There are many challenges that we invite into our lives like: intentionally putting an extra 10 pounds on the leg press, deciding to run another mile, or holding back your sarcastic comments when Aunt Deidre comes for a visit.
Then there are the challenges that pop up as unexpected road bumps. A disagreement with a friend, a failing grade from your son’s math teacher, or a flat tire on the highway are not something we exactly welcome in with open arms.
As we face, and overcome, each of these challenges we learn about our ability to move forward.
With each step forward we gain increased confidence in our capabilities. However, at other times, the challenges are more complex and we can’t see the path that will move us ahead. In the midst of divorce, bankruptcy, health problems, unemployment, or a major loss we can’t just face down the problem with determination alone.
It’s in these times that life gets messy.
When you’re being squeezed, wrung out, banged on the head and knocked down – do you claw your way back up, or play possum?
There is no growth without mess.
If everything stayed neat, clean and in stasis we wouldn’t have opportunities to improve or gain strength. The necessity of mess to create progress is an inescapable law of the universe. The same rules apply throughout nature. For a plant to grow it needs to struggle against the elements and the earth. If a butterfly doesn’t build strength in its wings by battling through its cocoon, it won’t be able to fly.
When we’re toddlers we fall, get scraped up, bleed, cry and generally make a mess. But, with tears streaking dirt down our cheeks, we learn how to walk – and then to run.
As we mature, we develop a fear of making mistakes.
We fight against being taken off plan and generally being in a mess. Unfortunately, there are no options. I can guarantee you, at some point, your life will get messy. There are very few unconditional guarantees in life. If you choose to embrace this one, and you can continue on anyway, you will also be guaranteed increased physical, mental and emotional strength.
Growth is the blessing of getting messy.
Kim Shand is the founder of Rethink Yoga. She travels nationally on a mission to inspire people to take control of their health, how they think, and how they age, through yoga. She motivates her students to find their power, their joy and to be “All In. All the Time.” You can find Kim on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.