“I won’t try to convince you that I’ve never plotted any more than I’d try to convince you that I’ve never told a lie, but I do both as infrequently as possible. I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.” – Stephen King, On Writing
I came across the above quote today and thought about what it meant to me who is an inveterate plotter and planner.
I’ve been practising letting go. It might not seem like that to those of you who have always and forever gone-with-the-flow. But, little by little I have been learning to trust what I know and what I have embodied.
For years, I have prepared lesson plans for teaching and taught them and then refined them after teaching them. If I have a workshop to teach, I spend much time developing the content and then fretting about whether I will meet the students’ needs.
If I have a talk to give, I will write it out, practice it over and over, and then worry about whether I have reliable enough notes or if my slide presentation will work.
I put a lot of work into creating a recent 6-week asana course, and then I did something different when it came time to teach it. I relaxed into my teaching. I had my notes and I had handouts for the students, but mostly I fielded questions, promoted discussion, observed, got them to experience poses and adjustments. The classes were interactive and small enough so the students got to hear from each other.
My hand was light on the reins, and it created a wonderful learning atmosphere.
It would have been nice to start out in my teaching career as a completely relaxed yoga teacher, but we’re all different. And, perhaps it’s true, that line about it taking years to be an overnight success….
Tato manojavitvam vikaranabhavah pradhanajayasca
Then, instaneous thought, perception independent of the sense organs, and perfect mastery of origins appear.*
*The Essence of Yoga – Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bernard Bouanchaud.