We all know what it is like to be filled with fear and worry and have experienced moments in our life that seem impossible to overcome or endure. Those moments can feel paralyzing, our clarity clouded to where it seems we have no options. For me, it is in the exact moment I hear my mind say, this is impossible, that I immediately take a step back to gather a deep breath and to look again.

Take another look at the word “impossible”. Simply spell it another way and it becomes “I’m possible”. Quite a profound difference yes?

Not too long after starting yoga, I was hooked. Little by little, I was noticing things that I thought were never possible, both in my body and overall life. So when a yoga class was offered to employees while I worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I jumped at the chance to sign up. It was an early class – 6 am, but being on my mat nestled up against the slant window of the Outer Bay exhibit was well worth the early arrival. It was incredibly peaceful to move and breathe while watching the various sea life swim past, it was always a bonus when the giant sea turtle floated by.

One day I arrived to find myself the only one there except the instructor. I felt my body tighten with worry of being the only student. No way could I do yoga alone with her! I’m still new and don’t know at all what I’m doing. She’ll see all the things I’m doing wrong because there’s no one else to look at!

I wanted to bolt out the nearest exit and tell her I’d see her next time, instead, she approached me with such a welcoming presence I knew I had to stay. I was so nervous! Not long into the class, I began to settle with her soothing and calming instruction. I was actually beginning to enjoy being the only student there.

Then it came. She offered to teach me a pose I had never done before. “Sure”, I say, even though I had no idea what she was talking about. It wasn’t until she demonstrated the pose that fear surged through me once again. As I watched her do the pose, I kept thinking, does she understand what she is asking me to do? There’s no way I can do that pose!

Instantly, I was back to wanting to bolt out the door. I expressed my worry to her, to which of course she found a way to meet my concern. She offered for me to do the pose against the wall to help support my balance, along with her physical assist to get in and out of the pose. I was hesitant but agreed.

Step by step she guided and supported me until suddenly, I was in the pose! And you know what? It was wonderful! My mind was instantly flooded with relief, not only from how enjoyable the pose was, but that I could actually do it! The instructor had guided me through seeing what I could not yet see on my own.

This happened 22 years ago, but the memory of it remains as if it just happened yesterday. The most profound take away for me and still a constant reminder in my life, is that I can do that which I think I cannot.

It may take me some time with many small steps.

It may require that I take a completely different look from how I see something the first time.

But one thing I know, nothing is impossible, because I’m possible.

And so are you.

Categories: Yoga & Mindfulness Blog

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