You Are Inspiring

During the first week of January I did a week long challenge at my studio. It was simple (so to speak). I did two classes a day for seven days in a row. I learned a lot during those seven days about myself and my yoga practice. One of the things that surprised me the most was whenever someone at the studio would tell me that they found what I was doing to be inspiring.

I never did my challenge with the intent of inspiring anyone. I honestly did it just to literally challenge myself and to see what I could do. It was a personal challenge. When people said I inspired them, I was always surprised. I usually said, “Thank you” and went on about my day. Now I find myself wondering what it was that they found so inspirational. However, it doesn’t matter if I ever know. What matters is that they got something from what I did even if I didn’t intend that to happen.

The other thing that I learned from this experience is that we – all of us – have the potential to inspire people in our everyday actions. What may seem small and insigificant or routine to us may in fact be just the ticket someone else needs to push themselves forward. You just never know.

Last night in class I was talking to one of my students – a teacher. One assignment in my class requires the students to video part of a lesson and post it to our class website. Others then view the video and analyze it offering feedback. The gist of the conversation I had with this person went something like this:

Teacher: I am thinking I will video a lesson I do with one or two students.

Me: Yes. You can do that.

Teacher: But I am worried it will not be interesting.

Me: Well, you should try to do something you are going to find interesting and worthwhile.

Teacher: I will find it interesting. But I don’t think anyone else will find it interesting.

Me: Try not to worry about that. Just focus on what is going to be helpful for you.

Teacher: I just worry that my video will be boring. It won’t inspire anyone.

Me: Trust me. You never know what will inspire someone.

I found this conversation very interesting. If this person is so worried about inspiring someone – anyone – then the work probably won’t be inspirational. You gotta go out and do the work, and be in it, and see what happens to you and how it is received by others. We cannot control what is inspirational and even the most mundane things can be inspirational.

If I worried about my yoga practice being inspirational then I am pretty sure all my classes would suck. I mean, how can I get in a pose to the best of my ability and fully engage with it if I am caught up in having to inspire others through what I do? I can’t. And I bet that if I do something because I think it will inspire someone it won’t. It’s all the little stuff we do with our full and honest intentions that inspire others. Even if we don’t know it.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Peggy Semingson
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 12:02:13

    Great post. I think on these things, too, and what power we might have to influence or model to, for instance, our students that we don’t even realize. Sometimes I mention things in a kind of off-hand way and it sticks. I think we are all, always watching each other. Maybe with the physically demanding tasks, we need all the motivation we can get! E.g., why I walk at the gym, versus around the block.


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