“We can do hard things.”-Glennon Doyle
“Pilates?!?! I’ve wanted to try it but…. it’s too hard.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this exact phrase when I tell people what I do...I’d have a sh$t ton of nickels.
I wonder why we do that: interrupt our own curiosity because we fear something will be too hard.
One of my favorite clients (p.s. you’re all my favorite clients, shh.) told me that she was having a pretty major challenge with a colleague. She heard my voice in her ear, “Meet the sticky places with curiosity”. We had been working on this practice in our private sessions in relation to nagging discomfort from old injuries. She was able to translate our approach to movement and mindfulness into her daily life!!! Which, as an embodied movement instructor, is the BEST feedback. She saw a challenge and softened into it, and saw results. THIS is one of the things I love about Pilates, it trains us to be in our body and mind in new ways!
We CAN do hard things if we can approach them from a place of curiosity and (radical) acceptance... rather than resistance.
Our bodies love when we’re curious and kind!
Try it out.
Pick an exercise or movement that you feel is hard for you. It can be something strenuous, like a squat or a plank. Maybe it feels challenging to stand up from a chair or to lift an arm above your head. What is easy for you may be challenging for your neighbor, and vice versa.
First: do the movement on auto pilot while you become an observer. Notice where in your body you feel tension. Are you holding your breath? Are your eyes open or closed? Can you feel your whole foot on the floor? What part of your butt is on the chair? Is your grip tight? Is your jaw clenched?
The questions are endless because our tension patterns are unique to us. So notice, without judgement, without expectation, without thougts of past “I used to be able to do this” or future “I wish I could do this!”. Forget the goal. Experience the movement with judgement free curiosity..
Once you’ve got your data. PAUSE
Do the movement again and choose one thing. ONE THING…to soften, to let go of. Relax your forehead, unlock your knees, BREATH easy…..
Did the movement feel easier? Even just a hair?
Congrats! You just did a hard thing.