As we cross the threshold into another year, we find ourselves reflecting on the past, while looking forward to the possibilities of things yet to be. Maybe we have bright and shiny goals we want to obtain. Maybe we have habits we want to break. Maybe we have intentions to deepen already established routines. Wherever you are on the road of life, you will undoubtedly feel the wobble. Sometimes the wobble is just a misstep, but other times is it a full-tilt “yard sale,” a term used by skiers to describe a major wipe out. As the skier tumbles down the side of the mountain, in a wake of snowy powder she leaves a “yard sale,” of clothing and gear behind. It is as spectacular, as it is horrifying.
Admit it. You’ve had one of these, right?
In our human condition, we have all been there, on the side of the mountain, retracing our steps to retrieve the pieces of ourselves we left behind. Sometimes, in my frustration and embarrassment, I tossed the skis and equipment all together. Occasionally, I pretended it didn’t matter. Often, I resolved to never attempt a new sport—ever again. It was too hard and I was above that, I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone, anyway…
Over the years, I have uncovered and worked through many of my knee jerk reactions to failure. I have gained a clearer understanding about my motives, the pitfalls of expectations and have cultivated an inner resilience that has served me well. Many techniques and tool have assisted me, but a turning point was when I shifted the language I used around making changes…
Failure. Did you feel that? In the pit of your stomach? For me, failure was a weighted word and when I set a goal, an expectation, and didn’t reach it, I failed. Wait, no, it was deeper. I was a failure. When I started taking yoga classes and delving into conscious eating, I kept hearing this one word…practice. The word chased me and bounced inside my head for weeks, until I realized I could adopt the word–practice–and thread it through every area of my life. Instead of having a diet, I had a food practice. Instead of working on my book, I had a writing practice…and so on. Adding the word “practice,” shifted my expectations and perceptions in every area I attached it to. I became less critical and more forgiving, because I was practicing. There was room for mistakes and inconstancies. There was room for the wobble.
One of my favorite yogis, Tara Stiles, has said, in yoga as in life, “There is always movement in balance.” When I am in tree pose, I find the small vibrations radiate up my leg, through my torso and out my arms. As I allow energy to flow, like electric current through a wire, it leaves me. In that moment, I adjust the base of my foot and regain stability, only to lose it a few seconds later. This is life. The idea of perfection is an illusion. In fact, the wobble provides contrast, which is an internal barometer. It shows us where we are, highlighting what we don’t want, which provides direction, even motivation, to move towards what we do.
As you enter a new, glorious year, with all its possibilities and dream big, be gentle with your words. When you embrace the wobble, you declare freedom. Within your acceptance, a higher level of self-love and self-compassion evolve. Watch the magic happen, not only in your life, but also in those around you. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world.
Wobble away, dear ones! And may a smile, instead of a frown, cross your face as you deepen into the joy of becoming who you are meant to be.