Nurture by Participating

Guest Post by Maggie Franz

Practicing yoga, it becomes very evident that we should become active participants in our lives. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future causes us to live life passively. Part of actively participating in life is learning or trying new things. At Black Dog Asana, we are firm believers that we are never done learning. From picking up new books and articles to learning new skills or crafts, it almost always seems like we are finding something to learn. While practicing yoga is calming and relaxing, another way we like to unwind is knitting. Whether they like it or not, my family and friends always receive handmade gifts from me for their birthdays or the holidays. Lately it seems like everything on my needles had become very similar. I had become complacent after mastering the basics because taking it to the next step seemed quite daunting. What an opportune time to be asked to participate in Libre Tea’s Nurture by participation guest blog post project.

In preparation for this post, a little retrospection was in order. I found that I had virtually stopped participating because what had become nurturing or cathartic might have the potential to become frustrating or stressful. Having accepted the opportunity, I knew that this is what I had to do for my new lesson. I found a pattern that was challenging but looked doable. Cable knitting has always been something that I wanted to learn but was too afraid to try. I pulled myself up from my bootstraps, sat down on the couch and after a few false starts I had made a cable knit scarf. The sense of accomplishment was wonderful. And the important lesson learned was that even growth can be nurturing, more nurturing than inactivity or stagnation (though they may feel comfortable or safe). Currently I am working on an even more challenging cable knit pattern which looks like it is braided – one that, brace yourself, I came up with myself after toying around with some other patterns.

This fall, we should all make an effort to break out of our comfort zones and try something new. Whether it is learning a new sport or activity, picking up a hobby, taking a lesson in a language you’ve always wanted to learn or even reading a book about something that we just never thought we had the time to learn about. We focus so much on health in the physical sense but what about nurturing our spirit or our soul? Our minds need to be stimulated just as much as our bodies. And to really be a healthy and active participant in our lives, it helps to keep our fear in check. Trying something new takes care of all of this. It refreshes our minds and nurtures our souls. And importantly, trying something new shows you that you can break free from that grip of fear which holds us back so often in life.

Let’s change the popular saying a little bit for our purposes: It is better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried at all.

Black Dog Asana

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