Yoga and "the work"
I’m a creative person. I always have been. There have been times in my life where I ignored that, or put it aside to tend to other things I thought have been more important (Spoiler alert: they weren’t), but things always lead me back to the solitary fact that I, as a person, have an innate need to write words on a page in order to express myself. This manifests in different people in as many ways as there are things to do in this world. We all engage in some form of creativity, which are vital our survival and advancement as humans.
It has taken me a long time to accept what I am. You know, the old excuses. I’m not a writer, what have I published? Who knows me and my work? Who cares about it? Why do I even do this is the first place? It’s SO MUCH FUCKING WORK FOR NOTHING. All those negative voices. It’s a sweet mix of futile doom and impostor syndrome that, at times, sucks the joy and love out of one of my favorite things to do on earth.
So how have I learned to combat these voices and keep going?
Through Yoga and mindfulness.
It started out small, I was in my thirties and kept pulling my neck muscles at work, so I decided to start stretching at home. My practice evolved slowly over the course of a five years into a place where I’ve found a studio I love, and actually enjoy showing up for my time on the mat, no matter what my schedule is like. I prioritize it because, like writing, it is something that connects me to myself, and ultimately the world around me.
Before you yawn and tell me I’m full of new age shit and that everybody says stuff like this, hear me out. I woke up out of a dead sleep at Four AM to scribble down this blog post in my phone notes. As I wrote I realized the time I came back to writing in my life is the exact same time as when I started doing yoga. Kind of a weird thing to wake up to in the middle of the night, but here we are.
I couldn’t go back to sleep until I got to the bottom of this. My wide awake wired for no reason brain came up with this sentence:
Yoga has helped me to develop a humble heart, a grateful soul, and a still mind.
Why is this important? How does that connect to other areas of my life like creativity?
A humble heart knows that the work itself is enough.
A grateful soul understands that it is lucky enough to have the work and the capacity to do it.
A still mind knows how to focus the work into the channels it belongs in, and to see the work for what it is.
**Even in its busy ego moments the mind thinks that “nobody” sees or cares about the work, but when it gets clear and works with the heart and soul as above, it will realize that everybody sees it because (at the very least) it changes the person who is doing it positively and creates a ripple effect.**
These tools have helped me immensely not only as a person but in my “work” which at the moment I perceive to be my writing. Take these lines as you will, substituting “the work” with whatever big projects you may be struggling with. “The work” could be raising children, it could be the field of career you are trying to make a difference in, or your creative projects. It could just plain be the hard work we put day in and day out becoming the best versions of ourselves that we can be.
With that being said I’ve decided to make it a goal to get my 200 hr. Yoga teacher training this year, so I can deepen my own practice and one day hopefully make an impact in my own community by teaching others about something that has made such an impact for me. It won’t be easy, but then, nothing in this world that is worth it is. I think that’s why they call it “work” after all.