When I consider how to define the edge in my life, I think about how different things are now from a year ago. About how, in “middle” age, I am resetting old patterns and taking more chances. The way I see it, I choose to live by an edge of “why not” rather than “why.”
I spent too many years chasing an edge in exercise - half marathons, Insanity, adventure races - but living in a shadow when it came to overcoming personal obstacles. Basically, through communication patterns set early in life, as well as recovering from PTSD, I dismantled my own sense of self-worth. I pushed outwardly, but inwardly I didn’t like how I felt or what I knew about myself. Frustrated, I let two F words - fear and failure (or fear OF failure) take hold.
I knew anxiety, panic and malaise were by-products of not being true to myself, but I didn’t trust the process enough to get to the root, or the Edge, of the main issue.
Until one day I did. I started counseling, began shoveling out of my comfort zone. Fired myself from front desk manager at our practice, and took a chance to reset my brain by enrolling in nutrition school. I immersed myself in a yoga training at Core Power, only to not pass through the audition, which rattled me for several days. Until one day when it didn’t, and I realized outward validation or rejection did not define me. It simply meant I could absorb feedback positively, see it as something useful to teach me more.
I turned that sense of failure around to look for new opportunities. To start my own yoga in the park teaching. To complete a dynamic yoga training program at LifePower, to see how far close to the Edge I can push myself, till I tap into the potential I know is there. It can be uncomfortable. That's how you know something is getting unstuck, a habit or thought process unsettled to become settled on something with more staying power.
It’s hard resetting patterns, turning on brain synopses after 40. Frightening, discovering a new voice and finding a comfortable peace with the possibility of defeat. If I don’t live on the edge of possibility, beyond the realm of failure, I am not truly living.
It’s like overcoming a fear on your yoga mat that held you back for years, until one day it didn’t. One day, I pushed my heels towards the ceiling in a headstand, after years of being frightened of it. One day , you take a leap of faith, jumping over the fine line between the Edge and the Comfort Zone, and see what other possibilities for change are out there. I am doing more out of my comfort zone that before (seeing patients, for one ), resulting in more inner joy and meaning that I have had in years.
I love introducing students to the Edge. Not pushing them over it, but guiding them towards it, until it becomes something both challenging and welcoming. I hope to continually redefine what it means as I become more confident and fulfilled. The more this happens, the more I hope to make a positive impact.
Through and around the Edge, great things happen, both within and around us.