I arrived at the gym yesterday and walked up to the front desk to check in. Right on the counter was a stack of cards titled “Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being”. The cards seemed out of place amidst weight machines and treadmills but the image on it intrigued me.
It was of an older woman with a glowing smile sitting in lotus pose wearing a red halter dress, arms over head looking to the sky.
Curious I picked it up. The card, a promo for a new book, said that the woman’s name is Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is 96 years old and from her resume she appeared to be more active than most forty year olds I know. Among many other things to her credit, she is an award winning ball room dancer and holds the title for the oldest yoga instructor.
Then as I read on and I felt my breath leave me for a moment.
Her life mantra is…
There is nothing you cannot do.
These words struck me deeply. It is the same message I had been hearing all week, from numerous places..
A few months ago, my friend first told that he believes he can do anything. I secretly laughed. It sounded like boyish pride to me. He couldn’t become a champion belly dancer, I thought…or a master chef on a Caribbean cruise ship …my list of “preposterous” things grew. I thought how childish of a notion it was and I actually felt sorry for him for being trapped in such a naïve reality. Wasn’t he just setting himself up for failure and disappointment?
But on Friday when I talked to him, I started to see that he didn’t just think this idea…he KNEW it. This statement wasn’t out of arrogance, nor was it some sort of grand delusion; it was the source of his power. There was no doubt that if there was something in life he wanted to do, he could do it.
That same day, in the evening, I was speaking with another friend. Sue, at 85 has a youthful spark in her eye, a playful sense of wit and a curiosity that makes her appear decades younger than she actually is.
I can’t remember what we were talking about, but when I heard these words slip from her mouth: “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” I paid attention. She too was a believer.
And so, you can imagine, when I was at the gym just the next day, holding that little card in my hand, reading about a 95 year old woman who’s life moto is “There’s Nothing You Cannot Do” the message felt profound.
I believe it is time to not just hear to these words, but to be them… to dive fearlessly into life, nod at the things that scare us and keep moving forward. We can do whatever we set our minds to. The only thing in our way is us. This doesn’t mean things will be easy. Quite the opposite, but when we truly believe this truth, we can’t be stopped.
Don’t give up. It’s in you.
Here’s a clip of an interview with Tao,