Today I was thinking a lot about finishing my work. I have many paintings and drawings and projects and ideas unfinished... started, yes, but completely unfinished. Whenever someone asks me how my art is going I say, "Great! I just need to finish all of what I have started!" or "Good, just need to start finishing some stuff."
I started to worry and wonder and think to myself about the difficulty and the stress of completing things, calling them done. Taking away the ability to think to yourself that it'll get better if you just keep working on it for a bit longer. Sometimes that is true, you just need to work on it a bit longer, until it is... you guessed it; finished. But getting stuck somewhere in between is the danger. Working and spinning your wheels but getting no where because it is not good enough yet and yet and yet and yet. That is where I have been.
I was pondering all of these thoughts as I went into yoga class this evening. [insert plug for the YMCA here!] The good thing about this particular teacher, besides her being amazing at what she does, is that the class is always a complete experience.
You go in and whatever has been worrying you somehow all works out because of the incredible work she has you do with your body. I usually leave exhausted, hungry and feeling like I had an amazing massage all at one time because of how she guides us through the poses. It is incredible work and I really only started doing it because someone told me it would help my running about a year ago and now I love yoga for yoga, not just what it can do for my running.
Anyhow, at the end of the class she guided us through this modified crow pose, depicted in the video above. No, I did not do this nor did anyone in my class. She was so funny describing this to all of us showing us the steps, though none of us were getting very far. In fact, do you notice in the video how he starts out putting his knee on top of his shoulder? I did not even get there. I just sat on my butt on my mat holding my knee wrapped around my arm and watching in amazement as my teacher explained this very difficult pose and slowly moved straight into it with fluidity and grace. Yes, I sat there. And everyone else sat there too! What I remember is what she said,
'Look up! Don't look down at the ground, your body will follow where you look. Keep your gaze lifted. Play with this. Play! Know where you are going. Something to work for. If all you can get to is putting your knee on your shoulder, that is fine, that is a start, but know where you are going and play with it, smile, have fun and keep your gaze lifted.'
I felt encouraged as I sat there on my butt, not doing a thing. I can play and I can have fun and I can have a vision of where I am going. I can do this whole art thing with my gaze lifted and a smile. And if I can, so can you because the truth is, maybe all of us are just sittin' in yoga class with our butts on the mat and a very dim shadow of a pose in our body, but we can have a vision and move towards it just a smidgen of a stretch and strength gain at a time. Pretty soon we'll be doing yoga by the sea in one of those cool videos. See you there.
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