We were talking about road trips, and I mentioned he should go on one. "I can't," he said. "Why not?" I asked. "I don't have the money...I don't have the time..."
This guy works at a job fairly similar to mine, part time, random hours. Odds are good he makes the same pay as me, if not more. In the past two years, I've taken at least two major road trips (to other states and back), and several "mini" road trips to Austin (a three to four hour drive, depending on traffic and where you start out, from Dallas/Ft. Worth).
So where's the difference? Does he maybe have more expenses than I do? I think the answer is simply that he does not realize he CAN.
Maybe a road trip isn't the sort of thing that stirs his soul the same way it stirs mine, but over the course of our conversation I noticed several patterns of speech that very much resembled myself before I just started going for things. I realized, in that conversation, that I've probably eliminated at least 85% of my "I can't" self-talk, and hearing it makes my skin crawl, it makes me want to leap up and down and tell the person saying it, "You CAN!!! You really, really can!!!"
This is huge. I've come to recognize, especially after going back to yoga, just how much "I can't" holds us back, was holding ME back, and how important and LIFE-CHANGING it is to eliminate the phrase from our vocabularies entirely. I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently, and I told her I had an epiphany about why I want to teach. Why I want to teach hoop dance, why I want to teach yoga, why I want to teach anybody anything. It's because I want to show the people willing to come to me that they CAN. That they are CAPABLE. That they can go from feeling something is impossible to doing the impossible thing, right before their eyes. The more times you set out to do something and you actually DO it, the stronger that realization becomes, until you feel like there's nothing you can't do.
For me, the idea of getting in my car and driving across the country does not feel impossible. It does not even feel difficult or daunting. I have done it, repeatedly, and therefore I know that I can.
There are things I'm still proving to myself, emotional issues that sit a little deeper and need a bit more chipping away. I've also begun to notice just how much one's emotions are tied to one's physicality. Bit by bit, I'm changing my body while working through emotions and issues. But I feel like my ultimate me, the person I want to be that I know is inside of me, is closer to being realized than ever before. I just need to stay on the path and keep going this way.