Allowing Ourselves to Be Beginners
by Maegan Beishline, WTWC Marketing Coordinator & Adult Ballet Instructor
As marketing consultant for WTWC, I spend a lot of my time trying to encourage people to try a yoga or ballet class. One of the most common responses I get is “But I’m not flexible at all!” or “I have terrible balance.” I find these excuses so perplexing because it has been through the practice of yoga and/or dance that I (and so many others) have developed and improved flexibility and balance. Also, as a regular practitioner of both, I know that within the practice of each, I’m constantly working to improve further and maintain what I’ve already worked to develop. Through this lens of understanding that the skills come through the learning process and not before, it seems silly that someone would think they need to be good at something before they ever try it. But then I quickly remember how terrifying and difficult it is to start something I’ve never done before: to be a beginner.
My first experience with yoga occurred so very many years ago that I don’t recall what my initial apprehensions may have been. And my first dance class occurred prior to anything I can remember with any vivid detail. But I do know how much I resist trying some new things based on the assumption that I wouldn’t be able to do it “well” right away. I’ve come up against this very wall with skills such as drawing, gardening, cooking…heck, even mothering! This fear of initial inadequacy gets really damaging when it stop us from doing something that we know we should be doing or something we feel called to be doing. And worst of all, it doesn’t allow us to progress into the people that were meant to be.
Learning is difficult work. It can be immensely uncomfortable to struggle through the initial steps of something that we are not naturally inclined towards. But if we can allow a little extra space within ourselves for the vulnerability it takes to be inexperienced, we could see how capable we are of developing new skills and talents. And once we learn how to embrace the process of learning, the world opens up and all those things we wish we could do become more attainable. All the while, we’ll be learning how to live with even more grace and more acceptance of ourselves and others.
No one likes to be the one who is falling all over the place in yoga class when it seems like everyone else is nailing their Tree Pose. But what you may not realize is that, at one point, we were all stumbling. And some days we still do. I love knowing that when I’m in a class, I’m surrounded by others who have stumbled also, who will look my way and give me that sympathetic slow head nod that says “yeah, I hear that.” And I like to think of life that way too; like one big yoga class with others who are learning and others who have learned and all of us just in it together, doing the best we can. And I think I speak for many of us when I say that when I see someone stumbling; whether in yoga class, dance class, or through something new they are trying to manifest in life; I don’t see lack or failure. I see courage and beauty and strength.
There is plenty of grace out there for us. The only question is can we offer that to ourselves? Can we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be new, to learn…to be beginners?
Maegan Beishline, Marketing Consultant and Creative Development Specialist, is a Bloomsburg University graduate with a BS in Business Marketing & Administration. Her post graduate experience includes performing marketing tasks for various businesses as well as starting and growing a natural soap making enterprise and a portrait photography business. While entrepreneurship lives in her heart, she has found that her true calling lives not in running her own business but rather in helping others to build theirs. Her writing and photography have been featured in Artful Blogging magazine, Somerset Life magazine, multiple issues of Kindred magazine, and on various websites including I Heart Faces, Tracey Clark’s I Am Enough collaborative, and regularly on The Creative Mama. She is passionate about living creatively and is dedicated to helping others find their authentic paths of self-expression in both business and life.
You can catch one of Maegan's Adult Ballet classes Wednesdays at 6:45pm or Saturdays at 11:15am. Both are open level classes, great for beginners and more experienced dancers alike!