Practice Day Nine: I Am Allowed to Make Mistakes. I Can Do Hard Things.

Updated: Mar 11

Theme/Mantra: “I have agency. I embrace my choice. I am allowed to make mistakes. I can do hard things.”


Reading:

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Meditation:

Find a comfortable meditative pose.

Take a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Breathe in, I have agency.

Breathe out, I am allowed to make mistakes.

Breathe in, I embrace my choice.

Breathe out, I can do hard things.

Repeat as ever you wish.


Physical Movement:

Triangle

Stand with your feet about three feet apart.

Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and our right foot in about 30 degrees.

Inhale and stretch your arms out from the shoulders, hips forward and bend to the LEFT.

Rest your left arm on the shin of your left leg.

Extend your other arm straight up toward the ceiling, looking up at your thumb if you can.

Hold for several breaths.

Release, rest and do the same pose on the other side.


Reflection:

Life is so unpredictable. I believe in living in the moment, but also in setting goals and working towards them. It sometimes helps to have a plan as we move through life. The problem is, life happens to that plan, and sometimes we have to create new plans along the way. I enjoy that process. Going in a particular direction with something in mind, but realizing that I may have to be flexible enough to change gears along the way. This isn’t rocket science. It isn’t awfully profound even. And yet, many of us are really uptight, and if things don’t go as we planned, we don’t know what to do. We may get angry or anxious. I try to set a goal that will move in a particular direction, providing an idea of how I will get to the chosen destination. I embrace that choice and direction. And yet, I am also always prepared for those unexpected surprises that make us change where we were going. We might even realize it really isn’t the right direction for us after all, so shifting gears again, and going in a different direction. (In those cases, the changes come from within, not outside of the self). The mantras that “I am allowed to make mistakes,” and that “I can do hard things” remind me all the time to hold my desires and assumptions and expectations lightly. To make choices, knowing I am human. To trust in my ability to do the hard work necessary of… being human.

(Note: the mantras came to me first from a therapist, Melanie Yoder-Salim- who shared them with me when I started out on my own practice- they have been life-giving).


Song: Watershed by Indigo Girls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mut_T0GcehI

Lyrics:

Thought I knew my mind

Like the back of my hand

The gold and the rainbow

But nothing panned out as I planned

And they say only milk and honey's

Gonna make your soul satisfied

Well I better learn how to swim

Cause the crossing is chilly and wide


Twisted guardrails on the highway

Broken glass on the cement

A ghost of someone's tragedy

How recklessly my time has been spent

They say that it's never too late

But you don't, you don't get any younger

Well I better learn how to starve the emptiness

And feed the hunger


Up on the watershed

Standing at the fork in the road

You can stand there and agonize

Till your agony's your heaviest load

You'll never fly as the crow flies

Get used to a country mile

When you're learning to face

The path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while


And there's always retrospect

(When you're looking back)

To light a clearer path

Every five years or so I look back on my life

And I have a good laugh

You start at the top

(Start at the top)

Go full circle round

Catch a breeze

Take a spill

But ending up where I started again

Makes me wanna stand still


Up on the watershed

Standing at the fork in the road

You can stand there and agonize

Till your agony's your heaviest load

You'll never fly as the crow flies

Get used to a country mile

When you're learning to face

The path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while


Stepping on a crack

Breaking up and looking back

Till every tree limb overhead just seems to sit and wait

Till every step you take becomes a twist of fate

(Twist of fate)


Up on the watershed

Standing at the fork in the road

You can stand there and agonize

Till your agony's your heaviest load

You'll never fly as the crow flies

Get used to a country mile

When you're learning to face

The path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while


Up on the watershed

Standing at the fork in the road

You can stand there and agonize

Till your agony's your heaviest load

You'll never fly as the crow flies

Get used to a country mile

When you're learning to face

The path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while


And when you're learning to face

The path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while

Until Tomorrow- Peace


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