“I don’t think I can go any further” was what went through my mind when I went running yesterday. I checked in with my breath, my body, and the energizing Citizen Cope song in my ear and decided to at least finish the song. Before I knew it, I had traveled two more miles than I thought I could go! Possibly, you’ve had a similar experience of pushing beyond your perceived limits, your edge, only to emerge stronger. Maybe you don’t push yourself, and backing down or giving up has been your pattern. There’s a perceived comfort in the discomfort found on either path.
Clarity comes for me when I run, hit the mat, or work out. Basically anytime I apply a singular focus, and really check in, tuning out the distractions of life. During this particular run, I gained needed clarity on some ways life was asking me to expand, be more flexible, and to show up ready for action. I’ve essentially been waiting to make the turn onto a one-way road for quite some time and it is time to leave the intersection.
Life is constantly begging me to expand, become more flexible. When I resist and become rigid, something always forces an opening. I’ve jokingly said this year is the year I “let go or get dragged.” Recently I had an experience of letting go, offering forgiveness, and the freedom which resulted was powerful. Seemingly since that very moment, I’ve felt a pull towards moving forward, towards more action, and an expansion overall. I’ve felt the familiar pull before, I just always allowed something to hold me back. Now I have the space and the freedom.
While running, when I realized I was still going beyond my intended limit, the biggest smile took over my face, followed by my body. The feeling of strength, belief, and the clarity was exhilarating. I was okay, I was actually stronger than I thought. The sound of feet on pavement, the fullness of the exhale as you move to the final relaxation on your mat, the clank of the weights crashing down after the last rep, the victory groan you let escape as you reach your goal all encompass the universal experience found when we agree to show up and stay the course. Those tastes of victory, even if intermingled with “failures,” can be the greatest motivators for focused forward motion.
I can’t even count the times I have said, “I don’t think I can handle one more thing.” Each time I face a challenge head on, push a little harder, fold a little deeper, even open my heart to someone, I always learn something: I CAN. Muscles can be retrained and strengthened, new neuronal pathways can be carved in the mind and body, belief patterns can change, and our hearts can expand to hold and offer even more compassion than we thought possible.
It’s like I tell the students in Broga® Yoga classes: to fill their lungs and then sip in just a little more. I tell my training clients to check in with their body and go a little farther than the mind says they can, until they find their second wind. Same idea. When we show up and open up, we can expand to meet any demand placed upon us, or find room in our hearts when we thought it impossible.
How can you expand to meet life’s demands? Where do you need to push just a bit harder? How can you connect to your inherent, untapped strength? Leave the intersection…the horizon awaits.