During an especially hard sequence in my yoga class, the teacher said something that made me feel called-out. He was talking about effort and going beyond our limits, about how rewarding it is to push onward. "Only by giving one hundred percent" he said "are we able to get one hundred percent back."
He's not the first person to say you get what you give, but I think he meant something deeper than that. When we give less than our best, like eighty percent, we actually get far less than that returned. It's not a direct exchange - it's more like sixty or seventy - because the product of our work falls short. And the cruel irony here is that eighty percent isn't easy! It's exhausting, and it's hard, and it hurts. We give a lot of ourselves, even when we don't give everything, so we often feel it's enough.
My short essay for The Equals Record today is about learning to let go of the boundaries I've created for myself, because I'm scared of being caught empty.
"We learn early on how to give just enough—to burn, but just a little, and be done. It’s smart to save a part of yourself, because what if this only gets harder?"
It's about the beauty that's made by reckless hearts. By giving more than you think it is wise to.
p.s. more writings from my column, Loud & Clear, which focuses on outward - and inward - exploration!
emily dickinson + the hard part of dreams
the first snow + falling in love