For a great portion of my life, I have had the running mantra ‘I can’t write’ playing like a broken record in the recesses of my mind. Yet in the past eight months, I have written 30 blog posts, a 30 page manual, countless handouts, workshop and class descriptions and daily social media content for a variety of platforms and this website. On top of that, I am 80 pages in on what I intend to be a 130 page manual on the philosophy, instruction and practice of yoga. To say that I am not a writer is anything but true. Aside from the reasons of self-doubt and fear, I think my biggest hurdle has been to both allow and acknowledge the uniqueness in my voice and my interpretation of both the incidental and deliberate adventures I’ve had thus far.
In school, I don’t think I ever batted an eye when asked to present or speak in front of my peers. In college, I studied performing arts and was cast in a myriad of different roles in both background and lead characters. Whether in front of my classroom or an entire audience, it didn’t seem to phase me from getting the content across. In school, most of what I presented was researched and factual information. And in college, all I had to do was memorize some line, put on a costume, slap on some make up and follow the directives from the director. It wasn’t until I stepped on the yoga mat that I learned how hard it truly is to genuinely express what it is that I was trying and needing to say.
Sitting down to write, takes things up a notch.
When I sit down to write, I’m the kind of person that needs solitude and space. Most often, I find myself seated at my kitchen table with coffee mug or tea cup close at hand. I draw inspiration from gifted authors and inspiring teachers who have guided me thus far. Sometimes I get in such a groove that 4, 5 or 6 hours passes by with my fingers flying over the keyboard. At other times, I stare blankly at the screen with my face held up in my hands sighing heavily and disappointingly at the few words I’ve written only to delete them and start over again.
I’ve tried the pen to paper method for writing practice however my mind moves so much faster than I can write and in the end, I can’t read what appears to be nothing more than chicken scratches on the pad. With modern day technology and countless writing apps, I have found my favourite to be a simple note pad which neatly organizes each endless page with a simple, clean font and legibly bold title. Plus, if I find myself inspired to write when away from my kitchen office, I have at my finger tips all the notes I have ever written on my mobile device which is typically tucked neatly in my back pocket.
As I shared with my editor, a.k.a. my mom, last week, writing has become an unintentional form of processing, and in processing, acknowledging and healing the stuff that has unknowingly been piling up in the recesses of my mind spilling over into my body and heart. The stuff I write about isn’t uniquely my stuff, but rather stuff that we all share and experience. As Oprah Winfrey put it, “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” It is my hope that these words, my method of reflection and the truth in my voice helps just one other being find and express theirs.