Kathryn Budig, an international yoga instructor known for her excellent instruction and strong inversion (upside down) practice, came to Cleveland this weekend to teach a series of workshops. I must tell you that 15 months ago, I was petrified—clammy hands and forget about butterflies in my tummy, I’m talking a stampede of elephants pounding from my heart to my belly—whenever I thought about going upside down! This weekend I participated in 5 hours of practice focused on arm balancing and inversions/hand stands. At the end of the day, my body exhausted, my heart light and my mind quiet, my whole being filled with gratitude. Gratitude for each moment I’d chosen to get on my mat throughout the last year. Each moment I chose to really listen to my body and respect her wishes rather than think about getting upside down or some other end product.
Since I opened The Hive in May, my practice has changed drastically and I really wasn’t sure what I’d be capable of during the workshops. As I’m the only instructor at the studio right now, I’m doing a LOT of yoga. I’m using my body a LOT. When it comes time for my personal practice, keeping it simple and just being present, in each moment, feels most beneficial. For some reason, I’ve been thinking that maybe I wouldn’t be as strong or have as much endurance.
The weekend proved to me how much this practice is NOT about the physical aspect of what happens to our bodies on the mat, but more about being in the body….appreciating and respecting the inherent wisdom present within each one of us. I thought my practice had diminished because I wasn’t spending as much time on the mat or I wasn’t getting as sweaty during each practice. Shows ya what I know ☺.
The relationship I’ve been nurturing with my body has encouraged me to move less and listen more. I’ve learned how to grow while keeping my physical and emotional self safe. My practice has been helping me learn to decipher the language in which my deepest Self communicates with me, often through my body.
After surviving several emotionally abusive relationships (ya know, the kind where the bruises and damage happen on the inside where they’re not so visible) I’m shocked by the confidence I have in myself. Not quite unconditional confidence—YET—but the confidence born from listening to my inner voice, my intuition, whatever you want to call it. The voice that starts in a whisper and eventually turns into an anxiety problem or some other 2×4 over the head from the Universe when we ignore it! You know the voice. It often encourages us to do the exact thing that scares the hell out of us. That voice.
When I act on that inner knowing (regardless of how scary it might be, or how crazy it might feel) stuff just works itself out. AND not in some half-ass it’s-kind-of-ok sort of way. Oh no. In my experience, it works out in a WHOA-I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-happening-because-it’s-what-I’ve-always-wanted sort of way!!
Kathryn has a pretty tight relationship with Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt. The tom-boyish goddess with the short toga and the bow and arrow. The Goddess of archery. Because of this relationship she’s adopted AIM TRUE as her motto. She asked us to journal about what the motto meant to each of us.
Hmmmm. Here’s what it means to me:
When I allow the combination of the messages from my body, my intuition, my true heart’s desire and my faith in the benevolence and sweet nature of the Universe—basically when I allow my inherent wisdom to guide me and then back it up with the actions to support all that wisdom, my arrow is almost guaranteed to hit the target. I don’t have to worry about how it will happen because I know (deep down in my gut I know) that I’ve done everything in my power to hit the bullseye. All I have to do is set up, breathe, and let go. Once I’ve taken aim and let the arrow fly, I might as well close my eyes because It’s not like I have much control over it after I’ve LET GO.
Ok. (Take a breath with me here.) Sometimes it might miss the mark.
Wait! Stay with me!! There’s good news!
I have—we have— plenty of arrows, an infinite number of arrows, in hand and can learn from each shot we take. Eventually, the target will have an entire bouquet of arrows right in the center.
Besides, once I get used to the discomfort of what it takes to set up the shot, there’s something exhilarating about doing everything in my power to AIM TRUE and then just let go and trust.
Just because it’s hard or uncomfortable doesn’t mean
THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME
I CAN’T DO IT
It just means that it’s uncomfortable. That’s it. I get to discern why it’s uncomfortable and go from there. Usually it means I just need to get comfy with the uncomfy. Sometimes it means I should just walk away. How do I figure out the difference? All that inherent wisdom stuff.
It sounds simple. Easy.
But we’ve already discussed that just because it’s hard or uncomfortable doesn’t mean that’s a negative.
Thank you Kathryn for asking me to think about what AIM TRUE means for me. Thank you for being such a bright and shiny example of what might happen when we do what we can to set up the shot, take aim, and let go.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! What does AIM TRUE mean to YOU? Please let us know in the comments section below. When we share our stories, it’s a powerful reminder that we’re all on this journey together.