Back in what now feels like a former life- I worked with a best friend launching a business at MassChallenge. It was an amazing experience. We had access to the best of so many people, ideas and things. But as anyone who has ever started anything knows- the fuel of excitement and enthusiasm can only carry you so far. Certain days, or certain groups of days are hard.
Some time you ugly fail.
My life has changed so much since the first time I read this- but man, it still hits home.
Daring greatly can look so different given place and time. Back then it meant standing up, believing, delivering a message and stifling an intimidation factor. It meant talking the talk well enough to get to the next step. The arena was business, the critics were investors and the achievement was funding.
The problem though? The next step didn't fuel my soul.
We used to joke before a presentation, Are you ready to go to business theater? Yes, that lightened the weight we put on ourselves to do a good job and yes, we were wholly committed to the task at hand. But it also quietly acknowledged the inauthenticity of it all. Speaking for myself, I knew the gig was finite and didn't know what was next. Ultimately we won part of the competition and then walked away.
So, what's different today? Why am I still daring greatly despite being in a far less shiny role? Today daring greatly means being me. Standing up, believing, delivering a message, stifling an intimidation factor. It means teaching, listening, creating, practicing, falling again and again, getting peed on by a baby, writing a workshop that goes against current trends. It means talking the talk and ALSO walking the walk. It means taking breaks, re-evaluating, balance. The arena stretches from my mat all the way to the outside world, the critic is that voice on my shoulder not the voices of everyone else, the achievement- doing work that feels good...work that is mine.
Yoga is a gift to me. The community and work that surrounds it fuels my soul. I have never been more authentic. And although it is HARD...like really freaking hard...when I fail now, I fail more comfortably in my own skin. Yoga is a safe place to take risks. It's a practice that consistently asks us to creep forward and rarely asks us to look back.
My wish for you is to explore the things that fuel your soul. Let it be small- making a rainbow layer cake, taking a mental health day, kicking up to handstand at the wall, walk-running a mile, give yourself permission to not know what's next. Fail hard. Win big. And do it authentically. Dare greatly! The credit belongs to us! In the arena! Falling short again and again. Let's be the souls who know victory just as well as we know defeat.