While apprehensively waiting for an especially challenging yoga class to begin, the owner of the studio shared with me a wonderful message… Our yoga practice should be the most difficult thing we do... if this is the case, then consider the ease that we bring to the rest of the day. These words resonated deeply within. If I just “showed up” on my mat, regardless of how I felt, what I was battling, what I needed to do or where I wanted to be, could that be all it took? Might showing up be enough?
I’ve been practicing yoga long enough to appreciate that lessons from the mat transfer to all areas of life. It made me wonder… could “showing up” to write work the same as “showing up on my mat”? What would that look like? What if writing was the most difficult thing that I did each day? If I showed up and diligently expressed my thoughts, allowing the words to pour onto the page, would the rest of my day flow more easily?
While I don’t feel inspired to work on my book daily, I usually can muster up enough from within to write something. Maybe journaling is all that I do, but it still counts… I’m writing. Other days, like today, my mind’s spinning, and I seem to jump from one project to the next, frantically attempting to organize my ideas and refine my thoughts. And, occasionally, all I want to do is focus on the back stories, the “whys” behind the plot, much of which the reader will never see but remains crucial to the craft.
Whether it is the sense of accomplishment or the act of composing, I know that I feel better on the days that I write. Maybe this sensation emanates from a release, allowing my inner most thoughts, hopes, and beliefs to take shape? Perhaps I feel heard when I’m able to put words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters. Or, who knows, it’s possible that I just thrive when my creative juices flow, allowing me to offer others a different glimpse of the world through my stories.
Most likely, it’s a combination of all of the above that makes my day fuller when I choose to write. Like so much in life, it’s easy to create excuses as to why we can’t do something. There’s always another need on the back burner, desperately requiring our attention. However, when we commit, dig deep, show up, incredible things can materialize. Sure, this doesn’t happen every time I write; it can’t be forced. But, those rare moments when I compose the perfect line, realize the missing link, or capture the essence of the moment with a poignant phrase, it makes all of those hours staring at a blank screen or empty page worth it. And, when I tackle those difficult challenges that all writers face, somehow the rest of my day seems to be smoother, easier.
Maybe showing up, expressing myself through writing and allowing my voice to be heard gives me the strength and perseverance to weather the unexpected traffic, the burned dinner, or the cranky friend. Every day that I write, I take a risk, put myself out there, bare my soul. Doing these things brings me closer to my truth, knowing who I am and what I believe. Therefore, showing up, each day, doing the work, even when we don’t want to… well, that’s enough. And, knowing this, even if we resist, want to be elsewhere, that’s what makes the rest of the day, maybe even life, better. We’ve done our part… we’ve shown up.