Beyond Belief


I believed I would never be stretchy enough to do the splits.  And I was quite okay with that.  I’d never been good at gymnastics.  I couldn’t do the splits when I was younger.  So that, clearly, was just something my body couldn’t do.  Right? 

In my twenties I got into yoga in a big way.  I discovered the practice and felt at home in it.  I practiced almost every day, sometimes at a yoga studio, sometimes in my bedroom with a book showing me what to do.

Somewhere in that first year of practicing yoga I was able to do the splits! 

What?  How was that possible?  My body wasn’t capable of that!  But. Clearly. It was... and always had been. 

And clearly I had been wrong all along!  

What else was I wrong about? 

A bunch of things it turned out. 

But it was that first mental and physical turn around: my belief about the splits – that was the big one. It challenged me to the core because I had so firmly and deeply known it to be true.  Yet it wasn’t.

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Now I try not to decide what I can and can’t do.  

Last summer I took up flying trapeze.  Initially it terrified me but each time I did it I felt a little dose of exhilaration that went like this:  Wow…. I did that!  I wonder what else I can do?  What else can I learn?    

So I tried it again and again ‘til it didn’t terrify me.  And finally this trapeze thing I’d always thought belonged only to Cirque du Soleil folk belonged to me also – just a mere mortal.

A ripple extended further out.  From trying and eventually loving flying trapeze I thought perhaps I should do other things.


I took up Aerial silks once trapeze had closed for the summer.  A few years ago I set the goal of doing a pull up (again – something I’ve never been able to do).  But, alas, my motivation was lacking.  A pull up for the sake of a pull up is just not interesting to me.  However, doing aerial silks I have to climb up a long piece of fabric and this requires upper body strength.  So… now…. I can almost do a pull up…. I’m not there yet but I suspect it might happen. 

And then I started dancing again.   I joined a salsa performance group and I’m in the midst of learning double and triple turns and it’s messy… oh so messy…. But I suspect it might get less messy in the near future. 

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So my humble advice: 

Don’t let your mind talk you into what’s IM-possible for you.  

It’s good to shake off some of those entrenched limiting beliefs. 

Get moving!