I’ve been sharing this quote I found on a friend’s Facebook page with my students this week:
Not everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein
Now if there’s a guy that knows about geniuses, Einstein is probably it! I was really struck by this quote because how many times in our daily lives do we compare ourselves to someone or something else and put ourselves down because we don’t measure up? How many times have you looked outside and passed judgement on yourself because you thought, in comparison to Person X you …
aren’t as good a Mother? aren’t as good a Father? aren’t as good a Husband? aren’t as good a Wife? aren’t as good a Parent? aren’t as good a Cook? aren’t thin enough? aren’t tall enough? aren’t creative enough? or even…
aren’t as good a Yogi (cause obviously I’m not as good a yogi as Person X because they can stand on their head for hours without even trying and I can’t!)?
But the real question is,
Why pass these judgements on ourselves? How does that serve us? Certainly we want to find ourselves challenged in this life. We don’t grow or move forward without challenge. But why is it necessary to judge? Why can we find the celebration in what is for ourselves? Why not honor our own unique path and find celebration in our own journey?
Yoga teaches us that we are all born from perfection. We simply strive to be even more perfect in this life. What better opportunity to celebrate our perfection than on the mat/chair?! We can use our practice to turn compassion towards ourselves and celebrate the things we *can* do while knowing that maybe that headstand will be easier tomorrow if we continue to practice. We can find an opportunity to celebrate what is, rather than lament what might be. And if we practice it on the mat/chair, we’ll be more able to find that compassion for ourselves the next time we’re out in the world and find ourselves in a situation that challenges our self image.
You have been given the great gift of a body to serve you as you move through this life. Yes, it may challenge you now and then, but where would you be without it?? If you can breathe, you’re already ahead of the game. Honor and celebrate what you are, because not everyone can climb a tree, but some of us can swim like a fish!