You had simply wanted to take a dance class again, to feel the smooth wood floor under your feet as you spun and swayed to the beat. And then the pressure starts: to really understand dance, to get really good, you must give it your all, practice constantly, come to the studio. Every. Single. Day. All at once, you feel like the young girl who lost her taste for ballet; all you had wanted then, much like now, was to wear a pink tutu and your hair in a honey bun and twirl. You had no room for point shoes or competition with the older girls to prove who was the most serious, the most dedicated ballerina. Heaven forbid you get labeled as that atrocious specimen: the Amateur. But that is what you are and what you want to be when it comes to dance. When, you wonder, did it become impossible to simply twirl?
If you were to go down that road, you might as well give yourself over to becoming another yoga guru. There's a part of you that wants that, your ego, that is big and loud and wants to be the best at everything. You, too, can be another expert in advanced poses, traveling from one workshop or retreat to the next, perfecting the forever imperfect-able wisdom that is you and your mat. A lofty goal. But not yours. You are content with your sun salutations that greet each morning and the simple flow that closes out your work day. In all the many years you've been practicing yoga, they are enough to feed your mind, body, soul. And leave you time for other things.
Like simple crocheting, though you confess you once felt the pull to crochet sweaters and knit dresses. But you have no patience for reading those patterns that always try to rope you in with easy to follow steps! They are, in reality, much more complicated than you want to think about. You make your peace with this too, happy with your half-stitches and straight lines that somehow always end up making the blankets and scarves you want, although you were once told that real knitters use real stitches. There it was again: the pressure to be the Expert. Instead, you satisfy yourself with crocheting and knitting just as you always did--with your Amateur hands looping together yarn into imperfect but passable blankets.
For you are an Expert in teaching and writing, forever honing and refining your craft. It is enough to work on that, enough to focus on these things. It is an art, too, to resist the demands of others to be an Expert in things which are not yours to perfect. An art to be a happy, exuberant Amateur in the things that give you pleasure, that let your mind breathe, and your soul fill up on the joyousness of life after a week of being an Expert. So you will twirl outside in the sunlight, just the grass beneath your feet--and you've even found your way back to the dance floor. You will do your yoga in the quiet of your own home, the twitter of birds your only soundtrack to enlightenment. You will crochet blankets out of half stitches and straight-ish lines. You will enjoy the beauty of being an imperfect Amateur.
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