Choosing Boldness Through Connection
“Bold” was not a word used to describe me when I was younger. Shy, sensitive, and cooperative were the top descriptors for my first decade or so of life. Boldness has only recently become a greater aspect of my authentic self as I’ve weaseled my way into adulthood. I value authenticity, and think that in order to be truly authentic, a measure of boldness is required. There is nothing wrong with shy, sensitive, or cooperative… unless of course it comes at the expense of who you truly are.
Choosing boldness is the third pillar of Outlaw Yoga, and in the Outlaw Protocol: how to live as an outlaw without becoming a criminal – Outlaw Yoga Creator Justin Kaliszewski recognizes “So many people are out there living life as if it’s something that they’re trying to survive.” That described me to a T for far too long. I’ll never forget the first Outlaw class I attended, when the teacher asked us to get up, find someone new, and share with them what brought us to yoga. My internal dialogue went into shock mode, but Justin was to my left so my partner for this exercise readily identified himself. Damn…yoga was turning out to be slightly different than I had imagined, and initially I was pretty unsure about it.
When asked about how connecting to others at Outlaw has felt for me more recently, I prematurely stated that at first I hated it, then I grew accustomed to it, and now I actually enjoy it. However, upon deeper examination of the question, I was able to articulate that I never truly “hated” it, but it is was simply uncomfortable. As clichè as it may be, growth comes from being uncomfortable. For me, being “seen” can feel intimidating, and connection comes with vulnerability and the risk of being rejected. These fears and insecurities instilled in me since elementary school, and my once useful tools of self-preservation no longer serve me as an adult. The community at Outlaw has unknowingly provided encouragement to allow myself to willingly be seen and known by peers, while challenging old ways of being (my “small self”).
Connecting to others requires boldness, and boldness, by definition, involves a willingness to take risks. I am willing to continue taking risks as I become a more authentic version of myself, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to connect with others in such a supportive environment. Life was not meant to be simply survived, and through the practices of connection and boldness I’m able to engage in life more fully in ways I would never have imagined a decade ago.
Heather Summers is an authentic and genuine teacher and student. Knowledge and learning, particularly related to the mind/body connection, ignite her passions. She is a dedicated yogi, outdoor enthusiast, and avid reader (Stephen King and Jodi Picoult are her favorites!) Heather most enjoys teaching yoga to motivate and challenge students to meet their potential in a way that helps them feel powerful, energized, and connected.