August 1, 2014

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? ~ Nicole Caputo


I recollect at the beginning of my 200RYT (registered yoga teacher) training program that we were asked to sit in a circle and answer questions.

{Warning: Possible trigger ahead}

As I sit here and reflect on the three questions one vividly still stands out. That question was, “Who are you?”

A question we are confronted with on a daily basis. We usually answer these questions with the external labels we put on ourselves like parent, yogi, insert job title here, or maybe even our body size. If we are using these “labels” to define us as beings ultimately we are setting ourselves up for failure as we can lose these “labels” at any point in our lifetime.

We often study who other people are, but we forget or don’t even know what we’ve become. We are too busy trying to be this or that, becoming stuck in our external labels and we are unable to create an image of ourselves…which can lead to depression and feeling inadequate.

When we lose a peripheral label we tend to break down and feel as if our identity has been threatened or stolen, when in actuality it’s a shedding of the skin that is leading us one step closer to our true nature. We all have trials and tribulations I’m just here to share mine.

I was lying on my cold bed in the middle of December; in my right hand was a razor and my left arm dripped of blood. I recall the whole moment being numb of my body, mind and spirit. I was in 10th grade and everything felt broken. I had lost purpose in life; my identity had been in jeopardy. I was ready for the end.

I cut six straight lines into my arms that night. By the sixth cut I had covered my forearm and decided to move up. I recollect the feeling of the cold, sharp razor pressing against the side of my neck. The negative thoughts in my head were so loud that I thought my head was going to explode. I went back and forth the entire night, until I heard the voice of an angel on my shoulder. I placed the razor down.

She reminded me that I had not fulfilled my purpose; it was not my time to go. She whispered, “If we are alive we still have a purpose in life, for that is what life is about.” Let me repeat if we are alive we still have a purpose in life for that is what life is about—fulfilling our purpose.

I’m going to say something everyone can recognize. Shit happens and life does not exclude anyone; life is so brutal it will take us to our knees when we feel like we have nothing left to give. It’s what we do in those moments, whether it be me holding the razor to my neck or when we are on our knees in the bathroom weeping and praying for strength.

There is a quote by Walter Anderson that says, “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” Having faith means to have patience. These moments are where we find our power and how we begin to mold our character—these moments I’m starting to live for. It’s what we decide to do with our pain. What motivates you?

What if we looked at today differently than any other day knowing we had one chance, one chance to make each and every decision about what we wanted to create and call our purpose in life? Being the person we want to be aside of what society, friends and family say.

Imagine trusting the universe with every choice we made and that every answer we gave was correct. Would we speak up more? Would we be open to new experiences and opportunities? Start looking at life’s infinite possibilities and endless opportunities that we are constantly resisting. Like they say, the greatest fear is fear it’s self.

We must stop telling ourselves that we’re not this or that. I’ve seen the impossible become possible. My brother was born premature and was given a blood transfusion in the hospital contaminated with Hepatitis B. When he was on the waiting list for a transplant the doctors told my mom, he wouldn’t live past the age of seven and most likely would not live through surgery, so she should pull the plug. Despite this my mom opted not to pull the plug and one month later my brother was able to get his transplant and is living happily at the age of 20. All the doctors saw were the impossibilities as my mom saw what was possible.

Numerous people ask why I decided to do my 200RYT teacher training over since I had already completed the program before, but to be honest, I had no idea why. It’s something that kind of just happened, but then I found my answer. Just because we complete a 200RYT program, or any program, doesn’t mean we’ve succeeded. I still was unable to speak my voice, be my truth; I was still unsure who I was. What’s my purpose? I was in a competition with myself for so long and it was no one’s fault but my own.

At one point I wanted to be the best yoga teacher money could possibly buy and that was my problem—it was my whys that drowned me every single time. What’s our why? What’s the reason behind it? When our why becomes deeper than ourselves, that’s when we awaken a power inside that we may have never even known was there. The impossible void I was trying to fill is now being fulfilled here in my writing. After going through my teacher training program for a second time I learned to simply be the truth that I had set out for, for so long. I explored high and low who I wanted to be and tried on all of the masks in order to realize that I was trying too hard to be something I was not.

Being in my 200 hour teacher training program opened me up to be in my truth. This is me taking my masks off for the reason that I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired. This moment right here right now is why I decided to retake the program. So who am I? I’m here to inspire you to be you just as you are, whoever that may be. I want to help people work through their greatest fears to help them see their greatest desires. I hope to teach faith, love, joy and hope through my stories. I aspire to ignite the fiery passion of our dreams that sit deep in our gut day after day yearning to be heard.

As I close in my article I want us to ask ourselves two questions.

Who are you?


What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Marcos Sanchez/Pixoto

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