[My favorite photo taken on our last day in Jordan - me and Karyn at sunset. Photo taken by the magnificent Gillian.]
One of the reasons I am able to go wild creatively in my studio is because I maintain a number of very consistent routines throughout my days and weeks. I always get the same kind of milk (2%) for my morning cafe au laits, I fold my laundry a certain way, I have a routine for washing my face at night. These little rituals give me time to simply go through a number of comforting motions that I know I can rely on. The downside is that I can get so attached to them I have to sometimes be convinced that other options might be just as viable, workable and enjoyable. When dining at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, every once in a while my husband implores me to order something other than what I order 99% of the time, and when I follow his urging, our regular waiter is actually kind of disappointed because I'm breaking the routine. (But I love that he knows what I usually want - see there? Another little spot of familiar comfort in my routine.)
The same is true with my yoga classes, although my tendency to stick with the same level of classes has had more to do with my confidence level, and feeling unsure of my abilities beyond what I know I can do well. If someone had come to me this morning and suggested I take a Level 2/3 Vinyasa Flow class, I would have laughed my head off and then very seriously said, "No way." Level 2/3? Vinyasa Flow? I'd pass out! I'd make a fool of myself! Forget it!
But today I was running late, and walked into the wrong room, and for some reason I knew immediately I was in the wrong class. But instead of going into panic mode as the door to the classroom clicked shut, I looked at our teacher - who I fell madly in love with the instant she smiled and welcomed us - and decided to simply take whatever the class had to offer and do my best. Because I had no earthly idea what the class was, and decided it was better to not know.
The long and short of it is that I did much better than I thought I would. While there were a few instances in which I was totally unfamiliar with the instructions - having to look around to see how everyone around me was twisting, contorting and supporting themselves in some pretty serious poses - I actually had fun being so open to whatever we were told to do. And now I'm hooked, and will most definitely be back in this class with this teacher. Not only that, but I'm now feeling courageous enough to try other higher level classes. What is so great about this is that I feel inspired to try new classes now not because I'm trying to push myself, but because, hey, if I can get by in the class I inadvertently took today, then maybe I'm more capable of bigger challenges than I thought I was.
And the other treat? I met a lovely woman who told me she's been reading my blog for years, and that was just icing on the cake.
Sometimes, going somewhere we didn't intend to go turns out to be the exact place we belong. Sometimes, the greatest joy comes about when we're feeling lost and uncertain, but willing to stay on the path anyway.