One of my favorite most motivating quotes talks about perseverance.
‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’ ~Confucius
In the real world this is meant metaphorically. Life isn’t called ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ for nothing. However there’s not a lot of literal meaning for the real world unless you’re super clumsy.
In yoga, and any sport, this takes on a literal meaning. You fall down, over, backward, forward, and sideways while trying to get in a pose or hold it.
Sometimes it’s funny and you laugh at yourself.
Sometimes it makes you mad and you berate yourself.
Most of the time you try again.
Sometimes you give up…just for the time being then you find yourself coming back to it later only to realize you were trying too hard.
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Here is an image of me working on my forearm balance.
If you were to take a look at my photo album you’d see mostly the pictures on the far left and far right. The middle picture was a moment of glory that I was able to experience if only for a moment. Nothing more.
This picture is the literal translation of perseverance. I tried over and over and over again. I finally got it! It’s not perfect, and I wasn’t able to hold it for longer than a second, but I got it! That to me is success!
If you look closely at the picture of me falling you can see a HUGE grin. I was excited I got it and, well, I think it’s kind of fun to fall.
Lesson: Don’t be afraid to fall. Falling can teach you many things about yourself, your life, and those around you.
I had an amazing dance teacher when I was younger that taught us all to applaud ourselves and anyone else that fell. The applause wasn’t full of derision and sarcasm but of honor and respect. She believed, and taught, that when you fell you were reaching for something out of your comfort zone therefore deserved honor and respect for trying.
I didn’t know it at the time but that lesson has proved valuable in my life. Trying something new, uncomfortable, or difficult can be scary. There’s always that little voice in the back of your mind telling you ‘DANGER! You could fail and everyone will laugh at you!’ This one simple lesson, of clapping, taught me to respect myself and others just for putting in the effort…for trying even though we fell!
So…wherever you are, literally or metaphorically, get back up and get out there and know I’m here cheering for you!