What up first post! Full Disclosure: One of the reasons I spent so much time not getting this site up and running was because I was paralyzed by the thought that my first post had better be EPIC and I should have follow up posts where all the A-list bloggers talk about how awesome play time is and a blog post schedule and a social media strategy for launch and 1000 facebook likes and a major unveiling…ugh. It’s exhausting to make plans and not do anything about them.
The lesson I learn over and over again, in fitness, in meditation, in doing awesome stuff, is that the only way to do it is to get started. Here’s a little story to demo that.
Less than two years ago, I couldn’t do a handstand.
*gasp* She’s a yoga teacher and can’t do a handstand? That’s ridiculous. Who does she think she is? I don’t want her as my teacher! (Said the voice in my head)
It’s true. Not only could I not do a handstand, every time it came up in yoga class or my daily life, my involuntary reaction was to turn bright red, start crying, and feel nauseous. It used to happen as a kid, as well- handstands, cartwheels, monkey bars- for some reason, I never did them and I was always scared of them, and I’d rather read books on the tire swing or play baseball because my feet stayed on the ground. So it goes.
But I always felt pretty terrible about it. I rationalized it, said I just wasn’t that type of person who goes upside down, etc. etc. I had every excuse and rationalization in the book, believe me.
About two years ago in a workshop of a yoga teacher I really admire, in a small group setting where I couldn’t hide, she called handstands. While all of the above was happening in my brain and my body and I was making every excuse on the planet for why I shouldn’t be doing a handstand in that moment, a different voice that I’d been stifling all these years came into my head and said, “but I really want to.”
Ever had that happen? You have a dream or desire, big or small, and you want it so badly. In that moment, I admitted to myself for the first time that what I wanted most of all in the whole wide world was to be the type of person who can go upside down and enjoy it.
In that moment, you have a choice. For the first 23 years of my life, I gave in to those voices. You know- “I don’t think I can.” “What if I fall on my face?” “I’ve never been able to before.” “I don’t know how.”
But that night, after yoga workshop, after I had gone home and cried and beat myself up about how worthless I was (more on that later), I made a decision. I was going to learn to do a handstand if it killed me. I didn’t know how to make it happen. I was scared as hell (see involuntary bodily reactions). But at that point, the desire to change was stronger than that to stay the same.
Conveniently, the next day Nerd Fitness posted a new 6-week challenge. I’d never done one before, but I signed up, joined an accountability group, and made one of my goals “Kick into a handstand against the wall.” My approach to this was simply to get someone to help me do a handstand every day until I wasn’t scared anymore. Which was freaky in itself.
So I did. With the encouragement of someone I was dating at the time I went to my first ever adult gymnastics class. I was so freaked out that I didn’t sleep at all the night before, and showed up shaky, scared, and a little dizzy. Guess what the first thing we did after stretching was? 3 rounds of 30 second handstands (with a spotter). I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, swallowed the breakfast that was threatening to come back up, and went for it.
Was my fear instantly gone? Nope. Did I take a massive nap about three hours later and completely blow my day? Yep. But I had done it. I made a decision, I breathed through the fear, and over time my anxiety turned to excitement and now I do handstands every day.
What type of person do you want to be?
Here’s the deal. Thoughts Become Things. I decided to become the type of person who does handstands. Writing this blog post I’m deciding to be the type of person who does it anyway, even if it’s not perfect and not following a formula.
Yesterday on The Daily Love Extravaganza, Jacob Sokol of Sensophy and Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love were talking about this idea of “Change your thoughts, change your life.” That notion is everywhere, and that’s cool- I totally believe our thoughts shape our reality. What I LOVED about their conversation was the acknowledgement that in order to change your thoughts, first you have to TAKE ACTION.
Don’t wanna do it? Big whoop. I was freaked OUT to do a handstand. But I was never going to be able to do one just by thinking about it. I had to get in there and DO IT.
It’s that simple.
1. Decide who you want to be.
2. Act in a way that that person would act. Even if you don’t feel like it. ESPECIALLY if you don’t feel like it.
3. Over time, your thought patterns will change. Your reality will shift. Action is key.
4. Everything else is an excuse.