By Mary Boutieller
When we let go of who we think we are, we open the door to all kinds of possibilities.
What have you always been curious about? What do you think about when you allow your mind to wander? What is the answer to the proverbial question: “If money (or time) was not an object, I would…” Have you ever allowed yourself to think about it?
I’m asking because I’m curious…and because I’ve been pondering the same questions lately. There are times when I think I am really courageous, trying new things, pushing my limits; yet as I’ve examined them recently, I realize that most of the things I do are still well within my wheelhouse. I love to teach, therefore I teach. I love to write, therefore I write an article each month. I really like to exercise, hence the upcoming bike trip for which I’m training. Yet the other night when my husband, John, asked me if I wanted to learn a few chords on the ukulele, my immediate response was “no.”
Then I wondered, for a day and a half, why I said “no.” What was I afraid of? From where was my resistance coming? Didn’t I want to learn a musical instrument? Well, yes, but…(cue the excuses).
Two days later, I asked John to show me a couple of chords on the ukulele (funny little instrument). It felt awkward and hard, and I certainly wasn’t any good at it. Yet, it sparked my curiosity and it made me feel kind of happy. I was reminded of what Walt Whitman once said, “Be curious, not judgmental.”
One of my dear friends is always trying something new: jewelry making, hydroponics, clay work, mushroom growing…I admire that about him and realized one day that maybe this was one of the ways he plays in life. Imagine if we all looked at learning new things as a form of play where mistakes are good and there is no fear of failing?
Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”
For me, growing up, I was often afraid of failing, of disappointing someone, of being not quite good enough. As a result, I played it safe for much of my early life. And although I’ve since gone on to do some really cool things in my life, I wonder how much of that little child’s fear still resonates? Could I still be afraid to fail, and is that why I don’t break out of my comfort zone more often?
As I write this, I can see how ridiculous this is, if it’s true. I picture myself as strong and capable and fearless, so I take a deep breath as I peel back another layer.
Jillian Michaels wrote, “A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.” When we let go of who we think we are (the ego), we open the door to all kinds of possibilities.
What would you do if you didn’t care what anyone else thought? Would you dance in the street, laugh loudly in public, or write a book? Would you try something new, knowing that mistakes are good and failures are just another step in the right direction?
Be in love with the unanswerable questions that draw you closer to who you were meant to be. Let curiosity be your guide and allow your imagination to lead the way. And if for any reason you feel afraid, remember that you are not alone.
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.