Hello you all out there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I fell off the writing wagon for a while and am attempting to jump back on. At a yoga class last week I ran into local writer, Stevie Kallos. The last time I’d seen her was at Clair Dederer’s Poser reading at Elliott Bay Books. At the time I was writing daily (thanks to the inspiration of Clair’s book) and doing it without any effort at all. Wake up, brush and neti, write, then sit and practice asana. Easy, peasy! I find rising early in the winter wonderfully peaceful and grounding. It’s dark, quiet, and I relish the solitude before the whirl of the day begins. I told Stevie that I was myself writing. She was excited and encouraging, and gave me her card.
In the last few months, as the sun has beat me to the punch (and Mad Men Season Four held me in its throes each night), I have had a harder time with any of the previously mentioned practices. Our family adopted a dog (and guess who now gets up as soon as I get up?), I had several workshops and projects to prepare for, yadda yadda yadda. I just had stuff to DO each morning before the kids woke up and the earlier light fed that DO mode I so easily tap into.
At first I was OK with letting go of the writing – I had shown myself that I could branch off into creative writing and knew I’d return when the time was right. But after a while it started to feel like I’d lost the vein I’d been mining so successfully (and more importantly, to such personal satisfaction). I’d read an amazing article or even just a poignant phrase and get a little jealous (rather than inspired).
When I saw Stevie last week I lamented that the writing habit had fallen off, and that I was feeling ready to get back to it. I’d brought back daily asana and meditation (with a weekly commitment verbalized to my mentor!) and seated in that could take on that newer practice again. Oh, and we finished the season of Mad Men.
“It’s like a yoga practice,” Stevie said. “You start it up with just one pose. Writing is like that, just write as long as it takes to do a pose.”
Oh how many times I’d said just about the same thing to a yoga student who wanted to start a home practice: “Don’t think of practice as a whole 90 minute class, connect to a couple of poses you enjoy and just do them.” Practice is just that, it is practice. It is a discipline, but it is also a reward. It is a commitment, but it is also a freedom. When I practice, be it yoga, writing, patience, conscious parenting, or vegetable growing, (next up: piano playing), I feel more free to be exactly who I was put on this planet to be.
So the next morning, I wrote. Just a page, mind you, but a page none-the-less. The next day I put in another page. And now I am finally writing a full-on blog post. Phew that feels good (you can imagine how many times in June I thought “I need to write a blog post!”).
What will your practice be today? What have you put off because you don’t have time, or have too much to do? Try just five minutes. And then do it again tomorrow. Tell someone about your commitment, or write it down. And ENJOY!
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer