Learning to Fall

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 By:
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“To Live is to fly… low and high… shake the dust off of your wings and the sleep out of your eye.”

For some reason or another, I have been wanting to write a blog about falling for quite some time. Well, I got to fall a little bit lately. In life, on my mat and in love. It kind of sucks. Very tiring, ya know? Mostly because I always keep trying to pick myself up. For right now I’m letting myself stay down and just kind of revel in it. It feels kind of sweet to just be honest about how I’m not really feeling great and just be. At least it’s real. You could say I’m flying low right now, or you could just say I fell over and I don’t quite feel like getting up.

When I fall, I fall hard. Sometimes I get injured. Sometimes I cry. I always I get back up eventually. When I love, when I live, when I practice, I do it whole-hardheartedly. I’m not into half-assing. It really seems very pointless to me. It’s walking between the present moment and distant memory, or maybe some fantasy that will never actually come into fruition. But it’s not really living life now. It’s the in between, the almost… It’s the not-quite-ready, under-baked, moist center of a cake that would have tasted great, but no one bothered to cook it long enough so everyone’s just eating around the gooey part.

In yoga class, when you half-ass a pose, you never fall. You’re safe for the most part, but sometimes you injure yourself because you’re not fully engaging the muscles that will protect you, thus straining joints and ligaments that were never meant to support you in that way. You also never fly. If you’re going to rest, rest. If you’re going to spread your wings, do it with boldness. You might fall, but when did that ever become a scary thing? You’ve felt it before. You’ve figured it out and gotten through it. As Guy Clark puts it, “He did not know he could not fly and so he did.”

Sometimes I’m not willing to take the risk. I feel that internal shakiness, as if I’m walking on a wire, alternating between looking down, seeing how far I could fall and staring straight ahead at exactly where I want to go. If I can just keep stepping forward and forget about what I have to lose and just focus then I know I’ll get there. Rooting to rise. Sometimes my roots feel like they’re dangling in mid air, suspended by gravity and nothing more. But isn’t that kind of exciting? I guess it’s a little scarier when you don’t feel rooted and you don’t know where you’re going. I feel that. I also remember that my root is in my core. It’s who I am. It’s that deep sense of safety, peace, and understanding that no matter what happens or what I choose, everything will be just fine. I’m safe within myself. The way I experience life is up to me.

So why not fall a little? Be shaky. Be awkward and uncomfortable for just a few moments of your life. Embrace it. And how about letting the goal be where you are, to be present there and find a place a of peace about how strange life is? That’s part of the beauty. The never knowing, always changing nature of the universe can inspire us just as much as it can freak us out. I guess the choice is ours. Maybe we can see falling as just a great a success as spreading our wings and taking the leap.


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