I never thought I’d end up being a copywriter for twenty-plus years on three continents, run two and a half marathons, train to teach yoga in India, Canada, Austria and the Czech Republic — and actually teach it in Australia, Canada and Malta. They just seemed like good ideas at the time.
I still have moments when I think that if anyone ever finds out that not a single word I’ve written, graphic I’ve created or creative I’ve directed was blessed by a single moment in a university, college or trade school (except for some Quark Xpress night classes at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) it’s going to be all over.
But stars like Avinash Kaushik talk about impostor syndrome in public, so I get by.
I’m not sure what’s next, and I still suck at uncertainty, which is very unbecoming a yoga teacher, but I do have a handful of places I go back to on impossible impostor days:
- Bird by Bird, “Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Reflections on the Art of Living, A Joseph Campbell Companion selected and edited by Diane K. Osbon
- The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne
- Anything Pema Chödrön has to say, beginning with this excerpt from a Lion’s Roar Interview about Leonard Cohen
- The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda (a free download at Project Gutenberg)
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (a free download at Project Gutenberg)
And time after time, his smile became more similar to the ferryman’s, became almost just as bright, almost just as thoroughly glowing with bliss, just as shining out of thousand small wrinkles, just as alike to a child’s, just as alike to an old man’s.— from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Many travellers, seeing the two ferrymen, thought they were brothers. Often, they sat in the evening together by the bank on the log, said nothing and both listened to the water, which was no water to them, but the voice of life, the voice of what exists, of what is eternally taking shape.
And it happened from time to time that both, when listening to the river, thought of the same things, of a conversation from the day before yesterday, of one of their travellers, the face and fate of whom had occupied their thoughts, of death, of their childhood, and that they both in the same moment, when the river had been saying something good to them, looked at each other, both thinking precisely the same thing, both delighted about the same answer to the same question.