurmountable faith. He buys in to the idea that sucking at something is the first step to being really awesome at something. He compellingly asserts: “Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do it SOME day.” Of course that’s true. Why is it so difficult to believe? Beth and Allison and Arthur and thirty days of yoga have reminded me that the human spirit is absolutely on fire — the more you shield it from critical wind while stoking it with fueling air, the brighter it burns. Any succesful fire intended to burn long and bright must be tended.
Every damn day.