About Blaine

Don’t assume and take experiences away from people

By Published On: July 5th, 2022Categories: Personal Growth, Wisdom from BlaineComments Off on Don’t assume and take experiences away from people
Here’s a teacher moment I’ll never forget.

I’d just returned from studying in India and I was excited to teach some new things to my yoga community in Boulder, CO.

Among the new techniques was a lesser-known ancient Himalayan practice of meditative movement called Laya. Laya movements are very feminine and designed to balance the more masculine practice that makes up much of how we practice yoga in the West.

These movements were completely different from anything I’d ever seen in a yoga class. They’re much like dance; very flowy and internal and intuitive.

As a teacher, it’s uncomfortable to teach something for the first time, especially if it’s “weird” and Laya on a yoga mat could definitely be described by some as weird. But I loved it and I was going to go for it.

So, I created my class, unlocked the doors and got ready. Who walked in? A bunch of men. Not just any men, large ones.

I panicked. I’d assumed this class would be women.

Do I teach the new class I wrote or throw it out the window and teach the same way I’ve always taught?

Decision time. I stuck with the plan…

And the men loved it! It was unbelievable how they took to the Laya movements, dropped into a side of themselves they might not explore that much, and did something they’ve never done before, without visible embarrassment. Their eyes were closed, they had a slight smile on their faces and didn’t seem uncomfortable at all.

I learned a big lesson that day:

Don’t take an experience away from someone because you assume they won’t like it.

I write this today because last week we completed a challenge called Start Counting Plants.  The challenge was to eat 40 servings of different plants in 7 days.

This challenge was a blast and I got lots of positive feedback of all kinds but there was one thing that I heard over and over again:

“I thought my husband wouldn’t like X but he’s been eating it every day.”

“I can’t believe how much my kids got into this and kept egging me on to add even more plants to dinner”

“The biggest surprise was that my husband finally wants to change his diet.”

“It’s been such a great reminder that my family will eat whatever I put in front of them.”

Here we have the age-old lesson. Don’t assume. When we assume someone won’t like something or can’t do something or isn’t interested in something, we’ve taken an experience away from them.

I mean, how often do we take experiences away from ourselves because we’re nervous or scared? We don’t need to do that to other people as well.

It stems from fear of rejection. I didn’t want the men to hate my yoga. We don’t want people to dislike our cooking. But we’re big girls…

Serve up the experience and let the takers be who they are.

Often, the receiver of the experience will be us.