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Welcome to my blog. I’ll be talking about art, pets, kung fu, feminism, friendship, and my progress on the road of living a good life. And by “good” I mean a life that celebrates connection, community, service, and making the world a better place.

My favorite part

I was working out with a friend who’s a black belt in our kung fu style yesterday, and she said, “What’s your favorite part of this form?” She explained that she was trying to create a new form out of all her favorite moves from all the forms she knows — a Greatest Hits of kung fu — and she wanted to know mine. I was croggled, because I’m still struggling with here-comes-the-hard-part-of-the-form or I-suck-at-this-stance. I’d never even thought about my¬†favorite parts.

But thinking about them suddenly turned the form on its head. It was no longer the hard form, or the hard part, or the scary part, or the part where I fall over because I have weak ankles and don’t balance well on one foot. It became all about the part where I feel powerful, the part where I turn and pivot and send all my energy into a blow or a block or a stance, the part where I connect with my body and become, for a second, a martial artist, a strong woman, a powerful person, a joyous celebrant of my body.

This is what is so powerful about positivity. To be asked “what gives you joy?” instead of “what is hard for you?” or “what do you need to work on?” suddenly focuses your attention on the good and empowering. We spend so much time stressing about what we suck at, and how we can get better. We put all our thought energy into that place where we are weak, where we “need” work, where we are never good enough. To be asked, “what is your strength?” instead is shocking and, for me, a jolt of soul nourishment.

Now, when practicing alone, I will think about how much I enjoy that moment when I turn, block, lift my leg into crane stance, and feel my wings.