Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
Have you ever started something - a BIG, scary thing that took a lot of courage to begin - and then midway through, you panic and self-sabotage to make your fears come true?
Let me give you an oddly specific, but rather comical example (we need to keep Mondays light-hearted!)
There's this abandoned harbor near Twin Fin Surf Camp where you can jump off the wall and into deep, clear water. I'm a fire sign, through and through, so getting into water has never felt natural to me. It takes courage for me to cross a river, let alone jump into the ocean from 6 meters up.
Determined to jump, I climbed over the ledge and attempted to steady my nervous legs as friends looked up from below and encouraged me. "You'll be fine! Just jump out!".
Mustering all the courage I had, I let go and let this big thing happen.
Here's the sabotage piece.
I'd already done the hard work, the brave part. I'd already allowed myself permission to act boldly. I'd already committed and set the course in motion. Truly, there was only one outcome - land in the water - and all I had to do was not fight my way there.
I wish I could report that I learned to levitate, but I didn't. Somewhere between my release and the water, I panicked and started running in the air. Flailing my legs and left arm (my right hand was holding my nose), some irrational part of my brain tried to control the simple act of falling into gravity.
"Are you alright?" When I resurfaced to see the shock on my friends' faces, I knew I'd done it wrong. Then I felt the stinging pain on the back of my right leg and my left shin. Instead of landing feet first like a dagger piercing the ocean, I'd configured myself into an awful, floppy shape and hit the water hard. My moment of panic and fighting had sabotaged the letting go I had committed to.
I’m fine. There’s a 9-inch bruise on the back of my leg, but I’m fine. Even trying to defy gravity and sabotaging a simple jump didn’t destroy me. Plus, there’s a hilarious video of my clumsy mishap.
There are many lessons here, but today I invite you to be curious about what big leaps of faith you’ve taken in your life. Where have you acted boldly and with courage to move towards something that could be natural if you let it?
Can you predict where you may sabotage the good things that are happening? Can you identify the places where fear may call for you to reach out towards the edges and fight against the course you’ve set in motion?
Can you stay true to your course, try not to panic, and allow yourself to land gracefully at your destination?
My senior year of high school, I printed out the poem Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman. At that point of my life I was both making plans for my suicide and creating dreams of traveling the world. I’ve always had commitment issues, fortunately. That poem held hope within its lines, words that painted a meaningful existence I couldn’t resist falling in love with.
After college, I started working a 9-5 office job and still had the printed poem. Day by day, I felt my soul being sucked away through the computer screen or screams on the other end of the telephone line. I imagined the triumphant day I would leave, walking away from security, the status quo, and the way things were. On that day, I told myself, I would post on my Facebook the first lines of that poem that served as a beacon of hope for all those years:
Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I chose.
The same copy of the poem came with me when I finally quit my job and traveled for 5 months.
Each time I leave to travel, I read Song of the Open Road again, new lines jumping off the page to guide me. Because every journey off the beaten path brings a new lesson, a new challenge, a new perspective. What excites me most about my travels are the things I’m not expecting, aside from knowing that I will be surprised by the twists and gifts of Grace as I walk this open road.
I’d like to share with you the entirety of Walt Whitman’s ode to the traveler, so that you may be sung to by the message that your heart most needs to hear.
Song of the Open Road
Ramblings, insights, & motivation