DevaTree Blog

Injured. Here’s How it Happened.

Posted By Brenda Dowell on Sep 19, 2017

Several years ago I was in a yoga class and injured my shoulder getting into wheel pose.

I could say it happened because the instructions weren’t clear enough. I could say I wasn’t warmed up enough. Or I was distracted. Or my proportions made it hard for me.

But none of that was true. 

I injured myself because I wanted to look like everyone else in class. I wanted to get it right. I wanted the teacher’s approval.

I wanted to fit in.

I muscled my way into the pose before my body was ready—and my body protested.

Reflecting on that injury, I realize I've been an “all or nothing” kind of person. I approached my life, choices, obstacles, and decisions with an attitude of beat it, nail it, get it right—or die trying. The effort wasn't as important as the outcome.

The destination was the ultimate goal—not the journey. I was focused on outside approval for my worth.

On the upside, this attitude helped me work through things in my life. I learned how to focus, dedicate myself to projects, and I accomplished a lot. I learned so much.

But this attitude also hindered my growth and acceptance of myself.

I’m finally learning the journey is just as important as the destination. I’m becoming more honouring of my limitations, and can look at them with more compassion and empathy instead of competition.

I continue to practice accepting my body and my life as they are now. I witness this struggle in others also—I understand how they feel.

When you want to accomplish something but feel stuck or are pushing too hard (on or off the mat), these five steps can help you honour yourself:

  1. Ask yourself: “Is this limitation physical, emotional, mental, or something else? When did it develop? Get to know it a bit better.
  2. Is the limitation real or perceived?
  3. Breathe, slow down, and ask yourself if this is something you really want. If so, are you prepared to work from where you are?
  4. What is the next thing you need to put in place to step forward? For example, lengthen your hamstrings systematically to do the splits.
  5. Can I love and accept myself as I am, even if I can't achieve what I want?  

In the end, what we believe about ourselves matters.

Where do you push yourself in your life beyond your abilities? How is this working for you, and has it changed over time? I'd love to hear from you, in the comments below.

In loving acceptance,

Enjoyed this article? Get email updates… it’s free!

An email address is required.

4 Comment(s)

Esther Gieringer on September 20, 2017
Thanks for sharing this with us Brenda. Was I ever pushing myself beyond my capabilities and then one day in 2013 while carrying a watermelon (it survived) I fell and broke my ankle. Life had been gently telling me for 2 years to slow down and I didn't listen - I was too busy. It took another fall in my bedroom 3 days later with the (heavy!) plaster cast on while preparing to go to a was like, "ok, Esther, are you gonna listen up or what?!"....and I finally listened. I didn't go to the meeting, I cut back on things and in general had to slow down because once the cast was off, if I walked too fast my ankle would start to "speak to me". Thank you ankle! And now, on my YTT journey I am learning at an even deeper level, to really listen to all of my body, on all levels. I do have some limitations and I am playing with them to learn more about them, and then there are other postures I can do and it's like wow! I just did it! (I'm almost 60 and I was able to do a hand stand at our last YTT weekend - haven't done one of those since I was a little girl.) I am finding my body to be so fascinating and very sacred. My body really is my temple and I want to honour it and express all that I can safely and in my own way and be me, constantly changing as I transform along the way, sharing my unique self with others, and enjoying others as they are. I am filled with so much gratitude to be part of Deva Tree's and Santosha's YTT and for all you have taught me along the way Brenda.
Brenda on September 20, 2017
wow, Esther - thank you for sharing such a wonderful and inspiring story on you and your journey. Listening to our bodies as they speak to us is such a beautiful lesson and gift in life especially as we mature. It seems you will are living this with such honouring and respect. Thank you. You are an inspiration.
Stacey on January 06, 2018
I hung on to this one in my inbox, the 5 questions are awesome and I'm sure I'll read them again and again. That's is for the article!
Brenda on January 06, 2018
Hey there Stacey - I’m glad you held onto this one and you found the questions thought provoking. Continue to ask & listen. Sending love. Brenda

What Do You Think?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Cancel reply