A Life Burning Well


Have you ever found yourself saying things that you didn't know you knew? What's that about? I think it's about understanding yourself deeply. There is something in the articulation of an experience or thought or feeling that taps us into our deeper knowledge. Writing, dance, photography, and blogging could all be part of the creative process that helps articulate an experience. I love poetry and I think that's what the essence of poetry is: understanding one's self and life's grand mysteries through bite-sized bits of awareness. Like the legendary Leonard Cohen says, "If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." The creative expression itself isn't the experience; it's a product of the experience. More than the craft and beauty of their writing, we love poets for the people they are to write such words. We love who they have become by writing their poetry.

I suppose I've been trying to learn about who I am my whole life. The same way writing or dance could tap this deeper wisdom, for me yoga and the separate practice of teaching yoga has been a creative avenue of personal growth and understanding. Yoga and teaching yoga has showed me hidden gifts. It's challenged me to confront my largest weaknesses. It's showed me how much I love people and love to be involved in their own personal growth. What a privilege! And in the process of practicing and teaching yoga, I've learned a bunch about myriad topics like philosophy, spirituality, anatomy meditation, etc. After learning about all this fascinating, intricate, and sometimes esoteric stuff, I invariably come to the same fat and resounding question: SO WHAT? What does any of this have to do with my daily life, or other people's lives? What does any of this stuff have to do with going to work and walking my dog and having relationships and fulfilling our dreams?

My search into "SO WHAT?" has led me to the wonderful and challenging and enlightening practice of writing this thing every week. This weekly blurb has been my wisest teacher. It's here, in this creative expression of my own inquiry, where I find myself saying the things that I didn't know I knew. I'm just happy that people want read my rantings. I don't write about what I want others to learn, I write about what I'm learning in this moment. Then when I teach it all week in yoga classes, I have so much more I want to say by the end of the week because I've learned so much more by the process of teaching it, a different creative expression. I should offer a post script to this thing at the end of the week to fill you in on what else I've learned along the process of articulating it.

I can't be having all the fun here. I'd love to invite you into this beautiful process of unfolding, knowledge, and experience, of finding your own deeper wisdom, by making your own personal expression of anything you do in life. I'd love to hear about or invite you to find yourself saying the things you didn't know you knew.

Here's my invitation:

  1. Do something. Anything.
  2. Document it in some way: journal, poem, Facebook Post, blog, photo, draw, dance, whatever.
  3. Do it again
  4. Document again, maybe this time explain it or teach it to someone.
  5. Watch to see yourself say things you didn't know you knew. Watch for the insights that come naturally.
  6. Then tell me all about it, because I'll be curious.

The end.

See you in class.