Dark and Light and Yoga

It's been a pretty fun week. I survived Halloween, renewed my commitment to stop eating sugar after one-too-many bite-sized Snickers bars, went floating with Andrew at Conscious Drift, slept an extra hour every morning (Thank you Day Light Savings Time. I love you.) and joined NaNoWriMo.

One of the moms in our Mornings with Moms group reminded me that November is National Novel Writing Month and inspired me to sign up. (I'm actually working on a creative non-fiction piece instead of a regular novel so I fall into the Rebel-NaNoWriMo category.) Focusing on quantity over quality really takes the pressure off, but I'll admit 1,667 words per day is a lot for me. My fingers get all cramped up like they used to during SRA tests when I was a kid.

I don't know if I'll have anything good after 50,000 words but it's like my friend Eanlai is always reminding me, part of learning to write well is developing a regular practice, like yoga. Every sentence is a little Downward Dog on the page. It's kind of a lot harder to try something new when you're doing it badly though.

This is one of the reasons why I secretly hate yoga, although I love the pants. (Yoga, you've got great pants.) No matter how nice the pants you're wearing or how cute the yoga mat you're painfully stretching on, it feels sort of terrible when your knees don't exactly stay straight the way everyone else's do or your Sun Salutation comes awfully close to exposing your muffin top. It feels kind of scary and shameful to be vulnerable like that. (Although during the last five minutes of class in the Savasana part when the teacher lets you cover up with a blankie and tells you a story to a gong-filled meditative soundtrack, it almost feels worth it.)

They say we need darkness to appreciate the light. We need Down Dog to appreciate Child's Pose. We might have to write a lot of terrible pages to get to a scene that is so perfect all of the previous suffering finally makes sense. Moving past the fear of failure, the pitfalls of perfectionism, and trying something new can be a stretch, but it's almost always one worth taking.

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