Why You Should Put Out
Cool Life Tip #1.
You might be suffering
from too much input
and not enough output.
If your brain were a cup,
would it runneth over?
I've been thinking a lot about input and output.
A few months ago, I was pulling into the ardha chandrashana at a somewhat intense yoga class uptown when my yoga teacher said something that quite affected me. If you can't bear past the nauseating start to this anecdote, I understand.
As he was walking around the room, Kenny, a hot, smiley gay man with a yoga instructor's body and a yoga instructor's voice, came up from behind me as I was in a rather pathetic half-moon pose and placed one hand on my pelvis and the other on my chest, pulling my entire torso open as if I were origami.
"Too often do we have the instinct to close ourselves up," Kenny said. (Though, I'm paraphrasing here.) "We live in a city that's loud and stressful and dangerous. It's too easy to take advantage of all that you can and then, as soon as you get what you need, to close up." He's still holding my crotch at this point.
"It's too easy to take and take and then keep it to ourselves when we should be focusing on what we can give. Everyone stand up and put your pointer fingers and your thumbs together."
We come out of ardha chandrashana and follow instructions, holding a triangle shape with our hands up to our chests.
"Pretend this is a cup," Kenny has a very subtle and soothing lisp. "Pretend that this cup has a spout. Tip the spout and pour out." The whole class tipped their spouts, like fifty little teapots.
"From this spout is the thing you can put back into the world. When you breathe in, you are taking in something that has helped you, and when you are breathing out, you are giving it back. Think about how you can practice using this spout in your daily life."
If we can push past the yuppie bullshit here, you have to admit it's good advice. I realized, with my yoga instructor's hand on my pubic region, that after living in New York almost two years, I rarely stopped taking things. Taking free drinks, taking business cards, taking pictures, taking other New Yorkers' advice. And so I thought, "you might be suffering from too much input and not enough output. If your brain were a cup, would it runneth over?"
And so I thought, why aren't I making anything? What can I generate? What can I do that might be considered "output?" I'm a writer by trade, but can't really say it's "what I do" seeing as I never really did it.
And so The Great Discontent and Elle Luna's 100-Day Project seemed to be the answer to that—a project that challenges you to make one thing for 100 consecutive days. I knew I would create 100 "cool life tips," which aren't really "tips" per se, but very very short poems I sometimes write that offer some story, insight, or nothing at all. You can keep up with my little nonesenses on this page of my site.
Here's to putting out!