I’ve been a yoga blogger for over three years, which is pretty remarkable for a gal who has never considered herself much of a writer. It all began after a somewhat mystical experience. It was 2011, which was a strange time in my life. My husband and I had separated several months before and though I was no longer reeling from the shock, I was still tender in that way that made me sensitive, open, and curious. I was obliged to redesign my life and I wanted it to be good. And I was dating for the first time in 15 years.
I met a man and the two of us went on exactly two dates before he invited me to his family’s fourth of July party. We were so newly together that meeting the family didn’t carry all of the weird stress, it just sounded like a fun way to spend a day. So, I drove out to his parents’ lake house and after formal introductions and a delicious meal, we all relaxed around each other. Some of us swam in the pool or lounged in the shade and as afternoon moved toward evening, all the parents took shifts playing with the kids, so that those of us who were off-duty could enjoy relaxed conversation or some quiet time. During one of these quiet moments, I wandered back into the kitchen for more iced tea.
My friend’s brother and sister were sitting at the kitchen table reading and working on the computer. My hostess was by the spread of food, nibbling on something sweet. As I poured myself some tea the hostess struck up a conversation with me. She asked a few casual questions and then asked more specific things, like when was my birthday and did I know the time I was born? How did I spell my full name? I answered her and must have had a puzzled look on my face because she then explained that birthdays and names are important in numerology and would I be interested in learning about my numbers?
I don’t give a lot of weight to things like this, but I really liked this lady and at this point, I was willing to hear anything that might offer insight into this strange time of my life or give me a clue as to what my future might hold. We sat down at the kitchen counter with a blank sheet of paper between us and as soon as we did, sister and brother sauntered over to the kitchen island looking casual, but not wanting to miss any juicy reveals. At that moment, I felt a little exposed and I had a hint of what I was in for.
I gave all sorts of number-y information to my hostess and she wrote them on the sheet of paper, arranged them, and added them together. Every few equations, she’d see something about a personality trait, or strength, or a problem area in my life and she’d ask me about it. She’d comment about major decisions that I’d be facing or periods in my life. Her numbers were all right on. I was impressed.
This went on for 20 fascinating minutes, long enough that I completely forgot about my audience and spoke very candidly about all sorts of personal stuff. We were wrapping up when she remembered something, went back to the page to do a few more computations and said, “Oh, and you are a writer. That must be why you like my son.” My date was an English professor, comp. teacher, and a poet at heart.
I chuckled a little. “I’m not a writer.”
“You don’t like to write?”
“Not really.” I said, thinking about my struggles in Mrs. Peshka’s highschool English class.
“Well, I used to write a ton of letters.” I have suitcases of letters from pen pals and friends.
“And do you keep a journal?” she asked.
“Yes. I have since second grade.“
She told me that according to my numbers I am a writer, and I could tell that she believed in the numbers more than she believed my self-reporting. She had made up her mind.
And that was that. We didn’t discuss the writing thing any further.
After the party, I kept thinking about “being a writer,” and what that could mean. When I thought about it, I’d feel a little flutter of excitement and perhaps because it was a tender time, I was less able to dismiss it. I wondered if those numbers and this wonderful lady were holding a truth for me before I could do it for myself. Over the next few days all sorts of ideas about who I was, how I identified myself, and the way things were started to shift. I felt lighter, I was excited, and writing seemed possible.
I began blogging that summer. My favorite posts describe meaningful moments in my personal, family, friendship or memory-life and how those moments relate to my yogic path. Sometimes it flows through me and makes my heart race in that good, excited way. Writing has become an opportunity for svadhyaya, self-reflection. Every week, I attempt to put an experience into words and communicate how I see it relating to my practice of yoga. As a result of this process, I’ve come to understand myself better and my yoga practice is so rich. I post every Thursday. A consistent blogging schedule is important for readers and for me. I practice ahimsa, non-harming, and satya, truthfulness, when I write. I am very careful about how I talk about others and I do my best to resist any urge to embellish or bend a story in a particular direction. Potential clients who read my blog will have a sense of who I am, and it is a way to keep in touch with students and the larger online yoga community. I see blogging as an important part of my yogic practice.
I’ve written to my 4th of July hostess several times to let her know how much of an impact our conversation had on my life and how grateful I am that she shared her numerological insight with me. In addition to what I get from writing, I’ve made some dear friends and I’ve had great conversations with readers because of the blog, both of which have enriched my life and my understanding of yoga in wonderful ways. And if any of the writing I do passes along some of the heart-fluttering feeling that life is mysterious and many things are possible that my hostess inspired in me, then it’s totally worth it.
Amanda Green is a yoga therapist, in Austin, TX. She uses the tools of yoga to help individual clients improve overall health, recover and heal specific injuries and as a means for personal transformation. Amanda blogs about motherhood, relationships, gardening, wiping the counters and anything else that ties into her yoga practice at www.amandagreenyoga.com.
Next Friday Amanda will share her tips for aspiring yoga bloggers. Tune in!