A Metaphor for Living Large: Setting the Bar/Barre

barresoul-196_23In the spirit of the New Year and thinking novelty + fitness, I took my first Barre class today. It was a blast. Lots of core, balance and elegance in the way the class was taught. I didn’t look great doing many of the poses and exercises, but it was a great workout and I will be back next week. I have only taken one other “ballet” class in my life and that was over 50 years ago and remains one of my earliest childhood memories.

Get this: I was four years old and finally convinced my mom to let me try ballet. In my first class I recall looking around at all my peers, you know, three and four year olds, deciding then and there that I was already too old to become a prima ballerina. It seemed all the other girls were much better than me, so in my little mind that meant I couldn’t possibly catch up. I told my mom I didn’t like the class, but deep down I felt too old to start something as serious as ballet! I laugh now, but truth be told, I have felt this “too old” feeling at various times in my life.

Have you ever had this tape or another “too this or too that”? My version has to do with age and experience. Now that I am in my mid-fifties, this tape has the power to become an even stronger voice if I let it. Instead, I am embracing the approach of engaging in novel experiences with a “Beginner’s Mind.” It takes letting go of old stories and opening up to new and different opportunities. January seems like as good a time as any to embrace this more conscious mindset.

Part of the challenge is being open to invitations that take you out of your comfort zone. For me, it’s about being open for more spontaneity while also planning ahead and calendaring in new activities, like the Barre class. I call it my Both/And Approach. Taking the black and white out of the story allows for a whole lot more fun and lightness.

It’s early in the year to give much of a report, but I will say in the last few weeks I have kayaked the caves of La Jolla, stood on an ocean pier to watch the King Tides show their majestic power with 10 foot waves crashing around us and taken a half day off to go play in snow at the mountains —Trust me, snow is a novelty for Southern California and if you miss it, it’s melted and gone. That’s how opportunities are at four or fifty four—you have to take advantage or lose out.

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