Better to fall

The floor of the martial arts dojo where I am a student is covered wall to wall with soft mats. Because if you want to learn to move in a new way, it turns out it’s better to to fall than to try to stay upright. Staying safe, looking good, holding on all work directly against the risks and failures needed to learn anything in a profound, lasting, embodied way.

Many of us have a never fall strategy for getting through life. If you hold on tight enough, tense your muscles and hold your breath then maybe nobody will ever see that you’re incomplete. Perhaps if you make sure you’re always in control, that everything is perfect, you’ll never find yourself flat on your back. Maybe you’ll be able to escape the shame that’s lurking just out of sight, or the harsh inner criticism that threatens to engulf you.

All this does is create a very tight spiral in which to live. And a very small space in which to learn.

What huge vistas would open for you if you gave up keeping it all together and allowed yourself to be human for once, in all your extraordinariness and all your imperfection?