Posts Tagged ‘believe in yourself’


Ever since my friend put me on to the video I posted last week entitled “Never Ever Give Up” (you can find it here) I can’t stop thinking about the power of belief to change a life, and about the impact teachers can have on their students.  Going back to the video, I think that man’s yoga teacher could have given him an exercise as simple as “jump on one foot” and it would have made all the difference in the world.  Why?  Because the belief in the student’s ability to transform was there long before the set of exercises was given out.  The teacher believed when the student could not, and isn’t that a remarkable thing?  Isn’t that what it’s all about, not just between teacher and student, but between us all as believing mirrors for one another?

I love when students begin to practice yoga with me.  I hear all kinds of fanciful stories about how out of shape they are, how they lack flexibility, and how they can’t do this, that and the other thing, especially because they’re so old.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  While I smile and nod graciously, truly understanding the importance of being heard and validated, I don’t buy any of it.  In my mind, I think, “Let’s just see about that.”  And I don’t mean that in a patronizing way.  I just wonder how much of the belief system we each hold on to is based on fact and how much is adopted story.  I work exclusively with women and, in this world, we are told constantly how it’s over for us once we move past the age of 25 (or is it younger now?  It seems younger to me.) We’re done.  We have nothing to offer.  We’re sliding downhill into frailty and dementia.  And I say:  BULLSHIT!  Again, let’s just see about that.

And, my word, I have seen.  I have seen a 70 year old woman who, after 2 years of practice, flipped ass-over-tea-kettle and hopped up into a wall-supported handstand.  I have seen a 66 year old woman commit to a regular yoga practice for 2 years, when she has struggled to commit to any kind of physical exercise her whole life.  I have seen a woman who, in the beginning, could not sit still and close her eyes in meditation, become one of the most still and focused students in class.  I have seen.  On the first day, I have looked into your eyes and while you speak to me of what you lack, I see all the potential that exists.  And the day that you begin to see it for yourself  is the day that you begin to hold yourself up.  What a glorious day!

This isn’t about how I’m some kind of grand yoga teacher.  I’m not.  I’m just some average chick running classes from her home.  This is about the life-changing effects of believing in one another.  It’s about having the courage to dive with one another beneath the skin and into the soul of the matter, and once you reach the soul, there’s nothing that can’t happen.  In the place of the soul, “can’t” doesn’t exist.

For me, it happened with the written word.  Words are magic for me and capturing what is in my head and getting it just right down on the paper is a bliss unimaginable.  But my storytelling capacity wasn’t exactly nurtured by the nuns in nursery school.  Nope.  I had to do and redo and redo again my paragraphs so my letters fit perfectly inside the lines.  Forget about the quality of the story, it was the pretty handwriting that counted.  Silliness.  When I was 10 years old, I met the man who would change my writing life forever.

Mr. LaPlume was fresh out of teacher’s college, with glasses and a shock of flaming orange hair.  He was young, vibrant and full of life, and he did that one thing that would turn everything “writing” on its head:  He told my parents that I had something when it came to words; I had a gift for writing. I had never heard that before.  For years I had only heard about what was “wrong”, never about what was right or what could be.  Mr. LaPlume believed in my talent and I believed in Mr. LaPlume.  If he thought my writing was good, maybe, just maybe, it was. To this day, when the scary writer’s thoughts enter my mind and I worry that I will run out of things to say, Mr. LaPlume’s shiny face enters my mind and I think, “Mr. LaPlume believed in me.  I can do this.”  Some things never leave…thank god!

So, who believes in you?  Who is the shining star who said that one perfect thing at just the right time to help you take that leap of faith?  Who is the person who has stood by you time and again, and encouraged you and celebrated with you, with pom poms, whenever you overcame yourself and DID IT, whatever “it” is?  Who holds the faith in you when you’re feeling too fragile to hold it for yourself?  If, for some reason, no one comes to mind, I’ll tell you this:

i believe in you

I believe in who you are and in what you can do, and there’s a whole army of good people standing behind me who believe in you too.  Just reach out into the ether and you’ll know we’re there.  Then…do it, whatever “it” is.  We’ll be there, pom poms in hand, smiling right along with you.  Some angels aren’t meant to be seen, but they’re still there.

Have a blessed day!


ps.  Mr. LaPlume, if you’re out there…THANK YOU.  You helped to change my life.


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May you always believe in the extraordinary things you can do, and may you always have at least one amazing person in your life who believes right along with you, especially for those times when you may forget.

Much love,


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