what will happen next?

What gives you the ability to step onto an empty mat, turn to a blank page, twist into a new pose, jump into a new career, or begin a new relationship? How do you move from what you know on your mat, in your journal, or in your life to what you don’t know?

Each time you step onto your mat or open your journal to a fresh page, you reach into the unknown without knowing what will happen next. Even when you follow the same routine for weeks or months, you still need to find the courage, determination, and perseverance to enter the unfamiliar realm of a new moment.

When my yoga teacher first introduced us to Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana), he invited us to stand sideways, close to the wall. With one hand pressing lightly against the wall, he demonstrated how we could raise our knee, grab a foot with our free hand, and lean forward. Then, using the wall for support, we could explore what it felt like to let go of the wall and move with grace and determination into a pose that we’d never done before.

Reaching into the unknown involves learning how to move from a stable pose into the unfamiliar space just beyond our sense of stability. It means learning how to let go—not just of the wall but of the fear that might prevent us from letting go and moving into new, unfamiliar space.

In each moment of our lives, we can choose to cling to the wall, holding on to what we already know. Or we can decide to take the risk and pull our hand away from the wall to explore territory where we’ve never been before. 

How can you move with stability into the unknown and try a new pose, begin a new page in your journal, seek a new job, or find a new relationship? Can you notice if you’re clinging to the wall? What might inspire you to take the risk and let go?  

Bruce Black, the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press), is a teacher, editor, and blogger who lives with his wife and daughter in Sarasota, FL. 

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