I used to study martial arts. I loved it. It was the ballast to my activist life. It was where I discovered my athletic self. Then, after about 18 years, I fell while hiking and hurt my back. There went my martial arts career. No more jumping, kicking, punching hard. After about a year of a modified schedule, I gave it up.
I decided to take yoga classes. For a few years, I moped. I went to yoga because I couldn’t go to karate. Yoga was just OK. I know many people love it with the enthusiasm I had for karate but for me it was a poor consolation prize. Now several years on, I have a renewed respect for and appreciation of the discipline. It ain’t easy. There are requests I make of my body that don’t get fulfilled. I’m amazed by what I can’t do and yet how much healing has happened for my back. I am working my way back to vigor with this new (to me) art form.
True, I don’t love yoga like I did karate. I met karate at a time and place that’s very different from where I am now. But I no longer expect to have the same experience. Instead, I love yoga on different terms. And I’m grateful to it. Yoga has given me my athletic self back.
Actually, this post isn’t about yoga and karate; it’s about finding the joy in what’s available, recognizing the present circumstance, as an individual, organization or movement.
Have you moped as I did when the thing you wanted was no longer available?
When have you failed to recognize a setback, instead plowing ahead as though if you worked just a bit harder, things would turn out as you wanted?
When have you dismissed the gift of what’s next because it wasn’t what came before or what you expected?
How long do you resist the possibilities of the new because it isn’t the old or what it should be?
What happened when you eventually met the new situation as a possibility?