[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e often hear the phrase “they have a wall up”.  What does that really mean?  Someone has an imaginary wall that a person cannot break through?  Or climb over?  That there is something stopping them from going any further?  All of us have these walls in our lives.  Whether we put them there intentionally or someone else does.  How do you break through these walls?

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years now.  Every day I head to my mat I am greeted with a different experience.  Every day is different on my mat.  Real life is like this as well. In my yoga practice there are often obstacles and aversions, just like the real world.  For the past year, I have started incorporating handstands into my practice.  I started getting adventurous after seeing “those people” for years.  I finally moved to the front row to join them so I could use the wall to support me so I wouldn’t fall. There was always something catching me from toppling over if I went too far.  It was my security blanket. For my birthday my husband arranged for me to have a private session with my fellow teacher to practice handstands. One of the questions she asked me is “what do you do when you fall?”. Hmmm….. great question. I DIDN’T fall. Ever. Not because I was a rockstar and nailed a handstand every time I tried one, but because I had the wall. The wall always caught me if I started to tip over. So we practiced falling a little. It’s different when someone is there to catch you though. It’s almost like having a human wall.

Before we left for our vacation I had been practicing handstands at home. I was an inch too far away from the wall and my toe was touching it on one foot and I couldn’t come out of it. I also couldn’t really fall out of it in a good manner either. I wound up crashing to the floor a few times. Then I did the same thing in class one night, only this time I toppled onto my 1 liter stainless steel beer growler turned water bottle and smacked down on it with my inner thigh. Of course I had the hugest bruise while we were on a beach all week.

I thought to myself I need to learn how to fall. I figured being on our vacation I would practice handstands on the beach where if I fell the sand would be nice and soft. One afternoon when my husband and I hiked to a private beach I decided to try it out. What I learned on that beach was HOW to fall. I fell, I fell lots, but it wasn’t as scary as I had made it out to be in my head. Most of the time as I flipped myself over I actually could cartwheel out of my fall and not land on my butt in the sand.  No this is not a guide on how to handstand, stay with me now…..


I started thinking about life. In life we are so afraid to fall and to fail. We put a wall up to prevent people from getting to know us. We keep walls up to protect our feelings. We don’t give things our 100% because we are afraid of what someone might think, or what if, just what if (gasp) it doesn’t work out as planned. By putting up these walls though we create these security blankets. We create comfort zones. We start to live in the perimeters of our walls and not even realize there is a whole other world out there just waiting to be experienced.

What happened when you were a child learning to ride a bike? You fell! What did you do when you fell? You may have scraped a knee and cried but damn it, with tears streaming down your face you got back on that bike.  Often times you learn more on the way down than you do getting back up.  Think about your 5-year-old-learning-to-ride-a-bike-self. Be that kid! Let your guard down, break down those walls. If Berlin could do it, so can you.  Don’t be afraid to fall. Whether it’s falling in love, taking a chance on something new, changing your career, going somewhere new, the list goes on and on. Take a chance on SOMETHING.  Life happens outside of your comfort zone. Let your wall down and take the chance that you might fall. When that happens, pick that 5 year old, scraped knee, tear streaked face self of yours up and get back on your bike.  

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