Some of us are destined for greatness.
Some are meant to be “great” parents—you know—that “uber parent” that has boundless energy for their children in every capacity. The parent that seizes every teachable moment to its fullest advantage. The parent that prepares healthy meals and has intimate discussions about every dilemma at precisely the right moment.
I’ve met these parents. They do exist.
Then, there are people destined for physical greatness. The competitive athlete whose parents tell the story of the day that they simply “tossed a ball around” when…the magic happened.
There are people that never propel to stardom, but have a tireless discipline to strive for greatness—a living, breathing yearn to be no less than stellar in every physical endeavor. The individuals that consistently work toward and walk around with physiques that are basically skin over muscle. They wouldn’t dream of eating fast food and the temptation of a night out partying will never deter them from their physical commitments. They possess a resolve that is unmatched by most people they know (except other competitors, destined for their own personal greatness).
There are also people destined for spiritual greatness—the guides that possess an inner peace and work vigorously at maintaining a true connection with their higher selves. They are leaders. They volunteer their time and when they enter a room, there is a forceful calm that can bring every person to an alert silence. They are the beings that everyone wants to listen to, and walks away from swearing they will commit to a life of virtue. The mere presence of these peaceful and enlightened individuals is pulsating with encouragement and everyone they encounter can feel the light that they exude. They are dripping with compassion and we just want to fall at their feet.
The gurus. The figure heads. These are not idealistic myths. They exist.
This is not to diminish their own struggles in life or their extreme efforts in attaining greatness, but these are beings with clear gifts.
We are inundated in a never ending stream of media; self-help, the law of attraction and the power of now. There are countless books about the power of positivity written by gifted and inspiring individuals that are innovative. Everyone has gifts, yes, but I’ve found myself feeling pretty mediocre. I began to examine that.
I am none of these things.
I am the mom that sometimes yells at her kids in front of other people. At times, I’m too tired to seize the teachable moment. Sometimes, I just let it slip away. I let my children play video games and watch television when I need quiet.
I occasionally drink wine. I curse. I’ve been known to eat Oreo cookies after yoga. Bikram yoga is a detox process. I have, at times, instantly re-toxed after the detox.
I am not great.
I am finding my way through every aspect of existence that I’ve just described. I have cultivated a yoga practice that is intense and I have learned, among many things, that my mental determination is mostly strong—it always has been. I just didn’t think about myself with kind thoughts.
My yoga practice has helped me look inward and see myself with the clarity of an open mind. I am open to learning and actively trying to change my thoughts. The heart opening postures of Bikram yoga have mostly helped me open my heart to myself.
I have discovered the healing power of human energy through reiki and the remarkable, calming effects of meditation. I am more self aware, and have more faith in my own inner strength, and my own personal power. I am more mindful of the human spirit and its capacity to love, forgive, and heal.
I want to stay mindful, as I feel my way through life. I have transformed, but not to greatness.
The resurgence of spirit into our media and into our lives, as a culture, is beyond inspiring and fills me with hope. It is propelling people into truly craving connection, and we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Only in vulnerability can we surrender to ourselves, our faults, to the place where the work needs to be done. Only in vulnerability can we attempt to walk the path to transformation.
I am unbelievably grateful to the ‘greats‘—they hear the battle cry of those that struggle—of those in the middle.
By actively practicing and reclaiming ones personal power, increasing confidence by accepting our authentic selves, and expanding a little more each day…that’s pretty great as well.
There’s greatness in mediocrity. There’s room for growth in the middle. There is boundless strength in that space; an undercurrent of greatness waiting to be uncovered.
“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.” ~Margery Williams
Nicole Markardt is recovering fear junky. She am an educator, mother of two, and aspiring yogi. Certified as a leveI II Reiki healer, Nicole is a firm believer in the power of the mind-body connection. Nicole has a blog called Peace, Love & Practice for doyouyoga.com.
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Assistant Editor: Lacy Rae Ramunno/Ed: Bryonie Wise