A tree as great as a man’s embrace springs up from a small shoot;
A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.
(the more recognized “begins with a single step” is an alternate translation of under one’s feet in the last line)
Lao-tze from the Tao te Ching, chapter 64 **
Our journey in Yoga begins where we are—under own feet–and is designed and accomplished with the resources, risks, rewards and obstacles that are contained within our destiny. As we grow in the responsibilities of life the accumulated stresses and obligation may at times give us pause when taking steps toward any change, no matter how inviting it may seem. I hear so many say they fear beginning, or have fallen away from Yoga or Meditation practice because they are concerned they aren’t flexible, have trouble finding time, or they can’t stop thinking. This common Catch 22 may derail them despite some wistful sense within them that the status quo is not working and these practices may be at least a part of he solution to their struggles. With this attitude the prospective student is going to miss out on the amazing benefits of Yoga or any new endeavor, perhaps missing out on so many opportunitiesto to experience joys that comes with growth.
When we contemplate change while under stress we can be overwhelmed. We forget or struggle with the reminder that that any new endeavor may begin with apprehension and obstacles. Indeed the initial excitement and joy we may get from any new thing we do may be partly in overcoming or transforming that initial resistance. Overcoming that struggle may be as simple as a decision to show up, to a Yoga class, to our mediation space, or whatever that first step might be with the objections and tentativeness coming with us. It may only be then these resistances begin to loosen their hold. From this letting go of struggles we can begin to gain the small successes that dissolve the uncomfortable inner friction that resistance produces. By taking that step with our concerns in hand we can now move affirmatively toward out goals.
Remembering that a simple willingness to move forward despite apprehension, to responsibly accept risks and to persist despite obstacles may be what allows us to take a leap into new experiences. Then we can enjoy the process of growth and the satisfying fruit that may come from giving in to your adventurous spirit.