Self Awareness with Writing and 750words
I haven’t written in this blog a lot lately. Instead, in my writing time, I’ve been writing in my personal journal. I’ve been asked if I’m still “into yoga” and still teaching. The answer to those two questions is a resounding yes, especially the “into yoga” part. So I thought I’d write a post in here to update you.
As you know, in addition to “this yoga thing”, I’m also a designer during those proverbial 9-5 hours, though 9-9 seems more accurate on some days. When I write in this blog, I need to make full sentences, coherent sentences, and preferably with a focused topic. Some days that doesn’t seem possible after hours of staring at my computer. But, I’m committed to writing, so I found another way to keep that up without the pressure of making sense :).
About two months ago, I found out about 750words.com through a fellow meditation practitioner, Martin Black, whose website tagline makes my heart go “Hell yeah!”: Usability, Mindfulness, Music. 750words was inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and has a simple premise: you write 750 words a day. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just write.
I’ve been writing about everything, my day, the mundane things, the extraordinary things, my actions, my reactions, and my emotion. Every time I sit down and write, I lay out all my drama, my soapbox, my likes and dislikes, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared about, what happened to trigger what, what I wish to happen, and most importantly, what’s happening now.
So, to say that I’ve been writing is not inaccurate, but it’s incomplete. I would say I’ve been practicing some hard core Svadyaya. My teacher Kathryn Payne said, “In the context of yoga, the highest form of knowledge is knowledge of the self.” Writing helps reveal this knowledge, like yoga, like meditation. Or maybe it *is* yoga without the mat.
There’s no filter in my personal diary, there’s no grammar check. My sentences run on and on and on for as long as I can type fast and furious without a period. It’s endless streams of consciousness of what I’m experiencing, all the vulnerable emotions laid naked on the blank page.
When I do this, I see in front of my eyes, a piece of myself at a certain point in time and space. This may sound melodramatic, but literally, I am the seer in those instances. When I have been writing for 10, 15 minutes, and my fingers have been typing a brain dump from my mind, then it gets a little less noisy inside. It gets *just* a little less noisy inside.
It’s been two years since I finished my 200-hour training, 1 year since I finished my 500-hour training, and I’m still going back again and again to the concepts that were introduced to me from the beginning: the vrtti, the citta, and the manas, our mind.
Svadyaya is the fourth of the five niyamas, which I learned about in my 200-hour training. It’s Sanskrit, (of course), and broken down, sva means “self” and adhyaya means “investigation, inquiry”. An adhyaya literally translates to a chapter if you look up the dictionary. Just because I graduated, doesn’t mean I’m done learning. Far from it. Self-inquiry is a process that, honestly, I hope I’m never done with.
I think I’ll stop here for now, and I will write more about the Seer bit later. If you’re curious about what the heck I’m talking about, I’m thinking of verse 1.3 in the Yoga Sutra: Tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam. Loosely translated: Then the seer abides in it own nature.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling, more than ever, right now, the need to go within, since there’s so much stuff without that’s constantly coming at me at high speed. And more than ever, I’m so happy that there’s this thing called Yoga.