Downward dog and the sparkly marble

This fall, I’ll be co-teaching a series of three writing and yoga workshops with the amazing Sara T.

Many of us think about writing, and wish we would write.  In fact, we are going to write, as soon as we get time.  But the biggest problem about writing is all of it.  First, getting ass to chair.  Then, once you get there, having an idea, and then, feeling like the whole time expenditure is worthy, and sticking it out through those first uncomfortable moments where the blank page stares at you, judgingly.

If it’s not already a habit, it’s nearly impossible to find space in a busy day, or any day, for that matter, to sit down and write.  If you do carve out even a modest chunk of time, there are so many things that can derail it:  what would I write about?  Why bother? Shouldn’t I be doing something more productive with my time?  I’m not a very good writer.  What would I do with it if I did write something?  Oh, I hope no one ever reads this.  And at the very same time, I wish someone would read this, because then they'd know me.

This series of workshops will help address all of that.  The big tangle of things that keep us from writing.  I happen to believe that, well, not to be too strident, but each of us writing is a good thing for the world.  That what the world needs every day is for us to show up and fully tangle with it, and writing is one good way to do that.

I feel better when I write and do yoga, and I like the world better too.  I’m not competing in the Downward Dog Olympics, and I’ll probably never write anything noteworthy, but even so, yoga and writing are the best parts of any day.  Because they’re the parts that are about just being. 

We'll begin each session with half an hour of yoga, during which the lovely Sara will skillfully lure us into being right in the present moment, the way she does.  No experience with yoga is required.  The next hour and a half will consist of writing, each week with different focus.  No experience with writing is required either.

Week 1 will focus on silencing the inner critic.  The biggest obstacle that keeps us from writing is that irritating voice that says, “What could you possibly have to say,” “Is this really the best use of your time?” “You’re not a very good writer”, and so on.  Yeah, that voice.  We'll gently shush that critic, in the way you would quiet your toddler when it’s just not time for them to talk.  

Week 2 will be about sparking creativity.  There are times when we feel particularly creative, and times we don’t.  We’ll do some playful yoga and writing exercises, and identify practices that help us access our creative selves even when the creativity seems so distant from where we are. 

Week 3 will be about finding joy.  I know, that seems lofty.  Like, if I had that, why am I sitting here, drinking a glass of wine alone, writing this silly blog?  I don't have the secret, but you do, and it just might involve slowing down, doing yoga, and taking the time to write and remember all of the amazing strokes of good fortune that have come your way, and even though terrible or even just boring things happen every day, there’s so much to marvel at.  

Natalie Goldberg says, “The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world.”  I’d like to add that sometimes, we love the world because we write.  Writing is holding that pretty little marble that is our life up to the light, twirling it around this way and that, being struck by how it glitters in a certain light, and capturing that so that other people can see it too.  

Session 4 is a surprise!  That's all I'm saying.

The world needs each one of us to share our own tiny candle to light the way for someone else who needs it, to show your sparkly marble to someone who's marble is a little dull right now.

As Anais Nin said, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."  This might be that day.

Details and sign up information can be found here.  I hope you'll join us.


  1. I want to sign up but you can't register online. Do we have to go to the place to register?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I wish I lived close enough to take this workshop. Sounds great! :-)

  4. I wish, wish, wish I lived close enough to go. According to Google Maps, my commute would be two and a half days. One way. :(

    Good luck; I hope you get lots of folks there.

    1. Just wanted to add that your summary, all on its own, gave me a little boost toward writing. Now I'm imagining what the workshop could do. Boo hoo!

    2. Aw, thank you! You can have your own little Nova Scotia workshop :-)


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