We all have a calling. Our job is to feel that, to see that and to know that. When we get busy, however, “doing” and not “living in the moment”, we get taken off track and can easily lose ourselves, unable to recognize our calling, our destiny. We take a different path – the wrong relationship, the wrong job. There are no wrong paths. They all lead us to the same destiny.
Let’s recognize that there really is no such thing as failure. It’s just something trying to steer us back into another direction. To get us back on track. We get as much from our victories as we do our losses because the losses are there to wake us up. When we understand that, we don’t allow ourselves to be thrown off by a grade or any one experience. We cannot define ourselves by our losses because our life is bigger than that.
What would you say to your younger self? We need to say “Relax”. The way through the challenge is to get still and ask ourselves “what is the next right move?” From that more relaxed state, rather than get overwhelmed, figure out the next right move and the next right move…
The key is to not get overwhelmed by the challenging moments and to remind ourselves that we are not defined by what somebody says is a failure for us. We need to remind ourselves that failure is just there to point us in the right direction.
Our job is to stay true to OUR own paths. There are no mistakes. Relax.
I paraphrased the above words from one of my greatest teachers, Oprah Winfrey. They remind me of two wonderful poems that have guided me through my life. When I looked up their source to quote them, I noticed something very interesting indeed…the authors were women whose last names both shared the (unusual) exact same letters in their last name – “Stair” & Satir”. Coincidence? Not a chance. I will share their two messages in the spirit of live, learn and pass it on.
This first message was shared by my very first fitness mentor, Charlene Kopansky, now owner of CALA (Canadian Aquatics Leaders Alliance) at the very first fitness training workshop I took at U of T. Back then Charlene had just returned from teaching in Brazil in the late ‘80’s and was full of enthusiasm, passion for her fitness calling – aqua fitness. In that workshop, I learned fundamentals to teach group fitness. Basic elements were covered like teaching on the phrase of the music, what exercises to choose and to execute them safely. What made the most impression upon me that day, much more than the practical elements of teaching, however, was to teach from our soul to let our spirit shine.
Let me set the scene for you: that day, Charlene taught fully decked out in a beautiful carnival feather head piece that was literally about 3 feet in size. The music and her movements just from came out of her core so effortlessly. She shone. Charlene felt the moves, and her passion for doing what she loved was not only authentic, it was awe-inspiring, beautiful. I thought that day, that I hoped to be able to one day, move with that same sort of truth and to inspire others as she had inspired myself and my colleagues that day.
Charlene Kopansky is a wise woman and has followed her destiny, always being in service of others sharing her craft to inspire others to move and to be healthier, more authentic versions of themselves through movement.
I received the first poem below in the handouts that day and I read it every so often – usually on or around New Year’s to remind me to slow down and see if I’m still on course.
When asked “How would you have lived your life differently if you had a chance?” Nadine Stair, an 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky, provided these poetic words as her response…
If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.
– Nadine Stair
The next message has been a very powerful message for me as well. I do not recall where I received it honestly, however, these words have also made a positive impression to remind me to stay true to myself and I have shared this with many of my clients and friends. I hope it too is something that you can get inspiration from because if we’re open to it, there’s inspiration all around us…
“My Declaration of Self-esteem”
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me –
everything that comes out of me is authentically mine,
because I alone choose it – I own everything about me – my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
whether they be to others or to myself –
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears –
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts –
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know –
but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me –
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turned out to be unfitting, I can discard that which I feel is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded –
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive,
and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me –
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me –
I am me &
I AM OKAY
– Virginia Satir