Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mantra for the Morning

Honor where you are.

If you've been reading my blog lately, you're aware these four simple words have become my mantra in recent weeks. Not only have they helped me in yoga class where I first heard them, they've given me a new appreciation for the writing process.

I heard a new variation of the mantra last night while attempting various asanas with my bum foot, and trying not to compare myself to the vibrant 20-something-year-old balancing next to me with ease.

I used to be flexible like that, I remember thinking while grasping the back of a folding chair for extra balance. I never had to worry about stepping wrong or breaking bones or protecting a broken foot. I used to--

"If you can't reach all the way to the floor," my teacher chimed in over the birdcalls and drums playing out over the class, "reach only as far as you can. Pay attention to posture and positioning." She uncurled from her pose long enough to address us. "As you practice each asana, you're creating new neural pathways--forming memories for the next time. Your body will remember. And when the time is right, when your body is ready, you will reach further."

J guided us from pyramid to warrior three. "Remember," she said as I struggled to balance on my good foot, "where you are now is perfect for you."

Where you are now is perfect for you. Another bit of good advice. One that makes so much sense for so many facets of our life.

It sure fits for writing. Where we are now is perfect for us. The saying is so elegant in its simplicity one could miss the subtle message hidden within. Listen. A gentle "only if" can be found. Where we are now is perfect for us...only if we keep writing, stretching, drafting, revising, and sharing our work with like-minded writers.

With time, with practice, we will come to know our characters fully.

With time, with practice, we will curl up with our pad or sit down at our desktop, and enter our characters so completely that hours later we will have written our way through the entire story.

With time, with practice, we will reach the place in our process when the shape and style of the quilt of our story is obvious.

Honor where you are. Where you are is perfect for you.

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