*Note: this post is part of Blogging 101. Today’s assignment: Write and publish a who I am and why I’m here post on your blog.”
A. “Come from a place of we are all connected.” I heard this in a yoga training a few years back, and it’s made a difference in my teaching. Coming from a mindset of “we are all connected” stripped away the need to be a know-it-all deep thinking sage, or tight tushed rockin’ yogi with killer handstands and perfectly-timed cues. Connecting with my students required honesty. And once I started sharing stories in class about my challenges with the practice – patience, focus, self-love and conscious breathing, for example – I noticed a shift. They trusted me, and I had a helluva lot more fun teaching.
Starting a blog felt like a natural extension of the stories I shared in class. An opportunity for both me and fellow yogis to stew a little longer over the myriad thoughts and revelations that arise through the practice. So much comes up in practice – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – not all of it pleasant, but most of it poignant. Why do I get so angry when I tip out of a simple standing posture? Why am I thinking about what I’m going to wear to next week’s anniversary dinner during a seated fold? Why is it so damn hard to be still and fully present? Coming from a place of “we are all connected,” I wanted to create a forum for others to read and contribute their own reflections.
Q. What topics do you think you’ll write about?
A. The title has been a work in progress. Originally “Curious Yoga Monkey”, I changed it to “And Pause Here” a year ago to better capture how the blog has evolved. I don’t want my blog limited to yoga – especially the physical asana aspect of yoga. While every blog advice column I’ve read extols the virtues of getting hyper specific on topic and audience, I found writing solely on yoga-related topics was too narrow to keep me inspired. And interestingly, the longer I practice yoga, the more I discover there’s opportunity to find yoga in everything I do – including washing the dishes. Wash them mindfully, with gratitude for the nourishment they held and provided me with, and it’s yoga in action.
Right now I’m focused on writing about noticing what’s happening in the moment. Not ruminating on the past or anticipating the future. Because neither exist. For example, I have a draft started on 5 positive experiences that came with a recent move from my apartment to a townhome. Moving typically sucks, but I paid attention and found a silver lining with this one. To notice what’s happening, you have to stop and pause here. Hence the title.
Other topics include finding community – I’ve moved five times in five years; daily surprises (may start a category title ‘5 Cool Things’ I notice in a day); accepting and appreciating the changes that come with being a 40-something woman in a society that glorifies youth above all else; dog rescue work (not currently volunteering but hope to soon); short stories (a new interest of mine); and random writing prompts to shake it up.
I’ll still cover yoga via my monthly contributions to a high traffic site DoYouYoga, but looking forward to the continuing growth of And Pause Here.
Q. Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
A. Readers interested in drawing their own inspiration through what I discover by pausing, noticing, and seeking joy in the present moment. That might come from a morning yoga practice, or a walk down the Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, or a snuggle with my cat. Life is precious and the hyper speed nature of it makes it frighteningly easy to totally check out and miss it all.
Q. If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
A. Obviously I’d love to have more followers, but most importantly, I’d love to have more engaged followers – those who comment and share not only with me, but with each other. I’d like my blog to be more interactive, and to inspire others to start their own blogs.