Since the pandemic and my pregnancy started almost 2 years ago, writing has been my most trusted healing practice. Maybe because my yoga asana practice was so limited as my belly grew, or maybe because the pandemic sparked so much anxiety in me that when I got on my mat I spent most of the time in my head spiraling about one uncertainty or another. The practice of putting pen to paper and dumping all of those thoughts and feelings out of my head and body and onto the paper left me with more space, freedom, and clarity in my mind and heart.
In the past few years, I have written a lot by myself with no intention of sharing (with help from the Morning Pages method by Julia Cameron) and I also wrote and shared privately and listened to others share in a few writing groups (thank you to Diana and her incredible weekly writing group that blew my heart right open). Recently, I have felt so inspired and uplifted by Sue Choi (my friend and fellow yoga teacher who writes the most honest and raw email newsletters) and others sharing their heart-felt words that I decided to give the sharing thing a try. The other reason I want to share some of my writing is because it feels like “an edge” for me (a little bit vulnerable but also empowering) and I know that when I feel that it's usually helpful for me to lean into.
Today, I want to tell you a little bit about my writing journey. I have not always liked writing. Actually, I really hated writing for the first 18 years of my life. It was excruciatingly miserable almost all of the time. First off, I am not good at spelling. Ask my husband or my mom, my 2 biggest fans, they will also tell you that I am not going to win any spelling bees. Just to paint a picture - when Ngugi and I were first dating, I spelled “definitely” wrong in every text message until he pointed it out and the other day I was trying to sound out the word “rattle” and I won’t tell you how I spelled it. Luckily, I have figured out that writing and spelling are not the same thing (and thank goodness spell check exists). Second, does anyone remember P.O.W.E.R. writing? The color-coded 5-paragraph essay format? I love color-coding and I love a good structure, but P.O.W.E.R. writing ruined the writing process for me for a long time.
Luckily, two people saved writing for me. First, my writing tutor Robert that my mom found for me to help me write my college essays (thank you mom). He was laid back and funny and didn’t make me use a topic sentence and conclusion paragraph for no reason. The second person who saved writing for me was Karma Waltonen, a writing teacher I had in college who taught me how to write about my love for science alongside my love for human beings. She encouraged me to submit this piece of writing, “Life Without Skin,” a piece about a client I had the privilege to work with in the ICU burn unit, which was chosen to be published in UC Davis Prized Writing and boosted my self-confidence about my writing.
Anyways, I am going to pop into your inbox weekly-ish with some writing. I can’t promise that all the words will be spelled correctly or that there will be a conclusion paragraph (although I am pretty sure that this right here is a conclusion paragraph), but it will have heart.
p.s. I would love to practice yoga with you! Check out my free practice bundles HERE.