The older I get, the more clearly I see: making “mistakes” is the way to learn.
Falling and getting back up again is the pattern of life. We mess up, and we fix it. We pay attention to how we mess up so that we can—eventually—get better, more skillful, more compassionate, more flexible.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes I make in my own yoga and in daily life practices. Maybe some of them are true for you, too?
1. Beating myself up inside for not fitting the outer mold of how I “should” be.
I (sometimes) berate myself internally for having a flabby belly or bad hair or weak arms or judgmental thought-patterns or whatever. It happens less and less with time and mindfulness and practice, but it still happens. When it happens on the yoga mat, I have learned to notice, breathe and let it go. I have learned to adore and appreciate my bodymind, just as it is.
2. Being too reactive.
I (occasionally) speak or behave in a way that is thoughtless, selfish and perhaps even hurtful, even if not (usually) intentionally so. Of course, we have the most opportunities to be this way with those closest to us. Breathing and pausing is the antidote to reactionary madness.
3. Forgetting my own basic goodness.
See also #1.
4. Resisting life as it is.
Because that is the root of all suffering.
5. Living atop the plateau of complacency.
The trick is, while embracing reality and each passing present moment as it presents itself you’ve also gotta keep striving, keep growing, keep embracing change and the truth of impermanence. It’s a lifetime endeavor.