“Class starts at 8. You do what you can do. Use the bathroom if you have to, but make sure you show up. You practice no matter what. I expect you to be here.”
A week and a half into my trip to Bali, I got Bali Belly, a pretty name for a not so pretty intestinal infection that had me running to the bathroom every few minutes.
I had committed to a daily Mysore (Ashtanga) practice with Anthony ‘Prem’ Carlisi and his partner, Radha.
I was two days into my training when I got sick. That night, I could barely make it back to bed before I had to get up and use the bathroom again. The idea of walking twenty minutes through the town of Ubud, down through monkey village to their shala (yoga studio) wasn’t an option (so I thought), until she emailed me back, and I knew showing up was the only option.
I made it to the shala that morning, laid out my mat and went into child’s pose. She came over to check on me. “Good. You came. Do what you can. You know where the bathroom is.” I modified primary series, made it halfway through the floor series and spent the rest of class in savasana (corpse pose). I did what I could, and I felt better because of it.
Practice no matter what.
I packed that mantra in my suitcase and took it home with me. I did well for a while–practicing no matter what, and then it became a memory, just like the trip.
This past year, I made a decision to re-commit to my practice of writing, day in and day out. For better or for worse, I have devoted myself to producing, every single day.
“Your writing has been weak the past couple of weeks, not good or bad, weak. Tinder do’s and don’ts, really?”
My friend and I made a pact he would always be brutally honest with me, but in that moment I wished he hadn’t. It hurt to hear. I felt offended, because, it was true. My writing has been weak because for the past few weeks, I’ve been physically and emotionally weak.
I am an artist–my art is a reflection of me.
I think about photographers. They take hundreds of pictures in a session, resulting in only 30-50 viable images. However, they wouldn’t have those 50 images, if they didn’t snap the other 700. Writing is the same. Painting is the same. Yoga is the same. Life is the same: Sometimes what we produce, sucks, or it’s not up to par, or near perfect, but it’s certainly not a waste.
I believe, if there exists something that sucks, it means that something was made. If I made something, then I’ve done something. I’ve tried. If I keep trying, I will learn, and if I stick with it, I will get better at what I’m doing. That’s the path to mastery.
Recently, I was t-boned by some unforeseen experiences that have set me back a bit. They knocked me down, actually.
I thought about giving up, but that only lasted for a second. No way. I fall down, I write. I feel sad, I write. I feel joy, I write. I have nothing to write, I write.
I practice no matter what. I keep going despite my weakness, despite the criticism, despite the pain, despite the days I just want to disappear.
I show up. I keep practicing. I do what I can.
Right now, I may be weak, my writing may be weak, but that’s not stopping me. I write and I will continue to write no matter what, and that’s what makes me strong. That’s also what makes me a writer–a good one, even when I’m weak. ~Rebecca