This weekend I brought out a set of watercolor paints for my 2 year old daughter and I to play with. I was pretty sure she had never done it before and would love to paint. I set the paints, paper, and a little dixie cup of water in front of her on the table. Without missing a beat Dinah poured the cup of water on the paint and paper, all over the table. GUH?!?!?!? I jumped to get a towel to wipe it up and let out the only child-safe thing I could say, “God Bless Us!”
Dinah knew right away that she had done something wrong. She sat super still and was clearly working hard to keep it together. I asked her if she needed to cry. She shook her head no and then said “Yessss”, full of sad and embarrassed tears. Once she calmed down with lots of hugs, we sat at the table to try painting. She refused again and again, pushing the paint away like it was a dog that had tried to bite her.
It broke my heart to see Dinah feel that miserable embarrassment from doing something wrong, the first time she ever tried, and then deciding she couldn’t and shouldn’t do it. She’s not even 2 years old. I cried too.
I know that feeling. Actually, I work pretty hard to not feel it because I hate feeling stupid. Too often I avoid those new activities that I fear will make me feel like a failure, even before I try. This includes a silly variety of activities; like reading & finishing a great, challenging, big book or even just a Zumba class. Zumba – I swear. Ugh. I just hate that dumb learning curve.
My hunch is that I am not the only one. I imagine that we all learned very early on in life, like poor Dinah, to avoid feeling embarrassed or like a failure.
When someone is fairly new to yoga, I can see it on their face. They are afraid of looking foolish and will nearly apologize to me before class for how out of shape they are or that they have never done yoga before. I get it. Yoga can have a steep learning curve and plenty of potential moments to feel like an idiot. The movements and poses aren’t natural. We are generally not even used to breathing through our nose, let alone relaxing our muscles or reaching in some strange direction.
I’m hoping that sooner rather than later Dinah will get very brave and try using her watercolor paints. I am going to be brave and make a commitment to myself to read a book that I have tried (and failed?!) to read more times than I could count. Lent starts on Wednesday, with Ash Wednesday, and goes for 40 days (not counting Sundays). During Lent I’m going to read my book in the morning while I’m eating breakfast, instead of starting the day binging on Facebook. I can do this. Seriously.
How about you?
The next Daily Bread Yoga retreat is all about healing. Healing in mind, body, and spirit. I have no idea how or why you might need to be there and maybe you don’t really either. That’s fine. Maybe it’s even better that way. Come with an open mind and heart. One of our meditations of the day will be a Biblical text. It doesn’t mean that you need to be a church going believer, but if you are that’s great too. We will be using the Bible and the experience of faith (h0wever it is true for you) as another lens and another angle for looking at healing in mind, body, and spirit.
If yoga is new to you or you are afraid of feeling out of place and stupid; I get it. Imagine how proud you will be of your brave self for trying. You can do it.
Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 9a.m.-noon / $20
Philo Presbyterian Church, in Philo, IL (105 E. Jefferson — a few blocks off High Cross Rd.)
Peace on your head,