Three days before the competition, my back entered into convulsion. I was so stressed out I could not move.
The morning of the competitors I felt fine. I did my regular heat up and had good practice trips. “Okay. Perhaps I can do this,” I thought.
I put an outrageous amount of self-imposed pressure on myself not only to be the finest in the whole world, but likewise make an award-winning documentary at the same time, without a coach.
An extremely bad idea in retrospection. At the time I felt invincible and inspired.
To make a long story short, it was a catastrophe.
I had very high expectations of myself and of the movie and thought it was all possible.
Jessie, a great kayaking good friend, knocked on the door of my Bavarian hotel room.
In 2010, after a surge of post-ten-day-meditation-course motivation, I openly revealed to the world that I was going to make a film about me winning the kayak world championships.
” Polly, take this, its ibuprofen and will help your back unwind. Keep in mind why you are here, you can do this,” she said.
“If you like yourself it does not matter if other people dont like you due to the fact that you dont need their approval to feel great about yourself.” ~ Lori Deschene
My first trip was alright, but not great. All I needed to do was the very same thing again and my score would suffice to make it through the preliminary cut to the quarter finals.
Coming out of a four-year competitors retirement suggested a strenuous six-hour-a-day training schedule, while at the same time recording the journey, alone.
Somebody in the crowd shouted at me, “Smile, Polly!”
Humiliated, ashamed, and disappointed, I went on a long walk and wept.
The toxic energy discharging from my mind, in the type of consistent internal commentary of judgment and drama, felt and looked like a real smokestack.
Three months of intensive Ashtanga yoga study with R. Sharath Jois, in the bustling city of Mysore, India.
” So, whats next Polly? Are you going to keep training for the next World Championships?” Claire, the female who won, asked me at the end of the occasion.
” No,” I responded without even thinking. “I require to go to India.”
India had been calling me for many years, like a little voice that linked a string to my heart.
It took three years, and I ended up the movie. However, releasing it to the world brought up all of my insecurities. I felt exposed and like a substantial fraud.
This was not what my ego wished to hear.
The worst thing happened, and everything failed.
I lost my focus, had a disastrous second flight, and slipped up that I wasnt able to recuperate from.
My ego wished to influence the world and had visions of, if not the Academy Awards, well then at least entering the Sundance Film Festival.
” Being the world champion isnt going to offer me what I thought I wanted. There is more for me to find out. I want to approve of myself whether I lose or win. I desire my thoughts to support me instead of sabotage me. I want to feel linked to something larger than myself,” I told her.
I pulled it together and continued to movie the rest of the competitors and felt some protection by concealing behind my cam.
My long-lasting dream of being a world champ professional athlete just vanished, and my heartbreak was intensified a lot more by the public embarrassment I d produced for myself.
I felt like a pet chasing its tail and was in a total innovative block with modifying my film.
Practicing at 4:15 am every day on my little space of yoga mat, surrounded by sixty other individuals, with no place to run and no place to hide, I started the journey of facing my internal world.
A yoga good friend stated, “Polly, even if your movie helps just one individual it is worth completing it.”
A year later on, I went to the equivalent of the world champions of yoga.
How could I have made such a vibrant statement, failed, and then advise everybody about my failure three years later?
Simple tears of disbelief welled in my eyes.
I shot myself and my movie in the foot so that my ego might continue to tell me I was not worthy.
In 2019 I left India and returned to Montana to teach kayaking for the summer.
However, that is not what I have been called to do.
Even though Outside Magazine did an excellent short article about the movie, in my eyes it was a failure.
She told me, “You understand, Polly, I saw your film about training for the Worlds, and it inspired me to train too. I made the USA Junior team and came second at the 2015 Junior World Championships. Thank you for making that movie.”
Running and hiding to keep my ego sensation safe no longer suffices.
It didnt get into the huge celebrations I desired it to enter into and I didnt bother submitting it to the kayaking movie festivals it would have succeeded in.
The world is in a deep spiritual crisis today.
The school had actually employed a young lady paddler named Darby.
I launched the movie and ran to North India, high in the Himalayas where there was no internet.
Like leaving your child on the doorstep of a strangers home, I birthed it and bolted.
My ego would like to be in a cave in the Himalayas meditating away from it all.
It was the twenty-year anniversary of the kayak school where I invested over 10 years teaching.
I have actually found out a substantial, modest lesson in self-compassion, self-love, and self-acceptance.
Putting myself out there still feels uneasy, but I understand that hiding is not going to assist people. I have decided that good is great enough and am now taking small steps in the direction of my discomfort.
But this just is not real.
My film assisted one individual, and I was satisfying her.
The takeaway was that my ego and perfectionism obstructed of perhaps assisting a lot more people.
The leading fourteen lessons I now live by:
1. Listen to the inner guide that whispers and yanks at your heart. If youre passionate about something, dont let anybody or anything encourage you not to offer it a go.
2. Do the important things initially. Enlist support from someone you share but trust about it publicly after you have done it so that you do not create unneeded pressure and seem like a failure if you have a hard time.
3. Do things one small step at a time so you do not feel overloaded and tempted to quit.
4. Assisting someone is a massive win.
5. Drop all expectations– the result doesnt have to be anything particular for the experience to be valuable.
6. Do your finest and release the results. If youve done your finest, youve succeeded.
7. Celebrate every small success along the way to enhance your self-confidence and encourage yourself to keep going.
8. Take pride in yourself every day for these small successes.
9. Authorize of yourself without requiring the ego-stroking that features enormous success and know that the results of this one undertaking dont specify you.
10. Real success is inner satisfaction. If youve followed your dream and done your best, give yourself authorization to feel good about that.
11. Do not compare yourself to other individuals. Set your own goals/intentions that feel achievable for you.
12. Every “stop working” is in fact an action in the best direction. It redirects your compass and assists you discover what you need to do or change to get where you want to go.
13. Growth implies leaving the comfort zone, but you do not require to press yourself too far. Go to the edge of pain, however where it still feels manageable.
14. If you flip out or feel resistance, take it down a notch. Move forward however in smaller steps.
If you freak out or feel resistance, take it down a notch.
I desire to feel linked to something bigger than myself,” I informed her.
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Enlist support from somebody you trust however share about it publicly after you have done it so that you dont create unneeded pressure and feel like a failure if you struggle.
If youve followed your dream and done your best, provide yourself permission to feel great about that.
Go to the edge of discomfort, but where it still feels manageable.