My yoga teachers always taught me that it is important to get yourself upside down once a day; not just because of the incredible amount of strength it builds, or the willpower one needs to overcome the fear of flipping wrong-side-up, or even because of the amazing cleansing effects it has on the lymphatic system to get your heart over your head. They said that, yes, all of these things are important, but it is also important to be able to look at the world differently. To find a change in perspective.
In life, we move pretty much in one direction. We walk, we run, we bike- all in one plane. We hardly move laterally unless maybe we are dodging a biker on the sidewalk. And when the heck do we ever get upside down!?
Sometimes this is also how we think.
You don’t always have control over your situation, but you always have control over your perspective. Think about it. You can literally choose how you want to feel about something, how you want to see something.
It makes me think of an assignment we are working on at school now. It is called “Spinach,” and basically every student has to sing a song that is against their usual “type;” something they are not so good at, or fearful of, or never ever do, or just plain don’t like, but would ultimately benefit from. Like spinach- it’s good for you but you don’t like it (although, I mean, don’t we all love spinach?).
Take me for example: I might classify myself as a legit soprano who usually plays the sweet girl who falls in love. Moving in one plane. For my spinach I found a slutty, belty song. Something that scared me. Something that made me dodge the biker, or more: stand on my head. And you know what? I surprised myself. I had FUN. What started out as a plate full of spinach turned out to be a pizza (vegan, of course) with a little spinach on top. For a second, everything looked upside down and didn’t make any sense at all…until my eyes focused. Then all I saw was a beautiful new way to look at the song. The world. Because I allowed myself to see it differently. And now I find it wasn’t that scary after all. It only seemed scary because I didn’t allow myself to see it any other way. If I hadn’t gone upside down, I never would have known I had it in me.
What I am saying here is…we should ALWAYS be working on our “spinach” no matter what field we are in! Yes, we prefer the pizza, but you can’t live solely on pizza (moment of silence as the tragic news settles in). You’re great at working behind a desk but desperately fear public speaking, you have an awesome forehand but cannot hit a backhand to save your life, you are fabulous at teaching a class but have a hard time preparing/writing the class agenda itself. Whatever it may be. Take your pizza, and ADD SOME SPINACH ON TOP. Turn your world around, get a little uncomfortable. Picking the spinach off is not allowed. You need it.
You may surprise yourself. You can say, “ew, spinach is disgusting, I hate whoever made me eat this.” Or you can say, “this is really damn good for me.” You may even find that you LOVE SPINACH! The choice is yours. But which choice is going to serve you when… either way…there is spinach on your pizza?
I dare you to turn your world upside down today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next day, until you can’t go a day without it. I warn you, it is addicting.