From folks who have known me over the past seven years or so I often hear an assumption of strength and courage associated with who I am.
Often this catches me by surprise. Even though my highlights of the past decade read like the life a strong and determined woman.
… trekked to almost 18,000 feet last year on Mt. Kilimanjaro and endless back country routes in The Sierras
… kayaking miles and miles of California (and beyond) waterways encountering sea otters, California sea lions, grey herons, fishes, and even a baby great white.
… learning swim at the age of 41 and now seeking the chance to learn to surf despite my slight fear of water (despite my slight fear of water, which I am working on conquering)
… and for the last couple months use my iPhone app, Couth to 5K, to learn how to run as I edge my way “over-the-hill” of life.
So what the heck is my problem in linking their sincere words of acknowledgment and my strong her-story with my mind, at key times? I’ve been thinking about this lately especially in my yoga classes. For a few years now I have been exploring a new form of yoga, Anusara. Even though I have been doing yoga for almost 25 years now, I am discovering how to position myself in asanas I’ve struggled with for decades or put onto my “not for me” list of yoga poses. It is truly miraculous and is inspiring me all over again. It also makes my up to an hour drive (depending on DC traffic) well worth the venture out for the classes.
And in saying this I must give great thanks and kudos to the teacher I work with almost weekly Naomi Gottlieb-Miller. Her faith, encouragement and support are something I’ve longed for as I have journeyed about from state to state and studio to studio hoping to find a safe haven to explore what is possible for me in this body. Namaste Naomi.
Sometime at the end of last year I chose to go to a more advanced class of hers and have found myself learning to do Urdhva Dhanurasana with a certainty I didn’t know I could have. Over the last couple months handstand has brought forth an immense challenge for me. I have fallen out of it a couple times, which is to be expected when your mind keeps saying your arms aren’t strong enough to do this. Even though I can manage three dogs while I run and was recently complimented on my “guns” by one of my fellow trainers I still see myself as weak. Again there is a dis-connect between the reality of this body, that is the strongest it has ever been in my whole lifetime, to a mind, strong enough to convince a 20 year old with a 50/50 chance of survival of cancer to live!
I see this same phenomenon of disbelief in self happen again and again in my clients. Often I am able to coach and redirect them to tap into their place of power so they accomplish the challenges I place before them. Tomorrow I aim to do the same for myself as I head into my 9:30 class in Gerogetown. I will believe in my strength. I will see myself strongly maintaining my legs above my head with courage, strength and faith in my ability to make it happen.