As I practice yoga for the sake of my core strength, flexibility and the wonder of deeply stretching my tight joints, I keep being surprised about the added benefits of health and peace of mind. The life lessons yoga offers in addition to all of that is almost too good to be true.
I wish I could write down what I’m learning in yoga class but it is impossible to do yoga and write at the same time. I need those hands to hold up my Downward Dog. I’m left to just remember what I’m learning along the way.
One of my favorite teachings is about finding your edge. In yoga it means stretching as far as you can, just to the edge of pain, but not quite there. You just get as close as you can to that doorway of discomfort, relax there before you get scared. Miraculously, I find that if I go right to the edge and relax, I can go farther and deeper than I thought. Before I know it, I’m folded in half or my head is on the floor, in a good way.
These last three weekends, I’ve had the joy of speaking to hundreds of women in three different retreat settings which have all been about Soul Tending in one way or another. At the beginning of each of the retreats, I remind the women that their souls know truth when it is spoken and will let them know they are in truth territory with a quickened heart, goosebumps, Holy tears or a lump in the throat. I encourage them to listen to their soul whispers.
I teach about Soul Needs like silence, solitude, beauty, wonder, family, play and rest. I always wait until the end, when hearts are fully open, to mention that our souls also love a God-sized challenge. Our souls enjoy being scared and taking it right up to the edge.
When I say this, I always hear a collective gasp from the women because they are feeling the truth of that deep in their soul hearts.
Our souls thrive on depending on God and faith to fulfill big dreams.
Our souls like doing one thing every day that scares us.
Our souls enjoy moving right up to our edge, relaxing there and then going to a new edge.
On my daily to-do list, I have all my normal to-dos: write, exercise, shower, go to the grocery store, call the repair person but now every day I also have the Edge Items, the scary things, the tasks I can’t do on my own without God’s help.
I breakdown the intimidation factor by telling myself what I learned in yoga: just get to the edge of scary and hang out there, then take the next small step.
Send the email to that contact which might lead to the big dream; set up the therapy sessions to deal with that hard thing; put the big event on your calendar; research the tax implications of your new business; send off that book proposal to one contact.
You get the idea. Our souls love a challenge. Are you living on the edge?
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor. See http://www.drcindyryanblog.com for her upcoming speaking events and to sign up to be in the Inner Circle. Cindy’s next extra content Top Ten list will be sent by email on March 1. Sign up today.