Personal Growth

I have seen the future! My future, and it’s glorious.  Better than I had ever thought possible, truly.  And I will, as my favorite starship captain always says, “make it so.”

I will be a writer yogi.  A Writer Yogi. A WRITER YOGI!  Got it?

What’s that you ask? A yogi writer.  Same thing, different order.

To spell that out with more than two nouns and a determiner, I’m going to write stories and books, and I’m going to teach and practice Yoga.  Professionally, that is.  Not half-way, hobbyish, or on the side.  Fully, professionally, and as the main occupation of my life.

Language, my dear scholastic pursuit, will take a backseat and fill my free time as I continue my personal Japanese studies, and move on to tackle Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and maybe an ancient language or two.  I did go into that field because I wanted to be Indiana Jones after all.

In truth though, I think this path is much much more attractive than being a real life Indiana Jones.  I don’t have to work in a collegiate system I have philosophical compunctions with, I don’t have to spend months pouring over research papers before getting into the real sites and examining and discovering amazing old things.

Instead, I get to create completely new worlds, new literary vistas, and new bodies too!

I entered writing in my early teens as a poet.  Fitting I think, poetry and teens.  It’s an angsty, emotional, hormone-driven period where words make for a convenient outlet.  I happily submitted horrible stories and bits of exposition for the “Reflections” writing programs my school sponsored even before that, but I never felt good about what I wrote until I wrote poetry.  I remember one piece that isn’t really that great actually, called “Shades of Gray”.  That was the first time I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s not bad!” about something I had composed.

But I didn’t really ever consider writing to be a viable occupation of my time and effort until after toiling through the 1st draft process with Nanowrimo, and then facing the epic monsters that were my seemingly useless rough works.  Despite the tremendous pile of text I had produced, I still didn’t think I could actually become a writer, a Writer that is, until I edited it.  And I haven’t yet, at least I haven’t finished.  But I will, soon.

Yoga entered my life in high school, during a short period of extra-curricular programs at my Governor’s School called Intersession.  One of my classmate’s mothers taught us yoga.  I thought it was kinda corny before we started, but after the first session I felt as if my entire body had orgasmed, and then calmed down into some hidden euphoria I had never before discovered.  In truth I expect this was just due to the considerable amount of endorphins released through extended stretching.

My next opportunity for yoga presented itself in college, and I practiced multiple times a week with an instructor I admired immensely.  My instructor, Andrew, was a world record holding weight lifter, academic prodigy, and yogi.  He was kinda unremarkable at first glance, but he was a fantastic teacher.  I understood the importance of breath, proper alignment, and I learned a variety of interesting poses that kept me coming back for more as I found new vectors in which to grow, or stretch as it may have been.

I studied with other teachers during my second, third, and fourth years in college, but none left any real impression on me.  They all seemed to be “fitness” yoga teachers, not “yoga” yoga teachers.  I didn’t really click with another teacher until I came to Japan and started learning from an American expatriate who had been living nearby for the past 20 years, and who had the rather unique nickname, “Stymie.”

I practiced with him more or less weekly for a year until I met my fiancée.  Then priorities took over and I found yet another new area for personal growth in my life.  I’m glad I did by the way.  I’ve never been more happy, confident, and prepared to tackle anything life throws in my way.  And my future plan seems to work decently well for her too.

My next steps are simply to continue, full steam ahead, down those paths.  I’ve already slapped the rails parallel to each other, so I shouldn’t need to get off track too much.

Yoga Teacher Training to get registered as a RYT200, and editing my novels and publishing them.

Let’s rock and roll!

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2 Comments

Filed under exercise and outdoors, issues, language, musing, news, personal, studying, teaching, writing

2 responses to “Personal Growth

  1. So excited for you, Mark! Love love love it, and can’t wait to see your next chapter unfold!

  2. Hey man, I saw this post on facebook and read it. That sounds awesome. Best of luck with everything!

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