So last week my big plan was to write about the RMC-SCBWI Conference on Sept 17-18. And then a friend invited me to an all day silent yoga and meditation retreat in Estes Park on Thursday.
My first reaction was “Yay! Cool!”
My second reaction was: “That’s a lot of yoga and meditation. I don’t think I can do it. My monkey mind has extra monkeys today. They’ll multiply by Thursday.”
My third reaction was: “Who does yoga for that long? Experts. I’m not an expert.”
My fourth reaction was: “Thursday is my best writing day. I can’t take time away from that.”
I took the time to sit with all those reactions—and yes, meditate on them!—to figure out what might be right.
I decided to go for it. It occurred to me that a full day of stretching and emptying my mind would probably benefit any writing and creative I pursued post-retreat.
Now, I practice yoga and meditation almost daily–with my yoga 15-30 minutes and my mediation 5-15 minutes. So the difference was quite vast. We would do about 45 minutes of yoga and then a 15-minute sit for meditation. Like five times!
There were times when I was literally out of my comfort zone–in a challenging pose or a longer outdoor meditation that left me distracted–but mostly I loved it. I loved that I could do the majority of poses. I loved that I had to think about them so I wasn’t thinking about other things or comparing myself to other people. And I loved that we were encouraged to be silent during our lunch break.
Even though I was ready to leave earlier than it ended, I was happy and proud that I stayed to the end. We were rewarded with an incredible rainbow that we must have stood and stared at for a full five minutes–another form of meditation.
Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Going to an all-day yoga and meditation silent retreat was definitely out of my comfort zone. I was excited and nervous at the same time.
It’s exactly how I feel about starting this new novel and participating in NaNoWriMo. If I keep one aspect of my idea, this book will be almost equally character and plot-driven–I’ve never done that before. I’m scared I’ll screw it up. It will have a fantastical element that will need its own set of rules–never done that before either. Ditto on being scared.
Lucky for me I have an amazing group who has been there, done that and can guide me along. I will spend the next few posts chronicling my process in hopes that it will help you as well as me.
I wrote about discomfort back in January. Here’s to embracing discomfort again!