This morning’s yoga class started off with what some teachers would call “yogi’s choice.” Instead of any strict direction (bend here, raise your arm like this) we were told, “listen to your body, and take any pose it needs.”
I lose all sense of time during class, so I don’t know how long this opening free-for-all lasted: two minutes, maybe three? But it wasn’t very long before I realized how much courage it took to start off that way. The teacher had to have enough self-confidence to believe her students wouldn’t see it as a cop-out. She also had to trust each one of us to know how to find our own best path. By letting us wake up our bodies to our own rhythms, she gave us the gift of self-discovery.
This same approach applies to writing. Stories that allow the reader to reach his own conclusions show trust. And trusting the reader to make connections—rather than bogging down the flow with too much detail—isn’t shirking my duty to explain; it’s showing writerly confidence, quietly.
If I do my writing job well, readers will lose their own sense of time—while remaining anchored within the story. They will discover, on their own, what I intended to put on the page—or perhaps they will see something completely different. That magic of interpretation is the best reason I know for picking up a book in the first place.
Truly courageous and confident people (real or imagined, writers or yogis) don’t wave their arms, screaming “look at me;” they allow each of us to listen to our own needs and then meet us where we are. And that’s the best way to find our own paths, heading toward wherever it is we need to go next.
Looking for some quiet yoga confidence of your own? Give The Island Heron in Jamestown a try.