Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dare yourself

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare,
it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.

Daring is an opportunity for growth. For some people being silent is daring because they are uncomfortable with silence. For others talking is daring because they are self-conscious and shy. To dare is to put yourself outside your comfort zone.

Proximity flyers dare to leap from high cliffs or a plane wearing a wingsuit and a parachute. When they reach terminal velocity, their wings inflate creating lift and turning them into a human airfoil. The flyers begin to soar like birds at 150 miles-per-hour, at times just a few feet above cliffs, boulders, forests or other terrain. The proximity to the terrain at such high speeds requires intense focus, extreme mental clarity and physical ability to avoid crashing.

What motivates this handful of people to dare to fly so close to the earth? It is a primal dream of flying, it is testing the edge of what is humanly possible, it is dealing with fear and controlling the fear so it does not control you. As Jeb Corliss, one of the most famous proximity flyers, says, "It becomes a journey into one's own mind. If you didn't know yourself before you started jumping, you will after you have done it long enough."

Dedication and training are necessary for a successful flight. Understanding that often our limits are the ones we place upon ourselves is a key motivation for many of the flyers. How often do we stop ourselves before we even begin a project, journey or endeavor? How much does our attitude determine the outcome of our actions?

In yoga we can make a pose more difficult than it really is by expectations of failure. We need training and dedication just like the most extreme athletes. But it is focusing on the experience of discovery and freedom that allows us to practice with enjoyment and a sense of ease. When you find yourself unable to do a pose, pause and notice your attitude. What is your internal dialogue? What if you shifted any negative thoughts to positive ones? Yoga can teach us to know our minds and bodies in a deep and profound way. Use the basic principles of a strong foundation with an open heart to find your way in even the most challenging poses.

Thomas Edison, Mahatma Ghandi, Henry Ford all tackled problems or ideas that were thought to be impossible at the time. But they dared to believe in themselves and their cause. Dare yourself to be inspired by their example.

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