The problem isn’t that we haven’t had opportunities, it’s that we’ve blown them- Marianne Williamson
The other day I found myself feeling extremely annoyed during an early morning vinyasa class. After making the commitment to break out of my home practice and explore new teaching styles, I hung out in downward facing dog pose wishing I had just stayed at home. It was the yoga class equivalent to rambling- taking a vinyasa after each and every single pose. “Warrior one on the left side, take a vinyasa. Warrior one on the right side, take a vinyasa”. The vinyasa after every pose is a technique that I stumble upon from time to time when teachers have not had time to put together a sequence and are trying to tire out the students and pass the time. The beauty about a vinyasa class is all about the creativity and the flow. The almost dancer like continuous transitions from one pose to another moving seamlessly with the breath.
After about 45 minutes the teacher shifted gears and began to offer different transitions as she introduced additional postures into the practice. The class ended beautifully and I had a lovely experience overall. The music was beautiful, the teacher was sweet and I certainly felt more physically open than when i arrived. After the class, I walked over to say hi to the teacher who is also a close associate of mine. During our small talk session she asked me what I thought about the class. I explained to her that I really enjoyed the class, but that i thought it could have a been a bit more creative.
The moment those words left my mouth i saw my friend and fellow yoga teacher transform. Although just seconds earlier she stood tall before me, now her shoulders were beginning to round forward and her head was tilting lazily to the side. In that moment I wanted to tell her how proud I was of her and the courageousness it takes to lead such a large class. Instead, I just reiterated that i really enjoyed the class and we exchanged good byes. In her face I saw myself, a young woman filled with vulnerabilities and insecurities but unlike me, she was still willing to throw herself out on stage while i waited to become just “A little better”.
One of my favorite teachers is Marianne Williamson who has written a number of books based on the teachings from the book, A course in Miracles. In a lecture she gave about the mystical power of intimate relationships she states, “The problem isn’t that we haven’t had opportunities, it’s that we’ve blown them”. I can think of a number of opportunities that I have passed up because I felt as though I was not quite ready or prepared to take on the task. I can also reflect upon a number of times when I have felt it appropriate to apply myself to a new opportunity.
The exchange she and I had raised a very pertinent question for me that I’m sure many young professionals ask themselves everyday. “Is it better to just dive in and see if you sink or swim or is it more appropriate to test the waters and slowly try to acclimate”?