Standing on one leg with the other wound tightly around my calf, my arms intertwined like mangrove trees, palms glued together and fingers pointing skyward, I swayed, then teetered, then promptly fell out of of Eagle Pose. If I’ve learned one thing practicing yoga, it is this: It is self-defeating to look around the room and compare myself to other practitioners. So I don’t look. I keep my eyes fixed on the knot in the wooden floor in front of my mat and do as my instructor says.
I “begin again.”
I just keep trying till I get it right. Or until I don’t. It’s all in the trying, after all.
This little two-word mantra has rescued me in moments outside of yoga as well, like when I’m frustrated because my day hasn’t gone as planned, when I’ve let slide some commitment I’ve made, or when I’ve spent too long wasting time on depressing news (or Facebook!). It's also useful on those occasions when I find myself growing tired of my own pity party, or spinning out on all the reasons why my life hasn't turned out exactly the way I thought it would.
Stop — begin again, I tell myself. Come back to now and just start over.
Too often we castigate ourselves for not being the wife, husband, mother, father, child, sibling, or friend that we think we ought to be. For not ticking off all the boxes on our to-do list. For getting so wrapped up in the day’s chaos and distractions that we forget to experience the precious moments as they arrive, unheralded and ignored. When this happens, it's worth remembering that we can simply take a step back, a deep breath, and start over.
There is no limit to how often we can reclaim our renewed enthusiasm for whatever the moment brings. We can begin again anytime. We can teeter and fall, we can fail completely, and we can always hit the reset button — each moment a new beginning.