Since I was a wee little one, I've been "a talker" -- if you know me, it won't surprise you to hear I got in trouble for talking in school... in ballet class, rehearsals, backstage, on-stage, you name it. A shameless over-achiever since 1st grade (when I asked for more homework because I was bored, *repeat: shameless) I've never backed down from an eagerness to contribute, and quite frankly, I have no plans to do so anytime soon.
At Columbia, I quickly became that student holding her hand up with her other arm because the professors refused to call on me, again. To their credit, some students need space to share their voice, and some other students (*cough) need to help provide that space, so... I see my work to be done there.
This said, I'm painting a scene to share with you the most important lesson I gleaned from my Ivy League education. It hit me hard in the middle of a Philosophy of Art lecture while discussing famous painters of the "Western Canon" (think da Vinci, Sargent, Monet, Matisse, etc...). Our professor handed out an article entitled: Why have there been no great women artists? She gave us 10 minutes to postulate. We struggled... "No schooling...?" "No representation...?" "No right?"
Then she hit us with this one: "The fact that you're all trying to answer this question justifies an inherent bias in the question itself. Does "women artists" imply that "artists" refers only to men? What if we tried to ask a better question? Where might that conversation lead us?" *scribbles down note, raises hand
Friends, it took hours of lecture and a 10-page paper to get to the root of this here lesson, so lean in close:
In life, we waste incredible amounts of time looking for answers, when we ought to be looking for words and ways to ask better questions.
Read that again. We're in a season of incessant questioning...we're all out here holding our hand up with our other arm, and nobody is calling on us. Somedays it feels like we're drowning in the unknown, inhaling content from all sides and still coming up short.
Turns out, the Universe will only ever provide 3 answers, anyway:
Yes. No. Not Yet.
This is a simple, liberating truth for you to metabolize over your weekend coffee(s). I'm still digesting it myself tbh.
2020 is serving up all kinds of dishes...flavor combos of questionable taste we need not repeat. Here's my current order:
Can I get up each morning and celebrate the marvel of being over doing? Yes.
Will I feel better about myself/circumstance mulling through headlines/scrolling through feeds? No.
Have I found the edge of my comfort zone to ask/articulate/engage over harder, better questions? Not yet.
Much to my chagrin, yoga is a conversation of the inaudible variety. A 'check yourself' chat between you and your breath; an endless wrangling of wandering thoughts and finer-tuned self-talk.
Meeting yourself on your mat is an opportunity to reconcile your present body with your past/present/future mind. Your practice provides a window of time (that will pass regardless) to sit, sweat, breathe & move with your questions. To come out on the flip side of Savasana with a deeper connection to awareness, over answers.
So, that's all for today, really. A gentle nudge to explore the wonders of Child's pose or the perspective of a Downward Dog... to make time for deeper breathing, some mind-space, and perhaps, a moment to redesign today's questions to better serve a present-you, to better support a present-world.
Peace, love, palms up....hands down.
p.s. If you're reading this from the US & you're old enough to Vote, please do the work & use your voice. Click here to register/confirm you're registered.