standinghead-to-kneeThis morning, in Bikram Yoga, my teacher asked, “Are you playing to win or are you playing not to lose?”

Sometimes, I know he’s talking to other yogis, but today, I knew, he was talking to me. And I could hear him loud and clear.

I am a bikram homing pigeon. (Well, in general, I’m a homing pigeon.) I like to keep to a schedule. In class, I practice in pretty much the same spot every week. On the cooler side.

I say: it helps me concentrate. It’s hard enough. I’m still learning.

But maybe: it keeps me from achieving my potential. Maybe it’s becoming an excuse for not achieving more.

This week, a bunch of brave new writers started taking my class. They’re jumping off cliffs, and now, so am I. Starting today, in writing and in yoga, I am going to step out of the comfort zone. I’m going to try practicing in a different space. And then I’m going to try writing to win, too. I’m not just going to ask: what does my character want? Why? What is she risking? What’s in her way? I’m going to ask those things of myself.

What do you do when you want to get out of your comfort zone?

And if you live near Evanston, Illinois, check out our wonderful Bikram studio. Taking class always helps my process.

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