Being doing yoga writing
I've recently been practicing a fair amount of restorative yoga. I love the soft challenge of settling into poses like Pigeon for five minutes at a time, focusing on my breath and contemplating any discomfort I might feel with a degree of distance.
When my apartment was flooded last night, thanks to the apartment above and its eccentric plumbing, I was angry first of all. After that, I ran around frantically mopping up the water and imagining the direst of scenarios.
Then I gave up and went to bed.
I figured there was nothing I could do about the water pouring into the apartment until the morning and my bed was in a dry patch.
I closed my eyes, began to breathe slowly and deeply through my nose into my abdomen. I tried to let myself just be in the moment and surrender to whatever was happening. After a few minutes, various 'God grant me the serenity...', 'All things must pass...' platitudes drifted through my mind.
I almost convinced myself that it was ridiculous to get hung up on material things. The fact that I'd spent a fortune on painting the place just last year. The money I wanted to get from the landlord's insurance company. Whether my laptop was safe under a towel. If my valuable books would be soaked and ruined.
I let myself be in the moment and not do anything.
It worked for about 10 minutes. Then I had to get up switch on the light and start mopping the floor and ceiling. I had to do something. Even though it probably wasn't making any difference.
But I got into my mopping. When I do chores I imagine I'm the Karate Kid being told by Mr Myagi that he has to work in the garden. The KK's annoyed until Mr Myagi shows him how sanding the deck or whatever helps him develop a nice circular, flowing action.
There are times when you just have to do something, even if you know there's no point doing it.
So perhaps the secret is to do but from a place of being.
Which, if you think about it, is a good lesson for both yoga and writing. If you do nothing but surrender and wait to sink into a pose or for the muse to arrive, you'll get somewhere but maybe not as far as if you do a little.
Do-be-do. Perhaps that's the answer.