I woke up today with a large bruise on each knee. Gazing down the two-inch black and blue circles on my skin, perhaps I should only be reminded of pain, regret, and failure. But instead, I am reminded of a moment of freedom, resilience, and success.
The bruises are only temporary.
Two days ago, I attempted a transition in the flow of my practice during Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). I paused in standing splits – my hands planted on the mat in front of me, balancing on my left leg, my right leg extended high behind me. Gracefully, I tried to jump back – to float to the bottom of a push up. Completely opposite, knees first I hit the mat – essentially the studio floor – hard, really hard. I lay there for a few seconds, the pain so suddenly shocking I was somewhere between laughing and crying.
But I got up again.
I went back into my flow, immediately freed from the immense pain. I continued moving until I found myself right back in standing splits. I had a choice. With ease, I could step back into a high plank position, knowing I would succeed. Or with challenge, I could attempt to jump back again, potentially failing. Without hesitation, I jumped, landing effortlessly in the bottom of a push up. Now, I was definitely laughing.
This is life.
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
Day after day, we swing back and forth between two extremes – failure and success. One extreme not eliminated by the other. I might never accomplish a jump back again, I might nail it every time – either way, I am aware both extremes are possible. And despite the bruises, I will keep trying.
Constantly, life knocks us down. In those moments of failure, we have two choices. To lie there defeated in pain or courageously get up and fight back. Success is only a second chance away.
When life leaves a bruise, will you get back up again?