One of my all time favorite Bikram quotes is this one: "You have nothing to lose, because you never had anything to begin with."
It's not a statement of defeat or regret. Put another way, you could simply say that you already have everything that you're ever going to have, so all that you ever have to worry about is how to... (everyone together now....) use it! You come into the world with nothing, and you leave it with nothing, but in between those two points, you have unlimited creative potential.
Sometimes you might think you have truly lost something. Things get lost all the time... you lose a watch, an umbrella, a phone number, a friendship, a parent, a lover... and it's sad, sometimes horribly and profoundly so. But I don't like to believe that we ever really can lose those things. You know this story: the missing earring turns up in the wash, a stranger calls to return the cell phone, the long lost friend just happens to step off the bus when you're turning a street corner, and all the lost pets find their way back home. If not in this lifetime, then in another one. Eventually. In the future.
I've had a rocky couple of months, to be totally honest, and I was starting to feel afraid that some things were slipping away from me. My focus, my clarity, my energy, even my yoga practice were all getting a bit shaky, a little bit lost.
But you know what? Nothing got lost. I just had to muddle around a bit, and then sure enough, everything was right where I left it. And when I practiced again last night, for the first time since the weekend, I was so thrilled to be there, and I soaked up the practice like a dry sponge, all over again. My postures were right where I left them, just waiting for me to do them. My body was right there, so grateful to be taken through these now-familiar postures again. My teacher's words were right there, the dialogue as familiar and comforting as a favorite song. And my eyes were right there in the mirror looking back at me, focused, energized, and ready. I stared myself down in the mirror and smiled. Ok, self... let's do this.
I mean... if you have nothing to lose... then you can do anything, can't you?
There was one point in the last year when I was looking at a quote on the wall at the yoga studio: "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" I ended up talking about it with another student, and I told her that if I knew I could not fail, I would still do exactly what I was doing at that moment. Because I did not feel that fear had not been a factor in any of the choices I'd made that had brought me to that point. And I think that's a good goal, to live that way, to be able to give that answer to that question. That's my goal right now: to know that I cannot fail, and then live accordingly.
We'll see how that goes....