Last week I spent time with AcroYoga friends from all over the world at a skill-share retreat in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.
The whole weekend we played, danced, laughed, hiked, climbed and did TONS of Acro. It was glorious. Being that it was a skill-sharing event, I focused on sharing and attaining specific tricks from the realm of Acro. We worked on pops, tosses, lifts, whips, Icarian, washing machines, muscle-ups and more. (Don’t worry, if you’re not an Acro geek, no-one expects you to know these terms.)
On the second-to-last day, I finally gave in to the feeling I’d been carrying the whole weekend. I approached a friend and said, “Can we just play for a bit? I’m really craving some flow,” to which she responded, “Yeah, let’s cruise.”
What followed was the most satisfying, nourishing experience of the whole weekend. We transitioned seamlessly from pose to pose, completely improvising…almost without words. Wherever I stepped, she poured weight. Wherever she leaned, I supported. Before we knew it, we had a small crowd around us, and more people wanted to “do some of that Contact Improv, Acr0-y stuff.”
That night, one of the attendees asked me for some bodywork to aid her aching back. I obliged, and surprised myself with my ability to hear exactly what she needed, then provide it. Of course a little line formed, and I spent the next couple of hours addressing various aches, pains & chronic symptoms of overuse. My friends felt served, and I felt fulfilled.
The next day, a friend & I wrote a new washing machine that’s now become a favorite.
What I haven’t said is that I spent almost the entire week quietly wondering where I fit in. So many people had clearly defined skills to share, from unique washing machines to beasty overhead lifts to gravity-defying pops…and I wasn’t sure what my superpowers were in this mix of stellar humans.
Then I reclaimed my flow, and everything made sense again. I allowed myself to ask for what I wanted, and see what happens.
It’s easy to get lost in comparison, or the quest to attain specific skills & refine abilities. However, it’s essential to remember that all of those new tricks only serve to bring us back to present, moment-by-moment awareness & engaged participation…and all those with whom we compare ourselves are simply mirrors to show our own greatness.
Long story short: If you’ve been feeling stuck or uncertain, let go and get a little messy. Forget perfection & just play. I promise you can pick up, polish & re-organize all the pieces later. Chances are, you’ll have a few new pieces of gold to work with.
Now go play!