Beliefnet
Fresh Living

In a terrific yoga class last night in Boulder, Colorado, the teacher
talked about taking leaps–moving into the next level of our
“greatness,” expanding how we share our gifts with the world. It was
funny, I immediately wished I could tape record this talk for a friend
who’s grappling with exactly this–how to find and follow her dharma
(life’s work). And then, duh, I realized I should be asking myself this
question: What’s the next step in my evolution? What’s in the way of my
next step?

And then, as life usually works, I got an answer. We had to partner up for a couple of poses, helping each other
gently go deeper, so I turned to the yogi to the right of me who happened to be an adorable guy with radiant blue eyes. As we scrabbled into place I got all flustered. In the process of figuring
out who should go first and whether first meant give or receive and
then actually doing the adjusting of each others backs, I apologized at least six times. For
not being in the right place, for maybe pressing too hard on him, for
getting into the pose backward. I was a blushing, stuttering,
apologizing mess. The kind that only gets worse the more you realize
how bad it is. Oy.

Then we thanked each other, went back to our own mats and after a few minutes, I felt so
strong, confident, capable in the poses. And it hit me that one of the
major things in the way of expanding into my greatness and sharing my
gifts is constantly apologizing–for who I am, how I take up space, what
I need–especially with bright-eyed male yogis, but also scores of people I interact with throughout my life.

So I made a new promise: No more apologizing. For one week. No
apologies unless I actually physically harm someone. I have this
feeling it’s going to be really difficult–I use apologies to be
charming, to seem nice, to show I care. Over-apologizing is a sure sign
of shame. What I’m really saying when I say “sorry” six times in five
minutes is “I’m sorry I exist.” So, what greatness emerges when we cease apologizing for being here? I’m excited to find out.

How are you expanding into your greatness? What’s in your way? 

 

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