The first reaction is "wow, that's incredible!" This first group is incredibly inspired because they view my adventures as acts of courage. Courage to live outside the box, courage to create what I want, when I want it, wherever I want and with whomever I want. Courage is contagious! How often have you jumped out of your seat to try something new because you soaked up someone else's courage?
The second reaction is, "aww, I'm so jealous." This second group is sincerely happy for me but are admitting that my lifestyle is triggering a hint of inadequacy within themselves. It's not me triggering them. It's them triggering themselves with the underlying limiting belief that they could never have this life. So it's easier to feel jealous than to strive for their own exquisite freedom and potentially be disappointed, which is a very heavy and difficult emotion to be with. How many times have you stopped yourself for fear of failure?
The third reaction is, "Good for you," said with a twinge of disdain. This third group is not sincerely happy for me and equally not sincerely happy for themselves. This is the group I have most empathy for. Can you imagine being "that" person who is neither happy for others not for themselves? Trust me, I've know my share of short straws, trauma, heartbreak, illness, betrayal, failure, depression, anxiety, struggle, and pain. And I've come to know that happiness is a choice.
The fourth reaction is, "F*** you!" which just cracks me up lol! This fourth group can't help but laugh out loud as well after they've said these words to me. You know why? It's because I can see motivation stir and bubble up within them. Unlike the third group, this group has fire in their belly, thus creating change in the air. Sure they've been triggered by comparison, jealousy, inadequacy, but you can tell they're going to do something about it. They won't just lay there and play dead.
Which brings me to the role that Antigravity Yoga has played in my life. I sometimes look at photos of me doing the bell pose and wonder how is that even possible?!? To be in a bow pose AND inverted AND only held by one touch point at the sacrum? To the newbie, it looks hard... it looks impossible.
The answer is: iterations. Multiple, multiple iterations. And I don't simply mean practice. I mean cumulative baby steps. First we sit in the hammock. Everyone knows how to sit. Then we play and get acquainted with the support and tension the hammock offers. Then we get over ourselves, our fear and our discomfort through play. Then we invert securely into a monkey pose. Then we stop and reverse all our steps. Then next time, when we're in monkey pose and have learned to breathe and let go and trust and enjoy the pose, then we play with releasing one leg l. We lock that leg back in and then release the other. Then we stop. We come back to upright position. Then next time we release both legs. And we find that sweet spot of balance, which is uniquely our spot. Some have longer torsos, some have longer legs, we are all so unique, there's no point in doing it like everyone else.
I love the Antigravity philosophy so much as a way of life. Yes there are fundamental principles to follow and there is YOUR uniqueness to honor and respect. There's a timing, pacing and gestation period that needs to be respected, anytime you try something new. You wouldn't hope for a pre-mature baby, right? So sometimes, you mustn't hope for instant business success, or a creative project done yesterday, or a dance performance perfected within minutes. We have all got to respect the gestation period and go through multiple iterations to reach mastery.
Whenever I travel, I often get asked with a shocked face, "Are you traveling alone?" As if it's a grand act of bravery... implying that it's still a dangerous, unequal and unjust world for women out there. My fellow male globetrotters rarely get asked this question. They get asked once in a while because others want to buddy up and travel together with them. Not the case for solo female travelers. So no, we haven't reached gender equality. The statistics of women being assaulted or violated are far higher than men. The female brain has been wired over thousands of years to please and perfect, to gain the protection of their male protector and provider. Of course there isn't equality.
But so what! I love being a woman. I love having emotions that fly me high into the Himalayas and crash me down to under the caves of the Pacific Ocean. It makes life so rich and colourful. I love having Jane Austen movie nights with my gal pals in our PJs, talking about boys. I love having a natural connection to my soul and to divinity. I'd so rather be a woman than be confined to fishing in silence, with an occasional grunt and scratch lol! And have you noticed? There's a whole counter-movement of men desperately wanting and needing to come together to talk about emotions and to support each other as women do!
All I can say is, when in doubt, the answer is always both: I embrace both my masculine and feminine sides. My masculine side gets shit done. My feminine side fuels me with creativity, innovation, joy, and passion. I thank my masculine side for my success. I thank my feminine side for my happiness. And I thank Antigravity Yoga for being the rich soil that allows my feminine side to blossom ever more. Looking forward to being in NYC in a few days for more AGY advanced training!!
And to you my gorgeous, brilliant and socially badass woman: Happy International Women's Day! Make badass-ery your new life goal ;)