Something really wonderful has been happening to me since I decided to sign up for the 21*5*800 project. Through the community and the daily practices of yoga & writing, I have been surprising myself. I’ve been writing different types of things and revisiting long lost creative pursuits. I even made a drawing, which is something I have almost never attempted.
On impulse, at the end of a long day, I got out some chalks and paper and just followed my instincts. It was freeing, and fun, and felt really good. (I’ve always liked any activity where I can be a little messy and it’s totally allowed.)
I don’t really know why I never did a lot of visual art (or even doodling) growing up. I do know that I became easily frustrated at not being good at something right away, at having to practice, and practice, and practice…
Practice meant boring, tedious exercises. It meant frustration. It meant doing something I hated in order to be better at something I loved. It was suffering & sacrifice.
Through a combination of new habits, I’ve become friendly with the word “practice” again. Instead of thinking of practice as a means to an end, I think of it as the process itself. Practice is just what I do. I love that the habit of doing yoga regularly is called a Yoga Practice. The emphasis is not on becoming the Best at a particular set of poses but rather on being patient and listening to yourself, being fully present in your body. Some days, it all goes right. Other days, I’m lucky to get through the whole class. The benefits of doing it arise either way.
Similarly, my daily morning pages are a Writing Practice. The goal of writing several pages a day is not actually to create a cohesive piece that I can publish or perform… that comes later. These pages are for listening to my intuition, for being present, and letting my mind wander and rest. By allowing myself that practice every day, I am more likely to feel up to working on new writing for public consumption.
The combination of yoga & writing practices do not necessarily make me more skilled at writing or yoga… they just make me better. I feel more whole, more in touch, more receptive. I feel better.
What makes you better?