Lately I have been finding myself thinking and talking about risks a lot. The last several classes I’ve jibbered about taking risks on the mat. For many of us that could be as simple as digging a bit deeper into sensation. But it’s not really that simple. I pose the challenge out to students to squat deeper in uktasana or bend the front knee deeper in warrior 2, most people don’t move. “Go deeper,” I tell them. A few move. “Ok, now go deeper.” A few more move. “No, really dig deep!” I go over and give an assist. Holy crap! That person moved like 10 more inches deep into her warrior lunge. She giggles. “Wow!” I said, “you didn’t know you had that much space to move huh?” She shakes her head with amazement.
This is so normal. We’re afraid to take risks and feel a little, a little burn in the quad. We’re afraid of crow because we don’t want to fall on our face. We’re afraid of falling. Period. We’re afraid to take risks and laugh out loud because we don’t want other people to laugh at our snorting laugh. We are afraid to take risks and find happiness because we’re unsure what that is suppose to look like. Think of everything you do and I am willing to bet that many of the things you do are done because you feared something would happen if you didn’t do that thing. Consider this: we are so afraid to take “the” risk that we risk our own happiness and would rather suffer in a low grade misery than put ourselves out on a limb.
Try this. Practice taking risks on your mat. What’s the worse that can happen? Maybe you’ll get a chiseled badonk and now you’ll have a badonkadonk…. what a great side effect, eh? Ok so what if you fell down and smashed your nose. It wasn’t that far anyway. The best thing that will happen is you’ll learn where your edge is for next time. There’s a saying that the best learning is done when you’ve fallen flat on your face… literally!
As for me, I’ve been thinking of some major life changes for me that will effect those around me and it scares the crap out of me. There’s another saying that if you want something so bad, you know you’re gonna get it if gives you goosebumps and raises the hair in places you didn’t even know you had hair. I think it’s time to get a new razor blade!
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to others is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken,
because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.
The person who risks nothing,
does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave,
they forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks can be free.
(-by someone really really wise)