What’s the worst that could happen?
For most of my life, I watched people standing on their head (or their hands) with a sense of never being able to do something like that – like somehow the headstand was out of my league. The thought of falling in an awkward direction and hurting myself filled me with fear. But, recently, through my yoga practice, I have found the courage to question my perceived limitations and face my fear of falling.
I’m still relatively new to the practice of standing on my head, and until the other day, I had never done so without the support of a wall or a spotter. It was early in the morning, and I had been practicing inversions by the wall, and I suddenly felt very tempted to try to stand on my head in the middle of the room. I wavered back and forth – wondering if was too much of a risk. And, then, from a grounded space, I asked myself:
What is the worst that could happen?
I decide that the worst thing would be falling backwards, and while that seemed like a terribly dangerous prospect, for some reason it helped me decide to give it a try. So, up I went, and within seconds, I fell backwards.
But, a funny thing happened. I landed – safely – in an awkward version of full wheel. And, I was completely okay – physically and emotionally.
The experience was profound for me because, in my life, I often hesitate out of fear, but when I thoughtfully consider what is the worst thing that could happen if I move forward it is often not so scary. I learned from falling out of my headstand that feeling fear doesn’t mean I need to stop, turn around and run away; it can simply be an opportunity to pause, question, breathe and move forward with faith.