The One About Yoga and Writing

You know you’re annoying when even your yoga instructor freaks out on you. Actually, “freak” might be the wrong word. Smack is more accurate. We were supposed to be meditating after practice and I was vibrating. This happens pretty regularly—the vibrating not the smacking…although, now that I think about it, that is kind of surprising.

Anyway, I was sitting next to Layla and rocking out to the voices in my head when she leaned over and pinned my knee to the floor.

“Quiet your mind,” she hissed.

I smiled like Good Idea, Lady!! But a Quiet Mind’s never going happen for me so I counted window panes until meditation was finished. In case any of you were wondering, there are thirty-four. I hate thirty-four. It’s a dirty number that makes my teeth itch.

Much like practicing meditation.

“I think you really need to work on your meditative state,” Layla announces, grabbing me with her crazy yoga-strong fingers before I can run for my car.

“Yeah, no, I don’t think so. Meditating makes me anxious and then I start sweating and then my skin starts to crawl and I want to scream. I’d rather drive carpet tacks into my gums.”

Layla blinks. This was not the response she was expecting. “Romily, if you’re struggling that much then you’re obviously working through some major issues. Keep at it. You can do extra meditation next session.”

“Oh, goody.”

So I quit.

Now this is kind of surprising because I will beat my head against anything if I’m obsessed with it. For other examples, look to Exhibit A: Writing and Exhibit B: Riding. I would’ve added yoga as my Exhibit C, but meditation is a deal-breaker. I hate it. Hate. It.

The closest I can get to a halfway-decent meditative state is after a ninety-minute session where the instructor works us so hard I’m about to vomit. Pretty much, peace is found through pain and exhaustion.

Except I didn’t realize it until I started doing revisions with Wonder Agent.

I didn’t hit my mark on the first set of rewrites so we were circling back around for another go. I was horrified I hadn’t accomplished what the book needed and I was working myself into a right state, prattling on about how I would map this and outline that. Then Wonder Agent knocked me for a loop when she said, “I think you need to stop writing and take the time to just think.”

Stop and…think?

My head tried to twist off. Did Wonder Agent not understand my process? I do not stop. I freak out. If it’s not 2am with me running half-dressed through the house with the dogs hot on my heels and my hair falling out in clumps then we are not doing revisions, people!

Just sitting and thinking? Screw that. Someone bring me some carpet tacks.

But here’s the amazing part…Wonder Agent was absolutely right. At first, sitting and thinking made me break into terror sweats. It was worse than Writer’s Block—and we all know how much fun that is. I had to wade through everything my mind wanted to think: you’re stupid…you’re never going to think of anything…if you do, it will probably involve aliens landing in the third act. You know how it goes.

The process was awful and incredibly, incredibly good for me. Instead of giving up and counting window panes, I pushed through. Nothing worth having comes easily and, turns out, FIND ME was no different.

Also turns out, Layla might have been onto something. Sometimes you struggle. Sometimes you struggle a lot and it’s those times where it’s especially tempting to flail and freak. That’s when you have to tuck in and push—even if it’s just pushing yourself to be still.