I have been teaching yoga for a decade, and I have a little secret. I can’t execute handstand (Ado Mukha Vrksasana) in the middle of the room. Any good yoga teacher would tell me that I am not defined by one yoga posture. I agree. However, the mat is a metaphor for life. Technically I probably can do the asana because I can easily practice it at the wall. To fully express the asana away from it, I have to tumble and potentially make a fool of myself. I have to be willing to fall.
In rural Montana I was the only boy who danced ballet. At nineteen I deserted college to move to New York City with Broadway aspirations. By twenty-nine I had voyaged to Oklahoma City to become an Artistic Director of a regional theater. And by thirty-seven I abandoned that very steady, comfortable life to return to New York City. I have taken lots of risks. I am now forty-five; there are bigger chances to take.
I find every distraction in the world to help avoid them. I watch TV. I sip booze. I over eat. I troll Facebook. I work out. I do anything to evade telling my truth and skirt creating work. As an artist brutal honesty is required. Sometimes it’s not pretty. I want everyone to like me and therefore only present my best side. To be a brilliant creator, I have to display the ugly, boorish and unlikeable parts too. I have to confess to being stubborn and mean, scared and sometimes even depressed.
For many years I have generated art, but not great art. Mainly because I have been petrified of exhibiting my spiritual, creative warrior.
If I parade my heart creativity, I might fail and fall. Like handstand, risk is a practice. Today I am inching away from the wall.
What is your greatest risk? How are you not being honest with yourself?