Try Softer, Not Harder

Hello and welcome to autumn!

Here at Cole Media Management, I have been “celebrating” the season by having an emergency root canal, scheduling surgery for my dog, packing up my entire house in order to add a new roof and bathroom (don’t ask….) and, oh yes, running my business.

In the face of this, it’s possible I’ve been a little tense. I might even have been known to speak in a snappish tone. From time to time I might have found myself mentally glued to the ceiling at midnight…..

(I’ll be frank: accidentally, literally, gluing myself to the ceiling has not felt outside the realm of possibility.)

It’s in moments like these, however, that I remind myself of advice I give my yoga students when they are attempting to bind a difficult pose:

“Try softer, not harder.”

Why? Because it’s human nature when something is just beyond our grasp to strain to reach it.

But in yoga—as in life—there are times when the harder you try, the harder it gets; and it is only when you allow yourself to relax or when you (gasp) ask for help that what seemed helplessly out of reach is suddenly within your grasp.

(Binding myself in the pose, above, only took about 5 years of alternately relaxing and asking for help.)

So if you have found yourself metaphorically (or literally—no judgment) banging your head against the wall trying to bend the universe to your will I offer you the following internal incantation: 

“Try softer, not harder.”


* If you enjoyed this post, you might also like “Let Them See You Sweat”